Obama assumed the job of the 44th US president. Until
recently, no one could have predicted that he would succeed
because his origin, color and environment are insurmountable
obstacles in a country where racial discrimination is still
vibrant and where the WASP component is securing a superiority,
in spite of the alleged US role-model and democratization
exported to the world.
However, the past
sterile eight years brought in- both to the Americans and
humanity- huge economic, political and moral disasters. Also,
the alleged fighting of terrorism and preemptive wars weren't
actually a fight against terrorism. They have rather stoked
fronts of terrorism. Then came recently the financial tsunami
that set a scene without which the US election winner wouldn't
have achieved such a convenient win.
Ingredients of the
characteristics of the person, fluctuations in the American
scene and requirements of the stage all collaborated to bring in
the recently witnessed mesh-up.
But, shall we see
opportunism or originality in Obama's next steps inside the
White House?, will he stick to his principles and election
promises. Will he manage to take historical decisions whatever
the consequences? Or will the inferiority complex- towards his
Islamic and African origin- that surfaced in the election
campaign, hunt him and prevent him from becoming like great men
who made history?
Will he be only the
first US black president only or a president also for the black
poor and marginalized (the fact that some colored figures assume
top positions should never make up forget that the black are
four time more than the whites under poverty line in the United
States of America, that they are two times more than the whites
in jobless rolls and that this black community are paid only 60
% of salary given to the whites).
Will he pay attention to
the Palestinian file as he is well aware that this file is the
mother of all terrible problems facing the region and it has
more or less an impact on the whole world in general and in his
country in particular, or will his aides, topped by the dubbed
Rambo (Rahm Emanuel), control over his decisions so that they
are always to the interest of the Zionist occupation entity in
occupied Palestinian territories?
Obama will not make
miracles in an age that lacks prophets or saints to lead this
turned-upside-down world, although many all over the world
insist on seeing him as the new redeemer after Bush's sterile
years. However definitely, he will never be shallow-minded or
stupid like his processor who owes him his election win.
Obama's weak experience
will not cover the symbolic significance of his win in the
world's biggest country till the world starts to witness a
return of multi-polarity.
Well, there is a key
factor I want to highlight in these lines, as it played a
decisive role in Barack Obama's win, other than interests of the
US establishments (intelligence services, influential, economic,
industrial and military bodies and lobbies specially Zionist
lobbies...etc) that relies nowadays on a person who can make a
parallel shock that may contribute to changing the image of the
United States in the world and make the Americans still hope
that they can trust their country and its ability to protect
their interests. I see that this decisive factor is the civil
society and its very effective role in campaigning for and
backing any one from its ranks.
This civil society with
its multiethnic, multiracial and multi-colored middle and poor
classes- not the influential people in charge who make policies-
are the ones who brought success the one who incarnates their
The lesson is that
change can and should come from below, away from submitting to
tricks of those who want to change from above or those who work
in a balance of powers that they draw them closer to their
interest allegedly in the name of the democratic game and
In Western countries,
many powers do not necessarily respect human rights; their other
face is distorted with arrogance and hegemony, the ABCs of the
current domineering world order. Some of these countries don't
secure the minimum required living condition or balance for all
On the other hand, the
Arab-West relations are not seemingly based on equality and
mutual respect which are the bases for confidence building. Arab
intellectual energies are sidelined when they constitute a
serious partner or rival in a real partnership project.
But there is a
difference between their case and ours. We can't compare between
them and countries which lack even the circulation of power and
lack change other than changes through rigging, violence, coups,
hereditary transfer of rule or through renewing the ruling
regime without consulting people.
Moving to the Arab civil
society, the non- government vibrant and dynamic melting pot
that includes Arabs and Kurds, Amazigh, Africans, blacks and
white, Christians and Muslims, secularists and religious from
all religions, all of them reject the domineering tyranny and
corruption . They see themselves as a safety valve in every
peaceful move towards a society that enjoys freedom and justice.
This society is still
unprepared to create the same move through imposing change
through democratic mechanisms. It is still divided due to
aborting factors related to its structure, culture, kinds of
production and its relations with the region and the world. Also
adding to its division are viruses that came from abroad to
weaken its immunity if they did not kill it.
One of these viruses is
the financial aid programs offered to non-governmental
organizations and societies. The conditions and agendas of these
programs are put to serve their interests and interests of those
they represent, not the targeted. For example, European
financing programs are reluctant to fund any program around a
European-Arab cooperation or dialogue, funding instead the
Mediterranean European ones.
