By SCOTT ANDERSON
Reviewed by ALEX VON TUNZELMANN
Historians have never known what to make of this scholar, writer, soldier and imperialist.
The Arab spring
Has it failed?
Despite the chaos, the blood and the democratic setbacks, this is a long process. Do not give up hope
No wonder some have come to think the Arab spring is doomed. The Middle East, they argue, is not ready to change. One reason is that it does not have democratic institutions, so people power will decay into anarchy or provoke the reimposition of dictatorship. The other is that the region’s one cohesive force is Islam, which—it is argued—cannot accommodate democracy. The Middle East, they conclude, would be better off if the Arab spring had never happened at all.
That view is at best premature, at worst wrong. Democratic transitions are often violent and lengthy. The worst consequences of the Arab spring—in Libya initially, in Syria now—are dreadful. Yet as our special report argues, most Arabs do not want to turn the clock back.
Putting the cart before the camelThose who say that the Arab spring has failed ignore the long winter before, and its impact on people’s lives. In 1960 Egypt and South Korea shared similar life-expectancy and GDP per head. Today they inhabit different worlds. Although many more Egyptians now live in cities and three-quarters of the population is literate, GDP per head is only a fifth of South Korea’s. Poverty and stunting from malnutrition are far too common. The Muslim Brotherhood’s brief and incompetent government did nothing to reverse this, but Egypt’s deeper problems were aggravated by the strongmen who preceded them. And many other Arab countries fared no better.
This matters, because, given the Arab spring’s uneven progress, many say the answer is authoritarian modernisation: an Augusto Pinochet, Lee Kuan Yew or Deng Xiaoping to keep order and make the economy grow. Unlike South-East Asians, the Arabs can boast no philosopher-king who has willingly nurtured democracy as his economy has flourished. Instead, the dictator’s brothers and the first lady’s cousins get all the best businesses. And the despots—always wary of stirring up the masses—have tended to duck the big challenges of reform, such as gradually removing the energy subsidies that in Egypt alone swallow 8% of GDP. Even now the oil-rich monarchies are trying to buy peace; but as an educated and disenfranchised youth sniffs freedom, the old way of doing things looks ever more impossible, unless, as in Syria, the ruler is prepared to shed vast amounts of blood to stay in charge. Some of the more go-ahead Arab monarchies, for example in Morocco, Jordan and Kuwait, are groping towards constitutional systems that give their subjects a bigger say.
Fine, some will reply, but Arab democracy merely leads to rule by the Islamists, who are no more capable of reform than the strongmen, and thanks to the intolerance of political Islam, deeply undemocratic. Muhammad Morsi, the Muslim Brother evicted earlier this month by the generals at the apparent behest of many millions of Egyptians in the street, was democratically elected, yet did his best to flout the norms of democracy during his short stint as president. Many secular Arabs and their friends in the West now argue that because Islamists tend to regard their rule as God-given, they will never accept that a proper democracy must include checks, including independent courts, a free press, devolved powers and a pluralistic constitution to protect minorities.
This too, though, is wrong. Outside the Arab world, Islamists—in Malaysia and Indonesia, say—have shown that they can learn the habit of democracy. In Turkey too, the protests against the autocratic but elected prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have more in common with Brazil than the Arab spring. Turkey, for all its faults, is more democratic today than it was when the army lurked in the background.
The problem, then, is with Arab Islamists. That is hardly surprising. They have been schooled by decades of repression, which their movements survived only by being conspiratorial and organised. Their core supporters are a sizeable minority in most Arab countries. They cannot be ignored, and must instead be absorbed into the mainstream.
That is why Egypt’s coup is so tragic. Had the Muslim Brotherhood remained in power, they might have learned the tolerance and pragmatism needed for running a country. Instead, their suspicions about democratic politics have been confirmed. Now it is up to Tunisia, the first of the Arab countries to throw off the yoke of autocracy, to show that Arab Islamists can run countries decently. It might just do that: it is on its way to getting a constitution that could serve as the basis of a decent, inclusive democracy. If the rest of the Arab world moves in that direction, it will take many years to do so.
That would not be surprising, for political change is a long game. Hindsight tends to smooth over the messy bits of history. The transition from communism, for instance, looks easy in retrospect. Yet three years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Europe was overrun by criminal mafias; extremist politicians were prominent in Poland, Slovakia and the Baltics; the Balkans were about to degenerate into war and there was fighting in Georgia. Even now, most people in the old Soviet bloc live under repressive regimes—yet few want to go back.
