The recent Arab summit (May 22-23) ended with Tunisian President Zain al-Abidin bin announcing that the Arab leaders had adopted a 13-point programme that is to be applied to their countries. Its aim is to promote "political reform". The same plan will be presented to the G8 summit next month, no doubt for their approval.
The Arab leaders say they are determined to pursue and intensify the process of political, economic, social and educational reforms. Why have they suddenly discovered the need for such reforms? We can only understand this if we start from what is happening among the Arab masses. There is a growing radicalisation, which is the product of several factors. The first is the worsening economic scenario, with high levels of unemployment and falling living standards. In the middle of this we have the imperialist intervention in Iraq which has served to focus the attention of the masses.