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Arab republics and their life presidents

Reader comment on item: Lebanon's Liberation Approaches

Submitted by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim (United States), Feb 22, 2005 at 16:13

The present Arab governmental system is of three types.
The first being a monarchy (although Koran clearly denounces kings and the Arabs are supposed to abide by the Koran: If Kings enter a state (literally a village) they spoil it. They do not seem to take Koran seriously as they often pretend to. In a way it is like how some Arabs categorically refuse to eat pork but have no objections to drink Scotch Whisky. Halal (permitted) depends upon how the wind blows. Some kingdoms like saudi Arabia, Morroco and Jordan could still survive but nobody knows how long.

The second type is a traditional Arab or Islamic system (nobody knows what it is for it has no equivalent in the world) as in The UAE, Oman and Kuwait.

The third type is the most peculiar. They are ironically called republics Like Egypt, Syria, Lybia, Irak (till the end of Saddam and his notorious sons) etc.. In reality these so called republics are governed by brutal dictators who stay in power for forty or more years (till death do us depart). This means you get rid of them only when their coffins are carried out. But first they suppress and torture their people helped by some of their bloody guards. These life presidents Like the late Hafiz Asad or Arafat stay in power even if their health doesn't permit that. In case of Arafat the Arabs kept saying he was elected. Can anyone explain to me: how can a president can be elected for forty years or more?. They remain in power so long that with the passage of time they gain some charisma and become a symbol. In addition they are like kingdoms because the eldest son, no matter how stupid he is will come to power. In the end you will have a republic whose presidents are chosen by the virtue of their birth.

Syria under the late Asad could change its colours as often as it pleased. It could side with Turks to suppress Kurds or could help Kurds to put pressure on Turks. It could be hostile to the same Baath regime in Irak or try even to assasinate Saddam or side with the Mullah regime in Iran. In short Syria is the most fickle, least reliable. Peace will have a better chance if this rotten and aggressive regime, like Saddam's, is ousted. The Baaths are all alike no matter where they are.

Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim
Bremen - Germany

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