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Has the 'fall' of Arab counter-revolutions begun?

February 25, 2015 at 3:53 pm

For every revolution there is a fall, including counter-revolutions. The last few weeks have revealed signs that that indicate that the counter-revolutions that recently sprung into existence are currently in a state of crisis and may be going into the “autumn” stage. The events that have taken place in the Arab world over the course of the last two years show us that the road to change will be long and arduous but that it will continue despite efforts to abort revolutionary change.

On the one hand, the changes that took place in the region did not work in favour of those who actually attempted and still attempt to bring an end to the Arab Spring. We have often referred to these changes by pointing out the alliances and tactical changes that have occurred in the region as of late; however, the counter-revolution has not been able to achieve any of its goals for the region, which include stopping the call for change and excluding Islamist parties from the political scene.

Despite the decline in the demand for change in the region, due to the oppression and tyranny that has become rampant in the region as well as the lack of hope among the people, there is still the sentiment that there is no way out of the revolutionary project that started four years ago and that the efforts that were made cannot go to waste.

The Islamists have withstood the attempts to eradicate them from the region’s political scene and we now find ourselves living in a region where there is no stability in the countries that were hit by the Arab Spring. There is no end to the chaos in sight. One thing that we must note from this is the response of the international community. It appears as though the western world now feels as though the counter-revolutionary regimes have become a burden on them and this sentiment is clearly evident when looking at how the west refused to obey Egypt’s demands with regards to the situation in Libya.

The events that have taken place over the course of the past few weeks have reshuffled the cards in the region, and pushed the parties of the counter-revolution to re-evaluate their positions and their relationships with each other. For example, it seems that at present the relations between the Egyptian regime and some of its supporters in the Gulf are no longer as they were a few months ago, especially after the recent leaks that revealed the level of contempt that General Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi had for the GCC and its tremendous wealth.

In fact, Al-Sisi tried to apologise for his comments in a speech he made two days ago and emphasised that there are still many shared interests between the two sides. Al-Sisi’s contempt and frustration, which were evident in his recent remarks, reveal that there is a sizable internal crisis in Egypt that may lead to some sort of an explosion soon. For the first time since the July 2013 coup, we have begun to hear several leaders in the Gulf criticise Al-Sisi and call for a halt in economic aid and political support for his regime. There are explicit and clear demands coming from intellectual circles in the Gulf that are calling for the need for the GCC to re-consider its relationship with Al-Sisi and to resist yielding to internal or external pressure.

Yet, the struggle between revolutionary and counter-revolutionary forces seems to be more pronounced when it comes to the case of Yemen. After months of alliance between the Houthis and the remnants of the former regime, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who sought to pre-empt the Yemeni revolution and seize power, the situation soon changed after the departure of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to Aden after he declared his refusal of the Houthi coup. There seems to be rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and anti-Houthi parties in Yemen, which are being led by a bloc coalition that is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. A delegation from this coalition visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a few days ago.

Perhaps what is making the region more unstable is the overlapping of the situations in these countries with one another, that is that the situations in Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Libya are no longer confined or isolated incidents but have begun to overlap with other countries and with one another. Therefore, we must use all of our wisdom and good conscious to form the proper alliances that would ensure the benefit of all. After all, Al-Sisi conceived that it would be possible to clone the Egyptian model in Libya, which was rejected, not only the major countries not only in the region but throughout the world, but also other important regional countries, such as Tunisia and Algeria.

The regions inability to confront and eradicate extremist forces such as ISIS not only reveals the extent of our limited military options but also shows that we have limited security and knowledge on how to deal with such savage organisations. The reality on the ground also confirms that we need intelligent and moderate forces to balance out impact of these organisations.

In other words, whoever thinks that the battle or conflict between revolutions for freedom and counter-revolutions may resolve themselves with one in favour of the other is gravely mistaken. On the contrary, the conflict has entered a new stage of shuffling papers and accounts. They will not win a battle which will work in favour of the aspirations of the people and their hopes and their desire to live in societies based on freedom, justice and human dignity.

This article was first published by Al-Araby Al-Jadid.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.