domingo, mayo 08, 2005

Democracia en Oriente Medio: ¿un problema de madurez?

Un prejuicio muy extendido, o al menos muy extendido a raíz de la intervención de las fuerzas aliadas en Irak, es que la democracia no puede ser impuesta a determinados pueblos y sociedades, que están en un grado de maduración insuficiente para aceptarla así, de sopetón. De modo muy notorio y también muy insólito, esta idea parece prender con gran facilidad entre la izquierda.
Foreign Affairs publica un extenso y riguroso estudio de Bernard Lewis (vía A Dayly briefing on Iran) precisamente en relación con este asunto, desmontando la falsa impresión de que la intervención liderada por EE.UU. en Irak ha sido un error, entre otras cosas, porque no puede crearse un régimen de libertades allí, en Oriente Medio, tierra que, según los defensores de esta tesis, estaría condenada a una especie de dictadura perpetua.
Lewis demuestra que dicho prejuicio se funda en una profunda ignorancia de la historia, tanto como en el desprecio por el presente y el futuro de los países de la zona, y aporta datos importantes en relación con la formación del clima favorable a la tiranía, el nacionalismo y el belicismo que ha presidido su historia reciente.
The second stage of political upheaval in the Middle East can be dated with precision. In 1940, the government of France surrendered to Nazi Germany. A new collaborationist government was formed and established in a watering place called Vichy, and General Charles de Gaulle moved to London and set up a Free French committee. The French empire was beyond the reach of the Germans at that point, and the governors of the French colonies and dependencies were free to decide: they could stay with Vichy or rally to de Gaulle. Vichy was the choice of most of them, and in particular the rulers of the French-mandated territory of Syria-Lebanon, in the heart of the Arab East. This meant that Syria-Lebanon was wide open to the Nazis, who moved in and made it the main base of their propaganda and activity in the Arab world.

It was at that time that the ideological foundations of what later became the Baath Party were laid, with the adaptation of Nazi ideas and methods to the Middle Eastern situation. The nascent party's ideology emphasized pan-Arabism, nationalism, and a form of socialism. The party was not officially founded until April 1947, but memoirs of the time and other sources show that the Nazi interlude is where it began. From Syria, the Germans and the proto-Baathists also set up a pro-Nazi regime in Iraq, led by the famous, and notorious, Rashid Ali al-Gailani [...]
There are, of course, several obvious hindrances to the development of democratic institutions in the Middle East. The first and most obvious is the pattern of autocratic and despotic rule currently embedded there. Such rule is alien, with no roots in either the classical Arab or the Islamic past, but it is by now a couple of centuries old and is well entrenched, constituting a serious obstacle[...]
There are also other positive influences at work, sometimes in surprising forms. Perhaps the single most important development is the adoption of modern communications[...]
A parallel process is already beginning in the Islamic countries of the Middle East. Even some of the intensely and unscrupulously propagandist television programs that now infest the airwaves contribute to this process, indirectly and unintentionally, by offering a diversity of lies that arouse suspicion and questioning. Television also brings to the peoples of the Middle East a previously unknown spectacle -- that of lively and vigorous public disagreement and debate. In some places, young people even watch Israeli television. In addition to seeing well-known Israeli public figures "banging the table and screaming at each other" (as one Arab viewer described it with wonderment), they sometimes see even Israeli Arabs arguing in the Knesset, denouncing Israeli ministers and policies -- on Israeli television. The spectacle of a lively, vibrant, rowdy democracy at work, notably the unfamiliar sight of unconstrained, uninhibited, but orderly argument between conflicting ideas and interests, is having an impact [...]

The creation of a democratic political and social order in Iraq or elsewhere in the Middle East will not be easy. But it is possible, and there are increasing signs that it has already begun. At the present time there are two fears concerning the possibility of establishing a democracy in Iraq. One is the fear that it will not work, a fear expressed by many in the United States and one that is almost a dogma in Europe; the other fear, much more urgent in ruling circles in the Middle East, is that it will work. Clearly, a genuinely free society in Iraq would constitute a mortal threat to many of the governments of the region, including both Washington's enemies and some of those seen as Washington's allies.

The end of World War II opened the way for democracy in the former Axis powers. The end of the Cold War brought a measure of freedom and a movement toward democracy in much of the former Soviet domains. With steadfastness and patience, it may now be possible at last to bring both justice and freedom to the long-tormented peoples of the Middle East.


El prejuicio de que la democracia (y todo lo que la democracia suele llevar consigo: el poder controlado, el régimen de libertades, el respeto a los derechos humanos, el capitalismo) no puede ser exportada, y mucho menos en un plazo reducido de tiempo, a ciertos países, además de haberse constituido de forma coyuntural en un mantra más de los que se han esgrimido en contra de los EE.UU. y su política de intervención en Oriente Medio pertenece, de un modo sustantivo, a una cosmovisión muy propia de la izquierda: elitista, tendente a considerar a los individuos como menores de edad desde un punto de vista social, necesitados de una casta superior y vagamente omnisciente capaz de gobernarles. Cosmovisión que se ha demostrado, siempre que ha sido puesta a prueba, aparte profundamente antihumana, clamorosamente falsa. Los iraquíes, cuando los coletazos del régimen de terror de Saddam Husein dejen de emponzoñar su existencia común, contribuirán a reforzar esa demostración; es de esperar que los iraníes sigan pronto su mismo camino.


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posted by Freelance at 6:28:00 p. m.