In the Middle East and in the US, we have a habit of blaming the governments for all of the ills that afflict the nations. Sometime we go too far to the point where we blame the government for bad weather, and disaster.
In the US unlike the Middle East, there is a constitutional government with over couple of centuries of established rules that governs changes in government and in administration. The House of Representative is up for elections every two years, though 90 % does not change. The Senate one third changes every two years, though again, hardly a change takes place with the same faces coming back again and again.
The only sure thing that changes is the president, where thanks god, there is a term limit of two consecutive terms so that some one as bad as Bush or as good as Clinton can only serve two consecutive terms of 4 years each.
However, even with all of this constitutional provisions that allows for an orderly and constitutional changes, though the people vote for the change, it is the lobbyist that makes all of the difference and the one that rules Washington. As such the War on Iraq can be very unpopular and disastrous, yet, it is almost impossible to change course and force the president to withdraw troops. Administrations do not lose power or get voted out of power by a parliament that can vote on a no-confidence vote and the chief executive in this case, the prime minister is forced to call for a new election and resign. This does not happen in the US. Unless impeached the president serve his term and without an overriding majority from the apposition party can take the nation to disaster.
In the Middle East and especially in Arab counties, presidents rule like Kings and of course based on such faulty and fraudulent democracies, presidents are voted on by a “referendum” where a sitting president is voted by 99% of the voters. In the case of the late Saddam Hussein, 100% of the voters voted him in. His Ba’athist Party and his Intelligence Services where able to even stop the angle of death from making any visits that day, insuring Saddam wins 100% of the votes.
And hence is the source of the problem and that is why the Middle East is in big mess. We always blame the governments but we hardly ever blame the people for keeping these creeps and these corrupt and incompetent leaders.
After Nasser lost the 67 War, which he knew his country and his army is ill prepared for, millions of people went to the streets of Cairo in support of Nasser and asking him to rescind and change his mind about resigning. Of course we all knew the result of Nasser’s failure. More than 5 million Arabs were put in virtual military jail, not only losing their lives, but losing their properties and lands as well. Nasser and Nasser alone is responsible for the loss of Jerusalem to Israel and for the Israeli Occupation that lasted 40 years.
Hafiz Assad who was the minister of defense during the 67 war took over the government in Syria, and he ruled for over 30 years and when he knew he was unable to totally destroy the country, drafted his son to take over and of course he won a second term with 99% of the votes.
Arafat ran and totally controlled the PLO and led the Palestinian people from one disaster to another over these years, totally responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who died during his watch and of course after all of these deaths and tens of billions of wasted and stolen money, he destroys the people chance for liberty and sign Oslo thus perpetuating the Israeli military occupations and with no sense of shame or honor accepts the role of managing the occupation for and on behalf of Israel under Oslo.
Saddam Hussein, takes over Iraq with some $50 billions in its treasury and a nations with millions of college educated people and with a nation endowed with oil, water, land and human resources and when he is finished millions of his people died because of his stupid wars and polices and the country burdened with hundreds of billions in debt not to mention of having direct cause of the American invasion and again, the loss of millions of people and total destructions of the nation.
Muamar Qaddafi, that wonder kid from Libya is another story of failure, wasting hundreds of billions of dollars on stupid and reckless world mission while his people suffer from lack of water, good housing, good hospital and with Libya looking more and more like a third rate country rather being a match for UAE.
Al-Bashir of Sudan is another disaster. A general who failed at his vocation decided to take over Sudan with the support of another misfit, Hassan Al-Turabi and both wanted to make Sharia’ rule over animist and Christian South resulting in a war that lasted some 20 years with more than 2 million dead and with wasting whatever little resources the country have on his stupid and reckless war. Now that the south is ok, he creates and is responsible for the disaster in Darfur with more than 400,000 dead due to his stupid and reckless policies.
Lebanon is another story. Here there are no traditional dictators, but very classical family mafia, who ruled Lebanon and who are directly responsible for years of conflict and upheaval and who are directly responsible for hundreds of thousands of innocent people who died in the civil war, not to mention the more than 60,000 that remains missing and no one is bothering to talk about. Here in Lebanon, it the collective leadership that has failed the nation and have failed to learn from the lessons of the war and transform the nation from a feudal, sectarian nation to a truly democratic nation worthy of its beauty, energy and talents of its people. What a shame. This is one country that is hard to understand, let alone justify the failure to end the sectarian politics that is at the core of its problem and misery.
The list of incompetent and inept leadership in the Arab world goes on and on and on… however and as we have learned from many countries in the world, masses and the public in the Arab world is also responsible for the failures of the system and remain solely responsible for the mess that is the Arab world.