Returning to Dictatorship

By Rizgar Anwar Abdullah:

After the end of direct European imperialism, a kind of autonomy was given to various tribal groups within the new Independent states, and the power in each of those states, including economic power, was controlled by a family or a tribe with absolute force. And that’s without any regard for the indigenous people, sects, ethnicities and religious differences within those states. This kind of unfair and unequal distribution caused many civil conflicts involving nations that had lost out in terms of their political and economic ambitions.  Iraq was born in this way, along with Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Bahrain etc…

Nationalities were corralled for the favored tribes into the new states in accordance with to Sikes-Picot agreement. The chiefs of these tribes grew ambitious to retain power and become more famous, rich and powerful and it became almost unthinkable for them to give up easily, especially since they had got all these fortunes without any serious effort. For this reason they attacked any movement that threatened their power. Thus the people got used to living in this way for decades and they put out of their minds the thought of having a life of dignity and freedom. However, a minority of intellectuals became the seedbed of rallies and civil protest and sometimes they succeeded in becoming an enormous threat to the authorities, although they could never succeed in preparing a new generation to take forward change and embrace new thoughts like democracy.

After the September 11th events and the US coalition’s intervention in the Middle-east, the region changed and it has opened up towards the world and modern life; with this openness people saw on TV and the internet unprecedented freedom which the writers had been talking about imaginatively, but everything people asked for was refused by the Arab rulers who even wanted to prevent free discussion. However, in spite of all the tough laws and punishments, the ‘Arab Street’ couldn’t be kept quiet.  There were rallies for reform and revolutions for changing political systems and to achieve the dream that the Arabic media and intellectuals had talked about, although this was just an imaginative democracy.

The fire behind most of the revolutions and their failures in Arab countries is the Arab writers and irresponsible media, that played active roles in ousting the dictators; they appealed for changing the regimes, and directed their communities towards a life like western life.  The extremist Islamic mullahs, on the another hand, also played their part. They called the Arab rulers infidels, and directed the Islamist youth to try and depose and punish these rulers, thinking that either they will win the war or they will become martyrs and go to heaven.

The Arab Spring gave an opportunity for all Arab communities that had dreamed of overthrowing their dictators for a decade, but all the attempts at achieving democracy resulted in such a failure that many wish to return to dictatorships once again. Syria was a tourism country, but now its people have to search for clean water. The Libyan people had only one cruel depot, but now they have many groups of cruel tyrants and thousands of killers.

The aims of the revolution in Egypt were achieved by the people, but they soon lost them because their minds were not ready to accept such a democracy, and when the coup happened people couldn’t really oppose it because the elected power had not offered them anything better. Indeed the Arab intellectuals and media could never educate Arabic society: neither in obeying modern Islamic system laws nor in life by the rule of law as in western systems. They wanted to apply western lifestyle onto Islamic communities which aren’t even acquainted with Islam as a religion of peace. It can be considered to be like writing from a warm room about the sufferings of displaced people who are living under bridges, and directing them to an unknown destiny in the name of a changing future. Now we might argue that Arab societies need an inevitable change back to the dictators; at least for now people need some rest and an end to war and bloodshed.

The Arab spring proved that the dictators are created by their nations; they belong to the same community and culture. We see that the opposition Free Syrian Army does the same as Bashar-al Assad’s Army against detainees and with all their other brutal attitudes. It is the same in Iraq: what the Shia volunteer militant groups are doing is not less brutal than what ISIS or Sunni militants are doing. Today many Iraqi citizens might even dream of returning to Saddam Hussein’s time. They could believe that this kind of closed life is better than the sort of democracy that has fostered so many armed groups and parties and the terrible uncertainty of many unknown enemies.

We might say this about all the countries where the Arab spring saw the deposing of dictators. Many might believe that living under a dictatorship’s rules, in relative peace and with one known enemy, is better than living under the permanent threat of so many militant groups proclaiming themselves as revolutionary.

Rizgar Anwar Abdullah was born in 1991 in Erbil and currently lives in Kirkuk, the ‘disputed city’ between the Kurdistan region and Iraq. He writes for local papers and websites and is a translator. 

3 Responses to Returning to Dictatorship
  1. Arian Mufid
    January 18, 2015 | 12:02

    well done for such a good article Thank you

  2. Kuvan Bamarny
    January 23, 2015 | 13:41

    Since people come from different culture ,race,backgrounds,and hold different opinions and ideologies about rulership,democracy is the best single political system to use to rule a country.However and unfortunately ,in some cases ,you can observe some sort of dictatorship even in the heart of democratic country where the majority of people who hold the power with a specific ideology ,can misuse democracy for their own personal benefits and oppress the minority within a democratic state.

    The solution to the problem is a strong justice system that would protect the rights of all people equally and from the dictatorship of the majorty.You have the constitution that clearly confirm this take,but having a constitution without implementation is not enough to have a meaningful effective democracy unless you have a strong independent judiciary system that have the ultimate power over the country.The two other branches of the government ,the executive and legislative branches ,are also as important as the judciuary branch ,but they can not implement the constitution or make the best decsions that would meet the needs of all poeple,regardless of the idology,race,background,and relgion,equally and without prejduce.

    A strong independent judiciary system can be formed by brave, courage,sacrificing ,skillful ,experienced judges that have clear conscious and free from prejudice and political influences and pressures. This is the best ,not perfect ,but the best possible way to govern a nation free from dictatorship and oppression.

  3. Mark Axelson
    January 24, 2015 | 17:28

    WELL said and “on the mark.”

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