IN times of major crises and tribulations that threaten the destiny of a state, democracy becomes a luxury. This is because the devil of betrayal and interests is found in the details of the argument which had brought down the Byzantine rule. It is completely irrational for countries to bicker about issues at a time when danger is on their doorsteps.
Instead, they should apply their abilities in combating such danger. In the wake of 9/11 incident, the president of the nation that is most sensitive in terms of democracy did not hesitate to take drastic measures despite the chaos which such actions might have brought in the US. Congress.
The then American President George Bush Jr lashed out his famous phrase, “You are either with us or against us”. This means he even put aside the international law and ordered his forces to attack Afghanistan. He ordered the opening of Guantanamo Bay Prison to detain anyone who was described as “an enemy of the state” by the US military authority.
Last year in France, which is considered to be one of the oldest democracies in Europe, the French President had ordered emergency laws immediately after the series of attacks that took place in Paris. This is despite the fact that the level of danger witnessed in France was lesser than that in the US. In addition, the Prime Minister of Britain did not wait for parliamentary bickering to ensue after the attacks on the London Metro.
The government instead invoked one of the 16th century laws which punish extremists and those who transgress on the State Security. He did not turn to the opinions and campaigns waged by some of the mass information media. These countries with deeprooted sense of democracy had to set aside democracy when tribulations intensified around them. The head of the relevant state announced unofficial measures, which are guaranteed by the constitution of that country.
This is because, in order for a country to maintain its essence and security, it cannot succumb to political games and bickering on selfish interests which are based on democracy, especially in the Third World countries where only a form of democracy has been taken while the rest of it is in captivity of accusations, insults and transgression on the rights of people under the pretext of “freedom of expression”.
For instance, in Turkey, its president Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not wait for the outcome of parliamentary discussions when he felt danger coming from within in the form of a military coup which was threatening his country. Because the president exercised all his powers relentlessly, Turkey regained stability despite all the campaigns organized by countries and human rights organizations against him, which immediately were pushed aside after they witnessed the lurking danger. This is the main task of any leader who strives to protect his country and avoid chaos.
It is when the leader does not turn towards slogans or reports. Such a leader does not underestimate any kind of aggression because the ultimate goal of the latter is to take over all state domains and control them; in fact, to get hold of the rule. In the past decades, some of the Arab countries paid huge prices for holding on to the outer democratic façade while the pillars of the house were silently crumbling. There was division, killing, chaos and economic crisis which ended up in civil wars, just like in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Somalia. Today, the GCC countries are witnessing storms all around your house, thanks to some who are waiting for an opportunity to pounce on the rule.
Therefore, if some GCC leaders have already taken drastic measures to protect their countries, then completing that protection process necessitates them to be more aware of the lurking dangers. This is because experience has proven that betting more on democracy under the hope of ending tribulations will result in a loss, especially when the culprits are hiding evil agendas. The head of the authorities in any nation has the power to use all his/ her authorities which are completely guaranteed by the Constitution. That is the only way to escape from such predicament which could lead to the fall of the state. When that happens, there will neither be democracy nor freedom of expression or even the Constitution to talk about because of those who are striving to throw the country into the pit.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times