Saturday, February 15, 2003

In preparation for Iraq war think of implications

In Preparation for Iraq War Think of the Implications

Ghassan Rubeiz, Lecture Prepared February 15, 2003, for UU Church in Richmond, VA.

I have the following points to make in this presentation:
The Arab world has reached a point of extreme volatility due to accumulated decline in well being of the people over the last century
Local Terrorism is an outbreak of violence as a result of this socio political predicament
International terrorism is an extension of local terrorism
The US has reached a conclusion that it has to address the terrorism directly before it gets out of hand
Iraq is seen as the start of the process of US intervention in the region to address the problems associated with the threat of terrorism
While the threat of international terrorism is real invasion of Iraq will not help


Out of the twenty-two Arab countries with a population of 250 millions over a large territory of western Asia and North Africa, not a single country feels secure and comfortable. Egypt, illustrates the Arab world well: it is overpopulated, poor, in a serious national debt and with a large sub-society of angry unemployed urban youth. Mubarak has been ruling for over two decades. Syria’s rapid population change, fast rural migration to the city and autocratic tribal rule makes it as vulnerable as Egypt. Syria’s Golan Heights territory is occupied by Israel causing a big political problem for Syria and the region. . Palestine is disappearing from the map as Israel gobbles up the West bank and Gaza through establishment of settlements. Jordan’s majority population is Palestinian and the Monarchy is too tied to the US for economic survival. Lebanon is internally divided on ethnic grounds, and now it is under the threat of economic bankruptcy due to a large national debt. The Gulf regimes are uneasy about their peculiar form of governance, with Sheiks or Emirs monopolizing the oil fortunes and with women isolated from society. In north Africa, Algeria is in civil war, Libya is isolated and sanctioned, Morocco and Tunisia are somewhat stable for the time being, but with their share of internal discord.
A recent UN sponsored scholarly survey of societal conditions in the Arab world revealed three types of basic problems: a poor educational system, deficit in political freedom and a gender gap. The results of the survey are not original. What is new in this survey is that Arab scholars did it, it was made known to the public and it is being debated in the region. It is time to start pointing the fingers at our own backyard.
This is a region where the rulers, uniformly, feel the scar of illegitimacy because they were not elected to their post. The people are unhappy because the rulers do not allow them to speak out and organize for democratic change. An intervening variable which makes democratic rule even more difficult than it is in Western countries, is the fact that Arabs have not yet become socialized to identify with the state; many have primary loyalty to the family and the tribe first. The central government is an alien structure especially to the people living in rural and isolated areas of the country. Since civic society is weak and the freedom to organize for reform is minimal religious leaders have gained the advantage in organizing for political change in clandestine structures. It is not the political parties or the unions or the student movements, which galvanize political opposition; it is the mosque or the religious political cell that inspires and protects organization for change in Arab society.



Why Terrorism?

The ideology of terrorism is built on the idea that since the state forbids civil reform militant struggle is necessary. Since the state is too powerful to face overtly the war on it should be covert. Since the state itself uses organized terror through brutal secret service, it deserves similar treatment. Since the state is the enemy of society any means which would eliminate the state would be justifiable, even if civilians were sacrificed on the way to liberation. Religion here provides justification by literal interpretation of the Koran to suit the Jihadist political goals.

Here again, Egypt illustrates regional dynamics of political resistance to government oppression. The resistance in Egypt killed innocent tourists to paralyze the economy and bring the government to its knees. The government of Egypt punished the terrorists by jailing them and liquidating their structures of resistance. In Syria , Iraq , Lebanon, Algeria and elsewhere we can point to massacres of Jihadists to eliminate the resistance of religiously organized groups.

