But How to Make Sense – out of Nonsense?
Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D.
Individualistic absolutism is an epidemic across the oil enriched Arab world and has its own flourishing history. Paradoxical as it appears, changing fortunes of time have brought the cruel monsters that have darkened the history of mankind and the victims face to face in a court of law. Of course, that did not happen yet in much talked movement – War is a Crime that some of the Western thinkers and institutions plan to do to freely roaming and killers of three million Iraqi people – George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Tony Blair but it happened this week in Egypt. Hosni Mubarak, yesterday’s Pharaoh was attending prison roll call in an Egyptian court of law televised worldwide. Authoritarianism is nothing new. In recent history, Hitler, Mussolini, George W. Bush, Tony Blair and many more – all were produced by liberal democracy to run down the humanity with full insanity glorified as political order of the day and to become cancerous disease with treacherous consequences for the generations to come. Time must be reversed if you can that the 21st century civilization of conscientious human beings should continue to experience the bogus war on terrorism, and witness massive killings of innocent human beings and destruction of habitats for no other purpose except being an object and agenda of the few cruel monsters of history.
The world is changing but not fast enough for the authoritarian Arab rulers – fattish fed by the oil revenues and stupid and mindless in thoughts and behaviors if you view them in the real world of political actions and prevalent deplorable atrocities imposed on the Arab people. The affluent and oil enriched indulged in conspiracy to assume power and institutionalize corruption simply to maintain few tribal powerhouses favored by the ex-colonial masters managing the power centers from distance. They build sky high towers, mountain high palaces and used 747 equipped with swimming pools while the people begged for bread and butter and freedom to speak and be recognized as human beings. Now, the Arab people have awakened after long slumber of complacency and disorder. The problem was well defined by Shakespeare “the destiny of peoples coincided with the destiny of their monarch and nobles.” The knowledge-based, information age has dismantled some of the illusory borders and demarcation of nobilities and has challenged to bridge the conflict time zones between the palaces and the people with the internet, cell phones, facebook, twitter and instant communication technologies. Abdulazaiz, An ordinary street cart vendor in Tunis gave life and moving spirit to a political movement unparallel in recent history leading to emerging people’s revolution in the entire Arab world. These are people’s revolution- a new order of the 21ts century against the established cruelty and well armed forces fully capable to commit unthinkable massacres at will and without accountability. Hosni Mubarak did it and killed many to fulfill the requisites of insanity and egoism and was the first one to attend a prison roll call this week in an Egyptian court of law. Egyptian must feel proud and powerful to bring a Pharaoh into a prison cell to answer the charges – not seen anywhere in the present Arab Middle East. But it should send powerful signals of people’s resolve to seek justice, those who have been tortured and killed for the ambition of one man rule. Other naïve and egomaniac rulers still in power must take notice of this remarkable development paving ways for change and a different future.
Arabs were known to be people of ancient culture and values- and their Islamic civilization that influenced the global humanity and gave birth to new knowledge, science, math, medicines, human development and public institutions contributing to the Renaissance and the European industrial developments – changing age of darkness and insanity into a modern civilized world. Strangely enough, today that Arab world is victim of its own self-generated wickedness and conflicts and completely out of touch with the real world – how to make navigational change in conditions of extreme self- evolved adversities. How should the world view the contemporary Arab societies living under willing conspiracies of power and corruption of the authoritarianism for over half a century? What happened to their Islamic culture, values and glorious civilization? Was the petrodollar a conspiracy (“fitna”) to disconnect the Arab people from their values and Islamic civilization?
Lust of power and greed stemming from the age of ignorance (“jahiliya”), the neo-colonial oil enriched Arab rulers fantasized the glory and triumphs of Western schemes of economic development by ridiculing Islam and its system of governance. They turned out to be wrong people, with wrong thinking and doing the wrong things. Understandably, Islam did not allow absolute authoritarianism to take roots but established a people-based system of governance with full accountability to God and the people, encouraging the pious and educated ones to assume the role of public offices policy making and leadership. All of this was denied and betrayed by the modern Arab rulers. To the insane rulers, people were as eggs and chickens, easy to break and easy to slaughter. That is why, Hosni Mubarak was able to stay in power for over several decades, that is why Ghaddafi claims to have been loved by the people hpw who are fighting against his egomaniac rule, and that is why Bashar al-Assad is entrenched in Syria, and that is why Abdullah Saleh is still occupying the presidency in Yemen. Would the other absolute rulers calling themselves, kings, princes and presidents learn from the current events shaping the political landscape of the Middle East?
