Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Comment by me posted June 21, 2011, CNN World

Egyptians revolted for better government, the end of cronyism, and equal opportunity for economic advancement. It requires everyone to realize that the old established mentalities must change. Above all, the time and mental adjustment needed to provide solutions that the various old and new power bases can agree upon is very short. The method needed to kick start such dramatic change is to take the goals of the revolution and add one more key requirement. Egypt, Tunisia, the Libyan rebels, Jordan and the Palestinians need to realize that the most effective solution to all their current problems and to reset the mindset of all involved to move forward is to start now to create one unified country. Egyptians and Tunisians joining the Libyan rebels would provide a local self directed solution to that current conflict. Having Palestinians join with the other 4 nationalities in the creation of one new single sovereign people would perhaps go a long way towards finding a lasting solution to that decades old debacle. A single, much enlarged country would provide a great solution to the inability of the police to act. Key early decisions such as being a constitutional monarchy, perhaps the first Prime Minister being a Palestinian, the national capital at Al Bayda Libya and a Tunisian as the head of the armed forces are what are going to be needed to make it all truly work. Send Egyptian police to Libya, Jordan etc to be replace by their counterparts from those areas. The same is true of military personnel from western Libya. For all of the various factions from all the countries to come together to form a constitution agreeable to all would, in my mind, create the sort of document and ideals needed to indeed move forward. I think the idea of the Egyptian, Jordanian, Tunisian et al military elite would jump and the chance to create a single much larger, more effective entity. This could allow them to monitor but support civilian rule to take hold. The business elite? The possible end to military and political strife throughout the united country would provide investment and business opportunities only dreamed of in the past. One single common market, currency and freedom of movement would provide job opportunities for millions. And importantly at a rapid pace. Even the promise of such a united country might also provide the Syrians with a viable alternative to the Assad family and the uncertainty of what would replace such a regime. Again the ability to move government and military workers to other parts of the expanded country could again defuse what would otherwise be a long and protracted cycle of retribution. Finally it would provide a completely new dynamic to the goals of a Palestinian/Israeli peace initiative. Tinkering with land swaps on both sides of the 1967 line could include instead the provision to swap for everything below the 30th parallel to a newly united country. A single metroplex comprised of Taba, Eilat and Aqaba as a transportation and tourist hub is but one glimpse of the possibilities provided by a newly unified country. The amount of Israelis below the 30th and the fact it is not predominately a part of old Israeli history is a plus. The integration of the Palestinians into the newly defined long term goals and aspirations of the changed country could dramatically alter many of the sticking points so long debated on both sides. Such a united country would also, by sheer numbers, need to establish religious freedom for all and mean it. The opportunity for the Muslim Brotherhood to united as one across the entire area and to have meaningful participation would most likely bring them on board such an idea. The promise such an enlarged and newly peaceful country and the economic expansion it could provide would also divert millions from focusing on opportunities long denied to the new possibilities in dozens of cities and towns throughout the country. The most important reason to push for such a solution is again the one first mentioned. It would be a quick and decisive signal that the old regimes, power bases and unequal opportunities were a thing of the past and that everyone was going to need everyone else to indeed move forward to deliver on the promises of the Arab Spring. It is not looking back through the eyes of someone in January 2012 and seeing if it was a success. It is someone looking back through the eyes of someone in 2062 and saying this is what changed it all for millions upon millions throughout not only the Arab world but indeed the entire world.

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