Local Arab terrorists shifted to international terrorism when local terrorism reached limited returns and was largely contained by brutal local government forces. The terrorist looked to the west as a change of strategy. From the start the Jihadist in their geo political analysis has looked at Arab rulers as pawns of dominant emperialist western regimes. The turn to international terrorism is compensatory for local failure. In addition, the globalization of terror has international dynamics beyond local failure of Jihad. Afghanistan resistance trained thousands of Arabs to fight soviet Terror. The US supported this form of terrorism in Afghanistan. In a sense thousands of terrorists graduated from the US camps of Afghanistan. This phenomenon is not new. Israel supported Hamas secretly in the seventies to reduce the power of the PLO in Palestine. Iran trained Hizbullah in Lebanon.
The technological communication breakthrough which popularized the cell phone, the cable TV, the internet and international banking may have helped the terrorist organize internationally and work on the new targets of terror, externally. Ironically , the free environment in the western world have provided a haven for political resistance against the Arab local regimes and against whom they consider their main allies, the US and Israel.





The growth of international terror

It is natural to see why the world and particularly the US is alarmed at the spread of the impact of terrorism on every day life. Over the last three to four years several terrorist attacks have been committed against US civilian and military targets with tragic results on human life, liberty and security. The US has mobilized to take action to stop terrorism which is largely fermented in the Middle East. So angry and so alarmed is the US with the situation of the Arabs, it has decided to invade the region to deal with what it considers as the source of the trouble. Saddam Hussein has been identified as the first source of mediation of terrorism despite the fact that there seems to be less evidence in Iraq than elsewhere in this troubled region.




Why have we chosen to invade Iraq?
The US is invading Iraq not simply to stop the danger of Saddam and his political system. I am not convinced that Iraq is the most dangerous spot in the region. For example, Iran, and Israel have nuclear capabilities. Gaza is boiling; Egypt is bursting at the seam demographically and economically. There is hardly any Arab country which is stable politically today. The US seems to be planning a new regional approach to the Middle East. The March on Iraq is an aggressive march to the region: a shift from diplomacy of containment to diplomacy of the carrot and the stick. The stick is larger than the carrot. The target is regime change of Iraq, then regime management of other countries, hands on. I can imagine Central Command strategizing: “ We settle Iraq, first, then we will deal with Hamas, then Hizbullah, then Syria and then Iran”. What about Saudi Arabia? We will “force them” to reform. “Women should be able to drive, Election should take place”. “ Arabs have to join the digital age, Rumsfeld would say to Cheney. “We have hundreds of Democracy experts who can do capacity building with the Saudis and the rest of the Arab countries”. “These governments are corrupt, they need our help in organizational development, in how to conduct elections, in how to organize party politics” We can do wonders, once we are seen as liberators, once we are on the scene supported by 200 000 soldiers with mighty technology and the best army in the world.” We will be able to use our allies more effectively. Israel (and the Kurds) will lend a hand, once we quiet the Palestinian rebels and create a mini state to our liking.” “ Our European allies will run after us to share the results of the victory; they do not wish to be left out. After all they created these artificial regimes after the first-world war; they would want to share the spoils of the new war on terrorism. They have a stake in it.”


The Road to Arab transition is via Baghdad

“Why have we chosen to enter the region through Iraq?” my daughter asked me recently as I was explaining to her the new paradigm of US ME foreign policy. I explained to my daughter that Saddam has a weak regime, the worst reputation, and an already divided country. In addition, Saddam’s regime is so much hated globally; the US invasion would look like an act of reform. Moreover, there seems to be so much anger for missing Bin Laden as a prime target, Saddam is a most suitable substitute for achieving much needed military cathartic for the US.

Opposition to War

Americans who support the invasion of Iraq may be surprised to watch the widespread international opposition to the expected invasion. The marches against war in this country and in Europe remind us of Vietnam. Why is there so much international opposition to the War? But before I would attempt at explaining why so many Americans do support the war now solution:

Support For War sentiment:

1. Saddam can not be contained further through sanctions and inspection
2. The danger from Saddam’s regime is too serious to be tolerated further
3. The US war on Iraq has United Nations legitimacy in 1441 and earlier resolutions
4. The connection between Saddam and terrorism is established
5. The Iraqis are waiting for the US to liberate them from Saddam

I am not addressing the above claims because I do not believe that the US planners for this expected war are themselves convinced. My feeling is that the invasion is for ulterior motives as explained earlier.

