The Arab Spring: Legit or Not?


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The question of whether or not the Arab Spring is a legitimate movement against corruption and tyranny requires addressing the following assumptions regarding the culture of the Middle East as well as the nature of democracy as a political philosophy; and the credibility of global power like the US, Europe, Russia & China in policing the world and/or crusading for democracy.

Obviously we cannot throw all uprisings in the Middle East into one category because each country is different culturally and circumstantially. The main scene of protest in the Middle East in what would be called the Arab Spring includes Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria & Bahrain. It wasn’t much before the Arab Spring when the Lebanese people orchestrated a one-million man protest in Beirut which would eventually force the Syrian government to withdraw completely.

Protests also erupted in neighboring countries of influence and significance, namely Iran & Turkey.

Some might argue the Arab spring inspired movements in Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba & Ukraine where extreme forces are already threatening to take grip — amidst uncertainty and the vulnerable state of a country during a transitional phase of government.

As I stated before each of these countries is different. The type of reforms necessary, the culture of the people, the grievances of the people. They are not all the same. What was common among all participants of the Arab Spring was a sense of discontent with the social, political and economic conditions of the Arab people. But what exactly is the cause of the misery of the Arab people? Is it the tyranny of their own governments, or the tyranny of global powers?

Take a look at Syria for example, where the government has been ruled by a close-knit group of Assad-sympathizers. 75% of the Syrian population is Sunni, which has remained largely unrepresented in the political and economic aspects of Syrian life. The Alawites, a minority religious sect of Shiite Islam, have been largely in control of the political process in Syria, operating from the stronghold of Damascus. Despite disparaties between the elite rich and the impoverished lower classes, largely Sunni, the majority of Syrians were content with their state of affairs. The irony is that it was the Alawites who were disenfranchised from Syrian society before the coup which ushered in the presidency of Hafez al-Assad in 1970. The Alawites were regarded as heretics and second class citizens. It was Assad’s rise to prominence which elevated their social status, seen by many Syrians as their way of avenging their history of oppression. The Correction Movement, initiated by the Assad government, aimed to socialize the Syrian economy and redistribute wealth more fairly so as to guarantee universal prosperity. The outcome? While major advancements were made on a national level in terms of infrastructure and self-sustenance, the economy was largely controlled by the Assad government. How was this different from the Sultan-esque elitist economic model that ruled Syria prior to Assad’s Corrective Movement? Similar efforts were attempted in the realm of Socialism in Egypt and Libya for example, by Gamal Abd Nasser & Muammar al-Gaddafi, respectively. All three of this historic figures were regarded as threats to global hegemonies and the tradition of capitalism which had been the foundation of the international political system for centuries. None of their socialist policies brought openness and prosperity to the economy except for those in power, essentially just fortifying the system of stagnation in place before.

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Assumption: democracy is the universal road to justice; democracy is compatible with Arab & Muslim society; democracy is a guaranteer of social equality; that the global police actually exhibit democracy.

Has there ever been a democracy? Is the US a real democracy? The French Revolution was hijacked too. Instead of ushering in what was supposed to be individual rights we went from tyranny of the pride to tyranny of the revenge. The American Revolution ushered in the first real modern attempt at democracy to ensure the rights of individuals socially, economically and politically. But how could the US be a democracy if it for 200 years deprived all African-Americans of basic, necessary human rights? Today immigrants, gays, muslims, arabs, atheists, jews and still African-Americans, are the subject of unequal treatment.

Even in the far east, in Russia for example, the public attempt to collective reform Russian society was another revolution hijacked by yet another pseudo-science: Communism. Communism merely strengthened the hold of elitism by placing control in the hands of a political party and cult of personality versus a family or royal name as had been before.

Thanks to movements by honorable leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. the US has made great strides towards a more democratic society; however the 21st century has revealed that 200 years of human rights abuses have consequences that are still to be seen. I am referring to the corruption of the justice and prison systems as well as police brutality and disparaging inequalities in income. The 21st century also ushered in the Arab Spring. In the case of Tunisia, I would say the movement succeeded. In the case of Egypt, Libya & Syria, it is not the same. Syria has become the battleground for the war against fundamentalism as well as a proxy war against Israeli expansionism. The rise of Islamic fundamentalism as well as failure on the international community to realize the human rights of the Arab World, most importantly Palestine, contributed to the hijacking of what was supposed to be an Arab Spring towards democracy.

