Category Archives: People Power

ARAB AWAKENING BINYAMIN NETANYAHU HOSNI MUBARAK ISRAEL MAHMOUD ABBAS PEOPLE POWER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

Israel in Need of Its Own Version of the “Awakening”

by Ehsan Ahrari on September 18, 2011, No Comments

Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, is going to the U.N. Security Council next Friday to seek independent statehood for Palestine.  The United States has done all it could to talk Abbas out of it.  Now, it is going to use its infamous veto to deny statehood for Palestine.  That will be a shame for a country that always wants to be seen as the world's leading champion of liberty and freedom.  The Obama administration's expected veto is all about winning Barack Obama's second term.  The Jewish voters are already upset with President Obama for not blindly siding with the Jewish state as all American presidents have done.  And the Arabs are not exactly happy with him for caving in to Israel's pushback of his original demands about freezing the Jewish settlements in occupied Palestine. (more…)
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Why the Rise and Outcome of a Chinese Awakening are Hard to Predict?

by Ehsan Ahrari on March 13, 2011, No Comments

If the Chinese leaders read Francis Fukuyama's latest essay, "Is China Next?," they should come away with ample mixed feelings.  As much as he relied on a variety of well-chosen variables to develop a highly rational analysis about why China may not be the next country to experience the Chinese version of the Arab awakening (and this part of his argument should please the rulers of China), Fukuyama's most persuasive argument in his essay was the following: "All social revolutions are driven by intense anger over injured dignity, an anger that is sometimes crystallized by a single incident or image that mobilizes previously disorganized individuals and binds them into a community. We can quote statistics on education or job growth, or dig into our knowledge of a society's history and culture, and yet completely miss the way that social consciousness is swiftly evolving through a myriad of text messages, shared videos or simple conversations."  This observation should make them lose a
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Western Military Intervention as a Death-knell for the Arab Awakening

by Ehsan Ahrari on March 9, 2011, No Comments

The natural American interventionist impulse is surging once again.  This time the pretext is to save the Libyans from Muammar Qaddafi.  The United States and the U.K. are reportedly positioning their military assets to impose no-fly zones in Libya.  At least superficially, that sounds like a good measure, which would scare Qaddafi into submission.  But one has to be apprehensive about such "good measures."  Past American interventionism in the Muslim world has established that there is no such thing as intervention to improve the lot of the populace.  That did not happen in 1953, when the CIA and the British intelligence service colluded to bring Mohammad Reza Pahlevi to power.  The post-Saddam Iraq is tenuous at best.  Afghanistan continues to teeter at the brink of disaster.  The CIA-backed intervention that ousted Sukarno of Indonesia in 1965 brought to power a military dictator, Suharto, who ruled that country with an iron fist for several decades.  (more…)
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The Arab Awakening as the End of Arab “Exceptionalism”

by Ehsan Ahrari on February 27, 2011, No Comments

The best promise of the Arab awakening is that, if the ouster of dictators were to lead to democratic governance, the Arab world will be truly freed from all manifestations of the remnant of neo-imperialism.  Arab Exceptionalism, the concept that democratic rule was not meant for Arab regions, is proving itself to be wrong.  In reality, it was as wrong as it was racist.  The Arab autocrats promoted it, but the realpolitik of the West in its uncritical acceptance of it was also responsible for its sustenance throughout the post-World War II era. (more…)
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Why China Should Fear the Arab Awakening

by Ehsan Ahrari on February 23, 2011, No Comments

The Arab awakening is about the yearning of people to be free, to be able to enjoy a decent standard of living, and, above all, to be governed effectively by responsive leaders.  Of these, the Chinese people are deprived of two requirements.  Even regarding a decent standard of living, the evidence in China is mixed, at best.  If there is one lesson that the autocratic leader of the PRC should learn from the Arab awakening is to be highly proactive in fulfilling these requirements before they are expressed through another bloody uprising in Tiananmen Square.  But dictatorships are never known to be proactive or adaptable.  That is why their fall is so chaotic and bloody. (more…)
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The Emerging Brave New World and Eroding American Hegemony: Lessons for China

by Ehsan Ahrari on February 20, 2011, No Comments

As much as China watches and learns from the patterns of the military preparedness, modernization, and foreign policy behavior of the United States, the past several weeks of the Arab "Awakening" and America's responses to it should be eye opening lessons for it.  The most important lesson is how to preserve political clout – if not dominance - under the newly emerging brave new Arab world. (more…)
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The Internet Revolution and The Status Quo Powers

by Ehsan Ahrari on February 16, 2011, No Comments

Everyone, including the Obama administration and leaders in Beijing, has been awe-struck by the rising tide of "people power," that is showing its enormous potential through the use of the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and social networks in a number of Middle Eastern and North African countries. Two Arab countries have experienced quick regime change, and many more are experiencing turbulence that promises further transformation of governments. (more…)