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THE American writer James Freeman said, “A politician is one who thinks about the upcoming elections. A statesman is one who thinks about the future generations.” To the description of a statesman, we want to add, “ … and works for it. He is therefore in the midst of the battle, following every affair of the country.”
This is due to the fact that mere thinking and good intentions do not make a state if it is not accompanied by firm decisions based on adequate studies, and men who are able to implement those decisions without any hesitation. However, if officials distance themselves and leave the matter to the unqualified and those who operate on a game of chances, then the state begins to decline.
One of the most dangerous matters is that state officials are isolated from their people due to which they do not see, hear or speak. This increases speculations of the political components that seek to achieve private gains for themselves at the expense of the public interest. With time, these demands become rights that cannot be overcome in light of weak state decisions. We in the Arab world have many examples of this kind, which led to the weakening of states.
In fact, some of those states have disintegrated and some others have failed. However, there are countries that withstood all storms, rose quickly, and even achieved what others were unable to achieve, including some Arabian Gulf countries that were given dexterous leaders who follow every small and big thing in their countries, and do not leave matters to chance, or to amateurs and officials who are not qualified for the positions.
We have repeatedly talked about countries in Asia and the West that turned into economic tigers and an active force in civilization through responsible decisions by adopting the principle of placing the right man in the right place, i.e. the so-called “technocrats”. This principle is unfortunately absent today in the minds of those concerned with forming the government after politics took precedence over specialization.
In fact, this is what is slowly killing Kuwait, which has endured many experiments, ministerial quotas, and parliamentary-governmental deals that have caused great damage economically, socially, and politically, and is now affecting its role in the region and the world.
Those who do not learn from the experiences of others end up paying double the price. This fact should be in the mind of every official who seeks to get out of the predicament experienced by Kuwait. This country does not need terms produced by sectarian, family and tribal quotas, which led to the failure of countries, such as in Lebanon, Iraq and Somalia. These should serve as everlasting examples for us, as the ship of the state has fallen in the custody of several captains, each of whom seeks to turn the rudder for his own benefit.
Therefore we ask – What does the term “political government” mean? Where are the parties, forces and components that will be represented? Will it be able to work and produce, or will it turn into a “Loya Jirga” where tribal chiefs and political and religious leaders and others gather for consultation? Or is it the government of the State of Kuwait that is required to work on solving the country’s problems?
James Freeman was right when he said: “A statesman thinks of future generations.” This is what we need in Kuwait today.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times