History carries no guarantees
A Democratic Revolution in the Muslim World?
By Abid Ullah Jan
06/08/05 "ICH" - - Propagators of the US lies for invading Iraq have come to claim that the time since the Iraqi elections on January 30, 2005 has been the most dramatic moment the Middle East has known in 30 years and more. They call it a magical transformation. Other sham elections under occupation in Afghanistan and Palestine are presented to have inspired one of those magical transformations in consciousness like those that happened in 1776 or 1848 or 1989 — where almost anything seems possible.
The promoters of war, whose justification of destroying WMD has been quickly switched to installing democracy, hardly wait to understand that history carries no guarantees. Weaknesses in the democratic and liberating spirit of the American Revolution of 1776 took more than 200 years to turn the US into the most tyrannical regime in human history. Elsewhere it might not take even this long to reveal the intrinsic weaknesses of the governing system being imposed on others. Remember, the French Revolution? It didn’t take much longer to sour into the guillotine, the Terror and the military dictatorship of Napoleon.
The fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 is also presented as one of the greatest and most inspiring moments of the cruel 20th century. That was, in fact, the result of internal resistance and a system that collapsed from within. It was not the result of a revolution imposed from outside. The wall came down as a bye product of the total failure of a system based on human rationality alone. It is utter nonsense to compare that with the sham elections imposed on the occupied world in order to give the impression as if a Muslim revolution for democracy in the making.
It is no more than a joke to compare conditions and feelings of Muslim masses under occupation to the 1848 Europe and call it the “spirit of national and political liberation.”
Situation in Europe in 1848 was completely different. The so-called revolutions fell apart in quarrels between the cities and the peasantry, between the emergent new working class and the bourgeoisie — and between ethnic groups.
If there is any similarity that is what happened after 1848 in Europe. The old regimes rallied, recovered their nerve and by 1849, the armies of Russia, Prussia and the Habsburg Empire had crushed the hopes of the previous year. The US is protecting regimes like the House of Saud, Hosnie Mubarak, Islam Karimov, Musharraf and hope that could be the fate of the current mood in the Muslim world, at least until the US come up with alternative tyrants like Karzai and Allawi.
Unlike the revolutions of 1848 which could never quite decide whether they were about liberalism or nationalism, the current turmoil in the Muslim world is really about at least four separate phenomena.
The first, to be sure, is the fluttering hope of Muslims’ exercising their right to self determination in an age in which the big powers have resolved to deny them this opportunity. At long last, there is the prospect of throwing down the externally imposed regimes and systems. The movement against colonialism in the last century was local and country specific. Now the desire is for real liberation Muslim-world-wide.
The US and its allies are caught between the much vaunted democracy on the one hand and the exposed hypocrisy of allowing only those to be part of elections and power who suite their interest on the other. The objective is clear to everyone in the Muslim world: the US and its allies want to install new strongmen for serving their interest, but this time under the label of democracy.
This dilemma has made Muslims realize the true nature of their being constantly under the attack and perpetual colonialism. Elections are meaningless as long as they are held under the auspices and rules of the occupiers. A government serving interest of the US, replaced by voters with another one that also serves the US is not democracy at all. This form of governance is hardly different than the regimes where faces do not change by something other than death of a ruler or a military coup.
The second associated phenomenon is of the Islamic movements which most of the Islamophobes consider as the result of poverty and Islamic welfare systems. They even consider Hamas and Hizbollah the result of poverty, not oppression, occupation and failed state systems.
Whatever the earlier situation was, Islamic movements have now become popular across the Muslim world solely because Muslims are now witnessing a steady collapse of democracy and capitalism on the pattern of socialism and communism in their life time.
The more defenders of an ideology realize that they do not have logic on their side to defend it, the more they resort to take violent actions. The so-called mainstream media cannot fool the victims of democracy any longer and the tyrants cannot isolate people from the rest of the world. These factors directly lead to the religious awakening and importance of living by Islam.
Most of the European and American analysis have now admitted to a war against Islam. It matters little if some Americans call for a break in the cycle of hatred against Muslims and Islam, like James Carrol of Boston Globe (June 07, 2005) or if others like Friedman and Sam Harris call for defeating Muslim in the heart of the world of Islam. The bottom line for Muslims is the same: The war on Islam is on and they need to put their acts together.
The third is the so visible signs of underdevelopment in all fields of life as a direct result of the US and allies using the Middle East in Particular as merely a gas station. And to keep these countries as gas stations, the US had to supports the tyrants in the position of authority so that no one could challenge the unjust economic order within these states and abusive exploitation of the natural resources by the protectors of these regimes from out side.
The direct outside intervention in the internal affairs of Muslim states is directly proportional to bankruptcy of all the state systems. Japan and Germany were raised to the ground, yet the pattern of relationship with these countries was totally different than the way Muslim countries have been treated since the strategic withdrawal of the colonialists.
Supporting tyrannies at the top, left Muslims social, political and economic lives shattered. Muslims have been watching the Japanese, then the Taiwanese and South Korean and now the Chinese and the Indian people are becoming technologically advanced, industrially powerful — and ever more prosperous without as much huge reservoirs of natural resources as most of the Muslim countries have.
It is abundantly clear to everyone that the socio-economic system of the Muslim world has simply failed not because Islam is implemented in its true sense in any of the existing Muslim countries. It is exactly the opposite. Islam is, in fact, not responsible for bringing the Muslim world to this explosive situation.
The fourth crucial theme of the current wave of yearning among Islamophobes is to widen the gulf between the un-Islamically divided Muslims. One of the major un-Islamic division is the Shia and Sunni Islam, for which there is no place in Islam. Nowhere the Qur’an or the Hadiths mentions that Muslim have to be either Shia or Sunni.
Initially Saddam was pitted against Iran with the backing of Saudi Arabia and others. Now it is being propagated that the Ayatollahs of Iran are determined not to have anything to do with the new wave of democracy-related hope in the Middle East; except to take advantage of the new Shia dominance of Iraq and of the Shias’ demographic clout in Lebanon.
Iran’s Ayatollahs are blamed for stopping “the Arab spring” dead in its tracks. To exonerate the US from its crimes against humanity and its turning Iraq upside down, the Islamophobes blame Iraq for their assumed, future capability of throwing Iraq and probably Lebanon into chaos at will. To further exaggerate, the pro-Israel analysts in the US argue that Iran can probably unleash upon Israel a new assault by suicide bombers that could derail any prospect of a settlement with the Palestinians.
And yet, the credentials of the crusaders for “democracy” are pitifully few. They have failed to live up to the standards of real democracy. Meanwhile, they have squandered enormous wealth on hone front on a deterrent that seems useless they are still willing to take lives of millions to satisfy their obsession with security. Police states are being consummated in the name of security, leaving themselves with hardly anything that shows they have something decent as a model for others to follow.
But like the old Russian, Prussian and Habsburg empires of 1848, the 21st century war lords certainly have the ruthlessness, and have a final opportunity to decide if they would let Muslims exercise their right to self-determination at this historical turning point in a peaceful way, or they would prefer to keep sowing the seeds of hatred until they make life miserable beyond imagination for everyone at home and abroad.
Abid Ullah Jan’s latest book, The End of Democracy, has just been released in Canada. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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