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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Apathy and the Opposition parties in Egypt!

There is an excellent OP-ED peice in the Middle-east Times by Youssef M. Ibrahim that explains the old mystery: If so many people in arab countries don't like their rulers, then why don't they flock towards the opposition parties? The Easy answer would be that the government opresses the opposition with their emergency law, but Mr. Ibrahim argues that it's not as simple as that: All Egyptian opposition parties held their first conference together in the Delta city of Mansoura last week but nobody, except a measly 400 people, came. Indeed, two of the main so-called opposition parties did not show up. Organizers were quick to blame it on the more than a quarter-century-old Emergency Law that allows the Egyptian government to basically do anything it likes without recourse to the constitution or the law. But in truth, the reason for the nonexistent opposition in Egypt or in any other Arab country is the apathy of the public toward the opposition and the bankruptcy of these so-called parties. The Emergency Law, in any country, is always an excuse for failed opposition movements. But the issue goes deeper than character flaws within the Arab mind. A promise is never a promise. A plan does not have to progress. There will always be another plan and, as we all know, the word Inshallah, or God Willing, is not a religious expression as much as it is advance insurance to break a commitment. If you ever, ever been to a middle-eastern country, you would know how true those paragraphs are. Hell, some people say that the bane of egypt is the word "Inshallah", because if someone says it to ya, it almost always gurantess that they won't do what you asked them to do. Egyptians actually include it in what they call the "failure" acronym, also known as I.B.M.! The I stands for Inshallah, which means "god willing"; the B stands for Bokrah, which means Tomorow, as in "will do it Tomorow"; and the M stands for "Maalesh", which is word that conveys solace if you are met with failure or frustration. Those 3 words are usually given in that order for a reason, they compliment eachother as the perfect Trifecta to justify failure. At first they promise u to do it "Inshallah", and when you wonder why shit isn't done, they tell you "Bokrah" and when you relaise that nothing is gonna ever get done and confront them with your realisation they tell you "Maalesh". I.B.M. people, making Egypt an economic failure for more then 20 years now. Anyway, back to the article. Mr Ibrahim then proceeds to kick the opposition parties ass! If all you can offer the public is that you cannot offer them anything because the Egyptian or any other Arab government would not let you say it, why do you call yourself a party or, for that matter, why do you exist? Good point! Opposition parties organize, speak, mobilize and innovate. They shout loud enough to be heard by their people. They know how to alternate pressure with conviction. And the same goes for the public. True that! People who do not like their rulers will only support opposition parties if they explain what they oppose and offer a credible substitute. Bingo! It's the reason why the democrats keep losing in the States by the way. They are too busy trying to emulate the republicans and their ideas and yet claim to oppose them that people don't see them as credible anymore! Being republican-lite isn't the way to win for the democrats, u think they would have realized that republicans will vote for the real republican candidate instead of the fake one, but they keep on doing that anyway. In Egypt opposition parties are no different from the government. They have positions that have been occupied by the same head of the party forever. So when these opposition parties say that they oppose another renewal of term for the sitting president, who has been in power for 24 years, people look and see that their own leaders have been in power for 24 years too.

And then comes the perfect conclusion:
Unless they lead by example, unless they encourage among their ranks the coming forward of new leadership to rejuvenate their sick and bankrupt parties, the opposition parties can hold any number of conferences, but no one will attend. Go read it!


At 1/26/2005 05:53:00 AM, Blogger BP said...

Excellent article and very good analysis. I agree with you. Up until now, I consider Egypt with no viable attractive opposition, thats as far as I am concerned.

At 1/26/2005 05:25:00 PM, Blogger Louise said...

Sandmonkey, are you laying the foundation for a career in politics?

I think you could shake a few things up.

At 1/26/2005 06:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sam, how's your mom?

At 1/26/2005 07:57:00 PM, Blogger Mike H. said...

I'll differ with you on the Democrats. They -have- been stating their differences with the Republicans, that's the reason they lost. For example, opposition to the war (I'll grant you that support of the troops was Repub lite) got them a big fat zero in terms of support. The difference between the parties on France, et alia, was another killer politically. I would say that if you want to see Republican lite, watch the position on values and religion in the Democratic future. The Dems they are a changin'.


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