الأحد، مايو 10، 2009

Post Realism 7



After 30 Years on Camp David Accords



Will the Mountain Come to Mohamed?








The Egyptian humiliating defeat of 1967 was a hard blow to an era of unrealistic dreams. Unearned dreams, really. An era of Romanticism and seemingly great ideals. Ideals which sadly turned out to be hollow. The 1979 treaty of Camp David between Egypt and Israel put an official end to that era of Romanticism and signified an era of Realism.


The era of Realism recognized that power and military might alone shall reign supreme in our world. With total disregard for justice, legitimacy and other “hollow” ideals. Justice became like a thin shell or a mask. The substance inside is power. And without that internal substance, justice would be easily cracked. It would not stand a chance in the “real” world. Justice is there only to protect the rights of the strong. As for the weak, justice is blocked by lobbies and vetoes. The “weak” is not meant to demand, or even request, justice.


But Realism without Justice, Honor or Vision, led to the events of Sep 11th 2001 and what followed. The irony is that the strong started to use the terms of "International Legitimacy". International Legitimacy became a hard currency. Marred with double standards, past failures and a tall pile of UN SC vetoes, an effective International Justice system was nowhere to be pointed at. The world was just not designed to work in that way.




On Sep 11th 2001, the world entered into a new era, without even realizing what it was. Some called it the “War on Terror” which was more like a “War of Errors”. Errors of diagnosis and judgment. Instead of realizing that military power alone, without justice or legitimacy had given birth to hatred, extremism and terror, therefore shifting focus to designing a new International Justice system to resolve pending conflicts, George W. Bush did the exact opposite, initiating new wars, creating more enemies and fueling more hatred and extremism.


Instead of seeing past Realism to Post-Realism, the Neocons continued the same deadly path towards clash and global conflict as if working towards the old self-fulfilling prophecy of Armageddon. But as Iraq turned ugly, Iran more radicalized, Hezbollah rising in Lebanon and Hamas reaching power in Palestine, the entire world, perhaps except Bush and a few of his supporters had realized the failure of the NeoCons strategy. The old wisdom of “Realism”, that power alone can impose peace or security, even for the strong, turned out to be false. Values like justice, legitimacy and the rule of law, started to regain weight and thickness. This is a terrific opportunity to work towards ending all conflicts. Not with the old idea of negotiations which would still favor the strong, presenting only a temporary solution and a short-lived peace that would sooner or later break as violence and conflict erupt, but through International Justice. Arbitration. International Courts of Justice, existing or to be erected.


Signing the Camp David Accords in 1979 solved a key problem for Egypt, restoring sovereignty over Sinai and ending a quarter-century state of war, which was meant to pave the way for development, prosperity and democratic transformation. But the key problems were not solved by 1979 agreement. The key conflict was about the Palestinians and not about Egypt or Sinai. Israel, and the world, thought that they could do by neutralizing the biggest Arab country, Egypt, through Camp David. That signing a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel will buy security and peace. But that was a mistake. The core problem remained and the conflict worsened.


I do not think that Egypt needs to demand amendments to Camp David Accords. Israel will soon demand such amendments! The peace treaties to come, if and when they come, will automatically impose new game rules and mandatory changes on the Camp David terms. This time the mountain might just come to Mohamed.







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