Conspiracy theory, Guyanese novelist Dennis E Adonis, Obama, Jasmine Revolution, Syria. The latest book to come out of the stables of popular Guyanese novelist Dennis E Adonis is Ten Letters to Obama.
The latest book to come out of the stables of popular Guyanese novelist Dennis E Adonis is Ten Letters to Obama. Few might have read his works in this part of the world, 19 so far. He is going strong on his love for life and literature, the two compelling factors in his books that deal with subjects as varied as sex and software. Though Adonis is a software engineer by profession, he is a multi-faceted personality with interests in education, computer security, information technology and, of course, writing in his spare time which is as prolific as any other professional author.
Ten Letters to Obama, launched last month, is doing highly successful literary rounds, not because the name of the President of the United States is in the book title, raising readers’ curiosity, but because of its most contemporary theme: The Arab Spring that started blossoming in Tunisia in December 2010 as Jasmine Revolution and spread to other regional countries like Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria.
Among the most affected in the Arab Gulf States by the civil unrest for democratic reforms that included abolition of hierarchical monarchy was Bahrain, and others in the six-member group had narrowly escaped the full impact of the Revolution that rocked Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen where the most powerful leaders had been uprooted. Only the Syrian head of state, President Bashar Al Assad, has been clinging to power despite his country sliding into civil war while the oil-rich sheikhdoms and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have successfully managed to lasso the democratic aspirations of youth with sops worth billions of dollars.
Three years after the Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak was thrown out in popular revolt, the largest Arab country, and at one time most influential, and its people are still grappling with the rudiments of democracy. In the rest of the Middle East, Americans hunted down the autocratic ruler of Iraq Saddam Hussein in 2003, ostensibly to eliminate weapons of mass destruction which, any way, had never been found. The US promise of ushering in a golden era has not come yet even after a decade of people’s rule. On the other hand, the Iraqi government and people are fighting home-grown Al Qaeda terrorists in different parts of the country.
The last citadel to fall is Iran whose resistance to the ‘Satan of the world’ ended with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stepping down after his two-term tenure last year and moderate Hassan Rouhani moving in with an olive branch to the US and halting the Islamic Republic’s controversial nuclear programme.
A close look at the developments in all these countries reveals a common pattern: Civil unrest for a change of government, often orchestrated by liberty groups based outside; visiting American officials imploring the rulers and the public that they need social and economic reforms and if they are not effected the countries will be in trouble.
The American intelligence community knows what’s going to happen in a country that is targeted for change at the top. The aid that goes to support the aspirations and demands of a youthful population can be either covert, overt or both. Sometimes it will be channeled through sympathizers and ‘enemies’ of a particular regime. There is no dearth of these elements given the geo-political situation of the oil-rich region whose rulers’ personal wealth fills the coffers of some of the global banks. It’s a heady cocktail of money, power, oil and American interests to boot. If these are threatened, the US has to swing into action to safeguard its position as well as that of its closest allies.
That’s what is believed to be happening, particularly after the fall of the Soviet Union and the Communist Bloc in the 1990s. Some prefer to call it American conspiracy to control – domination is passé -- the world. Ever since the Arab Spring has started transforming the hearts and minds of people and the desert landscape, conspiracy theories abound, the widely circulated – and believed -- one being Washington’s role in these uprisings and the US consolidation of its hold on those countries.
Many Arabs do believe and even today the diabolical role Americans are allegedly playing in Egypt and befriending Iran against the wishes of Saudi Arabia and Israel brings into sharp focus US aims, dubbed ‘designs.’ Adonis book Ten Letters to Obama is said to support such a view.
According to a brief on the ‘literary fiction’ that appeared on a social site, former US President George W Bush had agreed to a Saudi plan aimed at getting rid of anti-American regimes in the region over a decade ago. Apparently, President Obama who was first reluctant to endorse the plan “Operation El Azizia” had fallen in line later. The task of the operation, as claimed by the book and quoted in the blurb, was to remove Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, Ahmadinejad of Iran and Bashar Al Assad of Syria by instigating civil unrest. While the events that unfolded in these countries are part of history, two others, Egypt and Yemen, had suffered collateral damage.
Is it literary fiction or is there a grain of truth in the claims? History is often depicted as fiction which could be passed on as history. Nevertheless, in modern history, conspiracy theories will always have an overpowering sway over popular imagination since fact and fiction mingle in such a way as to give the blend the face of reality. For instance, Waleed Al Zobaidy, an Arab writer based in Baghdad during the tumultuous years of American-led invasion of Iraq, has observed in his book “The Wall of Baghdad” that “It should be viewed within the ambit of American global ambitions.
After succeeding in splitting the Soviet Union and successfully seeing the transformation of Eastern Bloc from Communism to Western-style democracy, Washington turned its attention to the Middle East. The first country that was caught on the American radar to launch its ‘transformation test’ was Iraq and according to former US Vice President Dick Cheney, ‘there are 40 to 50 countries’ where regimes needed to be changed. What he meant was after Iraq, these countries, one by one, would come under Washington’s suzerainty or control.” Was Arab Spring part of grand American design?