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The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Oct 16, 2010

The Arab League vs. the European Common Market

Recently, the heads of Arab states met in Surt, Libya (10/9/2010), to discuss an urgent agenda by the Arab League concerning problems in some Arab states. The discussion focused on Sudan and its southern problems, the Lebanese sectarian conflicts, the collapse of the Palestinian-Israeli peace discussions and other issues pertinent to the Arab League Charter. AS usual, the meeting reflected the usual rituals that have taken place for the last sixty years. All such activities by the Arab League and the political leadership of the Arab world is nothing but the usual ritual to deceive the Arab population and give them the impression that the political leadership is aware and concerned about what is going on in the region.

In reality, the Arab League in particular and the political leadership of the Arab world have been practicing a dangerous demagogue that led them nowhere. A political paralysis has been set since the creation of the Arab League, due to, among other things, the lack of professional experts to push for and implement some of the decisions that were agreed upon by the political leadership of the Arab world. For example certain agreements in the area of Arab economic market, defense, employment, education, and water and food security are among the issues that were dealt with during the past six decades. However, not a single significant issue was fully implemented. Let me use one example as a reference for the benefit of the readers: “free trade among the Arab states.” As of 2009, only 5% of all trades took place among Arab states and 95% with non-Arab states. The implementation of an Arab Common Market will create more investments at the regional level and create jobs for the many millions of unemployed young Arabs, including many college graduates. The ignorant Arab politicians are not aware of the fact that the unemployed, especially college graduates, are a walking time bomb. It should also be of interest to compare the Arab League, which was created in 1947, to the European Common Market, which emerged in 1957. The European Common Market’s current membership, as of 2010, is 25 member states with a common single economic market and one single currency adopted by 12 of the 25 member states. The European Common Market has created a single European economic region that extends its protection to its members against nonmembers by establishing fence-tariff against nonmembers.

The significant achievement of the European Common Market in various areas was not only limited to the economic field, but also the political sphere where the European Union created a parliament to reflect the equal representation of all members. Because of the language and cultural diversity of the 25 member states, they agreed that the 25 languages of the member states of the European Union would be officially recognized. All policies and decisions made by the institutions of the European Union are translated into all official languages of the member states. Furthermore, citizens of the member states will move freely from state to state and work without restriction. The European Common Market concept has been implemented due to the prevailing democratic institution in these states. The people vote freely and make the final decisions.

The Arab League, which consists of 22 member states whose populations speak the same language (Arabic) and have common cultural backgrounds and history has failed to accomplish and implement the Arab League Charter. They are still on ground zero and this is attributed to the absence of democratic rules. Authoritarian corrupt regimes in the Arab world are the obstacles to meaningful, constructive progress that will enable the region to catch up with the rest of the world.

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