Condoleeza Rice between the two visits [Archives:2005/866/Opinion]

August 8 2005

By Prof. Dr. Abdulaziz al-Tarb
In less than sixty days the United States Foreign Minister visited the Middle East region twice carrying along a number of specific messages. The content of those messages were invariably voiced clearly by Ms. Rice to all she met with directing those messages to the Arabian people generally and some to specific Arabian governments or political leaders and intellectuals.

In her both visits to the troubled region she ensured to directly connect with intellectuals and academics and create informal relations with them.

The first message seems to be a form of an apology or confession or maybe a letter of repent regretting the political mistakes committed by the United States when it opted for stability on the account of democracy and this took place through encouraging cruel regimes and dictatorships in the region throughout the previous sixty years. It is understood from this letter that USA regrets its previous policies promising not only not to repeat them again but also to promote democratic systems in the future. The foreign minister in one of her speeches during one of her visits said: “the United States throughout the last sixty years worked towards establishing peace and stability in the middle east regardless of democracy and now we have achieved neither. Today we aim at taking a new political strategy that would promote democratic trends for the people.”

The second message reveals to be a policy to encourage Egypt to recover its leadership role in the region through modernising and reclaim its strong position ion the Middle East politics. Egypt was in the past the liberal heart of the Arabian nations and was the decision maker in critical situation. And finally it drew the highlights of progress to all Arabian nations through difficult economic transformation through peace agreements with Israel, which I consider a short falling peace.

The third message was a message of clarification. The US wants to ensure that democracy is sustained in the region and will accept what the people demand for themselves confirming by that George Bush's statement in his second election for presidency: “the United States will not impose its governing style on those who don't want to as our sole purpose is to assist others in a suitable manner to express their opinions, avail their freedoms and choose their path. The various societies would find various forms of democracy that would be most suitable to their cultures.”

The messages and press statements as I realised and any political science student or armature would realise, is how her statements were steaming from an ideology that has no relation whatsoever with analysis of the democratic conditions and systems in the Arab world, yet this ideology is governed by the stance the Arabian countries has towards the USA policies in the region. The human rights issues, democracy and freedoms according to this vision are only put in effect when the targeted country has opposing stances to the American-Israeli policies. As for the cooperating systems they just receive a light scolding or criticism in order to fool the public opinion and in some times the US turns a deaf ear to violations of those systems. For example is the situation of human rights in Syria worse than that in Yemen or Libya? The answer is quite clear and needs no clarification.

Yet the final note and perhaps the one most attractive is regarding her statements regarding the situations in Egypt, Lebanon, and Iran post the elections. After the US seemed to be practising pressures on Egypt to the extent that it refused to attend the G8 meeting that was supposed to be held in Egypt now it has found in the same country a strategic ally and friend.

And from this I could conclude that the USA wants Egypt and through it other Arabian systems to play a role that is not related toe democratic transformations because it realises that the leaders will not sacrifice their power and are not ready to let go of power for the sake of democracy and will not yield to any pressures on this front, it also realises that the democratic transformation in the region would mean to instate a regime that is not very agreeing with the American politics. And in spite of those two issues the United States talks about promoting democracy because this way it ensures two points: one is to appear in front of the public opinion nationally and internationally as a promoter for freedoms and human rights and the other, is to be able to put pressure on governments to force them to give more compromises that would help the American policies in Palestine and Iraq. The US politics achieved great success in freeing the Israeli spy Azzam Azzam and in carrying out the Quiz agreement and the gas agreement with Israel and to create diplomatic ties with the Egypt and Israel a fact that the Islamic and Arabian world and Egypt do not approve of especially that this comes in a commercial deal that has nothing to do with democracy.

Therefore I would really recommend the Arab governments and public NGOs and political parties to study all the alternatives away from the American bets and allegations in the region. The governments should play a leadership role in their policies and not just mere translation of instructions coming from the west through the political attaches and embassies of the supreme powers. If not then the national and regional security would be at stake and the lesson of Iraq is still present for those who want to learn as a debt on the USA's policies shoulders and the American policy is still questionable to what is happening today to international security and economy.

When will be read through the lines and understand the events as they really are and not in light of angry reactions of cruel ambitions? Weren't the elections in Iran successful? Then why the American anger? Would we as Arabic people and intellectuals understand the meaning behind the events, I hope so because this is an ideal experience even if the US and its allies don't think so.