Voice from the Commonwealth Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts
"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams
Praise for Voice
"A smart fellow...I do like, recommend and learn from Barbera's blog." -Roger L. Simon
"Your blog is bullshit"- anonymous angry French reader.
A very interesting call for introspection, in the wake of Saddam's fall, from the President of the American University of Kuwait.
Suddenly, everything unexpectedly collapsed and the situation completely changed for the majority of Arabs. The people have the right to wonder if the Iraqi regime misled many Arabs about its patriotism and nationalism, to cover for its sanguinary practices and violations. Or do we tend as Arabs to accept everything that certain regimes, which do not consider honesty as a virtue, tell us? Have those regimes discovered the secret of tampering with Arabs’ feelings: the Palestinian issue and everything that is related to it? Have we reached a phase where Arab regimes can destroy their people and betray them on a daily basis? Where they can steal the money of their peoples while selling a slogan of resisting Israel or the United States in international organizations and through the media and other means?
He tell Arabs whom they must look to and how to begin the process.
But intellectual and cultural elites should be blamed because they are supposed to know a lot more than society knows, and have experienced the world on many levels. A lot of Arab cultural elites do not change their opinions based on research and discoveries, and do not search for the truth even if it does not match their own ideas. The problem of Arab cultural elites is that they have become frozen in time and space, no longer following changes in the West or the Arab world, which does not allow them an objective and patient interpretation of developments. Intellectual elites have abandoned their roles of enlightenment and culture, which contributed to the decline of ideological and political renewal. The major shock caused by Iraq could be an occasion for reconsideration and apology to the Iraqi people, by those who encouraged and supported the tyranny of the former Iraqi president.
The Arab world can raise questions and reconsider all issues dominating its political situation. Who can explain past events, including the fall of Baghdad, without reconsidering and thinking over the lessons and consequences?
While on one hand the war generated a form of enthusiasm in the Arab street, which wanted the conflict to become a new Vietnam, the Iraqi people wanted a swift end to the conflict. The lessons and consequences of the war will remain with us for a long time. One important lesson is the legitimacy of rulers. Without legitimacy, the regime will not be able to defend itself. Arab defeats and past mistakes will be repeated and we will forget the fundamental lessons of war, unless culture, intellectualism, the media and press freedoms, law, the rights of individuals regardless of their confession, gender or race, once again regain their role in society.
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