(written in August, 2011)
Every Arab has an Arab Spring in him or her. I have not written anything about the Middle East since the Arab uprisings that swept Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Dubai and now sweeping Syria and Libya. That is because I had my own uprising to take care of.
While Arabs may be perceived as weak and incapable of being ruled in a democratic fashion; that they need to be ruled by kings and presidents-for-life and dictators, the opposite is true. Arabs have a strong liberating being inside their souls. While this liberating soul has been dormant within many Arab generations living through the Ottoman Empire and Western domination of the Middle East, it has been awakened in the present e-generation. No Arab wants to be imprisoned within his soul and eventually that soul will revolt against its dominator. I too liberated myself from an awful marital relationship because I could not be dictated to nor dominated.
In the past several decades, Arabs have seen their heads of state transfer power or prepare the eventual transfer of power to their heirs. It is well known that the ousted and disgraced Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, now standing trial, was preparing his son to replace him. The late Hafez El- Assad, who ruled Syria for decades, changed the Syrian constitution to assure that his son Bashir Assad, would rule after his death. Momar Qaddafi of Libya was doing the same. The late King Hussein of Jordan changed the order of succession from his brother to his son.
This continuous hierarchal dominance of rule over the Arab people was not challenged by the West. Although the West espoused the ideals of democracy and wanted it to flourish in the Middle East, the continuation of support for Mubarak, Assad, King Abdullah, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and others inflamed the spirits of every Arab. Thus the gentleman in Tunisia who engulfed his body in suicidal flames was all that it took to spark the collective combustible energy for freedom that had been subverted for decades and indeed centuries inside the souls of individual Arab. The West was taken by surprise by the Arab Spring, not realizing people everywhere have within them the same spirit that led to the American and French revolutions.
Democracy needs to be the rule of law in every Arab country. Anything short of democracy is unacceptable. Continued Western support for mediaeval and repressive forms of governments in the Middle East is unacceptable.
Succeeding American presidents supported dictators around the globe to the detriment of the very ideals of what America was founded upon—that governments rule “by the people, for the people and of the people.” The greatest blunder of this policy is the support for the Shah of Iran, which lead to the overthrow of western ideology and supplanted by anti-western theological regime which threatens the Middle East and indeed the world with its nuclear ambitions.America needs to implement that spirit of freedom running through the veins of mankind, the spirit that is imbedded within the Declaration of Independence: “…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government…” Those ideals were the very principles which lead to the American Revolution and which hold true for people everywhere—including the Middle East. America has to support these ideals for all peoples everywhere. Anything short of that is unacceptable.
( © Copyright, Fadi Zanayed. Publication or distribution of this material is allowed provided its content is not altered and the source and its author are cited.)