Monday, June 25, 2007

Majhool's Excellent Reform Agenda

A certain Majhool left this comment on my last two posts. I swear Majhool was reading my mind. Now this is one agenda I could stand firmly behind.

Hesitant to support or go against the Syrian Regime, I tried to list major deliverables that I (merely a Syrian citizen) would like for the Syrian government to achieve to get my support:

1) The Palestinian Cause:
a. Support (politically and economically) consolidated, legitimate, accountable, and moderate leadership capable of negotiating a peace deal with Israel.
b. Take conservative approach towards Islamists groups by
i. Engaging these groups into the decision making process/
ii. Opposing their unilateral arm actions against Israel or other Palestinian groups.
2) Lebanon:
a. Support a consolidated pro-Syrian, accountable, & strong government in Lebanon
i. Improve relations with Sunni and Maronite communities
ii. Support the independence of the Lebanese government
iii. Replace the corrupt pro-Syria base of support in Lebanon by more accountable and legitimate (representative) base.
iv. Eliminate all Syrian financial corruption in Lebanon
v. Work with the Lebanese government to gradually and systematically eliminate all armed militias including Hizbollah
vi. Support replacing the confessional system with accountable representative system that will strengthen the Lebanese state
3) Israel
a. Negotiate a comprehensive peace deal with Israel good enough that will help Syria’s alignment with the Arab block.
b. The return of the Golan Heights
4) Syria
a. Improve the legitimacy of the Syrian Government
i. Create a new more representative parliamentary law
ii. Come up with a more legitimate platform to replace the “national progressive front”
b. Improve the accountability of the Syrian Government
i. Eliminate emergency laws
ii. Enforce the rule of law and curb corruption
iii. Improve freedom of press.
c. Reconcile with segments of the society associated with the Muslim Brotherhood especially those who did no participate in acts of violence. Ease travel restrictions and put an end to acts of retribution towards their families.
d. Curb extremism by allowing civil community-run and driven secular institutions to operate freely. ( Tala2e3 and Shabibeh are not working)

How far do you guys think the Syrian government is from delivering the above?


It is so far it is not even funny ya Majhool!!!!

18 comments:

Majhool said...

I am glad that you liked it.

Here is another one

Americans listen up!


Let’s admit it Arab and Muslim Societies are prone to radicalism and this is a result of hundreds of years of backward ideologies and lack of enlightenment . Japan and Germany both did not react so radically to American Occupation after world war II, instead they worked it out to their advantage ( and to the Americans of course), somewhat of a win-win situation. The case is different in the Arab world, Radical forces thrive on opposing change and Iraq is a perfect example. The radical and sometimes fanatical nature of Arab and Muslim Societies will take decades even with the best of intentions.

Dictatorships in the middle east are solely interested in their survivals and managed to coexist with radicalism. Dictatorship thrive on corruption and the elimination of personal freedoms both of which are fuel to radicalism, however dictatorship brutality keeps radicalism in check ensuring their mutual survival. Mubarak of Egypt latest spin is a perfect example.

Changing the radical nature of our societies is probably the best long term objective we can ever have. This could only be led by governments. Accountability and legitimacy hence are prerequisites to such an effort. that comes to be impossible when governments rely on radicalism to survive.

In the case of accountable governments, the country’s position and strength amongst other nations is of a benefit that normally trickles down to the average person. However that’s not necessary the case in Arab and Muslim dictatorships. take Syria for example in the 90s where Syria’s strength was at it’s zenith, the Syrian economy was incredibly stagnant and the average person was left to poverty and enslavement by the brutal and powerful dictatorships.

The Americans are not helping , I hope to God they focus on promoting accountable and consolidated governments and leave the rest to us..

The Syrian Government is extremely corrupt and is not accountable in any shape or form, let a lone it’s not legitimate in the eyes of many. This is a perfect platform for radicalism to thrive. American intervention will only make things worst.

Ironically this puts minority groups (especially Alawis) in Syria in Danger of retribution by other communities if abrupt change was to happen anytime in the near future. Unless they are planning on having their own state in west of Syria.

I believe many who are against Syria’s hegemony over Lebanon are such not because they are not interested in powerful geopolitical position in the region, but only because Lebanon served as a corruption outlet to the Syrian elite and ensured strength and brutality in Syria itself.

Lebanon’s confessional system is not any better. Just another corrupt system. It’s even worst as it’s very weak, and prone to outside influence and patronage.

Accountability, Accountability, and more accountability is all what we need… I think

So Americans, if you think you can helps with that specific goal, then thank you. Otherwise leave us alone.

Majhool

Majhool said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Majhool said...

Abu Kareem,

Can you do me a favour and delete my 2nd comment.

Thanks

Wassim said...

I'm sorry but I see you are both so far off the mark in terms of both what is actually happening in the region and what you are asking. The points of anonymous effectively serve to undermine any resistance to America, Israel and occupation in the region. Anonymous wishes to see a Syria similar to Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, docile pussy cats at the foot of the United States. Israel will be supremely justified in it's invasion and occupation of Palestine.

