Analysis by Tony Sayegh
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This is to be considered work in progress and not a finished analysis. I just wanted to initiate a real discussion in the Comment section about this important subject.
I know that some will consider some of the opinions expressed "orientalist" and will hate me for that. But let us face it, something is terribly wrong with us Arabs. We go from bad to worse and never learn from the past. If I take the Palestinians as an example, it can safely be said that the spirit and the acts of resistance in Palestine in 1936 were by far more established and advanced than they are today, 77 years later!
What other people than the Arabs were so gullible that the British used them to fight the Ottomans with a "promise" of independence, to be rewarded with the Sykes-Picot agreement, partitioning of the Arab world, British and French colonialism and granting of Palestine to world Jewry and the dispossession of the Palestinians?
And yet after all this we see Syrian "revolutionaries" begging the same France and Britain for military help to depose the dictator in Damascus! Nothing was learned?
No other people are more willing to kill each other and destroy their own countries as much as the Arabs. Look at Iraq and Syria as examples. It is so easy to initiate sectarian and religious hatred among the Arabs that all Israel has to do is to start the flames and the Arabs will destroy themselves by themselves. Israel is now gloating that Syria will not be a threat for at least the next 20 years, since it is already fragmented into 3 mini states. The same goes for Iraq.
No other Fascist regime burned and destroyed the country as the price to be paid for its ouster. Compare Syria under the Assads and Romania under Nicolae Ceaușescu. The ruthless internal security apparatus in Syria was modeled after that of Ceaușescu But when the people of Romania rose against the dictator, the Romanian army stood with the people and against the dictator, who was later executed. In Syria, the army of the regime is destroying its own cities using jets, heavy artillery and missiles!
Muslims get infuriated when Israel fires on mosques and yet in Syria (and Iraq before) mosques are routinely shelled and destroyed by both sides who call themselves Muslims! Ancient and historical mosques that were preserved in Syria for hundreds of years are being shelled and destroyed today!
During the Iraq-Iran war, Henry Kissinger enunciated the US policy as simply letting both sides destroy each other; when one side began to fall, the US would help just enough so that it stayed in the fight for the longest possible duration. Is this not what is happening in Syria today? And yet, Syrian "revolutionaries" are begging the US to interfere! USrael is laughing its head off about such stupidity and naivety.
I will add more to this analysis later, but I would like to read your comments first.
I am not going to give a diagnosis nor prescribe a cure. I will make some observations about conditions that are contributing to the Arab backwardness and them remaining largely irrelevant to modern history.
To start with, and this is crucial, the Arabs have mostly failed in establishing modern states with constitutions that guarantee and safeguard the rights of all citizens, regardless of religion or ethnicity. This has perpetuated the status quo where a few elite, from the military or with the active support of the military, act as if the country is their private estate and the citizens are just squatters on that estate. A citizen who is treated that way, will not act to defend that state which does not belong to him. This explains the demise of all the Arab militaries, regardless of how much is spent on them. They are not made up of citizen soldiers.
A modern constitution would establish independent branches of government, including the judiciary and a free press. A look at today's Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood illustrates this. As soon as a MB president was elected, he wasted no time to ram through his own variant of a constitution which gave him dictatorial powers. He also appointed one of his cronies as an attorney general. As soon as that was accomplished, the crackdown on free speech and dissent started. The small margins of free expression in the press are now being seriously threatened.
All of this is just the beginning. Without resistance, the MB aim to control all aspects of the state and society. So Egypt has just replaced one dictator with another. This also illustrates another problem which afflicts all Arab countries. The longer a dictator is tolerated, in the name of stability and as a result of fear, the higher the price the country pays down the road. Syria today illustrates this point. If 40 years ago Syrians were willing to pay the price to get rid of the first Assad dictator, there would not have been a second Assad dictator and the country could have been saved from total destruction. The Assad dynasty has had over 40 years to control every aspect of the military, the economy, civil society, etc. It is like a cancer that has already invaded all organs of the body.
And here is a lesson for the Egyptians: Do not let up in your resistance to the MB. Given more time, they would be that much harder to remove. They do not believe in democracy nor elections. They used elections to rise to power and they have no intention of abdicating that power.
To be continued.