Do Syria, Libya & Egypt have new dictators yet?
It is fascinating to watch the demonstrations, the revolutions even, in the Middle East. People are just fed up with their dictators, so they want new ones. But there’s not going to be some “democracy” rising up in the place. There’s no infrastructure for it. There’s no tradition of it. There’s no process to be used; only something which might be created. And there’s no Washingtons or Jeffersons around to lead the crafting of “new” nations; for these nations are not new. And they are in a place that has never had free and fair elections or political parties or such.
Yes, there are political meetings – probably lots of them; but they are the grousing opponents to repressive regimes; not political parties worried about who will be the senator from Benghazi or something. There’s going to be some strongman who rises above the fray; perhaps by charisma, perhaps by default, and even perhaps by some shooting of his opponents.
Any talk of “democracy” and “elections” is really just silly talk. Oh, even countries in Eastern Europe; which had far more experience with elections, rigged as they were, still haven’t quite gotten over their strongman tendencies; though at least they’re only in for one or two terms. And then someone sprays “dictator-be-gone.” At least now it’s peaceful, and through elections; but whoever gets in seems to want to play strongman. Though it has greatly lessened over the past 20 years.
Sure, we can help them start down the road to rational governance – if they ask, and they may or may not. And too, they might go so crazy against their neighbors, their people, and Israel, that we might wind up at war with them, and not at all teaching Elections 101. I’m sure whatever “election” and “political party” laws they might have would need a complete rewrite.
Then there’s the issue of the press – there is precious little. Oh sure, there’s newspapers, but ones completely hemmed in and controlled by the government. Why, newspapers were being shut down left and right for decades in these nations; that habit isn’t gone yet. Though perhaps the press is freer in Egypt now than in decades. Who knows how the Libyan press operates, somehow I don’t think the regime was letting the “Tripoli Times” give the news. Who knows, now that the regime is on its last legs, if even there at all, Libya might get more rambunctious press. Let’s hope so.
And the internet and phones and communications are pretty much still in the tight hands of the Syrian nutcase – Bashir Assad – I’m sure he’s losing control, and I’m sure there’s bright Syrians right now working on the problem. They sure seem to get the word out about the daily demonstrations, that’s for sure. Which is good. And today a headline greats me that the opposition is essentially forming a new government, or even a parallel government, and they aim to get rid of their current dictator.
The new dictators may or may not be rational people. I’m sure our CIA and Pentagon are watching all the things happening, and know of quite a few of the people, and maybe call up our favorites – but do we really know these people? That is far less certain. Since we’re not there everyday with them, and we had little pre-revolution contact with these guys, and that contact mostly furtive or controlled, given the nature of the previous regimes, then how could we really know who these guys are? Or how they think and how they might craft a new national spirit of “let’s all get along now, eh?”
Not to mention that there’s still all sorts of people with guns, even missiles, and certainly tanks. Two generals might decide to play a little game of “Cry Uncle” and pound each other into smithereens. Which, in someway, wouldn’t be bad, for then they’d have less military stuff with which to cause grief outside their borders. The more military stuff they destroy in their own nations the better off the region is in the long run – especially if we can prevent the rearming of them. Though, as usual, the French and German weapons makers will be there soon, brochures and samples in hand.
Meanwhile, supposedly 20,000 surface-to-air missiles are missing. Oops. Right? Well, who ever has them will have to hide them, and I’m sure we’re looking for them, no? I mean, shouldn’t we find those things and make them, um, scrap? Is it possible to simply destroy a cache of this size? I would think so; if Iraq’s spectacular weapons depot explosions were found and destroyed. Well, seek, find, blow up.
Of course, Turkey is getting antsy against Israel; and I’m sure we’re telling them to cool their heels. And Iran is Iran, as bonkers as ever. Iraq might be nice bright spot; though, they’re still blowing up marketplaces there to make a point of some sort. What blowing up shopping malls does, I don’t know; other than just damage and kill. Maybe they should spend their money on billboards, or open up a newspaper, and state their case.
And well, so the place is a seething tinder box. It is ripe for war and mischief. One wonders if this nation, which keeps a rather powerful fleet right there in the Mediterranean Sea, can keep the lid on, or – if it comes off – simply pulverize the offending armies as quickly and mercilessly as possible, and take out the new dictators who might be starting the wars of delusion. Of course, Israel will lend a hand, I’m sure. Maybe even the French and English. Peace might still be kept though, if a little stern talking a saber rattling is done.
Other than that, the place is getting all giddy, what with the new dictators getting ready to step up to the fore and proclaim himself president-for-life, or at least, of course, until elections can be held, when he allows them. But like I said, it’s fascinating to watch, and let’s hope it gets really boring soon, so we can deal with other problems.
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