The Lessons of History!
By Ahmed Al-Rabei, Asharq Alawsat, 22 February 2007
“We still even glorify and probably even sanctify our killers and those who steal our livelihood and for years we have been repeating that we are victimized by the plots of others!”
The depressing figures regarding the level of development in a number of Arab states demonstrate the deep crisis in which we find ourselves. A climate of unemployment, poverty and hopelessness for the future creates an ambiance that is appropriate for extremism and political and social anxiety!
Wherever one turns, one finds that violence and tension are the epitome of political life. People are inadvertent and unaware of the fact that violence and tension are the major enemy of development and life and that an appropriate environment for a dignified life, competition, educational reform and creating employment opportunities cannot be formed under tension, fighting and anxiety.
There are cases of political suffocation in several Arab states. In a country that is rich in natural and human resources like Iraq, people live below the poverty line due to the devastating political conflicts, the egoism of politicians and parties, and the prioritizing of sectarian and partisan interests over community interests. The same applies to the Sudan, where a fierce war is being fought, where there exists tension and egoism and where there is a lack of a joint national reform project. In Lebanon, the community is sadly divided into resistance, loyalty and in-betweens and politicians are engaged in fighting, with some of them even resorting to foreign support against their countrymen. The result is that a lively country and an even livelier nation are enduring a destructive economic and political crisis. Can anyone explain the persistence of the Houthi rebellion in Yemen for many years with the central government failing to resolve the situation? Intervention from Iran and others is cited and every time the Yemeni government announces the end of the rebellion, matters return to step one!
On the Palestinian scene, society faces a common enemy and suffers from the problems of occupied territories, millions of displaced people and tens of thousands of prisoners; however, all these factors were not enough for the Palestinians to work as one for one cause. Rather, they continued to fight like wolves and fought against each other like enemies until the recent agreement was reached in Mecca!
Is the Arab world destined to fall victim to annihilative conflicts, the egoism of politicians, and sectarian and tribalism fanaticism? Does anyone believe that they can impose their terms and viewpoints on the rest of society by force? Can life continue without common concessions for all parties and without prioritizing social interests over the interests of warring groups, leaders and parties?
All nations in the world have experienced civil wars or other kinds of conflicts, yet they all seemed to have learnt from their experiences and from history and have built their present-day lives upon the ruins of mistakes. We, however, continue to make the same historical mistakes time and time again. We still even glorify and probably even sanctify our killers and those who steal our livelihood and for years we have been repeating that we are victimized by the plots of others!