Sunday, May 29, 2011


By Mostafa Zein
This commentary was published in al-Hayat on 28/05/2011 

We are ashamed of our democracies, because the Arab parliaments are subject to the ruler. They execute his orders and pass his suggested legislations, most of which serve his own interest and that of his governing entourage. We are ashamed, because the lawmakers of these parliaments represent the interests of companies, families, sects, or denominations, instead of “representing the nation”, as cited in the constitutions of countries that actually do have constitutions.

We are also ashamed of the Arab parliaments, because they constitute –through appointment, forgery, or by gaining the support of the people in power- legislative bodies and councils that provide legitimacy to dictatorships that only care about remaining in power and achieve what they want through political submission to external desires that were never supportive of the peoples’ democracy, in spite of their allegations.

We were, and still are ashamed of our parliamentary democracies which have been clearely exposed when Syrian MPs were cheering at President Bashar al-Assad as he announced his reform program in the parliament. We blame these MPs for failing to play their role in discussing the program of the president. They failed to ask about the people who died in the protests and none of them presented any program, be it opposing or matching to that of Al-Assad.

We used to be ashamed and upset at our parliaments and we still are. However, as we saw the members of the two councils of the American congress stand up in admiration for Netanyahu, our shame turned to fear from the democracy that Washington is announcing to us. Then, it has become a right of ours to ask hundreds of questions about the reason why the USA has been exerting its pressure and dispatching its soldiers to our countries, in order to “help us” in consolidating democracy.

The honoring of Netanyahu by the Congress, and the right this man gave himself to judge others, based on their position towards Israel (the Syrian Liberation Act) do not constitute the sole reason that is pushing the Arabs to oppose American politics. In fact, there is a history of accumulating hostile American policies against them. All of these are connected to Israel, starting day one of this state’s history, to all the wars that Israel launched, with the help of American weapons and political support, all the way to the destruction of Iraq and to the attempts to destroy Syria.

After the scandal that we witnessed at the Congress, our many scandals turned into a mere funny caricature. After the eloquent speech of President Barack Obama, and his legitimate defense of the most racist and bloodiest country ever, we became certain that all the American support provided to the Arab Spring only aims at one thing: pressuring the regimes that were produced by this Spring, so that they proceed with the former policies vis-à-vis Israel, amidst bets on a greater acceptance of the Hebrew state by the new generations, or on their future apathy about its history. The biggest wager hinges on cornering any side that opposes the Hebrew state and [believing] that the intifadas were caused by poverty alone, while financial support can serve to hush these intifadas or to subject them to the will of the new regimes that are still orbiting in the American space. This is especially significant as the fear from Islamists dissipated, ever since the latter have started to practice piety and as there are signs that they might accept the Judaism of Israel in return of implementing an Islamic [rule] in the countries that they are planning to control. This is a “historic” swap that will most likely renew the conflict within the Arab societies and transform it into endless civil wars.

The flaw of our democracies lies in the fact that they are supportive of dictatorships. And the flaw of the American democracy lies in the fact that it is exclusively concerned with the protection of Israel and with covering up for its crimes.

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