Our attempt to monitor the results of the Arab
Spring after all these years is to understand why such demonstrations have
reached their status quo, some of them resulted in catastrophic results. The
realistic approach in this regard is to compare expectations and results
because they are a scientific tool that is usually used to determine the
outcome. Thus, the Arab Spring is regarded by many as an utter failure.
However, this depends on how one views and assesses the results.
But, in truth, it
depends on how carefully you look at what is happening. On the surface, the
political upheavals look like failed revolts against dictatorships. But dig a
bit deeper into the societies of these Arab countries and there are reasons to
believe what we see is not a simple revolt, but an epochal revolution.
No doubt that the
Arab Spring has started spontaneously in its first phase in some countries as
an expression of the new generation’s hopes of change towards advanced
societies. This was before two players played an important role in destroying
these hopes. The domestic factor represented by political Islam, and the
international factor represented by the imperialist-colonialist role.
With these two factors
in place, the Arab Spring was transformed from a revolution to religious wars
and civil strife. In particular, the communities that suffered from this
phenomenon were divided vertically so that imperialist interventions allowed
dismantling and re-establishing the region to better serve the objectives of
the two players.
If the program of
the demonstrations and protests was the transition of the Arab Spring countries
to democratic societies, there was an unknown player who was deliberately
working on instigating chaos to strike the national state and national unity by
encouraging extremists from all over the world, by seizing border crossings to
facilitate the task and destroying state owned social and economic
Arab people have
believed that Arab Spring would bring them freedom and democracy and will
improve the lives of the poor and the oppressed. Many countries witness chaos,
bloodshed and instability due to conflicting regional and international
interests as many of these players have taken stands that serve their future
interests and not the interests of the demonstrators. This has instigated
hatred and terrorism in the Middle East which started sinking in inter-fighting
and sectarian wars, sedition and destruction. The question is: How the Arab
Spring started and how it ended? Who won and who lost?
In this sense, we
have moved from a situation in which the people of different factions are
unified for democratic change to regional, religious and political conflicts.
National allegiance was replaced by religious support or political loyalty and
allegiance to a certain figure. The destruction of communities, the emptying of
the population and the transformation of citizens into refugees all over the
world is the negative outcome of the Arab Spring which has created new
communities with sectarian, ideological and ethnic differences, rejecting the
principle of co-existence.
To what extent has
the Arab Spring countries succeeded in their demonstrations to achieve the
goals of the people? The basic drivers of the Arab Spring remain as nothing has
been achieved so far. Nowadays, the countries that witnessed the Arab Spring
are not happier, they are still under the same depressing conditions and their
ordeals with their rulers have not come to an end. In other words, the Arab
Spring was artificial and the region had to go through it to reach a status of
anarchy under the pretext of achieving their dreams.
In the 18th
century, the French revolted against their rulers because the French population
increased and the young people had no jobs because of corruption of top
officials. Thus, the peoples living conditions were aggravating and they were
getting poorer at a time the rich were getting richer.
similarities in reasons between the French revolution and the Arab Spring are
clear but the Arabs have been divided as stated previously based on domestic
politicised agendas and external agendas of colonial powers. Though the
unemployment rate reached more than 30 per cent in the Arab Spring states, this
was not the only reason for demonstrations. The economic performance also was
negative in many Arab countries except for those oil rich countries. In short,
the plain motives of the Arab Spring remain.
The Arab Spring a
bless for arms producers
The sales of arms
to Arab countries have increased since the beginning of the Arab Spring. This
has helped some countries including Russia and China to have access to the
Middle East. The Arab Spring has brought Russia back to the Middle East through
Syria with two military bases: Tartous and Hmeimim. The security and stability
of Middle East countries and the continuum of their regimes depend on regional
and international alliances. The security of Syria and its regime heavily
depend on the Russian intervention which helped turn the balance of power to
the Syrian government forces.
If we look
at the conflict today on the basis that it is a blow to the strained
relationship between the ruler and the ruled, and that it is evidence of the
imbalance of the “social contract” that governs that relationship, by
then we can decide that this imbalance is a shared responsibility between the
two parties. The reform of this discrepancy must take the form of a complex
effort involving cultural, religious, economic, political and social factors,
which makes the region responsible for initiating a broad reform process of
dysfunctional relations, misconceptions and conflicting interests.