Missing; Arab Political Leadership

24 08 2013

Whether we like it not, whether we agree with it or not, the Arab World in the last 60 years had two leaders of consequence and world stature, the late King Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (1906-197) and the late Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918-1970). The conflicts, the mayhem, the failings, the backwardness, the oppression, the exiles, we see everyday shows the Arab World is in desperate needs of true leadership. I always wondered if these two leaders lived long enough, cooperated long enough I am sure the Arab World would not be the same as it is now, broken and bleeding.

To the misfortune of Arabs and Arab nations, they have been ruled for decades by the military, by socialists, by nationalists, by secularists, by capitalists, by Ba’athists, by Islamists (Sudan), by lunatics, kleptomaniacs and narcissists and the result is what we see today.

Nations, rises and falls with leadership and history showed us leaders that made a difference in their nation history. Winston Churchill, Charles De Gaul, Jawaharlal Nehru, Konrad Adenauer, Nelson Mandela, David Ben-Gurion, Abraham Lincoln, John Kennedy, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, Lee Kuan Yeu are among those who made a difference for the good in their own country and in building or rebuilding their nations.

On the other hand, many leaders also contributed to the failings of their countries the likes of Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Mussolini. Nixon, Bush, Saddam Hussain, Ali Abdullah Saleh, Muamar Qaddafi, Hafiz Assad, Ben Ali, Bahsar Assad, Nourdineen Malki, Omar Al-Bashir, Yasser Arafat, Hosni Mubarak are among the many who failed their own people and failed their countries. Driven by hate, partisan politics, dismissing the others and oppositions, and in the case of the Arab leaders, arrogance, stupidity, incompetency, criminal recklessness and corruption.

The Arab World not only suffers from oppressions, hunger, discontent, illiteracy, fear, death, destruction, sectarian conflicts, coupes and terrorisms, it suffers from anemic leadership that failed to rise up above its own narrow selfish interests, partisan and sectarian politics, family and feudal politics lacking a vision for the nation and no caring for the people. This is the case, we saw in Tunisia, in Egypt, in Iraq, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Jordan, in Sudan, in Palestine, and in Yemen among many. In the case of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia going beyond George Bush infamous statement “either you are with us or against us” demonizing the oppositions as “terrorists”. This behavior shows lack of political sophistications, loyalty to the country and people, inherent personal and public weakness to engage the opposition in a meaningful dialogue.

Political parties as we have seen in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Jordan, in Egypt, in Yemen, in Sudan among others are for the most part self serving their own interests mainly of leadership perpetuating the status quo that failed the people all these years.

What we see today in Tunisia, with the opposition parties mainly secular/liberal parties and labor unions shows at best this narrow selfish interests demanding all or nothing putting the Jasmine Revolution at risk, and refusing to consider what is good for the nation. Living in time pasts, having failed all these years to deliver any real and tangible benefits for their membership and nation. Certainly having failed to bring about the revolution. Now they want to have all the benefits of the revolution for themselves and not for the nation.

Lebanon is no different, notwithstanding semblance of civility of fine nightclubs, bonjour, merci, Louis Vuitton, it remains a feudal and sectarian society ruled by money, families and warlords. The Civil War that destroyed the country, left over 100,000 dead, and 30,000 missing, put the country in substantial debt with looting that left basic infrastructure unfinished, a scarred nation remains that remained divided along the few haves and the millions of have not, along sectarian lines and loyalty to families and world lords of times past, manifesting itself with deadlock partisan and sectarian politics ready to explode at any moment.

The scene is no different in many of the Arab nations, with political, civil society, labor, intellectual elites and leadership that is at best, partisan, ideologically driven, sectarians, narrow minded, without a vision for the future and for the most part on the payrolls of someone from within and from without.

It is hard to believe that nations like Iraq, and Tunis, even Egypt could not bring about political leadership that can put an end to the mayhem and killings like that in Iraq, deadlock politics in Tunisia and all or nothing military coup in Egypt. The people of Iraq did not benefit from ending Saddam’s criminal regime; it is now much worst and too corrupt. In Tunisia risking all that gained from a revolution they did not initiate but want to milk for their own partisan benefits. In Egypt the January revolution that ended 60 years of military and police state came to abrupt end because political parties and groups did not go beyond their own narrow interests and forgot what the revolution was all about, rebuilding the nation and giving the people the dignity and decent living they have been robbed off all these years.

Lack of such political and intellectual leadership is apparent everywhere. The Syrian Opposition more interested in offices, benefits and five stars hotels, failed to uniting politics with field commanders that allowed Bashar Assad and Salafi Jihadist to rob them and the Syrian people from a victory they deserve.

Sudan a failed state for many years due to incompetent corrupt partisan politics responsible for the war crimes in Darfur and the loss of South Sudan. In Yemen, there is absolute and urgent needs for all parties and political leadership to bring the nation together and making a difference in a country suffering from malnutrition, illiteracy and poverty. Interests of the nation and people should come before partisan politics.

