"Another Hollow Arab ‘Reform’ Promise" — Rami Khouri on Belfer Center, Harvard edu

Bashir Omer

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir delivers a speech on January 27, 2014.
AFP/AFP

NEW YORK—The humiliations and scorn that many Arab leaders heap on their populations seem to have no end. Despite a few Arab dictators having been toppled or challenged by their own disgruntled citizens, the remaining ones appear not to have learned any lessons, and persist in their cruel ways in one hapless country after another.

They seize power through military coups, control all government power through a web of security agencies and the armed forces, drive the economy into the ground, wreak havoc with the environment, drain cultural and educational life of their vitality, shut down any credible political life, siphon off massive amounts of money for themselves and their cronies, cause the smartest young men and women to emigrate to a better life in other countries, and ultimately send the majority of their citizens into a downward cycle of pauperization, marginalization, vulnerability and existential fear. This goes on for decades, until the country implodes like Somalia, acts so brutally that it is invaded and shattered like Iraq or Libya, sinks into internal warfare like Yemen or Syria, or sees its own citizens rise up in revolt in search of their rights and dignity, like Tunisia, Egypt and several others to smaller degrees.

 

Read full on Belfer Center, Harvard edu

 

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