The Decline of Arab World

The leaders who could not lead

Mahboob A Khawaja | Published: 00:00, Dec 09,2019


ONCE the Arabs were leaders in knowledge, creativity, science and human manifestation, progress and future-making — the Islamic civilisation lasting for eight hundred years in Al-Andalucía, Spain. But when they replaced Islam — the power and core value of their advancements with petro-dollars transitory economic prosperity, they failed to think intelligently and fell in disgrace and lost what was gained over the centuries. They relied on Western mythologies of change and materialistic development which resulted in their self-geared anarchy, corruption, military defeats and disconnected authoritarianism. The Western strategists ran planned scams of economic prosperity to destroy the Arab culture with their own oil and their own money turning them into redundant beings for the 21st century world. Today, the Arab leaders are so irrational and cruel that they reject all voices of reason for change and human development only to bring more deaths and destruction to their societies.

When leaders live in self-perpetuated darkness, they lose sense of moral and political direction. To be an effective leader in the 21st century knowledge-based and informed age of reasoned politics, one must be truthful and should hold the individual and collective consciousness of evil and righteousness, right and wrong; otherwise, professing to be intelligent could easily be transformed into known stupidity.  Most Arab authoritarian leaders are no exception in this analytical principle and viewpoint.  In absolute authoritarianism as the case across the Arab Middle East, extension of political anarchy and insanity has become a virtue, but devotion to truth and political accountability is fast becoming offensive and undesirable. Today, sectarian conflicts have broken down all the features of socio-economic and political normality and devastated the Arab region. But recall that the sectarian divides were engineered by the United States and Britain in decade long occupation of Iraq to support their military occupation

It could be most abhorrent and preposterous to imagine that all is going well across the heartland of the Arab world. Most of the contemporary Arab leaders hold military alliances with the United States and / or West European nations; are selected by the intelligence network of the United States or the West European nations; and are educated and mentored by such states as the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Holland and others.  They are Arab by birth but think like the British and American by practice. How do we break with the junk history and start thinking of a new vision for change, human development and providing opportunities to enlist the young educated and proactive people of the new generations?  This critical issue was often the core of this author’s thoughtful plan for elite teaching and political change while holding academic positions in the Arab world.  But most often, such visions and proactive endeavours were met with powerful cynical resistance and undesirability by the governing elite who were heavily favoured and guided by the ‘no system’ of the foreign masters.


Compulsive reality of political change, future-making

THE oil production and supply to the foreign masters were more vital than the societal, intellectual and professional development for a sustainable future-making. This was the conspiracy of the rich and affluent sectors of the Arab societies to deny the prospects of a systematic political change through education and institutional building in most of the oil producing Arab states. Societies and people deny history as a precious learning asset and often end-up confronting the future as a tragic abnormality. This is the trend and pattern of the Arab world of the 21tst century — unchanged unsustainable kingdoms, emirates and egoistic sadistic princes and princesses soon to be replaced by the changing order of time and history. This picture adequately represents Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Yemen and Egypt.  Unless thinking hubs — if any are still alive and operative across these states — initiate navigational change  to reconstruct the societal thinking modes and priorities, the future appears obscure for the Arab societies to survive another decade or so.

At the level of public consciousness, cynicism about the authoritarian rulers is endemic and there is no systematic cure to rethink of any workable solution in overwhelmingly chaotic socio-economic and political affairs. Time and opportunities for political change were deliberately mismanaged and rejected in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and greater Arabia. It was an unrecoverable loss and waste of time and conducive opportunities to develop the young generations and build new public institutions for systematic political governance, and it is too late now.  Much of the Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan and Yemeni war pictures are now a record of daily deaths, planned destruction, bombing of the civilian habitats and unfeeling for the living mankind.

Emerging crises clearly indicate the Western policies and practices aimed at incapacitating the Arab intellectual hub into unthinking of the present or future. There seems to be no escape from the current volatile political crises, when the Arab leaders act as if they had no knowledge of what massive civilian deaths and destruction meant to contemporary rational thinkers. Temptation and compulsion of evil embedded in psychological factors of sectarian rivalries operate in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Egypt to perpetuate in-house fear, death and destruction.


Societal ‘change’ beyond obvious politics of insanity

IN THEIR slanted vision, the rulers and their foreign masters were all complicit in lightning up the dark and sadistic faces of the current reality — where people and humanity are not part of any calculation to restore normalcy, peace and a sense of rationality. The US-led bogus war on terrorism has dehumanised the moral and intellectual consciousness of the Arab leaders to just focus on their own survival. Consequently, the Arab leaders are tragically entrapped in a vicious cycle of self-inflicted wars against themselves. The tragic irony of this folly reveals moral and intellectual decadence where once progressive culture and civilisation inspired the Western cultures and civilisations for Renaissance and Industrial Revolution.

We are not the enemy of any American, Russian, European or other societies but we have been coerced through mass media propaganda, conflicting political time zones and national interests of few warlords to imagine others as our enemies and invest in wasteful exercises of time and history to sell weapons for wars and destroy mankind.  You will recall that the same insane egoism brought about the collapse of Germany under Hitler, Italy under Mussolini; and when cruel and insane acts of bombing and killing were normal to safeguard the national borders and flags.

We, the scholars and people who believe in a single collective humanity, are trying to bridge the superficial differences between human thoughts and official polices, and have the consciousness to enjoin the natural bonds of human unanimity and solidarity amongst all the rational and conscientious people of the globe for better understanding of peace, conflicts and global harmony. We call for the recognition and respect of human life, an end to mindless wars raging across the Arab world and a return to reasoned politics and system of public governance. If morality and reason are denied their rightful places in human thinking and behaviour, it could be beyond wisdom and humanity to imagine creative and plausible workable solutions to irrational and erroneous conflicts which make no sense to any rational thinkers. Logic seeks truth and the truth is unchanging and remains the same today as it will be tomorrow — if there is anything useful left intact across the belligerent Arab lands.

The solution must come out of new thinking and new visions for political change and dialogues between the sectarian divides and competent leadership to pursue the stated goals. What if they were organised as morally and intellectually conscientious people?  What if they knew the complex nature of global politics and had the freedom to think, act and communicate with moral strength to the enemies within the Middle Eastern societies? That is, if there were proactive and responsible leaders enriched with intellectual vision and moral integrity and were flexible to listening and learning from the other side without agreeing or disagreeing? Even across the advanced Western societies, leaders know their limitations of knowledge and intelligence.  Many, if not all, man-made problems could be resolved peacefully via persuasive communication without resorting to bloodshed and committing crimes against humanity.


CounterCurrents.org, December 3. Dr Mahboob A Khawaja specialises in global security, peace and conflict resolution and international affairs with interests in Islamic-western comparative cultures and civilisations.

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