TO ALL WESTERN TOURISTS:
There are two types of Arab countries today:
- Traditional Dictatorships: Those are the monarchies and so-called republics that have not completed an Arab Spring revolution. Examples: Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Morocco,...
- Post-Arab Spring Revolutionary Regimes: Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya....
Neither of these two types of Arab countries should be financed by tourism money. The first TRADITIONAL DICTATORSHIPS have never stopped abusing their own people or imposing strict repressive systems or persecuting people. The NEW RELIGIOUS DICTATORSHIPS that are replacing them are not better. Places like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, where the supposed revolutionaries wanted freedom, begged the West for help, and eventually succeeded, are now ruled by Islamic fundamentalists bent on repressing non-Muslims and imposing even more repressive forms of governments. In Tunisia, Sharia Law is gradually been imposed, and the little bit of secularism that existed under the traditional dictators is now under siege. In Libya, the so-called revolutionaries who lapped like dogs at the hands of NATO to rescue them, are now desecrating Christian, Jewish, British and Indian tombs of people who liberated them back during WWII. This is how ungrateful and barbaric are Arab people in general that it does not matter who is in government. They are all backstabbing hypocritical liars. I live here. I know.
Just look at Syria, where a tiny minority of Alawites have subjugated 90% of the population in one of the last Stalinist regimes on earth. The rebels - the so-called Free Syrian Army - are all fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood gangsters who, while begging the international community to come to their rescue against the butcher and war criminal Bashar Assad, will be the first to start bombing and persecuting foreigners, Christians and Jews and any non-Muslim the moment they access power. No wonder that their "revolutionary chant" - which you can hear in every one of the footage of the unfolding slaughter in this crappy country called Syria - is "Allahu Akbar = God is Great = Islamic fundamentalist".
This poses a problem. Of course, for generations, the West relied on the TRADITIONAL DICTATORSHIPS to maintain stability, all the while knowing that these regimes were abusers of human rights. Consider that the West - including the US, the UN, all of fucking Europe - allowed the same Syrian regime that is butchering its people today to send its army to Lebanon in the early 1970s and do some "peace-keeping". The outcome of that "peacekeeping" was three decades of killings, massacres, ethnic cleansing, kidnappings, car bombings, hijackings, assassinations, enforced disappearances, torture, extra-territorial abductions and imprisonment, and every human right violation term you can find in any specialized glossary on the subject. To the Lebanese who complained, the West would respond: Syria is a factor of stability, which meant that the Lebanese had to choose between Syria's crimes or instability. For the most part, the Lebanese chose instability as any free individual would do, and their 30-year resistance, though heroic, was ultimately defeated by a Western-backed Syrian regime, and was constantly trashed by Western governments and press.
Nowadays, the West is faced with a similar dilemma. It can't defend the dictatorships against the will of their people, but by the same token, it can't wholeheartedly support the rebellions because they are inevitably leading to Islamic religious dictatorships which will essentially continue the human rights abuse, but to different segments of that same population.
My advise has been and will continue to be: DO NOT INTERVENE in places like Syria. Let the criminals on both sides fight it out, eliminate one another to the greatest extent possible. In the end, whoever wins will not blame the West for having interfered: They will have only themselves to blame. The price might seem exorbitant: To allow thousands of innocent people to be slaughtered, but any other alternative - including intervention - is as likely to cause the death of innocent people as the status quo.
By "the West", I do not only refer to governments. I also address myself to average Westerners (Europeans, Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc...). DO NO ENCOURAGE TOURISM IN ARAB COUNTRIES like Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Jordan etc... because by doing so you would be financing the next generation of abusive regimes. Withhold your money from these governments as a means of pressuring these governments into establishing decent, transparent, non-religious, tolerant, open societies. Do your own due diligence and think about what you would do in your own country if you were faced with such governments. Do not say that by going to Tunisia now, you would be helping the people: A few dollars you spend there will maybe help on the short term, but they will mostly go to the pockets of corrupt governments and to build mosques and other vehicles of backwardness and primitive religious thinking.
Which is why I have always advocated a boycott of tourism to my country here, Lebanon. The Lebanese governments - all of them for the past 2-3 decades, including the current Hezbollah government - can't even provide basic services to its people: electricity, running water, clean water and air, protection and access to public beaches and parks... All of these things one takes for granted in the West are denied by the Lebanese government to its own people. Only cronies of the corrupt politicians, feudal and religious leaders are able to acquire public land illegally and build resorts and violate every environmental norm to make money, while the ordinary Lebanese struggle with every day life and have to pay exorbitant bribes to a corrupt administration for every paper, every transaction, and every basis service they need from the government. DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE SPONSORING SUCH AN ABUSIVE SYSTEM?
USE YOU DOLLARS TO HELP USHER DECENT GOVERNANCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST, and not as a handout to the beggars waiting for you at Beirut Airport behind the glitzy duty-free shops and the facade of "progress" that is presented to you. The reality is that Lebanon is a primitive religious backward place where people believe in all kinds of charlatanism disguised as religion, and where people do not control their lives with their own hands, but rather submit to the repressive life imposed on them by their government in an act of fatalism and "written destiny". "It's not in my hands, it's in the hands of God", you will often hear, because the Lebanese are stupid and lazy enough to believe that God will one day save them from their religious and feudal and terrorist dictators.
DON'T SUPPORT THESE SYSTEMS. DON'T COME AS TOURISTS TO GIVE YOUR MONEY TO CORRUPTION. Go to decent countries where everyone, every human being, every religion, every belief and creed, every race, every animal, every tree is respected.