I don't want to sound glib, but the notion of bringing democracy to the Arab world is more noble than realistic. Again today I have come across two unrelated sources that underscore the same idea, that the Arab world (whatever that is, by the way...there seem to be more allusions to the amorphous "Arab World" than the geopolitical names we find on maps) values social stability over what much of the world calls "freedom."
Consider these two observations from that part of the world. Remember, both of these writers know their subjects. They are not "outsiders" trying to stir up trouble. They are commentators trying to make people around them come to terms with what they see as a large challenge that needs to be met.
Mohamed Saleh, a freelance writer, opens his essay with the harshest of terms...
...the problem with the Arabs is their submission to dictators and their refusal to break away from their sway. It is as if they have become addicted to oppressive and tyrannical rule to the point of not being able to live without a dictator.
What has happened in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein has clearly shown this. Some Iraqis are fighting one another as a result of the tyranny they had become accustomed to, when they would come into the streets shouting the dictator’s name and cheering him even when he had led them into defeat time and time again.The Arab mentality that has become addicted to submitting to tyrants requires international treatment in which all freedom-loving people all over the world should participate so that a solution can be found for a nation that should not go into the twenty-second century under the whip of tyranny.
The relationship between any Arab people and their dictatorial ruler is that of the slave and the master; the shepherd and the flock..A slave before his master is meek, subservient and obedient, seeking his pleasure and love. When he is away from his master, he is indignant and critical, never ceasing to castigate the master and condemn his ruthlessness, cruelty and voracious desires, regardless of how many wives or mistresses or feasts or millions of stolen dollars he has in his possession. The flock follows the shepherd – mere numbers with heads bowed, walking behind their shepherd as if treading on their minds, even as he leads them to the slaughter..The submissive Arab peoples were meant to be like that by their dictators. Their consciousness is so controlled as to remain always dependent, ignorant, subservient and frightened.
It is credible that the Yemeni public called upon President Ali Abdullah Saleh to stay in power, not because of the official propaganda that deemed him an irreplaceable sacred symbol and their widely loved ruler, but by virtue of an established truth that is practically tangible in the Arab arena – which is the fear of the unknown in the absence of an effective institutional infrastructure able to protect the country from instability and sedition.
....how can you achieve democracy in the Arab world without the presence of democrats?.This exceptional situation caused people to cling to the dominating status quo, adhering to what is required to maintain stability after the requirements for a peaceful democratic change proved to be unfeasible. The large masses that congregated behind Abbas Madani and Ali Belhadj in Algeria in the early 1990s returned to rally behind the presiding President Bouteflika in hopes of saving the country from discord and discontent. Perhaps this scene will be repeated in the near future of the self-ruled Palestinians after the democratic equation suffered a terrible aftermath, especially in light of the Israeli aggression, which has succeeded in impeding all prospects and solutions on the internal political horizon.