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Democratization Illusion In The Arab World
Democratizing the Arab world is the most controversial topic in America. Some serious analysts, politicians and ideologists involved in this controversy, meanwhile some trivial figures joined it. Both the pros and cons of Bush administration- they are doubtless wrong- agree on this issue; democratization of the Arabs.  They are right in reinforcing human rights and widening the ran
Saturday, November 11,2006 00:00
by James Zoghbi*

Democratizing the Arab world is the most controversial topic in America. Some serious analysts, politicians and ideologists involved in this controversy, meanwhile some trivial figures joined it. Both the pros and cons of Bush administration- they are doubtless wrong- agree on this issue; democratization of the Arabs.

 They are right in reinforcing human rights and widening the range of popular participation, but they still have substantial blunders of what the American administration implicitly intends concerning democracy assumptions in the Arab world.
The first assumption that America has the ability to push forward democracy and political change in the Arab world is the stable and continuous one.

This assumption is adherent by another rough persuasion that the Arabs are looking forward to America, regarding it as the freedoms ever- winning horse. In fact there’s a naïve omission of the Eastern Europe’s aspirated America during the cold war to save them from the Soviet hegemony, but there is a big difference in situations; "Zoghbi international institution" made a public opinion poll in the Arab countries, which resulted in the existence of support of American values.

 Despite the clear decrease in the advocates of America during the latter years, Washington and its peers are really in a critical situation due to the most prominent and intensified trend opposing America in the Arab world.

To be fair, the question of the poll was like this: To which extent do you hope the American support for democracy in your home?

The answer was very negative. Consequently, the American assumption that the Arab public opinion is "moderated" will sometimes cost it a lot. This is quite evident in the American fatal losses due to secretly backing Fath movement in the last Palestinian parliamentary elections.

The Palestinian public opinion turned against Fath, when they knew- in the last week prior to elections- that America was secretly financing them to triumph over Hamas, meanwhile Hamas had a landslide victory.


Another baseless assumption is that America believes the anti-America emotions are created by the autocratic ruling regimes, in an attempt to distract them from the rulers’ tyranny and authoritarianism.

Based on this wrong assumption, some Americans regard the reason of religious extremism in the Middle East as the absence of democracy in their countries. They forget the fact that the reason of extremism is the American support of these regimes.
Such a rotten approach in the American circles resulted in Bush’s recent apology for bewilderment of America’s policy towards the Middle East (APME) for 60 years.

 The APME is the reason of extremism, not the authoritarian Arab regimes. Some of these regimes back America, that’s why they are badly faced by extremist groups, for instance, the attacks of Al-Qaeda network on Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordon. That’s why America is required to change its policy in the Middle East.



James Zoghbi, PHD in religions, Temple University.
- After Oslo agreement, the American administration asked him to preside over "Builders for Peace" association, a special association aimed at increasing the American investment in Gaza and the West bank.
- Involved in activities of Arab- origin Americans.
- The founder and head of the Arab- American Institute in America.


 

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