Majhool mixes fine words of accountability, lack of corruption, freedom of the press and so on with conditions for surrender mentally as well as physically. My answer and many others like me is NO. We might not have freedom as the Americans see it, but we do have liberty and "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice" as one man said.

Yazan said...

What kind of Liberty are you talking about exactly Wassim?

Is it the kind where a state will do whatever to the benefit of its own people?
Or the kind where citizens will not feel marginalized in their own country, not to say prosecuted.
is it Liberty, where a state would do anything to get back occupied land?

What kind of Liberty our nations have?
The liberty of people deciding what they think is best for their country?

Just point out on exactly what you mean, so we can actually begin debating about it.

Abu Kareem said...

Wassim,

The word resistance is thrown about to justify every action in the Middle East that it has become meaningless. Purposeless, destructive resistance gets us nowhere and most what is touted as resistance is just that. Resistance should start at home against our own internal oppressors (the Saddams, the Assads, the Mubaraks, the Kings KSA). Once we can do that, no outside power can touch us.

Wassim said...

Yazan,
I know that last sentence has riled you but allow me to elaborate on it. I'm not naive in the slightest to believe that this applies to citizens on an individual level, quite the opposite. However when it comes to states, which is precisely the angle I was approaching from, then yes the case can be made that unlike Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia - Syria and Iran possess a liberty that the former do not. They both do not work for the Americans and their rulers do not take orders from Washington.

What I wanted to point out, and this is something many seem to be falling for, is that there are some who would wish to confuse terms and struggles. So a legitimate struggle for more democracy and improved human rights will be jumped upon by parasitic and sham 'opposition' members such as Farid Ghadry who ultimately work for Washington and Tel Aviv.

One can argue you can't seperate the international from the domestic, but I believe you can. I'm with you 100% in what you are saying, but I can't allow somebody like Majhool to make comments unchallenged and which hamstring a legitimate struggle against Zionist occupation with our own very real grievances. It's only by holding a 100% mental clarity on where one stands with regards to all issues that such ridiculous "plans of action" and innocuous questions can be scrutinised and rebuffed. Abu Kareem, I hope the above response has also answered your comment.

Majhool said...

Hi Wasim kefak? Thanks for your input.

Few points here:
1. Resistance can take different shapes and forms. It does not have to be led by extremists.
2. You ignore that the deliverables include the return of the Golan and the support for the Palestinian cause.
3. Are you suggesting that fragmented Palestinian leadership will bring Palestinians closer to freedom?
4. You seem to play down the danger of “extremism” . I guess you did not take notice of “nahr el Bared” events, Hamas take over, and the killings in Iraq
5. I invite you to go to Z-bar in Damascus to see how the coalition of Syrian regime and Damascus elite are partying their ass off on “western” rhythms. Driving “German” cars, and supporting the cause.
6. let me remind you that the Syrian official line says “peace with Israel is a strategic goal”

Wassim said...

Hamdullah Majhool, I'm ok.

Just a quick retort to the points you made.

1. Can you tell me of one form of resistance apart from "extremism" has managed to get anybody their rights back, let alone attention. What is your definition of extremist and who do you consider such?

2. I don't ignore the deliverables you believe in, I just don't accept them. The deliverable for me is Palestine, not just a mountain.

3. No but one which does not work for America and Tel Aviv certainly has a better chance.

4. I certainly do take notice of these, the question is what do you seek to portray them as? That is what I'd like to know.

5. You've devastated me, I was waiting for inspiration from a Westernised corrupt elite for me to believe in the 'cause' as you call it. I am now lost and bewildered, please accept me into the grand temple of Liberalism.

6. On your last point, I'm sorry but was I supposed to care?

Apologies for the severity of my replies but I find your viewpoints offensive, distasteful and, if unintentional then, extremely naive. Starting a comment with

Americans listen up!

Let's admit it Arab and Muslim Societies are prone to radicalism adn this is a result of hundreds of years of backward ideologies...etc etc etc


sigh...

Majhool said...

Wasim,

Given your lack of objective criticism and aspiration for the arab nations to followtheir leaders blindly like sheep. I am assuming that you take the opposite position:

