2003:Another pathetic year [Archives:2003/692/Viewpoint]

December 8 2003

There is no doubt that the year 2003 was again another scar left on Arab history: a year of continuous failures and setbacks. With a war in Iraq, leading to another occupation in the region, we have shown how weak we truly are as an Arab people group.
Our economic inefficiency has continued to demonstrate itself in 2003 with more unemployment, higher poverty rates, lower GNP and GDP rates, and of course, weaker presence in the global market.
Our failure in adopting proper decisions to bring freedom and democracy have also taken its toll this year marking a tremendously high level of human rights violations and of course less freedom for Arab citizens.
Our inability to apply political change to better enforce the law and bring stricter regulations against law breakers, have led to more instability and less security in our countries.
All of this is added to the humiliation we went through at the hands of the UN Security Council and other arenas when we couldn't prevent the war on Iraq despite all our complaints, denunciations, and loud crying.
Just as all the above cannot be denied, we should not deny that all of this have and will continue to have negative implications on us as Arab people and regimes. Today, we continue to demonstrate our inability to act decisively on major issues and on the other hand find ourselves forced to give more compromise than ever before.
Just yesterday, I was talking to European friend, who said that Arabs simply don't deserve so many natural resources because they cannot, and will never be able, to use them properly for the sake of their own people. In contrast, massive amounts of money are spent on 'corrupt leaders and officials, who cannot care less for their country'.
We have put ourselves in the conditions we are living in today, and self-criticism is a must to know where we truly are and how to improve.
I am serious in emphasizing the fact that it is up to us to make ourselves a strong, influential Arab nation or just be seen as the least developed and insignificant in a time of intense competition and unmerciful hostility among world nations.
We are the ones who have made ourselves what we are today. Let us not allow the conspiracy theory take over our minds. Let us not bring back the illusion that the whole world is against us, causing us to be in the backwardness, poverty, and vulnerability we are in today.
We are saying goodbye to a year full of misery and sadness. We are today living a time, many would prefer to have not lived because of our own wrongdoings.
But the future is still ahead, and we ought to not lose faith. Let us remember that after every decline there is a comeback.
Let's work on making 2004 the year signaling this comeback and making us regain our confidence and build a better future.