The Arab world will pay a heavy price
A region that once prided itself on being almost crime free has now turned into a battlefield
The Arab world is going through the bloodiest period of its history. Every day the body count grows higher. Pictures of dead bodies, maimed children and burned out villages and neighborhoods flash on TV channels. Images of floating dead bodies splatter screens.
This has been going on now from some time and we all wonder when it will stop. A region that once prided itself on being almost crime free has now turned into a battlefield. And although it is painful to see that transformation, there is no use in finger pointing. The blame essentially lies with us.
Years of societal neglect and deprivation along with the absence of structures that could have created a civil society that respects the rights and dignity of the people planted the seeds for what is happening today.
While the 1960s, 70s and 80s saw a world on the move and people turning toward technology, civil rights and better awareness, the Arab world and its media were extolling the “virtues” of the “strong leader”.
Years of societal neglect and deprivation along with the absence of structures that could have created a civil society that respects the rights and dignity of the people planted the seeds for what is happening todayKhaled Almaeena
Dictators thrived and on the other side, religious fervor instead of instilling spirituality in people and a quest for good deeds created extremism and a hate psychosis. The youth, who gathered around self-appointed religious leaders in the absence of role models, began to be drawn to perpetrators of hatred and violence.
A failed Arab Spring, which led to a political and social vacuum, further created unrest. Many Arab leaders could not understand that the reason for this was that people wanted a life of dignity and economic equality and to have a say in their lives.
But that is all history now. Today, wars are going on and Arabs are killing Arabs directly or through proxies. I see armies, militias and foreign troops traverse the land and destroy cities hunting for murderous thugs like Da’esh (ISIS). And I wonder why they have not been able to take out these mercenaries!
Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and other areas are going through hell due to the intransigence of those in power. All these super powers are killing their own “enemies” in Syria and Iraq.
The Arabs have no choice but to observe. They moan about foreign conspiracies, which to me as a political realist are as clear as the sun. But we have allowed this to happen. A failed Arab League and a total collapse of communication between leaders and Arab institutions, along with a subservient media that parrots the calls of its masters have thrown us into this bloody mess.
Netanyahu has used this period of time to kill more Palestinians and start a pogrom of the inhabitants of the land. Hordes of Jewish terrorists roam the occupied lands shooting Palestinian women and children at point-blank range.
And there is glee and a surge of happiness in Israel. In the words of one Israeli writer about the conflict in Syria and even the Arab world: “May it never end.”
That message has not been recognized by the Arabs. For that, they will pay a heavy price!
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Oct. 23, 2016.
Khaled Almaeena is a veteran Saudi journalist, commentator, businessman and the editor-at-large of the Saudi Gazette. Almaeena has held a broad range of positions in Saudi media for over thirty years, including CEO of a PR firm, Saudi Television news anchor, talk show host, radio announcer, lecturer and journalist. As a journalist, Almaeena has represented Saudi media at Arab summits in Baghdad, Morocco and elsewhere. In 1990, he was one of four journalists to cover the historic resumption of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Russia. He also traveled to China as part of this diplomatic mission. Almaeena's political and social columns appear regularly in Gulf News, Asharq al-Aswat, al-Eqtisadiah, Arab News, Times of Oman, Asian Age and The China Post. He can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter: @KhaledAlmaeena