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Ahmed Hany Hassanain

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The Arab Puzzle
by Ahmed Hany Hassanain   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Saturday, May 31, 2008
Posted: Saturday, May 31, 2008

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Ahmed Hany Hassanain

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The Arabs need to start by advancement not by conspiracy theory.

The Arabs’ Puzzle.

Ahmed Hany.

Why does the Arab System get weaker and weaker? The answer of this question may open the door for a better future. The institution that represents the Arab system is the Arab League. It was formed by six Arab countries to promote an idea that was created in the early years of last century, which is the Arab Nationalism. From those early years, the Arabs opened the door for international powers to manipulate them against the Ottoman Empire. It is known that Great Britain made a great role to formulate the Arab League. First, this does not mean that the idea is wrong. Second cooperation with influential superpowers to achieve national targets is a good policy. However, there is a big difference between cooperation and opening the door for others to manipulate the whole system. While some Arabs and other non-Arab regional powers were in alliance with superpowers, other Arabs put themselves in confrontations most of time while they did not have the means for that. This means that Arabs did not formulate a collective strategy.

Arab Nationalists called for union of the Arabs and they did not seek intellectual union only. The idea might be sound but the obstacles against political union were due to external and internal causes. If the Arabs could resolve their internal conflicts within their Arab League, they could have faced external challenges. Unfortunately, those who created the Arab League devised a constitution that made it possible for the organization to be anything but paralyzed. While intellectual union succeeded, economic unions witnessed little achievements and political unions were catastrophic.

Even for Palestine their first challenge they tried the military solutions without good preparation until October War, 1973 and when they tried political solutions. In fact, Palestine was another cause for the Arabs to be more divided according to different views and aims of the different regimes.

Nobody suggested that we should have confronted Israel and other challenges through advancement. Conspiracy theory advocates even circulated pessimism about advancement and told people that the Western Powers would not have allowed us to do. They forgot that no one has ever closed the Western and Eastern Universities for Arab postgraduates. No one has ever manipulated us to leave our universities crowded and without enough laboratories despite the fact that these universities have the best professors who were learned in the best Western Universities.

When Mohamed Ali had transformed Egypt from an Ottoman colony to a superpower in less than fifteen years then he had started his military campaigns, he changed the internal system using intellectuals who had been educated in France, Italy and Britain. The advancement was achieved as a step one in his strategy.

Then it was the wrong road of political unions and unplanned military decisions without economic integration and advancement that made the Arab System so weak that it is open for regional and international projects to erode not only its vital space but also it very existence.

Personal and emotional motivations were the causes of our catastrophes from the creation of Arab League until now. King Farouk had aspired to be the Moslem’s Caliph so he agreed to the idea of the Arab League. The Arabs went to 1948 war without being ready and in spite of having King Abd Allah of Jordan as a highest command for Arab armies, each army had a separate plan.

Nasser was in hurry to strike a deal with the British to withdraw from Suez Canal so that he would be the leader who forced the British out of the country so he accepted their plan about Sudan. That ended with independence of Sudan. Sudan without being integrated with Egypt is on the brink of division now. He agreed to a union with Syria before economic integration. It lasted few years and did harm to any other union projects. He went to Yemen war to support Republicans there as a part of his image as the Pan Arab Leader. This six-year war deprived Egypt from its Gold reserve. He closed Tiran water passages and asked the UN to withdraw its troops from Sinai as the Arab nationalists were attacking him for that. He wanted to be seen as Syria survivor after false reports about Israeli military plans to attack Syria were leaked by the ex-Soviet Union. He managed 1967 crisis without calculating risks as many troops were in Yemen and the Army was not ready for the war. The result was the worst defeat in the recent history. Why did we loose in 1967 and win in 1973? The answer of this question just enlightens the difference between clear achievable targets and impractical wishes and between planning and emotional decisions. Most important it answers the question of when to use military means and when to use policy.

Saddam Hussein gathered the Arabs to starve Egypt, which is the main Arab force, when Sadat signed the peace accords. He occupied Kuwait and his stubborn personality destroyed his country.

Bashir of Sudan decided to apply Islamic Edicts overall country stirring a civil war between North and South of the country. Hassan

Nasr Allah captured the Israeli soldiers and later on, he said that he did not predict the Israeli reaction that destroyed the Lebanese infrastructure. Some sees what happened as a part of the Iranian project. He swore in God in one of his speeches that the resistance weapons would not be used against his rivals internally, but unfortunately, he used them to occupy the capital and the mountain to show his power and the power of his supporters. At the same time, the last crisis started by Saniora’s bad decisions to dissolve the communication network of Hezbo-Allah without predicting the consequences. This network is present since 1984 but it has expanded lately from 4000 lines to 99000 lines affecting the security of the state. On the other hand, all rivals in Lebanon have their small size networks. It would be much better if he negotiated with Hezbo-Allah about reducing the size of the network. Now Nasr Allah could be trusted as a defender of Lebanon anymore and Saniora made himself a toy of Gonblat who asked him to take this decision. It is high time that the Lebanese Army Chief Michel Soliman to be the president and to plan for the government to spread its influence and sovereignty on the whole country. The weapons of Hezbo Allah lost its credibility and legality and its leader showed that plays for the sake of regional agendas. As soon as Soliman would be elected, Saniora should resign to have a union government.

The first thing the Arabs should do is to put plans for advancement. Then economic integration will build their forces. They have to learn when to use military forces. Most important of all they have to manage risks. They have to know that political union is achieved through military invasion or through political and intellectual integration. Now military invasions are refused regionally and internationally and they will affect drastically the whole region. Economic integration is the way. It could be built upon intellectual integration that is present. If Arabs failed to achieve economic integration, they would be better stop talking about Arab Nationalism and Union as this would allow each member of the Arab League to devise his strategy that reflects his interests. Personally, I think if this happened these members would find themselves allies again but on much stronger base.
To know more about the relations and the social environment during the past half century you may read the novel of ; “A Tale Of Two Wars” ,

Web Site: A Tale Of Two Wars

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