Monday, January 01, 2007

All The Wrong Moves

Saddam has fallen for the last time.

His fate was sealed back when he was found hiding in the spider hole.
While still armed, he could have chosen to fight it out to the end instead of giving himself up to capture.

I think his best course of action should have been to meet the American forces in a field of battle, maybe in one of his palaces, and fight it out "Scarface" style. A death such as this would have enthroned him permanently in the pantheon of Pan- Arabist heroes. It must be remembered, a Pan-Arabist is what he was,and Pan-Arabism the foundational reasoning behind many of his deeds, good and bad.

The defeat and fall of Saddam is another in just a long history of fatal blows to the movement of Pan-Arabism. For Arabs, I believe it is in their own best interest to adopt the ideology, forming a united front against western economic imperialism, and with it, a rising Arab state that could possibly lead the world in science,philosophy, trade and architecture as was once the case in the distant past.

Pan-Arabism focused heavily on education and Arab independence from outside forces. Contrary to what many believe: Pan-Arabism is secular, and culturally progressive. Iraq, under Saddam and the Ba'ath Party, was able to boast one of the most highly educated populations in the world, with a very high percentage of woman in the sciences and medical fields.
Saddam was a hero to many Arabs for his struggle to improve Arabs generally, and increase their standing on the world stage.

One of the biggest threats to Pan-Arabism, and all the positives I believe that can be had through it, is the rise, since the 1960's, of Pan-Islamism. When the Arab Nationalists couldn't produce the economic growth promised, some segments of Arabia embraced Islamism as the solution to the region's problems.
But the biggest threat, in my opinion, to Pan-Arabism is Arabs themselves. Arabs seem to be beholden to a certain hierarchy of loyalties that we in the West cant relate to. Family and clan loyalties come first; followed by tribal identity; religion comes next, and ethnicity(Arabism) comes in last. No policy of the west can change the Arab mind, and Pan-Arabists certainly haven't been able to overcome this problem either. It is these same priorities of loyalty that made it necessary for Saddam and his Ba'athists to rule Iraq with the firmness that made him famous. This explains his favorable treatment of Sunni's over Shi'ites; oppression of non-Arab Kurds and Turks; his hatred for Persians and Zionists; and his refusal to be cowed by the west. The oppression required to maintain and promote Ba'athist ideals while clinging to power created the fertile ground for his undoing, and nurtured in his own nation a sizable list of enemy movements that delighted in his hanging.

In his wake, he still leaves a sizable following of Pan-Arabist believers. And this ideology still has a strong adherence in the Arab media and intellectual circles. They will be back. Maybe next time they can ditch the socialistic policies enough to provide the economic growth to truly take hold, displace Islamism as the cure to the regions ills, and be a positive force for the advancement of civilization, as Arabs once were, oh, so long ago...


kingdavid said...

I don't have any knowledge of the area and certainly could not have pulled this type of information out of my hat. It all sounds extremely logical and plainly stated in common-sense terms that would indicate it's probably a reasonable assessment of the situation---therefore, I assume that most leftists would argue it irrationally and emotionally and come up with some other explanation that blames America and especially any and all Republican administrations over the last 30-40 years.

Gino said...

thank you, david.