Arab Spring

A barren tree, once full of life
Stands leafless, brown ice in gloom
A barren tree, once full of strife
Stands not a spark, not a flower in bloom
A barren tree, once full of promise
Stands in sorrow, a promise but for tomorrow
As for today, not a leaf dares there stay

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Fear Not Democracy

Now that the desire for democracy is spreading like fire in the Arab World, some Westerners are having second thoughts. It is the same questions that have been asked for the last fifty years but unfortunately, people don't learn from their past mistakes and inevitably keep repeating them. Again American and European intellectuals are wondering aloud whether the new democracies will be fanatical and anti-West. Again these same intellectuals are asking if we are going to replace dictators by Iranian backed mullahs in Iraq, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and worse yet Hamas in Palestine. But if there is anything the world should have learned in the last fifty years from the Middle East, it is that democracy and political participation are moderating forces. Beside the obvious fact that Arabs should have the right to chose their leaders, it is also good for the world that they do. The more the autocratic regimes in the region block political dialogue, repress human rights, oppose free expression, and ignore sectarianism and racism, the more monopoly the preachers, imams and mullahs have in being the opposition to these failed regimes. Islamist political parties have the edge in the autocratic Middle East because they have a pulpit from which to propagate their message.

The Muslim Brotherhood is so popular in Egypt because they are the only party of opposition. Same goes for all the strong parties in Iraq like the Dawa Party and the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. However, already an Egyptian secular alternative is offered in Ghad Party, which means Tomorrow in Arabic, and it has mobilized the opposition so much that its leader, Ayman Nour, is now imprisoned by the Mubarak government. In Iraq countless secular Kurdish and Arab parties have sprung in the last two years since the American invasion. During the last fifty years Islamist political groups have flourished in the Middle East under the guise of being religious groups while any secular alternative was not allowed to flourish.

We should help Arabs reclaim their region through democracy. There will be oscillations between religious and secular movements and governments but they will have to answer to their populations which will make them reconsider fanaticism and extremism. We have examples in Iran and Turkey, while Iran now is loosening its fundamentalism in response to public pressure, Turkey's Islamists are ruling with great care not to awaken a secular backlash.


At 5:48 PM, Blogger 'Thought & Humor' said...

We work like a horse.
We eat like a pig.
We like to play chicken.
You can get someone's goat.
We can be as slippery as a snake.
We get dog tired.
We can be as quiet as a mouse.
We can be as quick as a cat.
Some of us are as strong as an ox.
People try to buffalo others.
Some are as ugly as a toad.
We can be as gentle as a lamb.
Sometimes we are as happy as a lark.
Some of us drink like a fish.
We can be as proud as a peacock.
A few of us are as hairy as a gorilla.
You can get a frog in your throat.
We can be a lone wolf.
But I'm having a whale of a time!

You have a riveting web log
and undoubtedly must have
atypical & quiescent potential
for your intended readership.
May I suggest that you do
everything in your power to
honor your encyclopedic/omniscient
Designer/Architect as well
as your revering audience.

Please remember to never
restrict anyone's opportunities
for ascertaining uninterrupted
existence for their quintessence.

There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity
under heaven. A time to be
born and a time to die. A
time to plant and a time to
harvest. A time to kill and
a time to heal. A time to
tear down and a time to
rebuild. A time to cry and
a time to laugh. A time to
grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones
and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a
time to turn away. A time to
search and a time to lose. A
time to keep and a time to
throw away. A time to tear
and a time to mend. A time
to be quiet and a time to
speak up. A time to love
and a time to hate. A time
for war and a time for peace.

Best wishes for continued ascendancy,

P.S. One thing of which I am sure is
that the common culture of my youth
is gone for good. It was hollowed out
by the rise of ethnic "identity politics,"
then splintered beyond hope of repair
by the emergence of the web-based
technologies that so maximized and
facilitated cultural choice as to make
the broad-based offerings of the old
mass media look bland and unchallenging
by comparison."

'Thought & Humor' by Howdy
Cyber-Humor, Cyber-Thought
Cyber-Riddles for your divertissement!!!


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