Friday, March 4, 2011

EUROPEAN UNION - Deaf and blind to the cries of the Arab world

I belong to a generation that has had the privilege to witness live in four major waves of democratization in southern Europe (Greece, Portugal and Spain) in Eastern Europe, subject to such schemes Soviet in many Latin American countries, long after the fall of military dictatorships, and finally today in the Arab world, unless things do go wrong.

Revolts in North Africa coincide with the 30th anniversary of "23-F" [failed coup of February 23, 1981 in Spain]. This commemoration should remind us that everything would have happened otherwise and that democratic transitions are always unpredictable and difficult. Spain should know how to transmit his experience to countries embedded in such processes, which require a sure sense of the objectives, timing and power relations.

Alas, Spain does nothing. The most basic democratic sensibility would like a government that deploys so much energy to commemorate the 23-F takes a different attitude than the thickest silence and inaction as pathetic face of what is happening in North Africa . Thus, we have a Minister of Foreign Affairs [Trinidad Jimenez] who never takes a position because she is always late of information.

This prompts two reflections: first, 30 years later, our democratic sensibility is totally dull and secondly, we commemorate the 23-F with a tribal culture, without a thought for those who today are fighting for democracy. Certainly, our government can take comfort in thinking that he is not alone in being perplexed, because that is the case of the European Union.

So far, it was fitting to flatter the dictators: this policy has already lapsed infects so much our politicians they do not know what to say or what to do. That is simply outrageous. Their antennae are democratic so out of whack they are unable to recognize their allies in the Arab world crisis? Spain, like Europe, behaves in a democracy worn, paranoid and hypochondriac, deprived of empathy with the insurgents, unable to play any role orientation and support democratic transitions.

Governments, and much of the elite, are entangled in lies and myths they have themselves fed and they have come to believe. The myth of the unity of the Arab world and Islam more generally, which is to deny the enormous differences between the cultures of the countries concerned. The myth of the incompatibility of civilizations, which, as pointed out by Amartya Sen, reduces our identity to one religion.

The myth of the influence of al-Qaeda and Islamism, exaggerated to better justify the war against terrorism, however, declined substantially in recent years in the Muslim world. Blinded by these illusions, paralyzed by the energy dependence and other economic, Spain and its neighbors react with the fortress mentality that is so damaging to Europe.

Whatever the fate of Arab citizens who sent their governments on the ropes. The only important immigration, Islamism and terrorism. Regardless of whether immigration is a consequence of the situation in which people maintained their despots. No matter that Islamism and terrorism have served as an alibi for the perpetuation of these criminal regimes.

Long ago that fear has gripped our governments. Do not forget that this is the current governor of Ceuta and Melilla which made impassable fences [the two Spanish enclaves on Moroccan territory]. The reaction of Spain - and Europe - betrays the dilapidated state of our democracy. These citizens, so often seen from here as outcasts, fighting for freedom while our democracies recoil a little more each day: at the same time, they put us in our true face.

Those who govern us do not realize the profound unease that runs through Spain and Europe. It is no coincidence that, in France, the pamphlet of a nonagenarian who invited the French to be indignant has sold over a million copies. This unease will eventually burst into the open. Perhaps then the European governments will they understand how they are ridiculed.

I suspect that the next stage of the revolution of social networks will be Europe.

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