Disuasión de la democracia árabe

CAMBRIDGE – La falta de democracia en el mundo árabe es resultado de una alianza profana entre los intereses occidentales y los autócratas locales, justificada por lo que ambas partes denominan la “especificidad cultural.” En pocas palabras, ha sido mucho más fácil para Occidente hacer negocios en el Medio Oriente post colonial con regímenes no democráticos, a quienes les ha resultado útil el apoyo y reconocimiento occidental para marginar las fuerzas liberales y democráticas locales, aunque eso haya sentado las bases para la radicalización del Islam.

Ambas partes han utilizado el palo y la zanahoria para mantener esta alianza. Por ejemplo, el énfasis que ha hecho Occidente en los últimos años sobre la reforma y la democracia se ha utilizado muy a menudo como amenaza en la que el mensaje típico es: “Ayúdennos con Irak o ejerceremos presión por la democracia y los derechos humanos en su propio país.” Y la respuesta árabe es igual de amenazadora: “Dejen de presionarnos en el tema de la reforma o no cooperáremos en la “guerra contra el terrorismo”.

Otros dos asuntos importantes han mantenido los arreglos: Israel y el ascenso de los movimientos islámicos. En gran medida el público árabe considera a Israel como un extraño y una entidad ilegítima impuesta por la fuerza en territorio palestino con el apoyo occidental. Si esta percepción se canalizara democráticamente y se permitiera que definiera las políticas de los países árabes hacia Israel, toda negociación de paz sería aún más complicada de lo que actualmente son.

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