Arguments against war on Iraq

First, the invasion of Iraq would represent a unilateral act of aggression against a regime which is not considered an immediate danger to the US. An Iraqi war would fail the just war theory. Recently I heard the prestigious Princeton scholar Michael Walzer explain the “just war theory” at Brookings Institute. He believes that the US does not have the moral grounds for an invasion.

The road to helping the Arabs reform politically is not through Baghdad; it is through Palestine/Israel peace process. The suffering of Arabs and Jews as they try to find a peace formula mounts and the World stands silent as if the suffering is natural and the problem is marginal to 9/11 and to Islamic Western relations.


The unilateral invasion of Iraq would threaten the integrity of the United Nations as a forum for negotiating world peace and international relations.

To introduce democracy to the region, war is the worst medium for making people appreciate democracy. The US would forfeit its status as an agent of justice and peace if its kills hundreds of thousand of people in the act of “reform”. Already the Iraqi Sanctions have caused hundreds of death and sickness to children of Iraq.


Regime change is needed in the region but it must come from within. The people must orchestrate the change peacefully. War interventions do not establish the climate for learning about democracy.

The art of democracy building is new. The research on building democracy tells us that the process is slow; it takes decades to move nation states to gain legitimacy of their people. Arabs are hostages to a painful political predicament. They want to change regimes and they want to change oppositional militias. Two layers of oppression are crippling. Even when Arab leaders want to relax their rule to accommodate popular demand for change, the economic and security threats may not help them to enforce reform. Transition to democracy requires thoughtful planning and cultural sensitivity. Americans in the past have not always shown cultural sensitivity to how Arab think and behave in their homeland. The current Public Diplomacy program at the State Department, which is aimed at the region’s TV to win friends for the US, is headed by an expert on advertisement, a brilliant and dignified lady who have made fortunes in marketing western products. Her approach to bringing about better Arab relations with Americans is well intentioned but not suitable culturally. We do not market democracy like we market soft drinks. We do not gain friends by sweet talk to Arabs. Our record in foreign policy is clear to the Arab masses. It is one reduced and oversimplified image: America’s symbiotic alliance with Israel interferes with its practice of democracy and justice abroad”. I have recently seen samples of State Department TV documentary ads aiming at enhancing relations with Arabs and Muslims. These ads were not taken seriously in the region. When I saw them in a lecture presentation last week they reminded me of the “paid program” adds which we see on TV after mid night.


What needs to change to make a difference for the positive?

A complete new paradigm of US foreign policy is truly needed for stimulating change in the Arab world. It is difficult to take this position because the country leadership is geared to going to war at this stage. Perhaps once I announce that I am as critical of the Arab world as of the US I can speak candidly. Let me first address the change needed in US foreign policy and then turn to Arab foreign policy.


Change In Us Foreign Policy


1. The actors must change: The makers of US foreign policy today are so called “realists”. They do not moralize war strategies; they work from the cold strategic national interest perspective. What is good for America comes first: e.g. low oil prices, US dominance on world stage, supremacy of certain allies over others; wealth accumulation over poverty reduction, dollar power versus euro . The world for them is a race where America must always comes first. They have stayed out of ratification of the Universally accepted Convention on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and out of several universal agreements for the environment, international justice and so on.

