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Time to set the record straight again

Jan 09,2020 - Last updated at Jan 09,2020

During the first half of the past century, and in some cases even earlier, the Arab world was plagued with colonisation, when most Arab countries were physically occupied by major European powers, primarily France, Britain and Italy.

Luckily, and after a great deal of resistance, colonisation came to an end by the mid-century and the 1960s.

With the exception, of course, of Palestine, which remains under occupation and hegemony.

This century, several Arab countries are plagued with foreign intervention, be it from some emerging hegemonic powers in our own region or the same aforementioned colonial powers themselves and others.

The impact of the intervention has been utterly disastrous, where both the security and sovereignty of these unfortunate Arab countries have been compromised, followed by the spread of violence, dislocation of people and prevalence of disorder and destruction.

As a result of the intervention, the process of rehabilitation, reconstruction, development and progress which Arab countries launched in the aftermath of colonisation has been disrupted, and regression rather than progression is now reigning supreme.

In addition, the intervening foreign powers are using Arab territories to settle their own differences, to the detriment of Arab people who are bearing the brunt of jealousies, rivalries and conflicting interests.  

The primary fault lies with the foreign powers themselves, which use brute force and devious political clout to impose their will and whim on sovereign countries, infiltrate and wreak havoc in them under all kind of fallacious pretexts, for the covert purpose of advancing their own selfish interests and narrow political agendas.

But to blame are also some political powers in these unfortunate Arab countries, as well as some regimes, who have encouraged the external powers to intervene and interfere, because they could not, through dialogue and peaceful means, come to an understanding with their fellow political rivals and counterparts on how to best govern.

However, the sin of all sins standing behind the messy situation in the said countries is attributed to the breaking of the two sacred principles on which healthy diplomatic relations are based: Respect of the sovereignty of other nations and non-intervention in their domestic affairs.

The way out of the current quagmire for all is two-fold.

First, it is incumbent upon the foreign powers to take their hands off smaller and vulnerable countries, and stop intervening in their affairs under any pretext, respecting diplomatic rules and norms governing human relations.

Secondly, it is incumbent upon political powers inside these vulnerable Arab countries to safeguard their sovereignty by resolving their differences through civil political engagement and inclusion of all, independent of foreign intervention.

Trespassing is incorrect, unlawful and greatly damaging.

Just as fellow human beings should respect other fellow human being’s privacy and space, so should countries. The principle is the same.

One cannot help in this context but to remind of the key line in “Mending Wall”, Robert Frost's prophetic poem which sets the rules for healthy human interaction: "Good fences make good neighbours."

The minute fences in our neighbourhood started to erode trouble spelled over.

Time to set the record straight again.

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