Friday, February 11, 2011

They did it, part 2

I have to remark again on the fact that the revolutions in both Tunisia and Egypt were brought about by peaceful means. No storming the citadels with cannon and bomb. Just people going into the street and saying "We will not be moved."
It is so very stirring to see the doctrine of Gandhi and Martin Luther King put to effective use again. And the armed forces of these countries respected the will of the people against their own leader.
There are paranoiac people in this country who are amassing weapons, and promoting ridiculous "pledges" from police and soldiers that they will never take part in blockading an American city in the event of—what? Obama declaring himself dictator?
What amazes me is that these people automatically assume that the army will willingly be deployed against anyone protesting an attempted dictatorship in this country. Are they saying that our army is less intelligent, less humane, less loyal to the people of the country (last I knew, the army is composed of people of this country,) than the armies of Tunisia or Egypt? Huh?
Enough of that.

The other thing I want to remark upon is the ubiquity of the word "democracy." Whatever mistakes the US has made in the world, we should be proud that this idea is taking root in places which haven't seen much of that. Before the last century, how many revolutions in areas like the middle east were about getting people freedom as opposed to picking a new strongman?  People may have wanted their own king, sheik, leader, and not someone else's king, etc. But that was it. The king ruled. We still see this in some of the "stans" where a local despot has taken over from the ousted Russian-supported despot.
Now more and more, the idea that people should be able to fire their leader when necessary is taking hold. We may not always like the outcome of democracy in these places (like the Hamas victory in the Gaza Strip) but we need to learn to respect them, and figure out how to live with them.

1 comment:

Scruffy said...

This will be one of those defining and historic moments in my lifetime. I watched the news with utter fascination and with much hope. I am very proud of the Egyptian people and I hope that they can now chart their own course to their own destiny.