The Middle East Tribune

Centered on Civil Liberties & Political Issues, Human Development & Socioeconomic Matters

Middle East Governments Have No Alternative

Syrian demonstrators in protest against Bashar al-Assad//www.aljazeera.com

The events and outcomes of the 20th century had influenced and transformed human lives in most of the world, for better or worse, more than any other century. Besides peace, civil liberty and equality were the most longed for democratic values of that turbulent century.

In the Middle East, Arab people were distracted by the ongoing regional political instability, mainly by the long-drawn-out Arab-Israeli conflict, Iraq occupation, and Iranian nuclear weaponization challenge. Most Arab citizens were over-busy with their bread and butter instead of being engaged in tuning their civil society and upgrading their socioeconomic conditions.

At large, Arab people have long endured the effects of having autocratic rulers and monocratic systems. Nowadays, however, they massively rally calling for a liberal government. Today, Arabs call for a governing system that provides political and civil rights through which they can improve their socioeconomic status and have equal and unrestricted opportunities for political participation.

The concept of democracy is interpreted as a universal structure and order to enable individuals, societies, and countries to flourish and develop liberally and peacefully. Considering that democracy rests on harmonious public opinion implies that having a contented public is the best way to secure political and social cooperation between citizens and with their states.

Middle Eastern countries that really seek to establish true democratic societies have to derestrict basic freedoms such as freedom of choice, freedom of political participation, freedom of association and assembly, freedom of religion and worship, freedom of speech and press, and guarantee equal opportunities for its citizens.

In most developing countries, there are arguments about some controversial issues that are related to the compatibility of civil liberties and equality with development. The first basic dispute is over whether civil liberties should be controlled and limited to maintain social order or not. The other dispute is over whether equality means equality of income or “equality of opportunity”.

In Lebanon, to cite a mild case, the Lebanese authorities always assert that Lebanon is a democracy, not a regime. Whereas government officials and its apologists often proclaim that civil liberty and equality do not always come together because it is necessary to restrict certain civic activities to focus on the common good.

No matter what are the excuses, the fact remains that a real democratic government is legally obligated to protect all civil liberties and deliver equal opportunities to its citizens within its civil and political system. Yet, any attempt by the government to upgrade Lebanon’s civil liberties and equality settings must start with the elimination of all forms of corruption, bias, favoritism, injustice, and sectarianism from the Lebanese administration first, and then act on its political system.

These ill practices and diseases in the Lebanese political and governmental system are blocking any progress to achieve real democratic development, and hence, annul all prospects to have a better community in the near future.

The Lebanese government has to provide equal opportunities and secure access to quality public education for all Lebanese by providing equal and equivalent learning opportunities and choices to produce equal chances for its citizens, as a first pragmatic step. Hence, public educational institutions should be within reach of all Lebanese citizens, irrespective of their geographic and social backgrounds or their financial status.

Misleadingly, the government counters by arguing that the main problem facing the full realization of equal educational opportunities is merely a financial one. While in fact, it is about the absence of political will to serve the poor and middle-class citizens; since all successive governments have never incorporated in any general budget the required funding to provide private-like public education to its citizens even when Lebanon was in well-off situations.

In principle, democracy is a peaceful way to secure equality and liberty. Yet, most politicians maneuver and manipulate the concept of democracy to portray it as the goal, instead of considering it the means to deliver political freedom and human development. On the same track, they dodge the real concept of civil liberty and equality to practice their tailor-made version of democracy.

Although the political gaps between Arab citizens and their governments are quite wide; yet, these gaps can be bridged if Arab officials, politicians, and economic magnates ensure equality and civil rights to their fellow citizens.

To that end, developing countries, especially Middle Eastern countries, have no alternative but to rectify and revise their laws and regulations to accommodate their national public opinions, especially on civil liberty and equality issues; and adopt transparent reform methods of governance, before it is too late.

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9 comments on “Middle East Governments Have No Alternative

  1. Dr Waleed
    March 29, 2014

    Yes.. Instead of talking tall every and any human-being having alive conscience can play a vital and important role while giving vent to his humanitarian ideas and pooling collective framework to push the states towards the humanity.Middle East issue shall be on global radar on priority as it is bleeding since decades.We can strengthen the idea by giving voice beyond the boarders it can help…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carl Tornell
    May 22, 2012

    There is certainly one thing the US and the EU could do, and that is to refrain from supporting autocratic and corrupt regimes through development aid which keeps such regimes in place. They should put strict conditions on support so as to assure transparency in government.

    Like

    • M. Moussalli
      May 22, 2012

      That’s true especially if it is done along with other punitive measures.
      Thank you Carl

      Like

  3. Ward Olgreen
    March 29, 2012

    I have been traveling to the Middle East since early 1990’s. The changes have been significant in the just the last 2 decades versus previous 5000 years. The change will come from within as people become informed thru media that had never been allowed before. In the 90’s many countries in the Middle East or even South Africa controlled the media information going out to the public. The average citizen simply didn’t know how the rest of the world operated. Now that they have access thru internet and satellite they will “one by one” get so angry at their leaders that they will demand change. A Boston Oil Party so to say. The US and EU need to do nothing but sit back and allow progress to happen. The masses will bring the leaders into the future.

    Like

    • M. Moussalli
      March 29, 2012

      I agree with most of your comment. However. I don’t agree with you that the US and EU need not to do anything. As long as they are the developed nations,they have a duty to help and guide those nations and communities who are doing their best to reform and develop. Thanks for your comment.

      Like

  4. Anonymous
    March 22, 2012

    Who will push for reform? USA British and EU or they will push for more war in middle east. Who are you kidding for god sake.

    Like

    • M. Moussalli
      March 22, 2012

      I’m not kidding. People like you and I are the ones who should push for reform. If we are going to surrender our role and responsibilty, then, we will be kidding ourselves. Thanks for your comment.

      Like

  5. Arabic News Reporter
    January 9, 2012

    I agree, the laws and regulations in the Middle Eastern countries should be reformed and measures should be taken for the growth and stability.

    Like

    • Mohammad S. Moussalli
      January 10, 2012

      Thanks for your comment. I visited your site. Keep on and let’s hope and push to make reform happen soon.

      Like

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This entry was posted on January 8, 2012 by in OPINION and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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Mohammad S. Moussalli

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