It is clear that undeserving oil wealth and illegitimate power associated with their governance have removed sense of fear and shame to the extent that over several decades of cruelty has embolden the Arab rulers to commit any crimes, bloodbaths and rob the people of their originality of thinking, values and culture. Would the future generations free of the secular captivity hold these monsters accountable for their vicious crimes and political cruelty? The Western news media reports almost four thousand civilians having been gunned down in cold blood murdered in various parts of Syria in the past few weeks. Some of the Western leaders including the US are asking Bashar al-Assad of Syria to step down but not by the fellow Arab rulers. Ghaddafi is said to have massacred several thousands to maintain his one-man rule. Abdullah Saleh seems to know no value of life and human dignity by killing hundreds and thousands demanding end of his absolute rule across Yemen. Until last moment of his presidency, Hosni Mubarak gathered affirmative solidarity support from many loyal royal kings, princes and presidents and other egoistic rulers in the Arab world. Have they all misread the dictates of history? Could they be thoughtful of their own future – how would they end-up, most likely sooner than later. Well organized against the “fear” game institutionalized by the insane Arab rulers through secretive police apparatus that is maintained by the Western political masters, the game is near its end, it is no longer frightening to the will and imagination of the new Arab generation of entrepreneurs waging freedom movements for change and revolt against the manifested insanity of the few. The common Arab citizens no longer share any sense of helplessness and isolation as the global community has come to realize their sufferings and got inspiration from their valor and courage to produce people’s oriented marvelous revolution craving freedom in places that was unthinkable few months earlier like Tunis, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Syria.
If you scan and analyze over half of the century affairs to discover that Arab rulers had no accomplishments to their record. They failed on all the major front battles: failure in leadership, perception of change and development of the future, shameful failure in dealing with the freedom of Palestine and establishment of an independent State of Palestine, no strategy to cope with the growing influence of Israel in the Middle East, and creating viable societal economic and political infrastructures for a sustainable future. Under the guise of modernity, they propelled Western enhanced militarization and secretive police –based institutionalized system using “ fear” as a strategy for their governance. Modern Arab armies are not the armies of Islam but to safeguard the rulers and their palaces. The armed forces supposed to be defending the Arab citizens are killing them. The egomaniac rulers, who loved the sensation of power and extravagant life in palaces built on moving sand and with stolen wealth, used iron fist rule to torture and kill the political opponents alleging Islamic extremism. The paranoid and ruthless kings, princes and presidents do not frighten anybody, anymore except the self either to take shelter and asylum with their former masters and others planning to explore where to go next – a hell in waiting, most likely. The Arab people have a success story to convey to the future generations for change and development but the absolute rulers stand no chance for any story of success and have no message to the future generations and the reason, what went wrong to them, what made them commit heinous crimes and institutionalize a rule of insanity against their own self and the people they claim to rule. In days and months ahead, many authoritarian walls will fall just like the Berlin Wall – those living luxuriously in palaces will be leaving them in a hurry as did Saddam Hussein, Shah of Iran, Hosni Mubarak and perhaps soon Ghaddafi, Bashar Al-Assad, Khalifa of Bahrain and Abdullah Saleh too. They all lived in utopian palaces away from
the peoples and were never opened to listening and learning and their own history shall make no record except wickedness as to why they were put in places of power and influence as rulers. According to the laws of the land, they must be held accountable for their crimes and cruelty as is the case of Hosni Mubarak.
The Arab people’s revolutionary movements for change and freedom appear effective and their success is visible on the horizon but the authoritarian rulers and their history makes no sense on any rational criterion of analysis and objective assessment. How should history see them in a broader global context? What kind of picture do these leaders paint about the nature, moral and historical values of the Arab societies? Would they all be tried in public courts of law? Would they run away with accumulated wealth and hide in secret palaces somewhere in Spain or Switzerland? How would they return the time, opportunities and wealth stolen from the people and hopes for a valued-oriented culture and promising progressive future?