Goodbye Democracy!

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Sun 11 June / Jun 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

President Donald Trump is approaching politics with the mentality of a businessman, even in regards to terrorism.

The New Yorker columnist, Robin Wright, sums up his strategy with "Let's make a deal."

Mainly, the deal is selling arms to Arabs, allegedly to help face Iran and put together an Islamic “Nato” of the sort, which will, under Trump, create thousands of jobs in the US.

Like so is Trump’s position on Qatar.

It is too said to be for the same reasons; to pressure Qatar into signing similar deals to those of signed by Saudi Arabia, and to conclude the military jets deal.

Of course, this is on the side of other reasons, which include cornering Qatar to stop supporting Islamist movements, like the Muslim Brotherhood.

The concept of arms deals under Trump’s administration in regards to the Middle East is nothing new.

Back to the basics of US pragmatic realism.

In previous stages of US-Arab relations, transactions revolved mainly around weapons deals, especially during the era of the Cold War.

It prioritised economic prospects of scale over any other cause, be it to spread democracy or constitute human rights, public liberties, or any freedom for that matter!

More so, Trump actually went the extra mile.

Under former presidents, the US would at least put some effort into pressuring Arab states to expand civil rights or constitute some reforms.

Trump’s approach, however, lack any such considerations.

Democracy is no longer on the list of US agendas for the region!

Note, for example, Trump’s address at the Riyadh conference last month.

He not once mentioned democracy, civil rights, human rights, or public liberties.

In short, he clearly gave Arab regimes the green light to do as they please.

Naturally, this explains America’s undoubted support of the Egyptian President, Abdul Fattah Sisi, pressuring everyone to cooperate with him.

Moreover, it explains the US shift towards some other countries he’d criticised often over the years!

Underlying these positions, Trump’s uptight, right leaning, and mostly hostile ideas against Islamist movements, regardless of their radicalism, has taken over him.

To him, Rashed Ghanouchi, maybe even Morocco’s current Prime Minister, Dr Saad al Din Othmani, are different from Baghdadi and Joulani.

The announced goal is to found a US-Islamic alliance against Iran and ISIS, and the current ongoing Qatari crisis is only a part of the underway rearrangement.

However, the realistic outcome of it will only cause the Gulf house to collapse, causing further catastrophe throughout the Arab region, and tearing more holes into the societal fabrics of our countries, all the while drowning any hope in bloodshed.

The struggle with Qatar does not overlay the greater struggle against the entirety of Political Islamism, and the vast popular currents supporting it.

Unrest in the relationship with Turkey has picked up pace, again, and in regards to the situation with Iran, it too has culminated to unprecedented state.

Eliminating the space for political debate will only fuel the struggle between democratic, liberal, and civil currents.

Given the situation, the social, political, and economic conditions prevalent, this will only instigate more hostility and confrontation without end.

Naturally, it will only make the current state of Arab affairs seem more like a walk in the park, compared to what will follow!

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.