But who is to blame? Assad of Syria? Sisi of Egypt? Gaddafi of Libya? The US? The West? Russia & China? Religious fanaticism? Israeli expansionism? Colonialism?

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I am sure all of these forces contributed. But as stated before each country is different. In Syria, the people are not as upset with their government as they are with the international community’s silence of the crimes of colonial entities such as Israel. Perhaps this is why Assad has yet to dissolve his government; perhaps his claim that the Syrian people remain united has some validity. It is true, that neither Syria, Libya nor Egypt have progressed towards democracy economically, politically or socially…but to place the blame entirely on Arab leaders is misguided. Furthermore, it is a way of stereotyping…typecasting all Arab national grievances as similar in motive. The West was keen on insisting that Assad leave early on in the conflict. The tone has changed.

Perhaps the Arab Spring did not die. Perhaps the Arab Spring is still alive; but, despite what the media might suggest; that the revolution has in fact another target — not our own Arab leaders — but the dismantling of the expansionist, colonialist apartheid regime of Israel, which has occupied Palestine and destabilized the Middle East for a half-century now, spurring the rise of terrorism and instability in the region.

As pro-Western Arab allies like the King of Jordan and the new Saudi King Salman scurry to improve their reputations; other Arab nations are more keen are continuing the initiative that was begun by the earliest of Arab independence movements that unfolded in the mid-twentieth century against the colonial powers of France and the UK.

Democracy is certainly the end goal of all nations. But the irony which surrounded America’s non democratic history forces us to realize the possibility (and likely reality) that the Arabs are victims of non-democratic tyranny, largely supported and facilitated by Western governments, in the interests of none other than the apartheid regime of Israel, the supposed only ‘democracy in the Middle East’. How can an apartheid government, a theocracy, serve as a role model for democracy? How can a country which tortures men women and children, razes homes, propagates religious extremism and exclusivity, encourages conformity, suppress individuality and human rights, be considered a beacon of democracy?

The real Arab Spring is a continuation of the more genuine revolutionary initiative of the earlier Arab independence movements of the twentieth century. We cannot allow our dignity and revolutionary spirit to be easily hijacked by extremists and elitists. Let us remember who the occupying and oppressive power really is, and the techniques of mainstream media outlets in distorting reality and history.

The miserable conditions of Arab States cannot be addressed or solved until the cause is exposed and removed. Let us not compromise our dignity, loyalty, community and humility for the sake of the instant gratification of temporary and illusory solutions.

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Darfur & the Continued Exploitation of Africa


Reminds me of a debate I had about the causes of Darfur crisis. It’s not radical Islam. That is not a rational argument. The basis of every injustice is a financial gain; as we live in a world of scarcity and desirous human nature. That being said, it is important to highlight the role of colonialism, imperialism, and uniquely in this case, the culpability of Chinese expansionism in the spurring of this crisis. It is important to understand that as with most underdeveloped countries, the cause is not ‘futility’ or ‘inferiority’ but rather arbitrary military dominance by imperial forces bent on socio-economic exploitation.

There are many economic resources in Africa. Besides the West’s historic atrocity of the transatlantic trade lies the more modern manifestation of ‘slavery’ and exploitation: blood diamonds; minerals; oil.

The dogma of imperialism and its religious and ideologically fanatical constituents/mercenaries work against the general welfare. Africa, like Palestine, South America, east Europe and Southeast Asia, has suffered immensely from imperialism. Today we are only witnessing the earliest consequences.

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REPUBLICan’t


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The term Republican means to believe that certain individuals are more fit to govern society than others, which is why you often hear right-wingers give you the WE ARE NOT A DEMOCRACY WE ARE A REPUBLIC narrative. Enough said. Conservatives, religious and irreligious extremists, from communists to zionists, have nothing fruitful to rely on for sustainment because they do not trust in themselves. Their self-loathing has forced them to rely on state institutions and religious theocracy to promote their backwards way of thinking. An entire country was carved out of Palestine for Israelis because they need a collective institution that supports their egoism and ethnocentrism and lack of self-sustainment. Zionism is the antithesis of freedom, free markets and free thought. DEAR CONSERVATIVES – you don’t believe in freedom, capitalism or free trade. Your currency is extremism and your support system is fascist authoritarianism. Enough depriving others of freedom just to suit your ascetic, self-loathing, hateful worldview.

