Thursday, July 27, 2006

Democracy pronounced dead .. the sequel

...Prof. Joshua Landis also said that Assad:
"..argued, in essence, that Syria was too backward to sustain Western-style democracy. He claimed that “tribalism” had haunted Syria for 2000 years and that sectarianism was too deeply rooted and too close to the surface of society to permit Western–style freedoms. If unleashed, these ancient loyalties would cause civil war and chaos. In short, he argued, in contrast to Bush, authoritarianism is necessary in the Middle East, where national consciousness remains weak."

Philip I said:
Whether these are Assad's exact words or not, they sound like a school teacher who comes into the classroom and declares all the children to be ignorant, naive and descendent from monkeys.

Let's assume for a minute that he is right. As a teacher in a position of authority and trust, is it not his duty to teach the children the basic principles of free thinking and democratic behaviour?

It looks as if the teacher is happy to take the children's money, drill them daily into singing his praises and admiring his pictures, smack them in the face when they ask an intelligent question and beat them up when they do not march to his orders.


Alex said...

Philip you are partially right of course. But I wish you, and others who are very eager to have democracy "soon" would consider that some of the arguments against rushing towards democracy are perhaps not all regime excuses.

Having said that, I hope the president will be convinced of the value of giving those with political refom aspirations some hope by outlining a clear reform strategy in case the "outside pressures" eased and Syria settled the Golan issue ...

Otherwise we will be stuck in the chicken and egg ... what comes first.

Fares said...

Alex apparently is back to her usual arguments...I hope the president strategy, not that he has one, would be little different than the last 36 years of maskhara.

Philip, I salute your fight in exposing the regime democracy lies.

I want to see your great comments on Nasralla is getting screwed by Iran
PEACE To Lebanon

Philip I said...


Thanks for your comment. Two points in response:

1) No one can rush democracy. Democracy is a long process which even now is still evolving in the most open of societies. We should, however, be going full speed in adopting democratic principles. Implementation will take time but cannot be left to the whim of those who benefit from autocracy. Let's for example begin by releasing prisoners of conscience, freeing the media and rewriting the constitution (see my previous posts on this issue). However, not even these small steps, in the journey of a 1000 miles, will ever happen without domestic and international pressure. You could argue that the more you pressure the regime the more hard-headed it becomes. This would be true only if it had strong cards left to play. I see hardly any cards left after the Lebanon crisis has passed in the way I expect in my post "Lebanon: the final episode"

2) The Golan is neither a chicken nor an egg. It is completely irrelevant to how people choose to rule themselves.

Fares said...

Great answer Philip...