Palestine and Iraq are no different, with political dictatorship that lost its legitimacy long time ago, leadership that puts its own selfish personal and financial interests ahead of any thing else. While Iraqi sectarian leadership (Sunnis and Shiites) failed to rise up to the occasion healing a nation destroyed by Saddam Hussein and George Bush and the daily mayhem of booby-trapped cars and suicide bombing could not bring itself to change a political system installed by American Zionist NeoCons.

In Palestine, both Hamas and Fatah leadership forgot about the continued occupation, the expansion of Jewish settlements are engaged in partisan politics that shamed all Palestinians and risked any future for a Palestinian state. Partisan politics that keeps Gaza under siege, keeping millions in large jail, keep thousands of political prisoners, nurture even promote political intolerance and hate.

I tried hard to think of those who in the Arab world that rose above partisan and sectarian politics and I simply could not fined any deserving leadership that can rise to the stature of the late King Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud or the late Gamal Abdel Nasser. While both were on the opposite of the political and ideological difference, they came together at the end for the good of the Arab World. It was too short to make a difference. Nasser died of perhaps induced heart attack, while King Faisal was gunned down by evil American Zionist powers afraid of his commitment to the liberation of Jerusalem.

Simply there are no political parties or political and intellectual leadership worthy enough to make a difference, can rise to level much needed to give the Arab World the hope, bring peace, democracy and accountable government, give the people a reason to live and no reasons to die.

Ps. I mentioned David Ben-Gurion because he was instrumental in establishing and building Israel as military and political power, notwithstanding its legitimacy, land theft, expulsion of Palestinians, its racist’s policies and practice. Arafat was a narcissist fraud.

The Arabs; From the Barracks to the Mosques

28 05 2013

The “mosque” and religious establishment in the Arab world was hardly on the side of people advocating and speaking up for their rights to freedom, for decent jobs, for education, for social services, for freedom from arbitrary and midnight arrests and torture, and for the most part were part of and speakers of the ruling establishment. And when it did it was a forum for the likes of Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis to organize in order to take over and replace existing ruling elites, replacing the “mosque” for the barracks.

The clear and present danger facing the Arab people and states is the inevitable move from the rules of the barracks to the rules of the mosque. The modern Arab world is paying the heavy price of the rules of barracks in Libya, in Egypt, in Sudan, in Iraq, in Syria, in Somalia, in Yemen and Algeria. As if 60 years of utter and total failure of the military/police state is not enough the Arabs now have to contend with perhaps another 60 years of rules by the mosque. Not sure if the Arab future lies in substituting the mosques for the barracks.

For over 600 years the “Arabs” never rose to the occasion and have lived a life of failings, subjected to colonial rules and foreign occupation with deep divisions along tribal and sectarian lines. The Arab Uprising of the late Sharif Hussain had nothing to do with Arab “independence” but personal ambition to establish collections of family owned states. Of course the price was the loss of Palestine.

The Arabs and for the last 6 centuries have been living in the Dark Age and ignorance, notwithstanding the tallest buildings, the most expensive shopping centers or signature hand bags, or fast cars. Civil and sectarian conflicts, illiteracy, malnutrition, ignorance, poverty, hunger, oppression, lack of freedoms, secret jails, high unemployment, wide ranging corruption from top to bottom, unfair distribution of wealth and absence of equal opportunity are the signature/ trade marks of modern Arab states.

Bureaucracy that created hell on earth for the hundreds of millions of people who have the unfortunate and necessary need to get a birth certificate, or a “family book” (book of family births and deaths necessary in everything in life), or driver license which require citizens to spend on the average one month a year just to meet the police and bureaucratic requirement of being a ‘subject” of an Arab state. I always believed that there is an invisible minister in every Arab country whose mission is to create hell for the people, a difficult and humiliating bureaucracy that makes bribery, corruption and subjugations a necessity and a way of life.

Of course the one institution that proved over and over its failure and incompetence for the last 600 years is the “military” with no known battles or wars won against foreign occupation and colonial rules. This failed institution having failed at what it is trained to spread its failing from the battle fields to cities, towns and farms. The military establishment failed miserable and the results we see today all across the Arab world.

Since early 50’s with the first military take over in Syria, followed by Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and to some extent Tunisia, Algeria, the Arab world have been afflicted with military rules that set the stage for civil wars, foreign interventions, lawlessness, massive influx of refugees escaping killing massive debts, destructive sectarian violence, absence of peace and security for the people, not to mention looting the country and wasting its wealth and resources.

Failed incompetent military officers like Gamal Abdul Nasser, Anwar Sadat, Hosni Mubarak, Hafiz Assad, Moumar Qaddafi, Ali Abdullah Saleh, Omar Al-Bashir, took over nations with semblance of governing institutions. They destroyed what ever little was there and failed to build modern nation states with independent judiciary, free press, accountable transparent government, proper efficient bureaucracy in the service of the people and free transparent elections. Rather they spread fear, established police state and allowed whatever infrastructure was there in postcolonial rule to almost disappear. Post independent Tunisia and Algeria saw the establishment of a secular police state with governing institution in service of the ruling party and in the case of Algeria, a post independence state in perpetual service of the ruling military.

