The Winds of Change in the Middle East
An unexpected phenomenon has occurred. It is in the early stages of its birth. It is the first act in the play of the history of mankind circa 21st century. No one would have predicted that the 21st century would be the century of the rise of mankind against totalitarianism and corruption. We have in one corner, Silvio Berlusconi as the 74 year old withering male who is Premiere of Italy trying to retain his dignity while defending his ridiculous and absurd attempts to reclaim his youth with 17 year old girls. In the other corner of the world stage, the citizens of countries in North Africa and the Middle East stand in protest and revolution against those in power to take back their dignity.
In the Middle East and North Africa, the unexpected has occurred. No longer will the citizens of Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen accept a live of poverty, high unemployment and the lack of democracy in their countries that have been ruled by totalitarian rulers, some for over 30 years.
The people of these nations are protesting the lack of democracy, the lack of jobs and meaningful employment. By their rage and their actions against their governments, it is quite possible that they will force the establishment of democracy in their own lands. This will not be the democracy that the United States believed they could force upon Iraq. This will not be the kind of democracy that the U.S. and other nations also believe that they can force on Afghanistan. This will be a democracy that citizens of a nation demand and create for themselves. Perhaps this will be a kind of natural democracy that will rise out of an historical event, something like the French Revolution created in the 18th century. Is this an event something like the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the ensuing death of Communism in Europe? Perhaps the events occurring in the 21st century will radically change the society of countries in North Africa and the Middle East. Perhaps this is a natural evolution. Perhaps this is a time of change which will radically alter these nations economically, socially and psychologically.
Absolute rulers and totalitarian governments will always fall. Their days are numbered. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, should also heed these warnings. Specifically because he is the most detested person in the nation of Iran and is regarded as a mad man by those living abroad.
The people will rise up. Funny thing, I’m not a communist or socialist because I do like to travel and I prefer my internet to be uncensored. I prefer to have nothing to do with politics because I can say that I’m not interested and I only vote for politicians that will give me a day off from work so I can write and blog. But, I am Canadian, so that’s about the extent of my interest in politics. Someone once asked me what I thought of Che Guevara to which I answered, “nothing. I don’t think of Che Guevara.” Although I have thought of Benicio del Toro as Che and the movie, the Motorcycle Diaries starring Gael García Bernal as Che, himself, but that’s it.
However, I do remember my history and politics classes at university. Was it not some German philosopher and political economist by the name of Karl Marx who said that the proletariat would rise up against the rich? I keep reading, well if the truth be told, I’ve been reading since 1995 that the world’s wealth is becoming more and more concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. I have been noticing, like many of my friends that the middle class is shrinking and the rich are getting richer. And, I’ve got friends from countries where there are only two social classes, the incredibly rich and the incredibly poor. When I think about the problem of poverty in the world, the disappearing middle class and the concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands, it seems like a dangerous trend. It astounds me.
I hope that the 21st century becomes a calling to account for all the dictators that have oppressed and tortured their citizens. I hope that dictators such as Baby Doc Duvalier, who recently returned to Haiti after living the splendid life in the south of France, driving a Ferrari while his nation suffers, will be called to atone for their heinous crimes against their countries.
The winds of change were perhaps felt first in Iran under the dictatorship of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran. However, at the current time Ahmadinejad retains a firm grip on power over his citizens. How long that lasts is highly debatable. A note to dictators: Your ticket is no longer valid. It’s the 21st century and I feel the winds of change.
The rage of the people followed in Tunisia. They rose up in protest against high unemployment, rising food prices and the corruption of those in power. Now Egypt follows suit, tired of a leader who has held onto power for some 30 years. There has been bloodshed as the people of Egypt, no longer afraid of Mubarak, scream their chants of “Go, go, Mubarak go” and “the people need to end this regime.”
Hosni Mubarak’s days are numbered and they should be because his time in power has been far too long. People are tired of his secret police and his emergency laws. He has responded by sacking his Cabinet, blocking cell phone service and the internet. He ordered a curfew and the people have disobeyed. He’s called out the army, but some of that army is not really into working for Mubarak any longer. How about calling an election, Mr. Mubarak? Or, one begs to ask, are you afraid of unemployment? The people of Egypt want change and they will drive that change. They want jobs, education, improved social services and they want to be rid of the corruption and political stagnation of their government.
I feel the winds of change. It’s a global world. Facebook, Twitter and all that social media help drive that change. The world is talking to each other. Secrets are harder to keep, think Wiki Leaks. Everybody wants what everybody else has. Bread on the table for their families, meaningful jobs, freedom and democracy. This important time of change will, no doubt, also alter the world surrounding the Middle East. Nobody has predicted what will happen in the second act of the 21st century.