Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

No need to conspire | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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There are some individuals, rulers or regimes whose enemies and opponents do not need to conspire against, since leaving these geniuses to themselves will lead to better results.

I once met with an Arab official who will remain nameless despite the fact that has since left the political scene, who told me with great pride: “By the way brother Emad, I do not listen to the views of my advisors or the tons of written studies that are sent to my desk daily”.

Here I asked him naively: “So where do you get your information? From where do you become familiar with the alternatives available to you? How do you differentiate between the choices in front of you?”

He looked at me in wonder, and I think, had the situation allowed, he would have proceeded to tell me words that are difficult to repeat in this column! Instead he said “My dear brother, I take my decisions from here”, pointing to his temple with his middle finger, as if to say “I make my decisions from my head”.

It’s worth noting that this man and his regime came to an end, and the genius of his “head” brought death, destruction and disgrace to his people.

There are dozens of articles published in Hebrew newspapers that talk about the Arab mismanagement of crises, urging Israeli intelligence services to direct their efforts and funds towards more dangerous and skillful players, such as the Iranians, Turks, Pakistanis and Indians. These articles argue that no matter how different your ideology, or how your interests conflict with these countries, you cannot deny that they know what to do in terms of crisis management, planning for the future and defending their interests, or at least you can say that they avoid making the serious mistakes that indicate a certain ignorance or miscalculation of events.

I feel great sadness when I think of the tons of documents that are sent from many intelligence apparatuses, state security offices or Arab research centers to decision makers, who do not pay attention to them or try to take advantage of them, or even discuss with those who sent them, regardless of the benefit that an official or ruler could derive before issuing his decision or announcing his position.

If we look at some historical figures, such as Churchill, Napoleon, Alexander the Great or Hannibal, they all took great pride in their personal abilities, and in spite of that they did not make a major decision – such as those concerning war or peace – without adequate information and advice from several different sources, so that their final decision was more informed and wise.

There is yet to be a person who knows everything, who is skilled in all matters, and who has a clear vision on all issues.

Even the infallible prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) listened, consulted and discussed with his companions on all issues and major decisions.

If the infallible prophet did this, then why do those of a greatly lower stature insist on taking decisions unilaterally?