Lessons From The Revolutions

Arab regimes have learned nothing from the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. Their answer to their people’s growing demands for reform or change altogether is more violence and more repression. Libya, Yemen and Bahrain have all moved to crush popular protests by attacking demonstrators, claiming the lives of over 100 civilians, and leaving hundreds more injured. Western countries (read mostly the US), too, have retained nothing from these lessons in the recent annals of history. All they do is condemn and call for restraint. CNN’s Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman cynically captured all these powers’ policy when it comes to the challenges to the status quo in the Middle East in his Mideast Lexicon on Twitter, as the Egyptian revolution was raging, and eventually pushed President Hosni Mubarak to step down on February 11, 2011, leaving the country in the care of the Army. I think it’s still pertinent today as the domino effect of the uprisings expands in the region. That’s why I’ve compiled his tweeted entries in this post:

  • Bulwark of Stability: Brutal police-state with horrendous human rights record.
  • Consensus: We agree to do nothing.
  • Cycle of Violence: We know who is to blame but don’t want to say it.
  • Foreign Elements: Anyone whose anti-regime criticism is difficult to refute.
  • Negotiations: Talking about framework for discussions to lead to meetings to talk about face-to-face exchanges, etc.
  • Reforms: Changes authoritarian regimes promise, then discard as soon as pressure eases.
  • Restraint: Please be discreet when slaughtering your opponents. Someone might be filming.
  • Security Assistance: Tear gas, rubber bullets, plastic hand ties, and more.
  • Serious Situation: We’ve completely lost control. Burn the files now.
  • Stable: Unpopular dictatorship, will be overthrown by popular revolution in 2, 3 years max.
  • Stability: Police-imposed “quiet” for few years, maybe decades, ending in revolution.
  • Unhelpful: Absurdly counterproductive, but we won’t lift a finger.
  • We Condemn: We will do nothing.
  • We Strongly Condemn: We will issue another statement.

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