Why doesn't the West want democracy in the Middle East? - ATILLA YAYLA

Why doesn't the West want democracy in the Middle East?

The Arab Spring cheered up and excited the ones wanting liberal democracy to spread in the Middle East. The region, which almost never became affected by the three democracy waves in history, was finally going to meet with and equip democracy. The authoritative regimes, which are disrespectful towards human rights, were going to be removed. At the same time, this was going to mobilize the economic potential of the whole region. The communities of Arab countries, placed upon a region possessing one of the richest natural resources in the world, were going to get rid of hunger, poverty and misery. The welfare levels were going to be increased, and the increased regional economic cooperation and commerce were going to contribute towards the regional and global welfare and peace.

In short time, all these expectations turned into dreams. The Arab world, and thus, the axis country of the Arab Spring, Egypt, became a stage for a military coup d'état before the end of the Spring's third year. Mursi, who was elected through democratic elections, had been overthrown by Sisi. Thousands of people objected to it; however, they were slaughtered. Hundreds of people, mostly members of the Muslim Brotherhood, were imprisoned to execution after standing trial in bogus courts. As a result, Mursi had been sentenced to prison for 20 years. I see that, the ones, who are quite active when the matter is democracy in Turkey, are not saying a word or reacting against all this. Thus, those ones are failing their sincerity test in their democracy demand.

There should be many internal and external reasons for this first serious democracy attempt in Egypt and the Middle East. Civil society's insufficient development, lack of democratic politics experience, authoritarian color of the political culture, etc. are topping the list. However, there are also external reasons for the spring to end quickly and turn into winter. Some of them are related with regional countries, while the others are related with the West.

We know that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries – other than Qatar- supported the Sisi coup financially and spiritually. The anti-democratic Arab countries' protection towards the Egypt coup might be understood. I guess they didn't want the Egypt experience to become an example for their countries. They didn't want an Egypt, which would be growing economically by establishing a freedomist and democratic system. Israel was more or less in the same position.

What was difficult to explain was the attitude of the West. The West had provoked the coup in Egypt. They didn't refer to the coup as a coup. They parried the slaughters. In this way, they've betrayed the so called “Western values”. At the beginning of the paragraph, I've said that “it was difficult to explain the West's attitude”; however, maybe it's the easiest to explain. Western history shows that the record of Western countries is full of staggers and double standard behaviors on the matter of human rights.

Why? As far as I can see, there are two main reasons. The first one is; the attitude of despising other communities, especially Muslims, which is at least dominant in some Westerners. According to this mentality, Islam is failing to answer to democracy and the Muslims do not deserve a modern regime, like democracy. Westerners are scared that in case democracy works out in Islam countries, voter masses might elect leaders, who will not surrender to the West and instead challenge them. The West thinks that, in that case, their national interests will be damaged. According to them, working with dictatorships is easier. Once a dictator is persuaded or handled via blackmail, threats and oppression, it's easier to keep that country under control.

The West's double standard stance against Islam countries is nothing new. In the 1990s, the first example was seen. The Islamic Salvation Front (ISF), who won the first rounds of the democratic votes in Western Algeria, was not allowed to attain rulership with democratic ways. By provoking and encouraging the laicist circles, they've dragged the country to a civil war that caused the deaths of thousands of people. This attitude repeated in the Arab Spring. They invited the Sisi coup in Egypt. They even declared his coup as legitimate and even democratic.

While drawing attention to the West's refusal to democratic rights and processes for the sake of their double standards and national interests, I'm not claiming that the people living in Arab countries had no part in the failure and that everything had been designated by foreign interventions. Without a doubt, what will happen in a country in the long term is related with the residents of that country. However, the fact is that the West is willing to disregard the world dominion and democracy for the sake of national rights. All the analyses, which are conducted without taking this factor into consideration, are imprisoned to be lacking and misleading.


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