Where are Arabs on the anniversary of Iraq’s occupation? [Archives:2006/934/Opinion]

April 3 2006

Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Maqaleh
Three anniversaries have passed since the occupation of Iraq exploiting its oil wealth and dividing it into smaller parts while other Arab countries from the Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean are in a state of slumbering as if they are dead.

Capital cities of the invaders witnessed massive demonstrations and their inhabitants denounced Iraq's occupation, insisting on ending the unjustifiable oppression while Arabs remain silent. No Arab capital witnessed its people organizing a demonstration to reflect public feelings or express outrage at what happened and still is happening to Iraq, which has entered a new stage of civil war due to the invasion.

The strangest thing is that we hear so-called political and intellectual leaders saying that what happens in Iraq concerns the Iraqi people, an ugly saying similar to what we hear from Iraqis who are loyalists to the occupation. These agents point the arrows of words at the chests of their Arab brothers interested in the Iraqi issue. They forget that the multinational occupation is merely a foreign intervention arousing malice from other nations having no relations with Iraq, either in language, ideology or the neighborhood. How is this believed not to arouse the outrage of neighbors putting their hands on their hearts in fear of what is taking place in Iraq, as well as in fear of the possibility for invasion to reach their homes?

What happens in occupied Iraq is not a local affair, similar to what happens in Palestine. The occupation and their agents in the two Arab countries promote the idea of a private affair. If what is seen in Iraq happens between Iraqis themselves without any foreign intervention, it will be the right of Iraqis to tell others: “Let us do what we want, since this is our private affair and it is we who know the circumstances and problems of our country.” The matter is relatively similar in Palestine.

But what happens here and there is foreign occupation threatening Arab world unity, as foreign presence in Arab lands poses a threat to Arabs' future. Neutrality and indifference are limitless treasons.

Let's return to the pessimistic anniversary and Arab regimes' silence. Citizens in occupation capitals proved to be the first to stream into streets to protest against the unjustifiable invasion, denouncing the false justifications upon which the occupation and its consequential tragic scandals were based. Where were Arabs on the anniversary's eve? Were they awaiting approval from the superpowers or had frustration reached its climactic point, compelling Arabs to keep silent, showing no reaction to what happens in the occupied lands?

Arabs' passive stance on the third anniversary of an occupied Arab nation increases shyness and disgust at current circumstances the Arab world is experiencing and the collapse to which they will lead.

Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Maqaleh is Yemen's prominent poet and intellectual. He is the director of the Yemeni Center for Studies.