Arabs Have Nothing but Each Other: Ideas to Avoid Demise

The raging conflicts in a number of regions in the Arab world no longer have red lines. Military conflicts, and those erupting in politics, diplomacy, and media on more than one front and in various regional and international forums, are no longer equal. For this reason, the conflicting or competing forces, whether belonging to the region or adjacent to it and even intruders, are playing with open cards for declared and well-known purposes.

The forces intrusive into the Arab region are mostly great powers with universal goals that seek to secure and maximize their interests, and at the same time work to limit the influence of the forces opposing them or rebelling against them, if they are unable to besiege it. Meanwhile, the neighboring regional powers are not only looking to secure interests but are tempted by ambitions for expansion. They seek to maximize the benefit from the large vacuum in the region and hope to use this as a card in their various conflicts, especially since they were able to penetrate the Arab world via the religious and sectarian aspects which they share with some Arab countries.

Undoubtedly, most Arab countries are aware of the goals and objectives of all the active forces interacting with the regional parties and with the ongoing developments. Most Arab countries know how to distinguish between the goals and objectives of actors whom they seek to cooperate with and those who target them. However, in most cases, Arabs take action regarding the latter to ward off their danger and neutralize their negative effects unilaterally, and in the best circumstances, in a limited and temporary bilateral coordination, sometimes cautiously.

Obviously, the action taken by any country regarding its crucial and sensitive issues will remain limited if it is alone. The cost of that action would be high at all political, military, security, media, and diplomatic levels, which can be a continuous drain on its capabilities, especially if those capabilities are limited, and the concerned country would need all its resources in order to implement its development programs.

This is the Arab reality that is characterized by absent or limited trust between the Arab countries, which led to a widening gap in the Arab power. This has tempted the international and regional powers, each according to their extensive capabilities, to expand in the region at the expense of its entities, and to exploit some of these entities to achieve their interests and most often at the expense of another Arab country. So some entities collude with those intruders instead of standing in brotherly solidarity with one another.

The experiences of the last ten years have proven that the ferocity of foreign, international and regional interference in Arab affairs has doubled. This is in the wake of the Arab Spring revolutions and protests, and the political and social fragility they left behind in most countries, which are no longer immune as they were before. They were subjected to a severe drain on their powers, and some of them have become mere arenas for the struggles of others to settle their accounts.

It is noticeable that foreign powers, despite the ferocity of their interventions, and sometimes their conflicting interests, rarely clashed with each other, including the parties that always claim the existence of mutual enmity. Rather, more than one collision has shown an opportunity for negotiation between these parties to define their spheres of influence, in a way that leads to the belief that the supreme goal of all foreign interventions is to keep the region in a state of permanent instability, the nerves of its people tense and its capabilities subject to further depletion.

On the other hand, the Arab side is dominated by fragmentation, and unilateralism in a way that its countries seem isolated from each other. Even when the circumstances of a country, that is not failed or rogue, require a declaration of solidarity, it is done via official and press statements, most of which are not followed by effective solidarity measures, as if the statement was issued to avert blame.

It is true that every Arab country has crucial and sensitive interests and issues that may be in conflict with the issues and interests of another Arab country. That can put the rest of the countries in a critical position, especially if one of them is taking intransigent and extremist stances. However, there are common and general issues, which the international community – especially Western countries – consider as a weakness that is always employed against all Arab countries without exception and regardless of the nature of their regime.

The most prominent of these issues are those related to human rights, not only in politics, but even those that go against the religious values and social norms of Arab societies. Notably, there is a great Western insistence on employing the concepts of human rights selectively in an attempt to corner this or that country to isolate it from the rest and extort it regardless of the developments the country has achieved in the field of human rights in its various political, economic and social aspects.

The use of human rights as a vehicle to persistently interfere in the affairs of the Arab world is likely to escalate, forcing Arab countries to reconsider their unilateral approaches to confront foreign pressures and. It is necessary now to move forward with putting the house in order, and work to purify the atmosphere in an attempt to crystallize a collective and unified position that can:

1) Hinder the attempts to isolate Arab countries from each other to prevent the process of singling out each of them and get them out of the vicious cycle of attrition;

2) Dispelling the mutual suspicions between more than one country in preparation for resolving their differences or at least freezing them and preventing their aggravation.

The goal is for the Arabs to realize that they may be defeated one by one, and that they will regret the day when regret is useless for not moving.

Will they realize that they have nobody but each other?