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.
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. Continue reading