by Said Temsamani
Morocco World News
Washington, June 7, 2013
Change the guard, but the world goes on. Obama rescues two Vietnam veterans of the worst military and moral defeat the U.S. has ever witnessed, to conduct foreign policy and security of the only world superpower that actually exists: John Kerry, at the State Department, and Chuck Hagel, a controversial former senator, at the Pentagon.
Hillary Clinton, the woman who wanted to be president and still can be, is the subject of a political action committee, Hillary in 2016, to finance a possible campaign, although her age, 65 years, and recent stroke introduced doubts. She warned that if civil war breaks out in Syria it can spill over into neighboring countries, and denounced the increased military and financial aid from Iran and Russia to the embattled Bashar al-Assad.
Israel has not waited for Damascus to cross the red line: the alleged use of chemical weapons in one last attempt to save his regime, to send a warning to enemies. Nobody knows whether the Israeli target was a laboratory associated with such weapons or batteries of Russian-made antiaircraft missiles that were being transferred from Syria to Lebanon to put them in the hands of Hezbollah, the Shiite militia armed by Iran, and its capacity to threaten Israel’s northern border. This preemptive strike coincides with the announcement that Iran steps up its effort to spin uranium, holding the “American Great Satan” challenge.
All a reminder to Obama’s immediate agenda: how media, diplomacy and use of force, will prevent the mullahs in Tehran from manufacturing the nuclear bomb.
Without leaving the Middle East, an unstable region in the process of profound change, Egypt, the Arab giant, is teetering on the second anniversary of the revolution that ended more than half a century of military autocracy. Analysts and the media are already saying that the revolution that ended Mubarak has derailed and the first Arab country by population and importance is a prisoner of rampant anarchy.
President Morsi is the first freely elected president in the country’s history and also the first Islamist president. After a week of street violence, the opposition, disunited, has tried to go beyond the legitimate power of the Muslim Brotherhood, the rage of the secularists, liberals and disenchanted youth who pushed the change two years ago.
But the country’s poverty, its enormous economic crisis, the absence of an organized civil society and democratic institutions are not the result of the new regime and the revolution. They are the legacy of decades of dictatorship. Democracies are not achieved automatically, but involve a lengthy period of doubt, detours, disorder, even chaos.
Egypt’s Defense Minister warns that the political crisis could lead to the collapse of the state. Morsi, perhaps unwisely rejecting a coalition with secular parties, has been forced to declare a state of emergency, martial law replicating Mubarak’s inculcated decision and then he traveled to Berlin to seek financial support from Merkel.
Two decades ago, the army in Algeria, with the applause of the U.S. and Europe, aborted the rise to power of Islamists who won the elections, causing a resurgence of terrorism and civil war with more than 200,000 dead.
Some Western pundits used the argument that the Nazis, whose rise to power in Germany, also gained power through elections. Are we now in a similar situation in Egypt with a religious party that seeks to establish an Islamic dictatorship using democracy? George Orwell, who wrote with clarity about civil war, said in this regard: “Do not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution, but a revolution is to build a dictatorship.”
Morocco in this region remains the unique hope. It has initiated a series of key reforms since 1999 and continues its way towards the reinforcement of democracy and rule of law. In 2011 and following a historical and politically pregnant speech, King Mohammed introduced a series of key amendments to the constitution that was widely voted for. And in November 2011, honest and transparent elections lead the Islamists to lead a government of coalition that is now in the process of implementing its agenda in an attempt to face Morocco’s social and economic challenges.
The Arab Spring in the whole region of the Middle East was supposed to lead the Arab population towards democracy, freedom of expression and economic prosperity. The question now remains, has any country that was hit by the winds of that spring achieved those aspirations?
Said Temsamani, Senior Fellow at the Meridian International Center and former Senior Political Advisor, US Embassy, Morocco. Member of the National Press Club, Washington DC.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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