2. The climate must change

There is a growing rift between the Arab world and the Muslim world in general which needs to be dealt with creatively. Waging war on an Arab country and causing massive death and destruction to make peace does not enhance relations with the Muslim world. Huntington has promoted a popular and false ideology of conflict of civilizations between the Muslims and the West. War encourages this line of confrontational thinking between Americans and Muslims. What characterizes the world situation is a conflict of foreign policies with global goals for international justice.
3. The policy must change
Global diplomacy requires global justice. The US must work with more sympathy to vital Arab interests. Support of development in the region requires that Arab countries be helped to employ their people through technology of their own. Now Rich Arabs sell oil and buy arms and intelligence to protect insecure regimes. The focus of foreign policy should be to help Arab build their own industry and produce their own product to produce their own jobs. Foreign assistance should promote youth to youth and women to women dialogue. Foreign cultural exchange programs such the establishment of American universities have helped a lot to generate leadership in the region. What is needed now is to encourage similar universities and to start new ones with more indigenous leadership. The focus of democracy building should shift from training on free elections to civic society empowerment. Arabs know how to count votes but they are afraid to do so. The breakthrough change will come to change Arab society is when unions and political parties will be become free to function freely.
There will less and less room for terrorism when civic society becomes the center of political reform.

15 Comments:

Blogger oakleyses said...

ray ban outlet, prada handbags, tory burch outlet online, christian louboutin, michael kors outlet online, coach purses, coach outlet, christian louboutin outlet, kate spade outlet, burberry outlet online, christian louboutin shoes, longchamp outlet, nike free, michael kors outlet, polo ralph lauren, michael kors outlet store, jordan shoes, red bottom shoes, louis vuitton outlet online, burberry outlet online, longchamp outlet online, coach outlet, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton handbags, oakley vault, oakley sunglasses, gucci handbags, polo ralph lauren outlet, tiffany and co jewelry, prada outlet, louis vuitton outlet, chanel handbags, louis vuitton, kate spade outlet online, nike air max, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, nike outlet, nike air max, true religion, cheap oakley sunglasses, longchamp handbags, louis vuitton outlet, coach outlet store online, michael kors handbags, tiffany jewelry

10:44 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

vans pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, nike air max, air max pas cher, longchamp, louis vuitton pas cher, converse pas cher, hollister, nike free pas cher, nike roshe, nike air max, mulberry, louis vuitton uk, ralph lauren, michael kors canada, air jordan, air max, chaussure louboutin, tn pas cher, lacoste pas cher, true religion jeans, true religion outlet, barbour, sac louis vuitton, ralph lauren pas cher, oakley pas cher, new balance pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, burberry pas cher, michael kors uk, ray ban uk, hermes pas cher, north face pas cher, longchamp pas cher, hollister, nike roshe run, north face, louis vuitton, timberland, nike air force, lululemon, sac vanessa bruno, nike free, guess pas cher, ray ban pas cher, scarpe hogan, sac michael kors

10:48 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

wedding dresses, mac cosmetics, soccer shoes, soccer jerseys, canada goose outlet, insanity workout, canada goose, p90x workout, abercrombie and fitch, longchamp, nfl jerseys, ugg soldes, instyler ionic styler, giuseppe zanotti, canada goose outlet, reebok shoes, ghd, herve leger, nike huarache, ugg outlet, bottega veneta, jimmy choo shoes, celine handbags, ferragamo shoes, ugg, canada goose outlet, babyliss, mcm handbags, uggs outlet, asics shoes, north face jackets, lululemon outlet, north face jackets, hollister, marc jacobs outlet, replica watches, valentino shoes, uggs on sale, birkin bag, uggs outlet, nike roshe, vans outlet, chi flat iron, new balance outlet, nike trainers, beats headphones, ugg boots, mont blanc pens, ugg boots

10:49 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

moncler outlet, wedding dress, supra shoes, uggs canada, louboutin, coach outlet, canada goose, air max, ugg, lancel, moncler, converse, moncler outlet, louis vuitton canada, thomas sabo uk, moncler, pandora charms, canada goose, juicy couture outlet, links of london uk, swarovski uk, replica watches, juicy couture outlet, moncler, nike air max, swarovski jewelry, timberland shoes, montre femme, hollister, oakley, moncler, hollister clothing, ray ban, hollister canada, pandora uk, vans, pandora jewelry, baseball bats, ralph lauren, gucci, parajumpers outlet, converse shoes, moncler, canada goose pas cher, iphone 6 case, karen millen, canada goose, toms outlet

