A Modest Proposal to the Leaders of the Arab World
Your Royal Highnesses: Kings, Sultans, Sheiks, Generals, and Presidents of the Arab World
My God’s Peace and Blessings be Upon You,
The state of affairs in our great Arab land from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Gulf has been going through an unprecedented decline that I felt strongly obliged as a loyal citizen to direct my solace and advice to those who deserve it most, your majesties- the great leaders of our Arab world. You are, perhaps, in no need for my modest proposal… you being the most cognizant, the most prudent, and the most concerned about the state of affairs in our great nation. I am certain, however, that sharing my opinion and offering my advice poses no harm and could serve as a useful reminder.
In an era sustained by the power of science and technology, I find it appropriate your majesties to begin this proposal by commenting on the state of those two disciplines. I often ask myself, your majesties, how many scientists and inventors do we have? How many patents of the world’s inventions do we own? How much money do we invest in science and technology every year? After some thorough research, I came to the conclusion that we do lag behind the entire world. On a positive note, however, I assure you that you should not be in the least distress upon the lack of scientific and technological innovations. What difference does it make if an Arab or an American or an Indian or a Chinese invents the latest technology? Sooner or later we will all have access to it. Back in the days, it made a difference. The flow of information was so slow that being the inventor placed one ahead of the game and we were indeed ahead of the game when times necessitated. Today, however, thanks to globalization, all we need is our money and in no time we can possess anything we want. Instead of reinventing the wheel we can use our purchasing power to support the hardworking men and women around the world. We are on the right track your majesties and have admirably contributed to the efficiency of the world trading system. Moreover, we have already had our share of contribution in history and so it’s about time for others to pitch in.
Without further ado, your majesties, I offer you my condolences for all your dead subjects in Sudan, Iraq, and Palestine. I’m sure the past few years have been very difficult for you. Despite the political turmoil, however, our resilient economy has faired pretty well. Growth was respectable, oil prices have been firm, interest rates low, inflation low, stock markets up, real estate markets strong *. I believe this tendency for our nation to prosper while our people perish is a beautiful demonstration of the solidarity within the Arab World and the extent to which our people… your people are willing to sacrifice their lives in order for the nation to be.
Your majesties, I know I am in no position to interfere in personal family matters, but stemming from a personal sense of duty, I feel obliged to encourage you to expand your progeny. We have a great religion that allows the just and equitable man to marry one, two, three, and four wives in times of ultimate necessity. Who is endowed with more justice than your majesties and what could be more necessary than safeguarding our nation from anarchy and turmoil? A strong and fortified nation needs people of candor and caliber to carry on your legacy and no one could or would accomplish that more faithfully than your own children, your own flesh and blood.
Moving on your majesties, I have to address the state of the military. There is indeed an important consideration rightly to be borne in mind when inquiring into the characteristics of the military and that is whether to have citizens, auxiliaries, or mercenaries as a defense force. It has been the tradition to hire citizens on the assumption that they are the most loyal to their country. But that is a common fallacy which has led many leaders into the sad ending of a coup d’etat. We only need to recall the military coups in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, and Tunisia in order to realize that they were all perpetrated by citizens of those countries. Having said this, it is only logical to conclude that employing mercenaries is the best option. As for auxiliaries, needless to say, what is more rewarding than having the most powerful army and armada by our side, protecting us and lending us its support in a time of war and hardship?
But since prevention is better than cure, your majesties, having a strong military should remain a secondary objective. It is certainly better to avoid conspiracies and hatred than exert any amount of effort to suppress them. There are simple yet effective techniques to acquire the love and affection of the populace. One very effective method often used by leaders around the world is called pseudo-austerity. All you have to do is display some degree of resemblance to your subjects. Meaning, you don’t have to appear in a military suit or hang a huge dagger on the belt of your robe. Just keep it simple. Ghandi was simple, Ho Chi Minh was simple, Madiba was simple, and they were all loved by their people, just because of that.
With regards to freedom of expression, your majesties, it is undoubtedly a fundamental freedom but just like everything else in this world, freedom is not without limits. It should be subject to reasonable limits set by people like your majesties. Those who incite hatred against you for no justifiable reason and defame your esteemed selves and spread lies that are a far cry from reality belong, ideally, to one place: the prison. Your benevolence and grace, however, is far greater than their transgressions. As such, forgiving political dissidents and other perpetrators will make you the national heroes you are. Locally, you’ll be deservingly acknowledged as the benevolent leaders, the forgivers, the second-chance givers. Internationally, you’ll be acknowledged as the reformers, the freedom supporters, and the human rights promoters. It's a win-win situation, your majesties.
Before I end this proposal, there is one more important issue to be addressed and that is Democracy. I heave a sigh, your majesties, as I write to you that democracy is an illusion. It’s a virtue with no basis in our Arab world. Democracy in our great nation will result in a state of tyranny from the majority and the majority in our Arab nation are poor, illiterate, gullible people who do not know what is best for themselves so how could they ever know what’s best for the nation? Furthermore, all the great American thinkers and scholars have declared democracy to be a disaster in the US and that George W. Bush was not the elected leader so why do we load ourselves with more than we can bear when the most powerful nation in the world has failed to carry that burden? At least your majesties are bona fide monarchs and elected presidents for life in bona fide monarchies and republics. To each plant its own soil, your majesties, and the soil in our Arab land is not yet ripe for democracy.
Finally, I profess, your majesties, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to offer you my free expertise and counsel. My only motive is that of any loyal citizen- to serve my great and noble leaders in every possible way.
A loyal citizen