In the case of Iraq’s Saddam he took over a nation with well-educated population with tens of billions in bank accounts. He declared war against the newly established Islamic Republic of Iraq for an on behalf of Ronald Reagan resulting in the death of over a million on both sides and running a war bill of over $350 billions. As if this was not enough he decided to go to war against Kuwait, another war, which costs Iraq dearly with casualties in the millions and some $800 billions in total costs to Arab economies, leading up to the American invasion. Saddam war with Iran was the first step toward the destruction of Iraq. And the destruction of what could be counted as modern Arab state.

All of these military leaders brought with them fellow officers to manage the nation, manage commerce, transportation, education, finance, health care, municipalities and regional governors, They all failed miserably. How can such failed officers who failed at what they were trained for could manage such complex needs requiring professional subject matter expertise and understanding of social and economic complex issues. The results we see it today in Egypt, Syria, in Libya, in Sudan, in Somalia, in Iraq, and in Yemen. The only thing these failed military officers succeeded in was in establishing a police state ruled by fear, jails and summary executions and destructions of the little infrastructure that was out there.

Non of the military rulers succeeded in setting up and establishing accountable and transparent state institutions, independent of the one party state and independent of the rule and supervision of “mokhabarat” or secrete intelligence services dreaded and feared by all citizens including officials of the state, certainly independent from the barracks.

Sixty years of barracks rules brought the Arab world to the brinks of civil war as we are witnessing now in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. Civil and sectarian wars as we are now seeing in Syria and Iraq with Lebanon on the brinks of a renewed civil war, the inevitable result of military dictatorships.

As if these failed experiences are not enough, the Arab world is now seeing the emergence of the ‘mosque” as a key player in the affairs of the nation, replacing military officers who came on top of tanks with turbaned clergymen coming down from the pulpit. If the military could not manage the affairs of the state, can the mosque and Muslim clergy with their slogan “Islam as the solution” can fix what the military destroyed. I doubt it.

Not so sure if these clergymen with their followers, mostly illiterate, unemployed, with no hope in the present life can address and fix such endemic issues as illiteracy, poverty, hunger, failed educational and health systems, failed almost non existing transportation system, poor housing conditions for millions as we see in Egyptian, in Iraq, in Yemen and in Libya. For the most part these Muslim clergymen are not offering solution to existing miserable conditions; they are offering Heaven as an easy way out, hence the jihad.

Religion and faith should be an inspiration, setting forth a value system of fairness, justice, equality of citizenship but these value systems in and of themselves do not solve what ails the Arab world. Intellectual political competent leadership with support from social and scientific, financial leadership and expertise is the hope for the Arabs, not the mosque, certainly not the barracks. The Arabs as it stands now lack the leadership necessary to end the Dark Age.

The Arabs; what went wrong?

24 06 2012

Sami Jamil Jadallah


I thought the original title “ The Failing Arabs” would be too offensive to a very proud people and nation. People who pride themselves with a rich history enriched by Islam and an Islam enriched by diverse cultures, civilizations, and faiths. The Arab world at one time was a unique and rich mosaic of cultures, faiths and civilizations and yes, success. Sadly all that disappeared. Read the rest of this entry »

Arab armies are taking a “detour”.

1 05 2011

Syria, Yemen and Libya gives Arabs good reasons not to trust their national armies and must think twice if they decide to go to the streets to force change. The Egyptian and Tunisian armies proved to be an exception, giving hope to the rest of the Arab world. Arab citizens have to really worry about “Arab nationalist’s leadership” they prove once again, they are killers and murderers. Liberating Palestine starts with killing Syrians, Libyans, Iraqis, Yemenis, Algerians and Palestinians. Read the rest of this entry »

Palestinian leadership; between Saddam, Assad and Mubarak.

14 04 2011

The views I express here may offend some, but I will say it any way. I was one of the millions in Iraq and around the Arab world who were very happy and celebrated the capture of Saddam Hussein on 14 December 2003 and was even happier when he was hanged on 30 December 2006. The only regret I have is that it took a foreign invasion and for the wrong reasons to bring down Saddam and his regime. One has to wonder what kind of Iraq we will have today if the people of Iraq did what the people of Tunisia and Egypt did? And if the Iraqi Army did what the Egyptian and Tunisian armies did when they took the side of the people, avoiding all the humiliations, the shame it brought upon itself, when it chose to side with a failed leader who failed the army before failing the people. Just imagine the millions of lives that could have been saved, the hundred of billions wasted on a war that not only destroyed Iraq but failed to rebuild it and failed to usher in a new democratic, transparent and accountable government, turning Iraq into a failed state like it was under Saddam. Read the rest of this entry »

“Expired” Arab regimes.

27 03 2011

The Arab leaders seem to be waking up from long sleep, similar to the “people of the cave/ Ahl Alkahaf” the story in the Holy Quran or are waking up from overdose or hang over, even a comma. They woke up to discover there is a need for change and a need for reform and there are real people. All ran a police state that failed them at home and abroad. Syria is now blaming Israel for fermenting the uprising, adding insult to injury to the Syrian people. Read the rest of this entry »

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