By Arab News
By Ali Bluwi
Many pundits and analysts ponder the reasons that made the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 the breaking point in the Middle East. This transformative period led to instability, particularly in heredity republican regimes where people demanded to have a say and role in formulating their future and where civil society organization began demanding reform and restoring the dignity of the people.
Amid the eruption of the Arab Spring, Iran took advantage of the situation in a bid to maximize its benefit. Therefore, it should not be surprising that Iran has followed a hypocritical approach in supporting revolutions in countries such as Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and Libya while failed to do so in Syria and Iraq. Chief among Iran’s objectives is to perpetuate the riots in the Arab countries lest the Arab Spring sweeps over into Iran. Unlike Turkey who has been trying to build bridges with the Arab revolution hoping it would adopt the Turkish model, Iran tries to project the Arab revolutions as if they constitute a copy of the Khomeini revolution of 1979.
The average Arab citizen – who has been watching the unbelievable impact of the winds of change – understands that these events did not occur in a vacuum. There have been some external factors. Yet, a series of fatal mistakes by the regimes pushed people to take to the street showing no fear of the killing machine deployed against them. All in all, people wonder if the Arab Spring has been triggered by failure in development, centralization of power, the marriage of interest between corruption and politics or by the increasing level of education and communication. Some even question whether these autocratic regimes lost the American umbrella. Additionally, there are other questions that have to do with the future relations between the Arab regimes and the West. There is no question that people seek change for the best; and they want to restore the missing internal balance.
Evidently, the average Arab citizen is fed up with both ideology and the double standards of the West. Yet, he or she is worthy of having a place under the sun. People can only enjoy this feeling once there is a genuine political will that represents them. Short of having this political will, people will feel that they are subject to external bullying. Therefore, they want to participate positively to change the stereotypical images of them.
That said, still average Arab citizen is still confused as to some questions. Although he is upbeat to live this change, he feels insecure. Many evoke conspiratorial analysis of the situation, particularly with the external scheme to fragment the region and rob its wealth under the pretext of human rights protections or confronting the dangers of nuclear proliferation in the region. The situation is volatile as people watched the Iraq experience happening again in Libya, secession taking place in Sudan and Syria is next on the list. People think that this tsunami could not have happened were it not for the internal weakness of the Arab societies and the regional and international support for such a change.
It should surprise no one that the Arabs understand that there is a kind of agreements between America and some non-Arab countries in the Middle East such as Iran, Turkey, and Israel. This is the prism through which the West views the region. The West has defended human rights issues in Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Sudan. Paradoxically, the West fails to demonstrate its principles of supporting human rights when Israel humiliates Palestinians on a daily basis. Needless to mention the scandals the Americans were involved in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
In fact, the West is governed by its own interests and not by any purported value. Yet, while the presence and influence of the West and America are felt in this part of the world, they are not seen in international politics. It is against this backdrop that we understand that the world is not static but dynamic. No single individual, or state, or institution can have a monopoly over power. The transformations that have been taking place are set to influence the world. Therefore, changes that have swept the region will contribute to the emergence of a new universal language that can expose hypocrisy. In this volatile world, the statement of the American scholar Paul Kennedy about the emergence of a new international force and the consequent rearrangement of power politics is worth remembering.
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