SPEAKING FREELY Arab society fails to grasp its destiny
By Mahboob A Khawaja
Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click hereif you are interested in contributing.
Arab people appear instinctively furious at the Western world for not coming to rescue them from the use of chemical weapons in Syria, on-going massacres in Egypt and Iraq, and the cycle of degeneration across oil-exporting Arab societies.
It seems nobody holds rational viewpoints on what future lies ahead after despotic Arab authoritarian rulers are deposed. On a page in the recent history book, joined by destiny, are Saddam
Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Hosni Mubarak, Abdullah Saleh and Bashar al-Assad. On these leaders were stamped the hallmarks of contemporary Arab politics, but more specifically a self-centered naive political culture of co-existence.
Ironically, Arab people dislike European leaders and the American presidents more for imposing the dark ages of colonial subjugation. Yet, these are the same political leaders who helped the Arab masses finally rid themselves off some of the worst authoritarian dictators.
After over half of a century of living under the aegis of neo-colonialism, the Arab people seem to have lost the sense of rational thinking and real world direction. Most Arab societies breathe air in seclusion and in an environment of self-indulgent escape from reality.
Arab societies lack understanding of the contending global politics of influence. The contemporary Arab world is a world of distractions and false imagery of secluded happiness, extortion and painful misery.
The Arab world needs to come to its senses and realize that the changing world will usher in surprises more catastrophic than what the Crusaders brought few a centuries earlier. The foreign plan is designed to ensure Arab people do not gain any unity of purpose.
All the Arab states, have strong military institutions trained and managed by the Western nations. All of the Arab states enjoy a secretive police apparatus mostly planned, developed and enhanced by European nations and, since the oil discoveries, taken over by the United States.
All the military and police institutions are subservient to the Western dictates - as the current affairs of Egypt demonstrate. The hidden vision and strategy encourages internal strife and domestic uprising against the dictators, enabling the foreign masters to assume greater influence and preferred final outcomes.
This means that obsolete rulers who become a liability to Western nations will be removed by their own people, all the social, economic and institutional infrastructures will be dismantled, and there will be no obstacles to a complete take-over by foreign masters.
Such an outcome will open new markets for the some of the Western war-run economies. This is the war and peace strategy that the Arab people will endure to ensure safe and continuing supply of the much-needed oil to the Western industrialized nations.
The transitory happiness of oil revenues has incapacitated Arabs from seeing the unfolding present and to imagine the alarming and highly destructive developments that lie ahead. America, a few Western Europeans and Israel share strength to watch the unfolding crises degenerating Arab societies.
Given their terrible sense of helplessness, it's no wonder that the Arab masses wonder how America and Russia have concluded an agreement on Syria to account for its chemical arsenals and later on to destroy the weapons under some international supervision.
Is it an escape from the reality of overwhelming civilian deaths and destruction of the Syrian society? At issues are the authoritarian regime of Assad and the use of forbidden chemical weapons causing more than 1,625 civilians deaths including women and children.
The need was urgent to stop the internal war and to restore some kind of order enabling the civilian population to return to their homes. President Barack Obama and President Vladimir Putin are engaged in the Syrian conflict for their own sake. Putin was given an the opportunity to make his presence felt at the global level, and Obama was handed a convenient escape route from his own "red line" ultimatum.
Both powers know too well what the use of chemical weapons means as they have experimented with them in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. The Arab rulers can't comprehend that both America and Russia will welcome continued killings and insecurity in the Arab world so that oil supplies can conveniently be available to them.
When killings cease, Arab dictators will beg America and Russia for political settlements.
How is it that after more than 60 years of freedom from the European imperialism, Arab societies do not have any educated, responsible and intelligent leaders able to offer sense of moral and political security to the people in crisis?
Why should Obama and Putin intervene to resolve the Arab leaderís adversity and intransigence against their own masses? Are the Arab rulers a dead-ended entity flourishing in the midst of daily civilian bloodshed?
Where is the Arab leaders' moral and intellectual consciousness - and accountability - to the people? Where is the so-called economic prosperity that the Arabs were supposed to bring to the contemporary world? Does the Arab authoritarianism or the cruelty of systematic killings make any sense to a rational thinker - if there are any left across the Arab world?
It seems all Arab states are in a state of political chaos, while lacking any proactive plan how to come out of the prevalent political ruthlessness and viciousness ordained by their rulers. Throughout the oil-exporting Arab world, the contemporary rulers have turned out to be complicit in the US-Israeli strategic plans for the future of the Middle East.
There are no educated, conscientious or publicly chosen leaders in the Arab- Muslim world, except for the short-lived rule of President Morsi of Egypt and the political leaders in Tunisia. Independent public institutions are also lacking for the provision of critical and honest analyses on global political affairs or to reflect on possible remedies in war and peace.
Throughout the Arab-Muslim world, there is not a single established university teaching global peace, security and conflict management.
Leaderless Muslim masses appear desperate for visionary and intelligent leaders to offer some sense of moral and intellectual security. Across the Arab-Muslim countries, leaders live in palaces, not with people. But the oil-exporting Arab leaders operate from a position of weakness in international politics. The vision - if there is one - is clearly a blind vision of the present and future, always expecting others to do things for the oil enriched and useless figure heads.
Professor John Esposito, author of Unholy War and What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam, is a reputable scholar of Western-Islamic culture and history at the Georgetown University. He offers rational context:
"An important lesson of history is that rulers and nations do rise and fall. Unforeseen circumstances can bring up unanticipated change. Few expected the breakup of the Soviet Union and the liberation of Eastern Europe to occur when they did ... Now is the time for those in all walks of life (political, economic, military, media and academic) who wish to see a new order not to be silenced but to speak out, organize, vote and be willing when necessary to make sacrifices in promoting a new global order."
Is the Arab world coming to its own end because of the sadistic authoritarian rulers? The Arab leaders and the masses live and breathe in conflicting time zones being unable to see the rationality of people-oriented Islamic governance, the worst is yet to come, surrender to foreign forces as there are no leaders to think of the future or the Arab armies to defend the people.
How should the global community view the contemporary Arab societies who have lived under corrupt tribal authoritarianism for over half a century? They are a failure on all the major frontlines of global affairs. What happened to their Islamic culture, values and glorious civilization?
Was the petrodollar a conspiracy ("fitna") to disconnect the Arab people from the Islamic civilization? Ironically, how could the few tribal leaders have managed the time and history on their own unless large segments of the masses were complacent in making the tragedy?
The world is changing, but not fast enough for the authoritarian Arab rulers. The affluent and oil enriched indulged in conspiracy to assume power and institutionalize corruption simply to maintain few tribal powerhouses favored by the ex-colonial masters managing the power centers from distance. Now, the Arab people have awakened after long slumber of complacency and disorder. Centuries earlier the problem was well defined by William Shakespeare: the destiny of peoples coincided with the destiny of their monarch and nobles.
Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say.Please click hereif you are interested in contributing. Articles submitted for this section allow our readers to express their opinions and do not necessarily meet the same editorial standards of Asia Times Online's regular contributors.
Dr Mahboob A Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking, Lambert Publishing (2012).