Bariatwan in this this note raises the question of what democracy can mean for the PLO. The problem I have with Bush's plan to implant democracy in the Middle East is that it takes a whole generation of people educated into what it means for it to work. Rwanda, once it became a "democracy" simply turned into a country in which those in power could organize their own genicide against the minority population. Now the tables are turned and Rwanda again claims to be a democacy -- in which the latest elections gave over 98% of the votes to one side [??]. What kind of democracy will Iraq actually be, once there are elections? My fear is that the lust of the Shiites [the majority] to pay the Sunnis back for what they had to put up with under Saddam could actually result in another round of oppression and exploitation. RLC
Published on Sunday, November 14, 2004 by the Observer/UK
Why I Fear for the Dream of My Life
by Abdul Bariatwan
I was born 54 years ago in a refugee camp in
My parents' abiding dream was to go back to the farm and mud-brick house in Ashoud, their sleepy home town on the
Yasser Arafat worked very hard for 40 years towards the independent Palestinian state he longed for, yet never saw. Despite his mistakes, he brought this dream closer. He brought the Palestinian cause into the global arena and the resolution of this struggle is now of enormous significance in determining the security of the world, not only the
I was deeply saddened by Arafat's death, not only because I knew him personally, but also because Arafat, like my parents, spent his life in transit, from
Last Friday, George W Bush and his closest ally, Tony Blair assured us that we would see such a state within the next four years - but we have heard this story before. Before the invasion of
The American project in
This is the climate in which Bush and Blair have revived the notion ofThis is the climate in which Bush and Blair have revived the notion of an independent Palestinian state - without a single indication of how this will be achieved.
Bush asserts that an independent Palestinian state must be a democracy. But what constitutes democracy in this lexicon? Will this concept simply become a useful tool, replacing Arafat as justification for Israeli atrocities, delays to the peace process and the establishment of a Palestinian state? In 1996, Arafat was elected leader in an election supervised by US and
Abdul Bariatwan is editor of al Quds Daily Newspaper
(c) 2004 Guardian Newspapers, Ltd.