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Editorials

EDITORIALS

June 14, 2014

Neither from the West or the East

Not generated from the East nor from the West, the crumpling of the Arab world and its collapse are naturally self generated and was expected.

 

The Arab world is finally coming out of its lethargy. Although it never managed to come out of the era of colonisation. It is still in process of decolonising and recovering from its lost identity. Before talking about recovery and fictive identities or even identity building, We have to face an inconvenient truth: Arab communities and former colonial powers, both failed. Newly independent Arab societies accepted alienation and failed to made their voices heard from the beginning regarding the form of government they wanted. The democratic process should have been anchored at the very core of the newly built Arab states.

 

Back to the Middle East, Iraq would have been the first democratic government in the new Arab world era. Again and as expected it became just another failure. Decades of suppression, can't generate super leaders. Iraq sectarian policies, led to division, corruption and ultimately failure. Egypt, first government to be freely elected in the modern history of the Arab world,  generated a copy of Maliki's government but this time in a Sunni community. Though the life of Mursi's government was very short, many compare the experience to a foetus dead previous to birth. Even if Mursi's government  had survived it was clear that it was doomed to failure. Would it have survived, it would have imploded from within due to lack of inclusiveness and vision to lead the country through a transitional process opening up to all democratic and peaceful forces. The experience was under heavy winds led by the contra revolutionary centres. Ultimately, they have blown it all, leaving Egypt decapitated, traumatised from the experience and no one knowing what tomorrow would be the direction to take.

 

Egypt in Sunni world, Iraq in Shia world all were failures in a world and time that doesn't allow failures. Then came Syria, similarly to Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, peaceful population, mainly youth defeated by poverty, lack of future prospects or hope for better future ...they all made it to the streets calling for fair share of revenues, end to corruption requesting democratic systems...the answer was blood and blood and only blood and terror until the collapse of all. In Libya foreign forces intervened but left the state building to unqualified teams incapable of dealing with heavy well funded counter revolutionary powers leading to a catastrophe. From there weapons smuggling reached as far as Sub Sahara, Syria, Tunisia even Egypt...the Sub Saharian heart is burning, North Africa and the GCC countries might also follow suit. Tunisia is struggling and Egypt probably it's a matter of time before the new leadership invade Libya or participate directly or indirectly in acts of war in Libya to divert attention from the needed reforms and the transitional justice process leading to national reconciliation and democratic governance..no one can predict the results but one thing for sure nothing viable or healthy will come out of this at all, unless we are all serious about the necessity to support democracy in the Arab world!

 

The calls for reforms in Syria were answered with a horrible genocide. The first in the modern Arab World history. The world turned a blind eye to the Syrian society calls for freedom. Worse civilians were slaughtered, chemical weapons  were used against them. The world powers were spectators but refrained from intervening to not destabilise a fragile equilibrium or probably they believed it was better to keep Assad rather than having an Islamic state. The reality is worse, by refusing to support the Syrian street, they supported the terror taking roots and ground in area where they would have never been successful. By refusing to support moderate rebels and defector militaries they give support and weapons indirectly to the worse  enemies of all freedoms : Jihadist and Al Qaeda! Now no moderate rebels nor anyone would be able to stop this madness.

 

The tragedy of Mosul yesterday made it clear there is no way back anymore in this conflict! The Middle East is burning, and as mentioned before, Syria is the upcoming Afghanistan of the Middle East. The  situation as it is today was already described as doom scenario discussed by many intellectuals from the Arab world but no ears were there to listen or help in finding solutions. The worst case scenario is now a reality unfolding in its tragedy over passing all the worse expectations we were all fearing. Many from the moderate Arab intellectuals are now behind bars, only and solely because they opposed to such doom scenario and called for reforms in a world that was not open to receive advises from anyone.

 

I guess now, it's all too late. No one can stop this madness and the maleficent genius is out of the bottle. He is at war with all and mainly the ones that causes its own existence in that bottle.  At our level we can't do much as it is beyond us and too much for simple intellectual as we are to change whatsoever to this complex terrifying horror. But we believe in the power of education and peaceful coexistence. We should continue to educate our communities towards human rights education, awareness raising, fighting sectarianism, racism, injustice and explaining the benefits of the rule of law, good governance, reconciliation and helping in transitional process, spreading a culture of tolerance and democracy.

 

I'm no politician and have no advises for them nor for anyone except all should behave responsible and please do not duplicate old systems and mechanisms. It just won't work this time and no time in the future. There are no exclusive solutions, and business can't be run on the old ways, it's a disaster for all: reforms are urgently needed in the interest of all. The solution is collective and selfishness is fatal. Tolerating independent human rights work and education of the mass are a top priority for communities coming  out of decennia's of alienation and lethargy. Human rights advocates and defenders,  intellectual and reformers should stop being the target of both: undemocratic governments and obscure extremist groups! All should respect the neutrality, integrity and the need to educate communities...no matter the differences we  will need strength and courage to think in reconstruction and recovery. The Arab world is devastated and it might be only the beginning. Without educated communities we will continue plummeting in ignorance, hatred and remain in the vicious circle of violence and destruction.

 

Only under critical conditions and in times of crisis changes are being implemented. Although it seems too late, but concerted and combined action to reform governments and societies could possibly stop the madness.

 

Amal Hamidallah

The Gulf Foundation