''The pinnacle of impotence''

Date: Thursday, April 15, 2004 @ 00:05:09 CST
Topic: Guest Editorial

By Baha Abushaqra
YellowTimes.org Guest Columnist (Canada)

(YellowTimes.org) – The past few weeks began writing a new chapter in the voluminous book of Arab indignity.

Egyptian president-for-life Hosni Mubarak recently remarked that the derailed Arab summit will take place sometime next May even if "on the moon." Mubarak’s hyperbole has a lateral connotation to it that sums up the sorry state of Arabs today, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf.

"On the moon" is an arena well beyond the Arab League. Videoconferencing is a more attainable technology. But why even bother meeting? It doesn’t take a clairvoyant to foretell the outcomes of such a meeting: empty rhetoric and doubletalk that reflect total impotence.

Beside the usual objections and rejections, the summit is likely to "demand" from the "international community" that the whole Middle East region become "free of weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapons." You have to wonder whether these Arab "leaders" are collectively cognitively challenged to make such a demand.

Who does not realize that Israel and the U.S. would never allow for a regional balance of power? In fact, this is what a lot of the war on Iraq is all about --in addition to "liberating" Iraq’s oil and water resources, of course. Divide and conquer remains the most strategic plot to keep Arabs subdued.

A recent Al-Jazeera broadcast had a fiery Muslim cleric from Fallujah, Iraq urging Arabs to rise up to the occasion and come to Fallujah’s rescue. He reminded the "sleeping Arabs" of the fable of the two oxen.

There were two oxen, one black and one white; together they were strong such that the lion could not defeat them when they were united. So, to defeat them, the sly lion instigated discord between them on the basis of color. He was then able to eat each of them separately.

Iraq in the new constitution is not an Arab state anymore. Rather, it is a multi-ethnic federation. Fine. Arabs have failed to establish a decent umbrella regime to embrace Kurds, Turkmen, Shiites and others, and so these groups want out. You cannot blame them.

Arabs also lost Palestine before Iraq, and now Palestinians increasingly want to be part of a bi-national Israel, disillusioned by Arab apathy and defeatism. But, of course, it’s not always that what's good for the goose is good for the gander. The most generous Zionists want to herd Palestinians into a Gaza and a so-called West Bank for life.

The good cleric from Fallujah can rest assured that Arabs will not rise to the occasion. Iraqis will have to fight their own. In case he was not aware, U.S. military bases now span the oil-rich Arabian Gulf -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates -- and beyond.

And the U.S. has similar "liberation" plans for Iraq, too, once it "hands over power" to the new regime: the construction of 14 large U.S. military bases and, reportedly, the biggest U.S. embassy in the world (at Saddam's republican palace in Baghdad).

American strategists have been fomenting inter-ethnic strife within Arab states by simultaneously supporting the oppressive regimes and the various dissident ethnic groups living under the rule of these oppressive regimes (ostensibly demanding "democratic reforms" from these despotic "moderate regimes"). This is surely a twisted foreign policy, the fruits of which include rampant anti-Americanism, terrorism, and the demise of the Nasserite pan-Arabism.

Perhaps it is time to reassess the Nasserite pan-Arab paradigm. This epiphany came to me while watching CNN lately. The commentator was saying something about the Bulgarians and the Ukrainians combating the Iraqi "insurgents." I thought to myself: the Bulgarians! Even the Bulgarians are licensed to kill Iraqis! Where is pan-Arabism now?

A few days earlier, I had read a news article in Ha’aretz (April 01, 2004) that tells the extent to which the Zionist and American ideologies have fused together. It reveals that the Bush administration has guaranteed Israel that it "will not have to withdraw to the Green Line in a future permanent settlement with the Palestinians." It further reveals that the U.S. administration will grant implicit approval to the Israeli plans to confiscate the major Jewish settlements of the West Bank into "Israel proper."

(If John Kerry takes office next election, American support for Israel is not likely to decrease an iota. Mr. Kerry has very strong pro-Israel views. Further, ceding control of Iraq to the U.N. is also unlikely.)

Prince Hassan Bin Talal wrote recently in Canada’s national paper, the Globe and Mail (April 7, 2004), that the Arabs’ failures "cannot simply be laid at the West's door…We must also look closer to home."

Toeing the Zionist line, unreservedly, the former Hashemite crown prince then referred to Hamas as a terrorist group and to Iran as one "anchored in the axis of evil." With this multi-faceted package of contradictions, he is the manifestation of twisted American interventionism. Arab renaissance can only commence after democratically elected leaders replace such British-mandate progenies.

Only when there are accountable and transparent governments in the "Arab world" that heed its populations, where its executives can be impeached and unseated by a popular participatory process, will history begin writing a new more dignified chapter for Arabs.

Listening to Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice testify before the 9/11 commission, I could not help but envy the Americans for their dignities. It is the sort of democracy I aspire to see in the Arab countries. After one year from the day foreigners killed 3000 innocent Americans, the dignity of the killed innocents warrants questioning the governing authorities at the highest levels.

Thousands of innocent Arab citizens are routinely killed, oppressed, jailed and dehumanized - some by their own governments and others by foreign killers - and no one seems accountable.

As for the summit the Arab despots are scrambling to organize, it might as well be on the moon.

Baha Abushaqra encourages your comments: abushaqra@rogers.com

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