"The only truth is that the West doesnt tell." Raja Mujtaba

By Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D.

Challenging the ruthless and egomaniac Arab dictators, the people’s revolutionary movements generate great deal of sensational interest and dramatic impulse on the Western news media-TV screens.  Sometime the Western entertaining news media calls it “unrest” or “uprising” befitting to its economic and political aims but in reality are the people’s movements for change and freedom from the yoke of neo-colonialism. The Western military-industrial institutionalized complex needed oil to sustain convenient materialistic life and capitalism, the neo-colonial Arab rulers were the best planned scheme of things to deliver the goodies to the West in return for individual protection, security alliances and delivery of much needed military hardware. Under the shield of Western supported authoritarianism, the Arab people were the direct object of repression and enslavement for decades. Their pains and agonies were public knowledge in the Western mainstream of thoughts but bundled in denials as do the Palestinian living under the continued Israeli occupation. Now, after the UNO gathering and the PLO demand for an Independent State of Palestine, Palestinians have come out of the isolation to mainstream agenda making coverage of the global mass media. Given the proactive and intelligent leadership and the unity of the divergent groups and purpose, it is assumed that Palestine freedom goal will move forward to a conclusive end even if the present Israeli leaders do not wish to see it happened.  If you were to opt for reason and workable rational solutions, there appears to be ample conducive opportunities on both sides to open up dialogue and concerted negotiations with agenda and timelines to visualize two states to co-exist in peace. Like Obama and Netanyahu talk big, do nothing, the end of occupation and freedom of Palestine cannot be dumped in a corner. The merging trend indicates clearly that the global community supports the establishment of an independent State of Palestine, and any indifference to this solution is not tolerable. There is no scarcity of Jewish intellectuals and the people of reason as do the Palestinian thinking people longing for peaceful relationship for the good of Israelis and Palestinians.

The Western thinking people failed to realize that the Arab people were also human beings with similar interests, perceptions and goals for freedom and much deserving human dignity. Change has come on its own as part of the natural process but not out of the planned sketches neither of the Western mythologists nor of the hourly paid Arab intellectuals. Throughout the Arab anarchy based governance, paid intellectuals aligned themselves with the establishments and dictators. The Arab political intellectuals turned out to be worst and useless than being indifferent and ignorant of the prevalent facts of human affairs craving for political change. The political change has streamlined itself from the painful thoughts, sacrifices and actions of the ordinary folks. The voices of streets are loud and clear in Yemen, Libya, Syria, Baharain and other segments of the Arab societies. What a tragic news to come out this week that the self-made ruler of Baharain and his court has sentenced to 25 medical doctors and staff to several years of imprisonment who had treated the injured and civilian casualties protesting against the paranoid Khalifa. The Amnesty International and global reaction against the despotic ruler is obvious and sharp.

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Like all the Arab rulers imposed by the Western masters, Hosni Mubarak was paranoid and vengeful, how dare anyone to challenge his forty years of dictatorship. After the people’s success in Tunisia and Egypt, other Arab neo-colonial rulers are suspicious and uncertain about their continuity and effectiveness to dictate the masses. The realities on the ground are changing fast at a super express speed. After people’ success in Tunisia and Egypt, Syria, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen are the latest developing stories of prospective change and reformation of the old regimes. Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, and Bashar al-Assad- the Syrian dictator are making headlines in street battles and killings of the innocent civilians demanding freedom from oppression, human dignity and democracy. One factor is distinctively noticeable that the Arab armies are not meant to defend the people, national borders or to challenge the external enemies but to protect and safeguard the ruling elite – their palaces, the egomaniac and cruel rulers. For over sixty years, the Arab rulers ignored the interests and priorities of the masses, only to perpetuate a clan-based powerhouse to institutionalize tyranny. The petrodollars revenues conspired to make ‘modernity’ as the goal of prosperity replacing Islam as the values of the Arabian lives. Corruption bred fear and hatred and deprived the people of their moral and intellectual values to think of positive change.  Once late Dr. Ali Shariati noted: “when people live in darkness, they lose sense of direction.” 

The Arab authoritarian dictators live in that circumstantial reality as they do not know, nor have the wisdom and intellectual capacity to deal with problem solving. They made heavy investments to the Western Masters – the United States, Britain, France and others to plan and develop elaborative secret service intelligence establishments to ensure the continuity of authoritarianism and billions of dollars worth of conspicuous military weapons purchase deals. The US-Britain and others were complacent in keeping the tyranny of Arab ruthless dictators. The single most institution that kept the despotic Arab rulers in office and prolonged the opportunities for peaceful change. The end-users oil importing nations were part of the decade-old tortures and inhuman behavior going-on in the oil producing Arab countries.  This is clearly seen in emerging street battles and conflict situations in Syria, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The rulers could not have done it on their own except by the hired mercenaries from these nations. The Arab rulers used consumerism to forge economic prosperity without planning to develop the human resources and intellect for change. To them, this was a success but in reality achieved at the cost of ruthless dictatorship ignoring the importance of Islamic system of life and values and a materialistic success leading to degeneration of the Islamically civilized hpw people. The rulers slipped into vices and ruins leading to political cruelty and viciousness of the authoritarian system of governance. In the process, the Arab people lost the power of thinking and motivation for change and challenge to institutionalized oppression.  Continued oil supplies are the lifelines of the Western industrialized-military complexes, and the fact that all politicians are integral part of that critical thinking to safeguard the national interests even bulldozing and killing millions and millions in other parts of the globe. No wonder, why history will record “Abu Gharib”, “Guanatomo Bay” and Belgrham prison (Afghanistan), and exceptionally higher level of cancerous radiation in Fludga (Iraq) and butchering few millions living human beings in Iraq and Afghanistan are some of the major accomplishments of the US led War on Terrorism.

