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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Editor's Note - January 30, 2011

"Across the Middle East, leaders of yesteryear won’t be the leaders of tomorrow."
Hope you take the time to read my blog post and share it. It is my take on the U.S. position on the Middle East.

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Keep the conversation going...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Octavia,

This being said, I would like to comment on your above quote. Knowing that such a topic could be the subject of a very long debate, I would limit it to a simple opinion:

I am a 49-year-old Lebanese man who has been living over 20 years outside Lebanon after enduring the hard and sad moments and realities of the Lebanese war. What is revolting to me is that history has been repeating itself with regards of the political panorama in our country and the area as a whole.

We all know that politics in Lebanon are feodalistic and 'heritage oriented', for lack of a better word. If you were a representative, your electors would expect you to put forward your eldest son who would be expected to 'serve' - as opposed to having the same political and social agenda - the same way you did, more or less some details, to cite one example out of hundreds.

We know that the same warlords are still in power today such as Nasrallah, Berri, Joumblat, Gemayel, Geagea, Aoun, to name a few, or through their children, as I mentioned earlier!

It seems that 150,000 deaths and 15 years of destruction have not hit home in peoples hearts and minds at all. In order to have a change of politics, you need to change the hearts and minds of people. What has been the major problem today in Lebanon is that nothing has changed at all and the same mistakes are being repeated and the country has known no improvement for the past two decades, rather, the contrary is happening.

But let's also have a look at Syria, for example. This is a totalitarian regime, where the most important reason why Bashar is in power today is to ensure a continuation of his father's legacy and keep the power strugle exactly where it was in a country where religion-related politics are very volatile, but remain the strong basis of the regime as it is today. Any chance for this to change will inevitably imply the change of the entire religious demographics and political system. Additionally, hasn't Bashar proved that he is, or can be, as bloody and violent as his father, applying the same style of imposing his political agenda through assassinating presidents, prime ministers, and all figures and categories of the public figures spectrum? So the continuity is still very much present, isn't it?

As for the other Arab countries, hasn't the monarchy been leading the power supremacy with the same leaders and their immediate families and surroundings for decades now?

Even in Egypt today, apart from Mobarak's son who, for the same reasons stated above, was being pushed forward, wouldn't the chances be that whoever succeeds Mobarak will very likely lead the same way? Besides, wjho is likely to bring in the very much needed changes that Egypt needs? Al Baredei and Moussa? Aren't they from the old school and too old and impregnated with the old politics mentality to bring in any kind of change that would be the only chance this country needs to avoid repeating the same mistakes Lebanon has and get itself out of the misery it is in today?

In other words, hasn't old and recent history been repeating itself time and time again for hundreds of years?

Who in the whole Arab region today is young, cultured, educated, popular and socially strong enough to bring in such a change?

In my opinion, until such a person is found in each of these country in order to ensure a very positive and constructive domino effect across the Middle-East, which is a mere impossibility, I think the 'leaders of yesteryear' are very likely to be the leaders of tomorrow.

Regards

Camille

January 30, 2011 at 4:21 PM  

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