How 9/11 Triggered the Arab Spring


Scientific Essay, 2013
8 Pages

Excerpt

Abstract:

Much ink has been spilt over the study of the causes and reasons behind the rise of the Arab people in what was called the “Arab spring” or the “Arab awakening” after decades of stagnancy and silence. All attempts have been overwhelmed and distorted by the concurrent conditions of the Arab world in relation to its social, political and cultural structure. Despite the fact that the Arab revolutions that swept important Arab countries by the beginning of 2011 from North Africa to the Middle East fall under such criteria, still the causes and roots of these uprisings at this very moment indicate some inherent potential drives that are the result of years of simmering. Even more strikingly, the underpinnings of the Arab revolutions can be traced also to a distrust of people in their governments and a deep understanding of the new world order triggered by the 9/11 events and the invasion of Iraq. This paper traces the impact of the 9/11 events on the Arab mindset ever since the Iraq war and how it resulted in the turmoil of the Arab revolutions.

Keywords: 9/11, Arab spring, autocratic regimes, revolution, political Islam, democracy

Introduction

Much ink has been spilt over the study of the causes and reasons behind the rise of the Arab people in what was called the “Arab spring” or the “Arab awakening”[i] after decades of stagnancy and silence. All attempts have been overwhelmed and distorted by the concurrent conditions of the Arab world in relation to its social, political and cultural structure. Some argue that it was the inevitable reaction of oppressed people to a systematic exclusion from their authoritative governments and imbalance in living opportunities and the precarious conditions, while others argue that that was the outcome of outside maneuvers from western countries for the end purpose of dividing the Arab countries into smaller states that could be managed easily. The foreign interference seeks to undermine security and stability and spread chaos and confusion in the Arabic countries as part of the Jewish expansion plan. And last but not the least, the effects of Globalization[ii] and Americanization were the locomotives to a new era known as neo-colonialism.

Throughout history, popular unrest and uprising stemmed from a whole host of reasons. The first main drive involves oppression and terrorism and the second revolves around colonization. At times, the public would be subjected to an absolute state of terror and violence. Occasionally, repressed native populations would rise against colonial forces to reclaim back their freedom and properties from the colonizers. One can find reasons for quite a few revolutions just by looking at the history of economic vulnerability, social heterogeneity, and human rights. However, one substantial common thread that underpins nearly every revolution in history: the subjugation of the common, poor, working people. Their economic welfare and social lives were subjected to relatively deplorable levels of nihilism and degradation.

Despite the fact that the Arab revolutions that swept important Arab countries by the -beginning of 2011 from North Africa to the Middle East (still going on in Syria and Yemen) fall under such criteria, still the causes and roots of these uprisings at this very moment indicate some inherent potential drives that are the result of years of simmering. Although one can admit the precarious economic and social conditions in which the Arab populations had been living for about three decades or more, many world and regional issues still tied the Arabs together around their leaders: the Palestinian question, the pro-Arab unity movements and Islam and were also the driving force that boosted the revolt.

Internal Distrust

Even more strikingly, the underpinnings of the Arab revolutions can be traced also to a distrust of people in their governments and a deep understanding of the new world order triggered by the 9/11 events and the invasion of Iraq. The ordinary matters of living conditions and human rights were the main common causes of public distrust in and resent of Arab governments since the 1990s with the fall of the price of oil in the world market and the end of the Cold War with the triumph of capitalism and its consequences on the political, economic and social life. The economic recession and the failure of previous regimes in improving conditions for their people and the failure to guarantee prosperity and development economically, scientifically and administratively, resulted in poverty, unemployment, high prices and more importantly intensified the already growing gap between the rich and the poor.

The triumph of capitalism led many Arab leaders whether by choice or by incitement from international organizations (IMF and WTO and World Bank) and western governments to adopt a process of privatization of the state owned companies leaving a large margin for businessmen, capitalists and opportunists to accumulate wealth and monopolize the economy. Arab autocrats struck a deal with big segments of their middle class, which had slowly begun to expand in the post–Cold War era of liberal economics while the West turned a blind eye to such despotism as long as the despots provided stability and kept the oil flowing. But the stability established by this mutual back scratching came at the price of popular frustration that found an anti-Western and anti-American channel that culminated in the 9/11 attack. This event and the ongoing “War on Terrorism” have been also used as an excuse to increase the violation of the human rights.

[...]


[i] As labeled by Aljazeera TV channels.

[ii] Globalization was widely equated with US economic, moral, and cultural power around the world.

Excerpt out of 8 pages

Details

Title
How 9/11 Triggered the Arab Spring
Course
American Civilization
Author
Year
2013
Pages
8
Catalog Number
V276367
ISBN (eBook)
9783656698333
ISBN (Book)
9783656700289
File size
458 KB
Language
English
Tags
9/11, Arab spring, autocratic regimes, revolution, political Islam, democracy
Quote paper
Abdelkrim Dekhakhena (Author), 2013, How 9/11 Triggered the Arab Spring, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/276367

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