Farewell Arabism

sorabji.com: What do you want?: Farewell Arabism

By Khalid Kishtainy on Monday, August 4, 2003 - 12:53 pm:

    All the people who speak in the name of Arabism and of Arab nationalism, sovereignty, and independence have today become the murderers of the Arab nationalism in whose name they speak. They have already done this in the past; most of the disasters and defeats that befell us [the Arabs] originated with these people, who misled us with slogans of unity and Arab nationalism. Now, with their interference in Iraqi affairs, they pound the final nail into the coffin.

    In a recently published book, American experts ask questions about the invasion of Iraq. Why is democracy not taking root in the Arab world? Even in the most backwards of Africa's countries, democracy has begun to emerge and stabilize – but not in the Arab world, and one wonders: Is there hope that democracy will become a reality in the Arab world?

    Recently, Arab intellectuals have begun to discover the personality of a dictator, in its vilest of manifestations. Not only does he support dictatorship in his land and participate in building it; not only does he act dictatorially towards his wife (or wives), his children, his pupils in the school, and his clerks in the public institutions, but we can see him today trying to impose his will also on other peoples.

    Several statistical reports by independent research institutes were published recently. They show that 80% of the Iraqis support the coalition forces' remaining in their country for two years, and that more than half support the U.N. taking the running of their country into its hands.

    If this be the case by what right does a Palestinian journalist living in London, who turned his back on life in his land and in the Arab world so as to enjoy life under the protection of Queen Elizabeth, or by what right does a commentator on television in Qatar or Lebanon encourage the terrorists, thieves, and murderers in Iraq to continue their actions, and by what right does he ennoble them with the aura of national resistance? Who gave these people… the right to challenge the desire of three-quarters of the Iraqi people, their interests, their right to live in security, their determination to rebuild their land in the shadow of the only power capable of imposing security and peace [i.e. the U.S.], preserving the unity of the country and the integrity of its borders, and protecting it from social disintegration and civil war?

    If the coalition forces withdraw now and leave the country, the various leaderships in Iraq will crush each other, as they have been doing for 13 years – because they are incapable of arriving at any agreement among themselves. And if this brawling leads to civil war and armed conflict, as happened in Somalia , Lebanon , and Central African countries, who will be called in to put out the flames? Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa? Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat? The Arab League? Gentlemen, not one of you will do it, so keep your distance. We have already had experience with you, in daylight and in darkness.

    The coalition forces will not withdraw from Iraq until they complete their mission. They are in Iraq at the will of the overwhelming majority of the people, and their mission is a noble and blessed one. They strengthen their presence in Iraq every day, with forces from other countries whose leaders have grasped the nobility of the mission carried out by the coalition forces. This mission is to sow the seeds of legitimacy of rule and of law, to establish a democratic government, to liberate women from the slavery and backwardness to which they are subject, to spread transparency in public administration, and to spread rationality and the spirit of science in education and in defending human rights.

    The terrorists, the mercenaries, and the backward must be banished. I say to the Arab intellectuals: Do not take malicious pleasure in this transient phase of acts of robbery. Soon the Iraqi people will stand on its feet to learn another lesson… that will be a starting point for the march towards freedom of thought and choice… and out of this darkness in which Iraq now lives will shine the light that will illuminate the entire region with the radiance of modern citizenship, the rule of the people, and the rule of intellect and science.

    An editorial in Al'Adala (Iraqi Supreme Revolutionary Council headed by Ayatollah Baqir Al-Hakim) criticized the Arab media for distributing "false accusations against Iraqi nationals" regarding the present situation in Iraq. It further commented that "some of them [i.e. the Arab media] go as far as saying that Iraq was lost after Saddam, and pretend to be concerned about the fate of Iraq more than the Iraqis themselves. Those media people were mum over three decades [when] they turned their backs on the rights of the Iraqi people, cheered the tyrant and bestowed upon him titles that he did not own… They embellished their praise to him, and he inflated his generosity to them… and they were thankful and even more expectant. The only things that connected these Arab media people with Iraq were money and greed. They had no interest in the ordeals of this nation… they covered up the crimes of the despot by hailing his chivalry, courage, and misadventures… Those who are shedding crocodile tears over Iraq today did not shed even one tear over millions of Iraqis who were buried alive by Saddam, or [for] those whom he has driven out of their homes and appropriated their money and property… So when will those mercenaries refrain from their vile deeds and their false speak…?"


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