And I can’t wait for these next 6 years to watch Republicans prove themselves incompetent once more because the fuck-ups of Nixon, Bush I, Reagan & Bush II weren’t enough to convince Americans. Still a vast majority of Americans, most likely white, identify with Republicanism, conservatism, and christian zionism. The zealotry with which Bush invaded Iraq under the banner of Christian revivalism and democratic-crusadership almost mimics the imperial establishment and continued expansion of the theocracy of Israel, also under the banner of zionism.

Paranoid Androids


The existence of #Hamas and other militant organizations with a more radical message does not legitimize the existence nor the expansion of the state of Israel, partly because it is precisely due to the existence of this unnatural ‘zionist’ nation-state that has caused groups like this to prop up again and again and gain popularity among the impoverished, deprived and uneducated peoples of the Middle East. Israel has created an environment that breeds hatred, terrorism and extremism, yet blames the arab people. Furthermore, I would like to point out that no ‘extremist’ Islamist organization represents Islam or the Middle Eastern culture – they are hired agents of the West. If that is too hard to believe – if you dismiss that as some sort of conspiracy theory – then perhaps that implies that the political science degree awarded to me from a U.S. public university which provided the textbooks that taught me these historical realities is just part of this one big giant conspiracy theory too. There is political reality and then there are crazed conspiracy theorists…big difference. It seems to me like the biggest conspiracy theorists are zionists themselves – diseased with a constant paranoia that they are being undermined; thereby needing to create their own state and constantly justify security measures that undermine the liberties of other nations. 


Why Syria is not like Libya, Egypt, or Iraq:

1) Syria is the only secular arab country (a western principle)

2) Syria initiated economic reforms over a span of 40 years that redistributed wealth and allowed for upward mobility for disenfranchised classes

3) Syria has combatted internal and external ideological fanaticism, mostly from the Muslim Brothers and other groups responsible for acts of political violence

4) Syria has never signed a peace deal with Israel (unlike Egypt)

5) Syria has been loyal to the Palestinian cause, although it has distanced itself from certain factions in the Middle East throughout history, like the PLO

6) Syria is operated by a leftist-regime

Syria’s overall grievances, shared by much of the Arab people, are the following:

1) Israel should return to its original borders, pre-1967

2) Israel must halt its expansionism of settlements

3) Israel must halt its covert operations in the Middle East that are bent on destabilizing Arab countries

4) Israel must renounce its expansionist ambitions of recreating ‘Eretz Israel’ as it ignores the right of self-determination of the Arabs

In other words, as long as Israel wants to expand and dominate the Middle East — doing it through covert operations, bribery, corruption, military force, American lobbies, etc — then Syria will remain in a state of security in which it cannot allow for normal freedoms for its people in order to protect itself against Israeli aggression. It’s either sacrifice some freedoms and remain Syrian, or sacrifice all your freedoms and become swallowed by Israeli supremacy, arbitrary leadership, and oppressive ideologies and governments.

The government of Syria is portrayed as being oppressive but rumors and certain incidents are used to paint a horrid picture. History shows that few countries have chosen to resist foreign occupation by sacrificing some freedoms, like Cuba, Russia (USSR), China, Vietnam, Iran, etc. Most of these nations are portrayed as hotbeds of extremism, ideological tyranny, and government control, but behind it all, behind the military outfits, the symbols, the political propaganda, behind everything, what is really going on? 

Are America, England, France, Italy, Germany, and all these western countries being true to their values of universal justice and self determination?

Is it possible for institutions like democracy and capitalism to flourish without usurping the human rights of other nations?

Is democracy the problem, is it abuses of democracy? 

There are many forces within democracy that are bent on abusing it and often get away with it, brainwashing half the country to support unjust foreign escapades that usually involve Kings, Terrorists, Assassinations and Oil. 

Can these forces be stopped?

What does it take for humanity to be free from subjugation to others?

 


so much potential why would I ever limit myself to one avenue? just for my pride’s sake, to prove I am “the best”? there is only One Best and I would rather use my skills righteously, justly, and purposefully. this is my theology.