"Today we are better off than under the monstrous dictatorship." This was stated by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who could not celebrate the ten-year anniversary of Saddam Hussein's toppling. Indeed, Baghdad remained silent on this occasion, as the government, which is less unjust than Saddam's regime, was preoccupied with an executions campaign whose justness is the object of doubts.
Between a dictatorship and a less dictatorial tyranny that will last for a while, neither the Arabs' situation during their spring nor the Iraqis' situation a decade after Saddam's fall is revealing that the hefty price that was paid is enough to launch a transitional phase, setting the foundations for the recognition of the rights of the other oppositionist as the only way to ensure stability and end the killing.
And while the difference is major between the circumstances in which Saddam was toppled – as the first Arab ruler deposed by foreign forces in modern history – and those that surrounded the toppling of Mubarak, Ben Ali, Gaddafi and Ali Saleh via the spring revolutions, one must say that the Iranian umbrella and American partnership enjoyed by Al-Maliki's authority did not prevent him from falling in the trap of this neo-tyranny. Hence, Nouri's stay at the head of the Cabinet became synonymous with the stay of the state and its federation, while the sacrificing of 120,000 civilians who have been killed since Baghdad's fall in the hands of the Americans became a small price for what they dub "the political process."
Through simple math, it turns out that the killing rate in the Land of the Two Rivers was of 1,000 victims every month. In other words, it is still higher than the rate of those being killed now by the bombs, tanks, airborne rockets and sniper bullets in Syria. In Damascus, the revolutionaries are terrorists, and in Baghdad, whoever opposes Al-Maliki is a terrorist encouraging Al-Qaeda's operations and explosions.
In Syria, there is an extermination war whose tragedies are being watched by the West, and in Iraq, there is an executions campaign wringing the necks of the suspicious to prevent the return of the Baath ghosts. In the meantime, Hamas appears to be very sensitive after a bitter experience in power, as it is now distancing itself from the torture suspicions and settling for the punishment of young men by cutting their hair on the street.
In light of the revolution in Syria and the war on Iraq, the question was always and still is the following: Are the Arab opposition movements unable to change or topple regimes without foreign support? And in Tunisia's and Egypt's case, is the opposition still able to topple the monopolization practiced by Ennahda and the Muslim Brotherhood over power and the transitional phase, after they seized control over the outcome of the revolution?
At this level, it is as important to monitor the retreat of the spring symbols on the street following the shocking rise of political Islam to power and the attempts to shape the institutions in a unilateral way, thus causing the dissipation – once again – of the bitter question related to the replacement of one tyrant with many others, who are trading with religion following the bankruptcy of familial republics.
Let us say with Al-Maliki that we are better off today, the biggest proof for this being the booby-trapped cars and assassinations in Iraq, the wave of Takfir in Tunisia and Egypt, the kidnappings and propagation of militias in Libya, the defense of people's right in public and their instigation against each other in secret, the displacement of the revolutionary youth, the pillaging of the institutions, the sanctioning of the unemployed with anti-rioting squads and the pursuit of women through harassment and rape, in a way pushing them to seek refuge from terrorism by expressing nostalgia towards the security enjoyed under the tyrannical regimes.
Let us say with Al-Maliki that we are better off, considering that only ten tons of gold were stolen from the Iraqi Central Bank ten years after the toppling of the nightmare that was Saddam, while the regime that is based on quotas is leaving no other option for the Kurds but to threaten with secession to appease the endless crises.
Let us say with Ismail Haniyeh that we are better off, considering that there is not one Palestinian in Gaza without a job and that the appearance etiquette requires the shaving of people's heads. Let us be convinced with Gannouchi that Tunisia is better off, even in light of the repeated attacks on the students, women and children.
As for President Muhammad Morsi, he has probably not yet been given the opportunity to convince us that Egypt's status is not pitied by the enemy, before the friends and brothers.
On the other hand, the Syrian people's situation will definitely not be better once the Al-Qaeda organization in Iraq interferes to incorporate its so-called Syrian branch, i.e. Al-Nusra Front, to the Islamic state project. That way, the regime in Damascus will be given a new boot, on the sidelines of the Russian-Iranian support and the West's indifference towards the horrific predicament.
And once Al-Nusra Front makes up its mind and pledges allegiance to the leader of the mother Al-Qaeda organization, i.e. Ayman al-Zawahiri, there will be no hope of seeing the Syrian National Coalition change the West's mind, knowing that the latter is opposed to the arming of the opposition and giving the Syrians a choice between the brutality of tyranny and the massacres by use of booby-trapped cars.
Between this and that scenario, the revolution has become the hostage of anarchy.