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Yet Another Arab Disappointment - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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It’s as if the Arab nations are addicted to disappointment and delusional leaderships!

After clinging onto Gamal Abdul Nasser who lost more Arab land in 1967 than was already occupied and whose attempts to free Palestine through Syria, Yemen and others failed, then came Saddam Hussein. This ‘unrivaled’ leader led wars of ‘idiocy’ such as the Iran-Iraq war that lasted eight years and the invasion of Kuwait – in both cases the aftermath was disastrous for his country and his people. The odd thing is that both Nasser and Saddam Hussein raised the slogan claiming that the way to free Palestine was through Yemen, or the Eastern Gate, or Kuwait and millions of simple-minded Arabs believed them.

Today, the Arabs have a new leader who is trying to follow the same path, namely, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Following the recent military confrontation between Israel and Lebanon, Nasrallah turned towards the ‘internal movement’ as if the way to free Palestine was through the liberation of the Serail (the seat of government in Lebanon).

Much to the surprise of the objective observer of the Lebanese political scene, the ‘insistence’ upon the downfall of the Siniora government based on the pretext that it is not a national unity government is extraordinary. What is odd is that Hezbollah was one of the most important pillars of the government during its formation, and was moreover completely convinced that the government represents all the people of Lebanon. So what exactly happened that led to the demand to ‘take to the streets’ as the answer and solution?

As talk increases about establishing an international tribunal to hold those responsible for the chain of continuous assassinations in Lebanon to account, so do the demands to bring down Siniora’s government.

Traditionally, the phrase ‘to take to the streets’ in traditional Arab heritage has been tied to hooliganism as mothers warn their children of the street and what happens there. The same applies to the street solution that is being advocated today by those including Hassan Nasrallah to oust the government, which not only results in disorder but also adds fuel to the fire.

This dangerous move that Hassan Nasrallah is calling for has no connection to political reform or to the benefit of the people. It is absurd to think that Fouad Siniora, who has a commendable patriotic and moral record, is the problem. It would be naive to believe so and even Nasrallah himself does not believe this! Once again another Arab nation is in store for another disappointment as the liberation of Palestine is not through Serail or Siniora but through Ehud Olmert no matter how much Nasrallah or his ‘imminence’ General Michel Aoun’s propaganda machine tries to convince the Lebanese otherwise.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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