So here is Wasim's (Anti Majohool) Agenda

1) The Palestinian Cause:
a. Undermine (politically and economically) consolidated, legitimate, accountable, and moderate leadership capable of negotiating a peace deal with Israel.
b. Provide support for Islamists groups by
i. Supporting the status of these groups as miltants groups far and away from the political process
ii. Support their unilateral arm actions against Israel or other Palestinian groups.
2) Lebanon:
a. Support a fragmented pro-American, corrup, & weak government in Lebanon
i. sustain bad relations with Sunni and Maronite communities
ii. Support the dependence of the Lebanese government on Syria
iii. Maintain the corrupt pro-Syria base of support in Lebanon.
iv. Expand all Syrian financial corruption in Lebanon
v. Support the existence of armed militias in including Hizbollah
vi. Maintain the confessional system then the Lebanese state
3) Israel
a. Go to war with Israel and maintain the alliance with Iran.
b. sustain the occupation of the Golan Heights
4) Syria
a. maintain the illegitimacy of the Syrian Government
i. keep the current parliamentary law
ii. Keep the “national progressive front”
b. offer no Improvement of the accountability of the Syrian Government
i. maintain emergency laws
ii. ignore the rule of law and foster corruption
iii. curb freedom of press.
c. punish segments of the society associated with the Muslim Brotherhood especially those who did no participate in acts of violence. increase travel restrictions and put an end to acts of retribution towards their families.
d. foster extremism by banning civil community-run and driven secular institutions from operating freely. (and strengthen Tala2e3 and Shabibeh

How far do you guys think the Syrian Regime is from delivering these deliverables?

Wassim said...

Majhool your logic astounds me.

Majhool said...

Then do us a favour and outline what you think should be the deliverables try to be brave and list specifics and a road map.

By the way, I was being sarcastic when i mentioned Z-bar. I am trying to help you understand that people in power are interested only in "power" and the "casue" is just away to cultivate that "power"

I am totally with the casue but in order to cultivate "power".

Majhool said...

Correction:

I meant "NOT in order to attain power"

Majhool said...

Some necessary thoughts

My list of “expectation” assumes cooperation and unity of objective from other Arab countries and also assumes Americans are well intentioned in bringing peace and stability to the region, this assumes an interest from both sides in a “deal”. However if the goal is to weaken Syria (Even if it was welling to behave” and deny it the Golan Heights, and deny Palestinians any rights even if they “behaved”. In other words, if there is no “good deal” Involved then the course of action should definitely change. However the legitimate confrontational course of action should not contradict with the “ideal”, as this will hurt us on the long run. I don’t see a link of fighting free press for the sake of the “cause”. They just don’t add up. Same for Corruption, Emergency laws, etc.. They all don’t. Similarly the fragmentation of Palestinian authority could gain Syria some temporary power but in the long run will hurt the Palestinians..

Problem is, we really don’t know what’s going on under the table. This is made worst by the fact that the Syrian government is not accountable in any form or shape. They ask of us to follow, blindly, like sheep.

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Abu Kareem said...

Wassim and Majhool,

Thank you for the debate. My feelings on the issue are solidly behind Majhool's point of view. I am still not quite sure why Wassim is so against Majhool's agenda; he seems to smell a Western liberal conspiracy in there. What I see is the logical, reasoned -actually quite obvious- solution (if something of the sort ever comes to pass). What is there not to like: a corruption-free, representative, responsive and inclusive government. No one said a Western style democracy. It will and should have a character that reflects the region's predominant faith and culture.

"The cause" in the end, is best served by the support of a collection of stable, strong, independent nations not by weak, unrepresentative governments that use the cause as a cover for their own shortcomings.

Majhool said...

Syria’s (Syrian Regime) long standing policy was to undermine independent leaderships in the eastern Meditation. Jordan consolidated & PLO semi-independent leaderships were never welcomed by the Syrians.

Syria wanted to be the sole significant player in any future talks with Israel and the Americans. This is the core of the matter I think.

The leadership in Damascus, is as interested in a peace deal as those in Palestine (Fatah) and current Lebanese government. However the Syrian Position is that if they were to make a deal, then the Syrian deal will become less attractive.

Israel and Syria are playing the same game but for different goals. Israel wants to weaken Palestinian unity and leadership to advance its demographic and territorial goals. Syria on the other hand wants to become the sole negotiators in the region and enhance their future deal. This game is very dangerous.

Some would argue, that the Arabs will gain more by blindly following Syria’s master plan (regardless of how this plan will delay normalcy of life as it has been the case for decades) and that once we achieve our goals we can recover from our self imposed dictatorships coprruption, and radicalism. .Some simply don’t!! Many in the regions (Lebanese right for example) want to go on with their lives, admit defeat and settle for a mediocre deal and work on building their societies from the grounds up.. for them they want to “live” somewhat a normal life. Germany and Japan accepted defeat they say, why don’t we? “Besides Syria could even lose all together!!” says a friend of mine. It’s indeed a very dangerous gamble.

I have no illusions; Israel and the US are not interested in giving the Arabs a fare and a just deal. We just have to decide what we really want.

I have to say “living” is very attractive for those who want to enjoy life have a job, go to school, travel. Etc..(during their lifetime) . And to those who like to follow Syria’s master plan I say, stop nagging, accept chaos, and don’t even utter the word democracy as we are at “WAR”!!!


Personally, I am indifferent, I packed and left the country 20 years ago and decided to “live” elsewhere. Wasim too packed and left however he is at WAR without having to pay the price for it, he is becoming like the corrupt elite in Syria as they party (just an example of “living”) at Z-Bar at night and give orders during the day for the masses to persevere under dictatorships and mafia style corruption gangs and why not? We are at War aren’t we!!!

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