10:50 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

burberry outlet, nike free, oakley sunglasses wholesale, gucci handbags, longchamp outlet, replica watches, oakley sunglasses, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin uk, ugg boots, nike air max, polo ralph lauren outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, ray ban sunglasses, kate spade outlet, tiffany jewelry, michael kors outlet, uggs outlet, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, nike outlet, michael kors outlet online, prada handbags, christian louboutin shoes, louis vuitton outlet, christian louboutin, jordan shoes, polo outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, burberry handbags, christian louboutin outlet, tory burch outlet, michael kors outlet online, longchamp outlet, uggs on sale, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet store, tiffany and co, prada outlet, ugg boots, chanel handbags, uggs outlet, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton, louis vuitton outlet, replica watches

12:30 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

michael kors, converse pas cher, new balance, north face uk, true religion outlet, nike roshe, sac hermes, nike tn, true religion jeans, timberland pas cher, vans pas cher, michael kors outlet, mulberry uk, coach purses, nike roshe run uk, nike free uk, lululemon canada, michael kors pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, oakley pas cher, nike air max, polo lacoste, polo ralph lauren, nike air max uk, abercrombie and fitch uk, hollister uk, nike free run, longchamp pas cher, north face, hollister pas cher, hogan outlet, true religion outlet, ralph lauren uk, michael kors, jordan pas cher, air max, sac vanessa bruno, guess pas cher, nike air max uk, kate spade, louboutin pas cher, ray ban uk, ray ban pas cher, burberry pas cher, coach outlet, nike air force, coach outlet store online, sac longchamp pas cher, coach outlet, true religion outlet

12:38 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

vans, ralph lauren, giuseppe zanotti outlet, nike roshe run, ray ban, p90x workout, herve leger, asics running shoes, nike air max, timberland boots, ghd hair, reebok outlet, new balance shoes, north face outlet, iphone 6 cases, mac cosmetics, wedding dresses, nike trainers uk, converse outlet, celine handbags, lululemon, hollister clothing, soccer jerseys, instyler, longchamp uk, converse, soccer shoes, babyliss, insanity workout, beats by dre, gucci, north face outlet, vans outlet, abercrombie and fitch, hermes belt, ferragamo shoes, hollister, bottega veneta, nike huaraches, nike air max, louboutin, jimmy choo outlet, valentino shoes, baseball bats, nfl jerseys, chi flat iron, oakley, mcm handbags, hollister, mont blanc pens

12:42 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

karen millen uk, doudoune moncler, canada goose, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton, moncler, moncler, replica watches, pandora uk, pandora charms, swarovski crystal, ugg uk, coach outlet, michael kors handbags, canada goose outlet, moncler, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, ugg, canada goose outlet, marc jacobs, pandora jewelry, lancel, wedding dresses, moncler, moncler outlet, links of london, moncler outlet, barbour uk, canada goose outlet, canada goose uk, doke gabbana, michael kors outlet, barbour, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, canada goose, supra shoes, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, canada goose jackets, canada goose, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, swarovski, hollister, toms shoes, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, pandora jewelry, ugg pas cher, thomas sabo, moncler uk, montre pas cher

12:48 AM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

ray ban sunglasses, nike air max, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton, true religion outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet online, replica watches, true religion outlet, tiffany and co, kate spade outlet, polo outlet, jordan shoes, nike air max, cheap oakley sunglasses, true religion outlet, nike outlet, oakley sunglasses wholesale, longchamp outlet, gucci handbags, replica handbags, christian louboutin shoes, oakley sunglasses, ugg boots, louis vuitton outlet, replica watches, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, tory burch outlet, tiffany jewelry, prada outlet, nike air max, oakley sunglasses, coach purses, ray ban sunglasses, true religion jeans, uggs on sale, christian louboutin, coach outlet, christian louboutin uk, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton, nike free

