(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)
It is not enough to love our country. We have to learn how to love it. Immature or impulsive love could harm both sides.
It’s no secret that Arab nations are standing at a crossroads and they have to make immediate decisions and crystallize their vision in the global village, which is witnessing fast technological evolution.
They have to choose either to hop on the train of the future or continue their journey into the caves of the past.
Arabs have a major and thorny mission ahead. The mission to take back their countries, which have been lost or are on the verge of being lost… They have to push their nations into the train of progress.
We cannot afford to wait any longer. We have to save our nations from local and foreign aggressors. It’s about time our countries rise from such lengthy and protracted sleep.
A nation is stricken twice: when it is aggressed by mercenaries or foreign armies and when its citizens are persecuted and its minorities marginalized.
The dignity of a homeland is inseparable from the dignity of its people. People’s dignity is not only about respecting their right to freedom, education and work; it is also about opening the doors of hope for their children and grandsons.
A nation’s dignity can only be safeguarded by a strong institutional state… under the rule of law… the presence of institutions that listen and make the appropriate decisions… organizations that monitor and practice true accountability. Otherwise, we will be walking a tightrope with a great risk of falling.
Threats don’t always come from the outside, from roving fighters and voracious states seeking to distort neighboring countries’ features. Threats can come from within… from the minds of young people with dark thoughts; from desperation, failure, hopelessness, deficiency and disorientation.
There is no solution but the state. A state that deserves to be named as such… A state of law and institutions… A natural and normal state… A state that deals with numbers, not with illusions… A state entrusted with the present generation and planning for the future… A state that makes mistakes and corrects them… A state that amends and adapts…
A normal state is the one, which reassures its citizens, maintains security through the force of law, works on the national budget, trade balance, growth and unemployment rates and coordination between universities and the job market.
The director of Saddam Hussein’s office once told me that the president described Western rulers as helpless since they didn’t come to power with 99 percent of public votes and as they are toppled over newspaper headlines. Take a look at Iraq! Gadhafi’s shadow assistant also told me that the ruler used to despise Western leaders, who were falling like autumn leaves while he firmly controlled the fate of his people. Take a look at Libya! Oh Lord! The two men were not aware that the secret lies in building a state of institutions, through perseverance, stability and progress.
Let us look at the current situation in Iraq. Iraqis are shedding blood to take back Mosul from “ISIS”.
However, the only means to prevent the reoccurrence of Mosul tragedies and the emergence of a new “Baghdadi” lies in the liberation of the whole country.
Iraq should be entirely regained, and its fate should be placed in the hands of its own people, under a state of law that comprises all of the nation’s components.
Outside forces do not have the right to impose a government’s constitution on the Iraqi people. However, Arabs do have the right to dream of an Iraq rising from its ashes, and becoming again a natural and stable Arab state, where different ethnicities and confessions coexist under the rule of law and the dream of prosperity… A country that doesn’t represent a threat to itself and to its neighbors…
Taking back Palmyra from “ISIS” is not enough. Syria must be taken back from the herds of fighters who covered it with blood. The Syrian people should be entrusted with the fate of their country. They should live under a state of law and institutions… They should seek to rebuild their country and aspire for prosperity. I believe that all Arabs dream of a flourished a prosperous Syria. The same is applied to Libya, Yemen and Somalia.
A strong state is the passport to the future. Militias push us towards the past, to the road of bloody chaos that leads us to the abyss.
The Lebanese, too, must reclaim their country. Lebanon should not be regarded as a station for travellers, who quarrel over every political election, disregarding developmental issues. Lebanon deserves to be in a better situation. The Lebanese deserve to live under the rule of law under a serious and modern state, away from foreign and internal tutelage.
We must reclaim our countries. We must remember that the Soviet Union did not collapse while facing the NATO. It collapsed due to stagnation, sealed windows and falsification of the outcome of the five-year plans, and above all, the desire to expand its influence beyond its borders.
Stagnation is a deadly enemy. Failure is a huge explosive device. Waiting for a permanent strategy can have perilous consequences. We must drive our countries towards progress. We must build a natural state, a normal school and a government that deals with numbers and not with illusions. We must awaken to the desire of evolution. We must engage the youth in the battle of development. Singapore is not rich in natural resources. Japan’s growth was not based on oil wealth.
Knowledge is the new wealth. Risks of swimming in the river are much lower than the risks of residing permanently on the waterside.
It is high time we regain our countries and guide them towards hope and progress. The doors of the future cannot be opened with tears and despair.