Monday, July 17, 2006

The Price of Arab Optimism! Or, Wagging Israel!

What would you do if you an embattled Arab leader and suffering from major crises at home and wit the international community and you know you simply cannot own up to your mismanagement and your corruption, not to mention the mismanagement and corruption of those around you? You stir up trouble with Israel of course, knowing that your people are either stupid enough and/or cowardly enough to play along. As such, Israel is really the best thing that has ever happened to Arab dictators. Well, that and oil, in some instances.

Confrontation with Israel is actually a win-win development as far as Arab regimes are concerned. For, not only will it serve to divert attention from the country’s internal problems and the illegitimacy of the ruling regimes, their authoritarianism and their corruption, but the inevitable military defeat, which could always be justified as having taken place due to the international support of Israel vis-à-vis its hapless Arab victim, and which always provides an opportunity for the Arab leaders involved to take a swipe at their counterparts for failing to support them, will provide the ruling elite with a golden opportunity to fill up their coffers with the inevitable reconstruction expenditures and contracts.

The confrontation will also afford regime lackeys and ideologues, and some “patriotic” opposition members the chance to rally behind the flag and take consultation fees for their expert advice and for their help in mobilizing the ever so fickle public. Pray, what deal could be sweeter? What dividend can peace deliver? What sort of rewards can reform ever harness for its champions?

As such, the climate of jubilation, and the downright giddiness, that we can currently detect among Syria’s official and unofficial spokesman for the regime is not surprising. This is the time when credentials are built, niches are staked and futures are made. Only idiots like me who would rebuff offers of high office to join such an amorphous, nebulous, meaningless institution as the opposition actually risks losing. In fact, they, we, might just be doomed to lose. What idiots!

No, smart people know how to create win-win solutions for themselves, all at the expense of the people of course, but then smart people really know how to fool even themselves into actually believing that they are defending the interests of their people. So, it’s really a win-win-win solution.

It’s just that those damn people, being so damn ignorant and all that, don’t always appreciate what their leaders, and their lackeys, are really doing for them, all the sacrifices that they are making for them. This is why they cannot be trusted to take a more active part in the decision-making process, this is why they need to be told constantly what to do what not to do and when to do it or not do it. This is the role of the people.

Knowing these “facts” about the people make all democracy activists look stupid. The people are not ready for democracy. The only thing the people are ready for is fighting against Israel and dying in great numbers, which has the added advantage of compensating for the failure of the national birth-control campaign. So war with Israel is really a win-win-win-win solution.

Yes, indeed, armed with such mentality, the Arabs will keep on winning until the very end, and beyond. Do you really think Saddam feels defeated?
Sitting in his little cell, Saddam Hussein is the embodiment of Arab victory and optimism. And so will, one day, Bashar and Nasrallah be.