First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations.
No one can any longer deny that there is a real and serious need for a concerted well-coordinated multilateral approach to the processes of development, modernization and democratization in the Broader Middle Eat and North Africa Region. Quick fixes are indeed impossible, but a need to shake the status quo is, nonetheless, quite urgent. If the UNDP reports of 2002-4 have served to elucidate anything, it is the necessity of drastic changes in policies in the region, but few of the existing leaders seem willing and/or capable of this. National interest considerations are not at stake here for them, it is their parochial interests, and, in typical cynical human fashion, they tend to override all other considerations.
And there is the rub: if some regimes in the region are not pushed into change, they will not willingly adopt it, and if there were pushed, they will more likely try to bunker down and challenge the world, no matter how foolish the challenge might seem. What the right course of action is in this case is anyone’s guess really. But one thing is clear, the UNDP reports paint a very dark picture of the present and foretells a future with many failed states in the region as a result of lack of the serious lack of development. And the region is just too central and too vital to be left to rot.