23 May, 2005

Arab Spring

Bush Country
The Middle East embraces democracy--and the American president.
BY FOUAD AJAMI
Sunday, May 22, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

here are some excerpts:

"George W. Bush has unleashed a tsunami on this region," a shrewd Kuwaiti merchant who knows the way of his world said to me. The man had no patience with the standard refrain that Arab reform had to come from within, that a foreign power cannot alter the age-old ways of the Arabs. "Everything here--the borders of these states, the oil explorations that remade the life of this world, the political outcomes that favored the elites now in the saddle--came from the outside. This moment of possibility for the Arabs is no exception." A Jordanian of deep political experience at the highest reaches of Arab political life had no doubt as to why history suddenly broke in Lebanon, and could conceivably change in Syria itself before long. "The people in the streets of Beirut knew that no second Hama is possible; they knew that the rulers were under the gaze of American power, and knew that Bush would not permit a massive crackdown by the men in Damascus."
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To venture into the Arab world, as I did recently over four weeks in Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan and Iraq, is to travel into Bush Country. I was to encounter people from practically all Arab lands, to listen in on a great debate about the possibility of freedom and liberty. I met Lebanese giddy with the Cedar Revolution that liberated their country from the Syrian prison that had seemed an unalterable curse. They were under no illusions about the change that had come their way. They knew that this new history was the gift of an American president who had put the Syrian rulers on notice.

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Grant Mr. Bush his due: The revolutionary message he brought forth was the simple belief that there was no Arab and Muslim "exceptionalism" to the appeal of liberty. For a people mired in historical pessimism, the message of this outsider was a powerful antidote to the culture of tyranny.

Read the entire article

5 comments:

beakerkin said...

Do not write off Assad yet in Syria.

Will the USA and Israel prevent Syrian planes and tanks from backing Hezbollah.Stay tuned.

Jason_Pappas said...

The fatalism of Arab culture is legendary. I’ve been reading some philosophy and history of religion books recently. Apparently Islam traditionally upholds determinism – not free will. Whatever results, is the will of God. Thus, Mohammad’s rise to power (unlike Jesus) is a sign that Allah wills it. The mindset is very much like the scenes from the David Lean movie, Lawrence of Arabia where a mood of fatilism prevails and they passively accept whatever happens.

While I was weary about nation-building it might be the medicine the doctor ordered. Let’s hope so. Like I said before, the best thing now is if the Iranians kick the mullahs out of office (and the country.)

Change in Syria will most likely be last. They may try to rally the population like they always do when the get desperate - an altercation with Israel.

By the way, why is it that everywhere I go Beak has posted a comment before me? I think “Beak was here” is going to replace “Killroy was here.”

kajando said...

jason
I think I found a picture of beak, as you can see, resistance is futile; he will always post first

http://wearables.blu.org/showcase/wearcomp4small.jpg

no one out blogs beak

kajando said...

beak
nothing but love

the picture is a testament to your mad skiilz

beakerkin said...

Too skiny there to be me. I was at ground zero and it is slowly returning to life.