The Happy Arab News Service

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Doom and Gloom

Resistance to the West, and rejection of Israel, are the pillars of a rapidly strengthening alliance in the world's most volatile region . . .

       . . . goes the headline of the last survey of the Muslim world by the Economist.

Apparently it takes an economist to see that ordinary people's opinions matter as much as economic indicators and political alliances. The Economist is unimpressed by the situation of the so called moderate Arab regimes and a certain closing of positions betweeen them, Israel and the US in the face of the growing threat of Tehran Damascus axis and its non-state allies like Hizbollah. The article conveys well an impression of the shaky USA friendly regimes presiding over the raging insanity of the Arab societies:

Even high-minded Western initiatives now arouse suspicion. The effort to deploy a tougher peacekeeping force in Darfur, where some 200,000 people have been killed and perhaps 1m displaced by a government-assisted slaughter of Darfuris, is widely seen as a subterfuge. The head of the Egyptian lawyers' union, a group which might be expected to defend the rights of the weak, recently declared that the true target of UN peacekeepers was Egypt: Sudan was simply “the next stop after Iraq on the road to the heart of Cairo”.

In the face of such an insane situation, the Economist though still has an advise to offer:

It is also clear that a powerful sector of Islamist opinion is so fundamentally rejectionist that it will never change. The best the West can do may be to ensure that it does not push more moderates into that camp. It could start by remembering that people choose to “resist” when they feel threatened.


But this doesn't sound very practical. The Egyptian lawyers' union is probably the closest thing Egypt has, to what the Economist calls moderates and they are widely viewed as a spearhead of the so called Egyptian democratic opposition. Watching these people hit by the typical Arab paranoia over vicious designs of the Western/Zionist conspiracies, makes it hard to believe that the Economist's recipes would work.

Rather it makes one realize the unsoundness of optimism some people are displaying recently over the awakening of Arab masses. One may think that the corrupt and stagnant Arab regimes are really bad, but what is on the way to take their place may happen to be incomparably worse.

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