First before we get into our main discussion, lets deal with Syria.
In brief, Syria is, unlike Libya, very unstable and receptive to change; meaning, there is a greater and realistic probability of a regime change in Syria than in Libya (as we have always said so on the later).
Now, on the general psyche of the Arabs.
My father had a ‘general’ categorised-personality-types theoretical framework on the Arabs, which in time, I guess, stayed with me, and as I studied and observed these groups closely, I came to a realisation that, he was probably onto something.
You see there is distinctive Arabian-Groupings and Profiles, that one can observe, for example, take;
1. the Middle Eastern Arabs:
We can further divide these into two main groups, of the monarchial oil-rich gulf states, and those of nationalist states on the peripheral areas of the region.
These two exhibit different political, economic and social goals and hopes, and even philosophies;
* the former, the gulf states, tend to be more highly-apathetic to any involvement; thus, meaning, any so-called protests can be repressed quietly and efficiently. These have no loyalties, but tend to be more pleasure-driven (actually 90 per cent of Arabs exhibit this pattern of behaviour).
* The later, the nationalists, tend to be more ‘bought-able’, as a result of their power-driven nature (pleasure-ends). These, unlike the former states of the gulf, can arose public protests from certain quarters, though in reality, the power and the hopes of changes lies with the ‘discontented elites’ within the existing establishment; meaning, changes comes from the top (hence, Iraq, Egypt, Syria-to-be, Tunisia, and Libya, though the last one is an highly complex case, with a secured tribal power and loyalties, and also, as a result of the past-testing times for the regime, that has survived and created the invincibility myth for the Gaddaffi and his regime, that they just might be able to pull it off again today, hence, fears on any disassociations from within, but the west does not understand this or does not want to accept the testament of its truth).
2. We have the North Africa states, the Arabs of Africa:
These are very, what can one put it, sort of xenophobic, racial, they feel that they are the better of the races in the continent, and tend to be highly irrational and driven by passions, and behind these simple drives of racial superiority (even balanced against the middle eastern Arabs, as they view the others, to be lazy, disgraceful, traitors and so forth). Here you will find passion plays far greater role than apathy or reason.
3. the peripheral– Yemen, Iran, Turkey and Palestine:
These four, varies in distinctions;
a. Yemen, the ‘nutter’ of Arabian, highly unstable, psychical and state-wise.
b. Iran, the Genius of the Middle-East (the little growing powerhouse)
c. Turkey, the defiant power, on the road to revival.
d. Palestine, the pawn of the Arab and Islamism politics.
In short, we can go on forever, but the point to be made is, we have to appreciate the psychical make-up of each of the distinctive regional politics, societies, economics, cultures, influence of religions and past histories, to appreciate the dangerous mix that lies within the Arabs, and the strategic region of Middle East. We might believe that, we are in command of changes and events, but in reality, and in just few seconds, all can be lost fatally, due to the unstable nature of the minds of these societies and their politics.
In closing off:
My father’s simple advice to me was, never trust an Arab, I reckon it was, and still is, a good advice for us all in the west, especially, today. The Mind of an Arab, is the Mind of an Animal, one never really knows what it thinks? what it hopes for? what it will do next?