And So It Begins!

The dabbling in the electoral process by the usual suspects begins. The Governor of Homs in Central Syria has just issued what he describes as a “loan” or a “refundable fee” that each independent candidate that seeks to run in the upcoming elections has to pay. The purpose of this bizarre procedure, Governor Ghazal explains, is to prevent irregularities. If the candidate can prove at the end of the campaign that he had run a clean campaign then the fee will allegedly be refunded. Continue reading

The Heretic & the Cause!

I never really had high expectations for the American venture in Iraq, because I have always known that the challenges of modernization and democratization are too enormous to be handled in such manner. Indeed, I do not believe in quick fixes and shortcuts when it comes to such major social transformations. There is no way around the mountain (or the abyss) for us in order to get to the other side, albeit it’s quite understandable that we should hope and pray for one. For the alternative is to do what others have done: go through hell in order to get what we want, what we think we deserve and are entitled to.  Continue reading

Middle Eastern Realities! (1)

Every new conflict in the region becomes inextricably linked to the ongoing Arab-Israeli Conflict as well as western imperialism in the discourse and tactics employed by the various regional actors invovled, who are often more interested in prolonging the said conflict. Festering old wounds are always a good distraction from developing new ones. However, the real panacea here does not lie in treating the causes of one set of wounds at the expense of another, as so many experts end up recommending, but in tackling the real issues involved: the development and democracy gaps. Any realism that attempts a song-and-dance around these issues represent nothing more than a cop-out mechanism, a running away from the real challenges ahead, and will only make the problems worse in the not-too-distant future. For things are moving at a much faster pace than they used to, and any problem that gets neglected today will haunt us all in the near morrow.

A Heretical Contribution towards A New World Order!

This whole divide between neocons and realists, between democracy-advocates and engagement-advocates is in fact quite meaningless and rather beside the point.For neither side has what it takes to make a difference in the problems of our beleaguered region, not to mention the world, or to make any serious progress in the war on terror. Both sides tend to recommend policies that are in essence nonsensical and will pave the way for further deterioration of the situation not only in our part of the world, but everywhere. Continue reading

The New World Mayhem

First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations. 

The main hallmark of the emerging World Order is the utter universal lack of capable and inspiring leaders and visions. The complex task of managing a hard yet necessary transitional period in the history of humanity, a coming to terms with our global unity and interdependence and their implications, is left in the hand of mediocre leaders who have neither the prerequisite abilities nor vision nor plans to shape the current unfolding of events and developments. For this, we are bound to continue to stumble on from one seemingly manageable crisis to another and from one all too avoidable war to another until things get completely out of hand and we find ourselves immersed in a global conflict whose tragic consequences are bound to shape our collective memories for millennia to come.

Change is in the Air!

First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations. 

If the region spirals into warfare again, there will be enough blame to go around of course. But someone in the region should bear in mind that, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the region did have 15 years to reinvent itself in accordance with the new realities all around it, but failed to do so. Stability and constancy are not values always to be cherished, and change no matter how onerous a task it might pose is not an existential threat. It becomes so when people try to avoid it at all costs, just as the peoples and government of the region did. But change is coming nonetheless, and violence will play a role in it, regardless of our best intentions. We are better off planning to manage it rather than resist in that nihilistic fashion to which many of our leaders seem accustomed.