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With challenges and opportunities on the ground, the Arab people have revitalized their inborn power of  RATIONAL THINKING and proactive foresight, and interwoven passion and goals of the natural identity of being what they are and where they are, can THINK and imagine a new world for the future. They are organized and united as one force, one people to articulate a new world of freedom, participation and democracy. The people have come out of the institutionalized secret police fear and hatred, it is open in demonstrations on the streets, in villages, in shopping malls, in people squares, the voices of the people are loud and clear that the egomaniac leaders must go and go for ever, there is no place for complacency, the Arab people want freedom from exploitation and consumer-based foreign slavery. Guns and bullets can not silence the voices of reason and human conscience, if suppressed, louder they will become.  The Arab dictators have stolen people’s fortunes, they must be held accountable for their crimes and punished. Most of the stolen wealth is kept in the Western financial institutions. It was disclosed by the media that Ghaddafi  had $77 billions in the US, $25 billions in UK, $10 billion in Italy and the Netherlands respectively, Kahlifa of Bahrain has multiple accounts in the US and in Swiss banks and so do many self-made prince and princesses of Arabia and rulers of the sheikhdoms. This wealth belongs to the Arab people and must be returned to them.

There is no nationalism in the Arab streets as was in Europe, and there is no glorification of the state as did Hitler, Mussolini and other European leaders. The ex-colonial master did encouraged the Arab rulers to invent new national borders, anthems, flags and concept of nation states as they wanted to divide and rule the Arab masses and undermine Islam and its culture and civilization. Islam developed and embraced the unity of diverse humanity as One: One people and One Ummah equal in rights, human dignity and status before God. Western mythologists face a serious challenge. It is more of intellectual nature than anything else. With all the knowledge and technology-governed information age, they failed to see the people revolution emerging in the Arab world. The Western intellectual never thought of the Arab people as mature and intelligent enough to challenge the ruthless dictators against their wishes. History provides opportunities to all concerned to take serious notice of the contemporary political developments and peoples’ movements and learn from the current events evolving a new Arab world of unity and purpose. The change is not against any Western nations but it is part of the people-oriented governance that should have happened several decades earlier. One must realize that the Western sponsored economic prosperity in the Arab world had tragic consequences because it denied human involvement and rational importance to develop human thinking and abilities for change and development. The self-sustained Western intellectuals face a critical challenge of perception and adaptation to the emerging new Arab world enriched with people of reason, intellect and reality to do business on equal terms.

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Across the Arab world, political change is not without insurmountable challenges. The THINKING People- the HUB of the Arab social and intellectual bank must take notice of the developing events and trends to THINK critically and to plan and organize new institutions, encourage Muslim scholars and experts in political and strategic discipline and proactive visionary intellectuals to share ideas and ideals for maximizing positive outcomes from these changes on the ground. They should pool resources to plan and develop new and innovative methods and alternatives to avoid future mishaps of dictatorial governance. The essence of time speaks for itself, time and opportunities lost are never regained. There are serious tasks and priorities ahead to be dealt with in rebuilding the national infrastructures and viable systems of democratic and participatory governance. Change is much needed by rejecting and opposing the authoritarianism and will be much useful when it can be transformed into concrete actions and actions are implemented to the best interests of the people. Those charged with planning and managing these tasks, must know their strengths and weaknesses and pool the resources for the best utilization and services to the people. The planners and national policy makers must analyze their pros and cons for outcomes, interests of the people around them for teamwork, the need of time and resources, the urgency of people’s needs and well beings, facilitation of appropriate services and necessities of basic human needs. The opportunities for vengeful animosity should be discarded, and unity of purpose should be maintained. From political, economic to social transformation into actions should be high on the agenda of new governance. The previous rulers ignored the masses, now the people are an asset and precious resources for nation-building, their participation is critical for systematic governance, peace-making, societal harmony and enabling all – the new rulers and the ruled to work for sustainable future in a global community of  interdependence and peaceful co-existence. Undoubtedly, Arab people’s movements for freedom have dramatically changed and reshaped the somewhat dry and barren Arab political landscape into full of life political activism – the Change  and Freedom that was unthinkable few months earlier, is now a THINKABLE and workable reality.

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