10:50 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

michael kors outlet, air max, ray ban uk, lululemon canada, michael kors pas cher, converse pas cher, vans pas cher, polo lacoste, longchamp pas cher, burberry outlet, jordan pas cher, burberry pas cher, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, oakley pas cher, hogan outlet, michael kors outlet online, uggs outlet, michael kors outlet, sac vanessa bruno, nike tn, nike free uk, new balance, nike blazer pas cher, north face, sac longchamp pas cher, nike free run, nike roshe, burberry handbags, louboutin pas cher, nike air max uk, hollister uk, sac hermes, timberland pas cher, polo ralph lauren, mulberry uk, nike air max uk, ralph lauren uk, abercrombie and fitch uk, ray ban pas cher, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, uggs outlet, nike roshe run uk, guess pas cher, north face uk, hollister pas cher

10:55 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

celine handbags, instyler, nfl jerseys, hollister, nike trainers uk, beats by dre, soccer jerseys, s6 case, mac cosmetics, mont blanc pens, asics running shoes, hollister clothing, hermes belt, mcm handbags, ghd hair, iphone 6s cases, nike air max, ferragamo shoes, nike roshe run, p90x workout, chi flat iron, ipad cases, bottega veneta, iphone 6s plus cases, iphone 6 plus cases, wedding dresses, baseball bats, iphone cases, lululemon, herve leger, babyliss, oakley, reebok outlet, new balance shoes, valentino shoes, iphone 6 cases, abercrombie and fitch, timberland boots, ralph lauren, longchamp uk, louboutin, jimmy choo outlet, north face outlet, vans outlet, north face outlet, insanity workout, nike huaraches, giuseppe zanotti outlet, iphone 5s cases, soccer shoes

10:58 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

ugg, canada goose jackets, replica watches, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, converse, pandora charms, louis vuitton, moncler, pandora jewelry, canada goose outlet, pandora uk, canada goose, pandora jewelry, canada goose, louis vuitton, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, thomas sabo, nike air max, barbour uk, converse outlet, swarovski crystal, canada goose outlet, swarovski, supra shoes, karen millen uk, hollister, juicy couture outlet, moncler, moncler outlet, barbour, ugg pas cher, ugg uk, moncler uk, moncler, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, hollister, gucci, toms shoes, marc jacobs, ray ban, canada goose uk, lancel, moncler, doudoune moncler, coach outlet, links of london, moncler outlet, canada goose, montre pas cher, wedding dresses

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.ju.edu.jo/home.aspx

Jordan University

[url]http://www.ju.edu.jo[/url]

1:46 AM  
Blogger Marwa Salman said...

شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
فى حالة تواجد الحشرات فى اى مكان فان هذا دليل على عدم نظافة هذا المكان واحتوائه على الامراض والاوبئة التى لا شك انها تضر صحة الافراد بشدة وتجعلهم احياء فى مكان موبوء غير صحى، شركة مكافحة الحشرات بالدمام تنصح جميع الاشخاص بضرورة مكافحة الحشرات المتواجدة لديهم بسرعة كبيرة حتى يتمكنوا من العيش فى صحة ونظافة
https://wefaq-dammam.com/شركة-مكافحة-حشرات-بالدمام/

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Pengobatan Luka Gangren Sampai Sembuh said...

Interesting and nice information, thanks for sharing :)

Pengangkatan Kista Bartholin Tanpa Operasi
Obat Penurun Berat Badan Alami
Pengobatan Keloid Secara Efektif
Cara Ampuh Atasi Bopeng
Cara Menyembuhkan Pembengkakan Prostat
Cara Ampuh Atasi Fatty Liver

8:28 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home