- Published on Tuesday, 19 April 2011 02:00
It’s been six months since the “Twitterverse” was awash with mentions of an “Arab Spring” as revolutions raged across the Middle East, protesting against the autocratic rule of the likes of Messieurs Gaddafi and Mubarak. The Arab people flooded their streets trying to finally get back control of their countries. Have these revolutions really been successful, or have the crowds been appeased by promises that are unlikely to be fulfilled?
Nothing really appears to have changed. Look at post-Mubarak Egypt. The new military junta rules in the same iron-fisted manner, gloved in false legitimacy. Thousands have been arrested and tried in military tribunals with no recourse to legal support. Smaller protests continue in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, as the Egyptian people keep on fighting for freedom. While elections have been planned, the current military rule is as despotic as the previous government, and serious changes have yet to be implemented.
This reflects what’s happening all across the Middle East. Over the border in Libya, the “Brother Leader” Gaddafi still retains control of most of Libya, and human rights atrocities have multiplied. The French, once so eager to get rid of him through military means, are now seeking a truce and “talks”. Again, all’s not lost in Libya. If Gaddafi falls, and a proper democratic government is installed, Libya can potentially rise to become a leading African state.
Across the Red Sea, in tiny Bahrain, the situation appears to be even worse. After military support from Saudi Arabia and the UAE completely crushed the revolutionary movement, the Bahraini government went berserk rooting out all those who opposed it. Doctors were arrested and imprisoned for the crime of “treating an injured enemy” Mosques were sacked. No-one dares to speak up against the atrocities and even global media houses such as CNN and Al-Jazeera barely pay attention to what’s happening.
As more revolutions are being crushed in Syria and Yemen, the question arises whether the revolutions are actually worth the torture, death and destitution they’re resulting in. Is it worth waking up in the morning knowing you have to fight the tanks of an oppressive regime to gain your freedom? For the Arab people, who’ve been living under dictatorial rule, it is worth it. They don’t just fight for themselves, but fight for their children and women. They fight for the right to choose who leads them. They fight for the right to regain control of the resources of their own lands, their oil, away from the elite few who live in opulent palaces. They fight for the right to live.
These revolutions aren’t dead, but need a huge revival. Their true goal of fighting dictatorial governments and despotic policies cannot be forgotten. The rest of the world can’t just stand back and just observe what’s happening. They need to take a stance against all wrongdoing. The Arab people must never bow down to oppression. They can never yield to despondence and give up, because a failed revolution can only mean one thing: “Winter is Coming!”