After the success in
using the term "the Arab world", instead of MENA Middle East and
North Africa, a fierce counter attack was launched, accusing of
chauvinism any one using the term Arab and of extremism any one
using the term Islamic.
Hundreds of millions of
dollars have been spent on projects in this concept. Any party
outside it has been sidelined. If a European country outside the
EU or a Mediterranean Arab country is absent, no one cares while
the presence of Israel is a binding condition for any European
funding or support.
On the other side of
Atlantic Ocean, Bush's administration has reviewed NGOs,
excluding from any aid or financing any one dealing with a US
terrorism-blacklisted society or party.
The process of
subjugating the so called "artificial centers"(i.e. centers that
emerge on the initiative of a person in a funded place and some
employees whom the funding rescued from miserable unemployment
and labor market crisis, working completely away from the social
conflict, civil resistance or struggles and products of this
society), spawned local brokers who promote the western product
and mix up concepts.
There are human rights
activists who are detained, dismissed from their jobs, added to
travel-ban lists, hunted in the streets and find no defense
under the claim that they have Islamic affiliations or Arab
unionist tendencies, while there is another clique of persons-
whose image is beautified- speaking in all places as if they are
the only ones who represent "the besieged Arab civil society".
The European Commission
does not respond to demands for lifting names of the Palestinian
Islamic organizations from the terrorism blacklist or boycotting
Israeli goods to stop settlement building as it is the biggest
obstacle facing any serious and useful talks.
This list of forbidden
items are well-known by financing centers. They may give some of
them so as not to appear in a farcical image, but there persists
this horrible image of the directed and conditioned financial
injecting whose negative results started to surface in the Arab
1- Giving priority to
many professional centers in the financing market, while the
meeting the actual societal needs is longer a priority.
2- The multiplicity of
financed activities and the increase in quasi-freely distributed
prints, giving the civil movement an overblown image which
doesn't reflect its reality, its real abilities or the extent of
its contact with people.
3- Moving the effect
from the internal dimension of the absence of internal democracy
to building profitable and elitist enterprises and moving away
form people and their concerns and promoting imported agendas at
the expense of objective agendas that have social cultural
There is for example the
huge financing of any Mediterranean of Euro-Mediterranean
network or any activities that keep up with the future forum,
while any conference that covers the Arab world and its problems
or the Islamic world is being blockaded.
4- Turning these centers
locked in a strategic subordination relation into promoters of
foreign agendas because the source of living has become a factor
of corruption for a big number of Arab civil society activists
besieged between the hammer of national dictatorial regimes and
the anvil of the northern financial penetration.
5- Moving the issue of
financing from just a means for administration and growth into a
purpose in itself has clearly led to reducing the agendas and
ambitions adopted by some human rights agencies until this
became part of a profitable mentality that turned civil
societies and human rights organizations into a commodity, and
turned the center into an economic establishment.
Unfortunately, like the
good progressive organizations which were paying- half a century
ago- the tax of bad formations, nowadays human rights movement
is facing a similar situation.
Will the huge fall of
the experience of the Neo-Conservatives lead to clearly
differentiate between the one who turned into a godfather of the
worst US administration since the US Declaration of Independence
or a delegate of European domination agendas, or we are still
not mature enough to do so?
We are required to move
to effective and hard work between ranks of those who can change
this bad Arab reality, not to remain motionless on the sidelines
waiting for those of foreign interests to change in the way that
serves their interests and in the time most suitable for them.
It is wrong- or naive-
to rely on Obama or the West to create change in Arab societies
because we should have our rights respected by those who don't
believe in them and we must take these rights from those who
think of them as against their interests. We should never beg
for our rights as if we were waiting for our rights to be gifted
for free from heaven.
Resistances in Iraq ,
Palestine , Lebanon , Somalia and Afghanistan and others have
imposed a reality that the other was forced to deal with and
learn from its lessons. These resistances have even contributed
to changing the scales of power that- we see- are faltering and
their repercussions will remain for a while for everyone to see.
Why do we mock at our
capabilities and look down into our positions when civil
resistance can build a different tomorrow?. Is isn't time to
change they way through which we read and interpret events and
changes and reconcile with our selves to get the other to
respect us and lay down agendas which are parallel to the
When shall we keep up
with time to make our present and our children's future with our
hands unfettered and without the inferiority complex that hunts
The structural turmoil
of allowing elites into the misery trade- of accepting
opportunism, selling souls, through unclear visions and
conceptual disagreement in strategies, the hollowness of
substitute agendas, the lack of courage and critical reviews,
depending on shallow data and seminars and tourism conferences-
is reality in which we should achieve a watershed shift before
it is too late.
*A Lebanese writer