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The Difficulty Of Seeing Through The Fog Of The Arab Spring...

Updated on October 27, 2011

The Difficulty Of Seeing Through The Fog Of The Arab Spring…

My brother has a saying that there are those who are incapable of self-governance… that these people need autocrats and the like to dictate their lives; I do not subscribe to my brother’s take on this issue because I think that it is inherent in every human being to have the yearnings to make choices. Usually when my brother opines about those who are incapable of self-governance, he is referring to the Middle East and Africa; and. lately, I must grudgingly give some credence to what my brother says because the relative success of the Democratic movements in the Middle East (The Arab Spring) has provided an opaque view as to the direction of the aftermath of said ‘success.’

I have blogged about this issue before, writing that Democracy in those parts will not reflect the ideals we have in America and Western Europe because there seems to be no healing balm to cure the wounds borne out of sectarian, tribal, and moreover, religious differences - case in point, less than a week ago, Coptic Christians were slaughtered by the dozens by Muslims, while the Egyptian authorities were nearby to prevent the atrocities. It is indeed reflexive by those of us who reside in the West, and, are accustomed and seasoned in ‘Democracy’ to embrace any movement with an inkling of the self-governing ideals, but what political scientists knew, and, apparently my brother, is that Democracy in the Middle East and Africa is a different kettle of fish.

I too, at least a little, understand the birth pangs being felt in the Middle East because I have placed myself in the shoes of many of the denizens in that part of the world where religion takes precedence over all else. It is true that my Fundamentalist take on the Bible’s precepts does not condone my taking of lives of Atheists and others who do not see eye to eye with me… and although the vast majority of Muslims do not believe in killing Apostates… there are those who do. And bear in mind, even if this amounts to 10% of the Arab population, it is estimated to be some 50 million. It must be noted too that there are no Separation Clauses between Mosque and State in the Arab Spring’s version of Declarations of self-governance; and, even if there were, they are not enforced, Ala the continuous slaughter of the Coptic Christians in Egypt.

A few days ago, Qaddafi officially fell from dictatorial power and we are left once again of trying to see through the fog of one of the successes of the Arab Spring; however, what is to stop and prevent the persecution of those residing in Qaddafi's tribal area… who put up a formidable fight? Perhaps, we can glean some data - on how Qaddafi's body was despicably paraded around Libya - to see the difficulties of thinking that our benign Democratic ideals could overcome tribal and religious strife in that part of the world. In that same vein, President Obama just announced that all the U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by year's-end… leaving the Sunnis and Shiites to restart the internecine bloodletting between the two warring sects, with Iran being the puppet mullahs.

Lest I be too critical and biased, I must also remember that the growing pains of Democracy in America had its ups and downs too - we do not have to go far from home to show an apt example on how Democratic ideals do not always quell sectarian violence or the like: ours was the Civil War that even pitted blood brothers against blood brothers, and to this day, it was our costliest war in terms of lives lost. Another apt example that is still relevant… is in England, notwithstanding its Democratic form of government: have you ever wondered why Great Britain is reluctant to leave Northern Ireland? Image what would happen to the Protestants, who had the English’s war machine at their disposal to protect them… need I further opine? I wonder too if the Tea Party and the current protests down at Wall Street are manifestations of the further evolving birth pangs of our Democracy…?


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