The Decline of Arab World
Leaders Who Could Not Lead
Dr Mahboob A. Khawaja
Arab nations have struggled out from under the heel of European colonization to find themselves to find themselves yoked to the interests of Western nations, and the United States in particular. They have the curse of desirable resources, particularly oil, and much of the leadership has been corrupted into structures and practices that benefit themselves and Western interests far more than the people or society itself. Dr Khawaja speaks to this with passion and from a point of close connection in his efforts to bring a broader peace to the Arab nations and the world.
Once the Arabs were leaders in knowledge, creativity, science and human manifestation, progress and future-making – the Islamic civilization lasted for eight hundred years in Al-Andalucía (Spain). But when they replaced Islam – the power and core value of their advancements with petrodollar’s transitory economic prosperity – they chose poorly and fell in disgrace, and lost what was gained over centuries. They relied on Western mythologies of change and materialistic development which resulted in their self-geared anarchy, corruption, military defeats and disconnected authoritarianism. The Western strategists ran planned scams of economic prosperity to destroy the Arab culture, Arab oil and money turning them into redundant beings for the 21st-century world. Today, the Arab leaders are so irrational and cruel that they reject all voices of reason for the necessity of change and human development – a path that brings only more deaths and destruction to their societies.
When leaders live in self-perpetuated darkness, they lose their sense of moral and political direction. To be an effective leader in the 21st-century knowledge-based and reasoned politics, one must be truthful and should hold the individual and collective consciousness of evil and righteousness, right and wrong; otherwise, professing to be intelligent could easily be transformed into known stupidity. Most Arab authoritarian leaders are no exception in this analytical principle and viewpoint. In absolute authoritarianism as the case across the Arab Middle East is, the extension of political anarchy and insanity has become a virtue but devotion to truth and political accountability is fast becoming offensive and undesirable. Today, sectarian conflicts have broken down all the features of socioeconomic and political normality and devastated the Arab region. But recall the sectarian divides were engineered by the US and Britain in decade long occupation of Iraq to support their military occupation
It could be most abhorrent and preposterous to imagine that all is going well across the heartland of the Arab world. Most of the contemporary Arab leaders hold military alliances with the US and/or West European nations and are selected by the intelligence network of the US or the West European nations, and are educated and mentored by such states as the US, Britain, France, Italy, Holland, and others. They are Arab by birth but think like British and American by practice. How do we break with the junk history and start thinking of a new vision for change, human development and providing opportunities to enlist the young educated and proactive people of the new generations? This critical issue was often the core of this author’s thoughtful plan for elite teaching and political change while holding academic positions in the Arab world. But most often, such visions and proactive endeavors were met with powerful cynical resistance and undesirability by the governing elite who were heavily favored and guided by the “NO System” of the foreign Masters.
The Compulsive Reality of Political Change and Future-Making
The oil production and supply to the foreign master was more vital than the societal intellectual and professional development for a sustainable future-making. This was the conspiracy of the rich and affluent sectors of the Arab societies to deny the prospects of a systematic political change through education and institutional building in most of the oil-producing Arab states. Societies and people deny history as a precious learning asset often end-up confronting the future as a tragic abnormality. This is the trend and pattern of the Arab world of the 21tst century unchanged unsustainable kingdoms, emirates and egoistic sadistic prince and princess soon to be replaced by the changing order of time and history. This picture adequately represents Syria, Iraq, Saud Arabia, Libya, Yemen, and Egypt. Unless thinking hubs (if any still alive and operative across these states), initiate navigational change to reconstruct the societal thinking modes and priorities, the future appears obscure for the Arab societies to survive another decade or so.
At public consciousness, cynicism about the authoritarian rulers is endemic and there is no systematic cure to rethink of any workable solution in overwhelmingly chaotic socio-economic and political affairs. Time and opportunities for political change were deliberately mismanaged and rejected in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and greater Arabia. It was an unrecoverable loss of and waste of time and conducive opportunities to develop the young generations and build new public institutions for systematic political governance but it is too late now. Much of the Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan and Yemeni war pictures are a record of daily deaths, planned destruction, bombing of the civilian habitats and unfeeling for the living mankind
Emerging crises clearly bear the fingerprints of Western policies and practices aimed at incapacitating the Arab intellectual hub. There seems to be no escape from the current volatile political crises when the Arab leaders act as if they had no knowledge of what massive civilian deaths and destruction meant to contemporary rational thinkers. Temptation and compulsion of evil embedded in psychological factors of sectarian rivalries operate in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Egypt to perpetuate in-house fear, death, and destruction.
Envisaging Societal “Change” Beyond the Obvious Politics of Insanity
In their slanted vision, the rulers and their foreign Masters were all complicit in lightning up the dark and sadistic faces of the current reality – where people and humanity are not part of any calculation to restore normalcy, peace, and sense of rationality. The US-led bogus war on terrorism has dehumanized the moral and intellectual consciousness of the Arab leaders to just focus on their own survival. Consequently, the Arab leaders are tragically entrapped in a vicious cycle of self-inflicted wars against themselves. The tragic irony of this folly reveals moral and intellectual decadence where once progressive culture and civilization inspired the Western cultures and civilizations for the Renaissance and Industrial Revolution.
We the People of the Thinking Humanity are not the enemy of any American, Russian, European or other societies but we have been coerced through mass media propaganda, conflicting political time zones and national interests of the few warlords to imagine others as our enemies and invest in wasteful exercises of time and history to sell weapons for wars and destroy the living mankind. You will recall that the same insane egoism brought about the collapse of Germany under Hitler, Italy under Mussolini and when all European dragged each other bodies with cruelty and insanity as bombing and killings were normal human acts to safeguard the national borders and flags.
We the Thinking scholars and people of One Humanity are trying to imagine of bridging the superficial differences in human thoughts and official polices and have the consciousness to enjoin the natural bonds of human unanimity and solidarity amongst all the rational and conscientious people of the globe for better understanding of peace, conflicts and global harmony. In a compass of human thought and solidarity with One Global Mankind living harmoniously on One Planet- Earth, we call for recognition and respect of human life, end to mindless wars raging across the Arab world and a return to reasoned politics and system of public governance. If morality and reason are denied its rightful place in human thinking and behavior, it could be beyond wisdom and humanity to imagine creative and plausible workable solutions to irrational and erroneous conflicts that make no sense to any rational thinkers. Logic seeks truth and the truth is unchanging and remains the same as it is today, before and perceivable tomorrow- if there is anything left useful intact across the belligerent Arab lands.
The solution must come out of new thinking and a new vision for political change, dialogue between the sectarian divides and competent leadership to pursue the stated goals. What if they were organized as morally and intellectually conscientious people? What if they knew the complex nature of global politics and the freedom to think, act, and communicate with moral strength to the enemies within the Middle Eastern societies? That is if there were proactive and responsible leaders enriched with intellectual vision and moral integrity and were flexible to listening and learning from the other side without agreeing or disagreeing. Even across the advanced Western societies, leaders know their limitations of knowledge and intelligence. Many, if not all, man-made problems could be resolved peacefully via persuasive communication and without resorting to bloodshed and committing crimes against humanity.