Commodore, Royal Saudi Navy (Retired)
Following the terrorist attacks in Paris and later in Mali, most of the western media outlets were flooded with programs featuring analysts trying to understand the phenomena. The media outlets appeared to be racing against each other and were coming up with different products to outdo their competitors. During the past few days, I sifted through various reports and articles on the issue of terrorism with a particular reference to the attacks in Paris. I, however, focused on the New York Times for print coverage and for TV coverage I relied heavily on the BBC and Deutshe Welle of Germany. As expected, Saudi Arabia was portrayed as one of the reasons behind such attacks, which took place in countries far away from the Kingdom — France and Mali. It were not only the Zionist analysts or right-wing imperialists but many so-called Arab nationalists were trying their best to drag Saudi Arabia in something it had nothing to do with. The case of those Arab nationalists is very strange because they are still stuck in the mindset of the 1950s and trying to understand a contemporary issue using an obsolete approach. These elements always call Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries backward states and see other Arab countries like Syria, Iraq, Algeria, Lebanon and Egypt, as the advanced ones. Before I go any further, readers should know that Arab nationalism is an ideology that rose during the 1950s. The proponents of this ideology sought political, cultural and historical unity among the Arab people. Their hopes were raised after Gamal Abdul Nasser rose to power in Egypt. His goal was to eliminate what he called “the weak sheikdom monarchs” in the Arab world. His second goal was to liberate Palestine. Iraq was a monarchy that was lost to the bloodthirsty military dictators. Libya went from a stable monarchy to a country ruled by yet another dictator, Muammar Qaddafi. Thanks to Arab nationalism, the region experienced many coup attempts that caused the Arab world to lose it finest brains who fled to the West and many of them ended up in jails or in front of firing squads. In other words, Arab nationalists only widened rifts among Arab countries. One question that comes to my mind: What is the relevance of those so-called Arab nationalists after so many failures? The answer is: No relevance at all. They only know how to speak at the top of their voice. They are all talk and no action. You know talk is cheap. Whenever I hear or see an Arab nationalist talk about Saudi Arabia I would hear naïve words that reflect their ignorance about Saudi Arabia. As a matter of fact, many of them are far removed from reality when they talk about Saudi Arabia. They don’t appear to be aware of the fact that Saudi Arabia is the country hardest hit by terrorism and it is Saudi Arabia that initiated the first international counterterrorism conference with a plan to unite the world against terrorism. The European media seems to be running out of good and balanced analysts living in Europe. Some of them have shiny titles, but, many of them don’t even know the name of the Saudi capital and many of them have never been to the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia was and still is holding the most formidable stand against all forms of violence and has the harshest punishments for terrorists whose sole purpose is to kill innocent people. Use of flowery language cannot hide Saudi role in the ongoing fight against terrorism. It was Saudi Arabia that had raised alarm over the growing threat of terrorism. Simply put, Arab nationalists are naïve and ignorant. Written by Abdulateef Al-Mulhim. Arab Nationalists — A Naïve and Ignorant Lot reprinted with permission of Arab News and Abdulateef Al-Mulhim.