It would be wrong to simplify the political earthquake that is taking place in our region to the events of 2011 alone, or to what is being described as the Arab Spring. What is happening in the region is much bigger and has been going on for much longer, in the eyes of those who are looking at the bigger picture in our region. In fact, it has been ongoing for many years, and the events are numerous.
Our region has witnessed several events over recent years that indicated that many Arab regimes were coming to an end, and could not survive any longer. Those regimes did not uphold the concept of the state, construction or development even at the lowest degree; rather these regimes remained in power outside of the law and without any respect for their citizens. They are regimes that survived using false slogans and childish tricks both internally and externally. That is why we say that those who examine the bigger picture closely will not be surprised by what is happening around them, or by what is coming.
In less than ten years this part of the world has witnessed an explosion of terrorism in our states, the fall of an Arab regime in Iraq as a result of a foreign occupier, and the partition of Sudan, not to mention its internal conflicts. It has also witnessed inter-Palestinian division, two wars with Israel within two or three years in Lebanon and Gaza. This is not to mention the assassinations, Hezbollah’s occupation of Beirut, and brazen Iranian interference in most of our Arab countries. All of those events did not lead to internal political adjustments in most of our Arab countries, nor did they lead to a review of the Arab regime as a whole. Therefore, without going into details, in 2011 everything came to a head.
This year Zine al Abidine Ben Ali fell from power followed by Hosni Mubarak. Today it is the turn of Gaddafi, who will be the third leader to fall this year, and the fourth over recent years if we include Saddam Hussein. Of course there is still Abdullah Saleh in Yemen, and Bashar al Assad in Syria, both of whom are strong candidates to fall from power for several reasons, the most important of which is that very few people in our region are actually learning their lesson. Furthermore Gaddafi’s fall will free the international community from many commitments, or let us say a great headache, especially as there is a certain bias when it comes to analysing the situation in Libya. For example it was always said that liberating Libya would be a long operation and that military action would not be feasible; the proof being that the Libyan operation lasted six months. Yet what everyone forgot is that Gaddafi ruled Libya for 42 years, so how could he fall within days? The same thing applies to Syria, where the ruling system is based on sectarianism and nepotism, and there is Yemen which is ruled by one individual and his sons, not to mention the duration in which the Syrian and Yemeni regimes have been in power.
Therefore with the fall of Gaddafi about to take place at any moment, this will mean that the world will be a much better place without the Colonel, his regime and his sons. It also means that our region has begun to get rid of its leaders and regimes that brought nothing but destruction and devastation to the region and hampered development. Furthermore it means that the international community will be in a better position to deal with Yemen and Syria, even if the situation in Sanaa is still better than the situation in Damascus, as long as Saleh is still in Saudi Arabia, which indicates that some kind of deal can be reached at any time.
What is important is that our region learns from what has happened and is still happening, and that those who are influential play a vital and leading role, especially as there are those in our region who will have a role to fulfil in the event of Gaddafi falling.