Don’t hold back the tideThe Arab spring was always better described as an awakening: the real revolution is not so much in the street as in the mind. The internet, social media, satellite television and the thirst for education—among Arab women as much as men—cannot co-exist with the deadening dictatorships of old. Egyptians, among others, are learning that democracy is neither just a question of elections nor the ability to bring millions of protesters onto the street. Getting there was always bound to be messy, even bloody. The journey may take decades. But it is still welcome.
中東地區自古以來就是多事的地方。本書裡邊說的是第一次世界大戰期間阿拉伯人配合英國人擺脫土耳其帝國統治的故事。這可以說是中東現代史的第一幕。從那個 時候起到第二次世界大戰結束是第二幕。一九四八年以色列國登場，中東現代史進入第三幕。黎巴嫩內戰和伊朗伊拉克戰爭爆發的不是標志著新的一幕的開始，還得 等著瞧。
本書的后紀里講到伊拉克和外約旦這兩個受英國保護的阿拉伯國家建立起來為止。除這兩國之外，敘利亞和黎嫩是法國“委任統治地”，巴勒斯坦是英國的“委任統 治地”，這都是巴黎和會的決定。敘利亞的阿拉伯人一直不服法國人的統治，不斷起來反抗，但是沒用，直到二次大戰才獲得正式獨立。巴勒斯坦除阿拉伯人不服英 國統治外，又增加了一個新的不安定的因素——猶太復國主義。
內 塔尼亞胡在白宮與美國總統奧巴馬舉行會談後共同會見記者時說，他和奧巴馬都認為「基於錯誤觀念的和平最終都將撞上中東現實的岩石」，而他認為要實現和平， 巴勒斯坦人必須接受一些「基本現實」：一是儘管以色列準備為實現和平作出「慷慨妥協」，但不能退回到1967年戰爭以前的邊界線；二是以色列不能與一個得 到巴勒斯坦伊斯蘭抵抗運動（哈馬斯）支持的巴勒斯坦政府談判，巴勒斯坦民族權力機構主席阿巴斯必須作出「簡單的選擇」——要麼維持與哈馬斯的協議，要麼與以色列講和；三是巴勒斯坦難民問題必須在巴勒斯坦國框架內、而非以色列境內加以解決。
奧 巴馬19日就西亞北非問題發表講話，呼籲以色列和巴勒斯坦以1967年戰爭前邊界線為基礎展開談判，從而為兩國確立「安全並獲得承認的邊界」。他還闡述了 對以巴安全安排的構想，提出未來巴勒斯坦國必須實現非軍事化，以色列軍隊則逐步並完全撤離所佔領土。內塔尼亞胡在奧巴馬講話後當即發表聲明說，讓以色列退 回到1967年邊界意味著災難。
"沙漠革命記" Revolt in the Desert, 是 "智慧七柱"Seven Pillars of Wisdom 的摘要 (近半)
他採取摘譯 --聯結和後續處 ( 後紀 債 一章)， 都參考專書.....
Proverbs 共 31 章
- 誰是無知的，請轉身到這裏來! 」她對愚鈍的人說：「
- 你們應放棄無知，好使你們得以生存，並在明智的道路上邁進。」 智慧勸告世人
- 你若有智慧，你必蒙受其惠；你若是輕狂也只有自食其果。 愚昧邀人赴宴
- 誰是無知的，請轉身到這裏來! 」她向愚鈍的人說：「
http://www.answers.com/topic/t-e-lawrenceLieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO (16 August 1888 – 19 May 1935), known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18. The extraordinary breadth and variety of his activities and associations, and his ability to describe them vividly in writing, earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, a title popularised by the 1962 film based on his First World War activities.
Aug 16, 1888. British soldier, archaeologist and writer, born at Tremadoc, North Wales. During WWI, led the Arab revolt against the Turks and served as a spy for the British. His book, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, is a personal account of the Arab revolt. He was killed in a motorcycle accident at Dorset, England, May 19, 1935.
- Seven Pillars of Wisdom, 1926
- Revolt in the Desert, 1926
- The Mint, first edition 1936, 1955
- Crusader Castles, thesis
- The Letters of T. E. Lawrence
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