‘Tangible’ results [Archives:2004/741/Viewpoint]

May 27 2004

The definition of 'tangible results' when talking about the Arab summit held last week is somewhat of question and dispute, although Arab leaders say that the summit was a landmark in the history of Arab meetings. They claim that the results were indeed quite 'tangible' and historic.
On the other hand, people in the Arab world are disappointed and have already lost hope that there could be any results at all, let alone 'tangible' results. But the definition has different interpretations, which show the huge gap between the public and their leaders.
Some suggest that the only way such summits will have tangible results is when Arab leaders get closer to their peoples and inspirations. The issue is a matter of trust too. Arab leaders may think that if they do something that angers the USA or others, they will lose power like Saddam did because they don't trust that their people will come to their defense.
In conclusion, the only possible way out of this humiliating situation is to simply let others who don't have a dark history of oppression of the people take over and take the tough and challenging decisions that may rise to the level of expectations.
On the other hand, some leaders may think that it is impossible to survive after they leave power because they think that some would tempt to seek revenge for certain acts they committed. They have accumulated a lot of hatred and disgust over the years and they have hence created so many enemies.
“The whole people are their enemy” some friend of mine told me. How can such a leader escape his destiny? Some may suggest that those leaders can only leave power after they get an amnesty and exemption from possible lawsuits against them in the future for corruption or crimes.
It is eventually up to the leaders to decide how they shape their future and their countries' future, but it is for them to understand the consequences of doing or not doing things that are needed to bring about stability to their rule.
In an era that is moving so fast, it is almost undeniable that Arab leaders will have to act and act decisively on major issues locally and in the scope of the region. They will have to take them for their very survival and to limit the widening gap between them and their people.
Courage and appropriate evaluation and analysis of the situation must apply to ensure that they don't drag the area to more instability, weakness, and suffering. The people have had enough and time is running out before a possible full-scale explosion of emotions and actions occurs.
They need to think about it and revise their definition of 'tangible results' and instead bring the real 'tangible results' that Arabs everywhere are waiting for.