Walter Russell Mead really hits the nail on the head, here. He explains that the four older empires, Ottoman, Russian, German, and Austro-Hungarian, were, whatever their weaknesses, “multiethnic and multi confessional states.” After the fall of these empires, all these groups wanted their own states and not all this “diversity,” to use a term now fashionable in the West but not necessarily anywhere else. And Mead also outlines the strategies that Middle Eastern Christians have used:
1. Stay invisible, keep your head down in urban areas, stay remote in rural areas.
2. Look for foreign protectors, however, these foreign protectors proved a lot less faithful as the Western nations no longer defined themselves as Christian.
3. Supporting the secular concept of “Arab Nationalism.” When I first visited the Middle East in 1963, it was this ideology of Arab Nationalism, not any form of Islamism, that was opposed to Israel. But after Islamism arose,
4. Trust in strong non-Islamist rulers; Hafez el Assad, Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak,
and Abdel Fattah al Sisi. But these rulers are not popular with the rest of the people.
Mead concludes that the choices open to Middle East Christians, given the situation, are to “fort up,” develop a military capacity, flee, or die.