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The Ghoul and the Arab Populous Revolt
April 30th, 2011
Growing up in a Palestinian refugee camp, I remember at times when my little brother cried for no good reason at night; my late mother would warn him: the ghoul comes to the sound of crying children. Instinctively petrified from this imaginative monster, the child would hush instantly.

Today’s contemporary ghoul to scare off the West is Al Qaida. Indeed, it was a monster impregnated in the most radicalized fringe elements of Muslim and Arab societies, was incubated under repressive dictatorships, and fed by Western hypocrisy.

Archaic Arab dictators from Qaddafi of Libya, to Saleh of Yemen, passing through Abdulla of Jordan to Syria’s Assad, are sounding alarm that Al Qaida “ghoul” is behind the Arab mass revolt.

The Arab dictators with bifurcated tongue breaching in their local media an American and Israeli conspiracy undermining leadership and national stability. An assertion is more evident today in Syria which calls itself a “confrontation state” against Israel and American hegemony of the Arab world. I’ll elaborate on this later.

In Yemen, Ali Saleh spoke of a plan cooked in Tel Aviv and Washington, before apologizing to US government after his speech was translated into English. Qaddafi warned Libyans in Arabic that the West wants to colonize Libya and control its natural resources.

To the international press corps, the story takes a different nuance. Directed for Western consumption, the dictators allege that Al Qaida is propagating the public revolt. And to be more convincing, Qaddafi warned, fallaciously, that the tranquility in the Mediterranean, Europe and the “so called Israel” would be jeopardized should “Al Qaida” take over Libya.

The delusional dictators, starting from the Yemeni leader who pretentiously declared that serving as president was leverage, not privilege; to Qaddafi who pompously announced that he was a revolutionary leader: if I was president, I would have thrown my resignation before your faces; meandering to Ben Ali’s twilight speech reminding the Tunisian people of his life “service” to the country, or Mubarak’s at the sunset of his regime addressing the Egyptians “I never sought phony popularity.”

In Syria, the government ruled by a supposed Pan Arab Ba’ath party system for almost 40 years, an apparatus was used to glorify the “leader” in a system of collective universal deceit. Such was also the National party under Mubarak in Egypt, where governments and parties were controlled by sycophants groveling to the leaderships (and their children), turning the party into a groupthink machine echoing the dictators’ “sacred revelations,” creating in the process self deceptive delusional culture of political robots recycling the leaderships’ lifeless “revelations,” while suffocating any critical thinking at large. Hence, reinforcing the leader’s megalomaniac grandiose, and ultimately, deluding these dictators to genuinely believe the popularity of their regimes and the public admiration of their person.

In addition to Al Qaida ghoul, Syria under Assad perpetuated very powerful clan of sectarian loyalists outside the government or party structure. Thus, offering credible merits to the fear that the battle for change in Syria may lead to protracted sectarian instability, which can flare into Lebanon and other areas in the region. There was a risk if the Syrians failed to transcend the regime’s concocted sectarian divide, Israel, as it did in the 1970s in Lebanon, would likely inject its venoms to deepen the divide along sectarian lines.

There is no denying that Syria under its current leadership has embraced progressive positions and has provided support to resistance forces in Lebanon and occupied Palestine. Lest not be fooled however, the adopted official political positions were more in response to intuitive public sentiment as much as it was leadership stance.

No progressive position, however lofty can justify the dictatorship form of government for 40 years. The Syrian dictatorship never lost an opportunity to exploit the Palestine cause to lend legitimacy for its one party and one leader rule over the Syrian people. Yet, the same leadership had failed to confront Israeli occupation and later annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights, and more recently by its inept response to the destroying of a purported nuclear facility (under construction) in Syria’s heartland. In fact, the occupied Golan Heights remained the most peaceful of all borders with Israel.


Almost all Arab dictators have sprung from self professed revolutions championing the Palestinian cause. Arab dictatorship, the last bastion of dictatorships, brought nothing but international contempt to Arabs, achieved no economic progress or political justice, and perpetuated the occupation of Palestine and Arab land. The Arab masses are fed up. To paraphrase George Orwell, dictatorship is not needed to safeguard the revolution or to lead Arabs forwards.