Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kuwait: ‘Freedom’ Being Abused By MPs

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
This commentary was published in The Arab Times on 12/06/2011 

We are aware that the public usually revolts against an authoritarian ruler or a corrupt leader who steals the wealth of a nation and allows its people to wallow in abject poverty, or a tyrant who uses armored tanks to suppress freedom and imprisons everyone who expresses his or her opinion. Besides these traits, we do not know of any other reason for the people to rebel against their leader. Maybe the luxury of free time or recklessness with wealth might prompt other people to do so, as in the case of some of our lawmakers who deceive certain individuals and convince them to participate in protests under the pretext of demanding freedom and protection of dignity. They have been calling for the ouster of the prime minister to settle personal scores, considering no one has tampered with their freedom or dignity. Actually, these lawmakers have disregarded the freedom of others and pride of the people. They have abused the absolute freedom in the country with impunity.

Is it not strange that those claiming to be part of the opposition -although very small, sit back at home in front of their computers to abuse, attack and accuse people and officials through their postings on the Internet, while they enjoy the best foods and drinks that define their potbellies, and then they drive to the demonstrations in flashy cars? Most of these people are government workers, who protest at night and fail to show up at the office in the morning. They still receive the highest salaries at the end of the month, in addition to allowances, bonuses, ‘threat’ money, and ‘curse’ tips.
Yes! This is what is happening in Kuwait. The opposition members live in affluence. They have the prerogative to hold protest actions at night, so they will not get burned by the scorching heat at noon! They employ their maids to carry the placards for them to ensure their hands will not be stressed. They teach them the slogans that should be chanted, while their vehicles with two drivers each come behind them so that when they get tired, they can continue their march inside the car. What kind of freedom do these people demand? When, where and how have their dignities been violated?  
The lawmakers, who have been spearheading these protests, milk the nation day and night without any hindrance, yet they still take to the streets with placards, shouting slogans at the top of their lungs to demand the ouster of the prime minister, who repeatedly demonstrated his resolve to respect freedom of expression without limits.

Those who have been following the ongoing drama may have been astonished by the irrational demands of the participants. The onlookers cannot find any explanation for this other than recklessness. How can one demand for something he possesses and uses freely? In spite of the tragic drama, we do not raise an eyebrow as long as the actions of this minority cause no harm. It rather creates an impression locally and internationally that the scope of freedom in Kuwait should not be expanded. Freedom has been abused up to the extent of humiliating and attacking others, including HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah whose pictures were burnt and slogans were raised against him. However, no one has been imprisoned, while we see pools of blood flowing in other countries where the people merely demanded reforms.
At this point, we want to repeat our question: What sort of freedom and dignity do these lawmakers want? Do they intend to demand for the fall of the regime after the ouster of the prime minister? The recent events have proven that these lawmakers do not represent anyone except themselves. They do not express the will of the citizens who have realized that their elected representatives are suffering from unstable conditions, which have prompted them to commit political sins and become ungrateful for God’s blessings to them and the nation. They have failed in their repeated attempts to seize the seat of power or push for the fall of the regime and the prime minister. Anyone who dreams beyond his capabilities ends in frustration. He is just like someone who tries to farm in the sea!

Ahmed Al-Jarallah is the editor-in-chief of The Arab Times and the daily Kuwaiti Assyassah

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