The Arab Spring has had it’s ups and downs. What began with a man lighting a single match in Tunisia, has spread throughout the region like a wildfire, leaving no land unscathed in its own way. In January and February we saw two tyrannical governments topple like a deck of cards as the people of Tunisia and Egypt took back their countries by taking to the streets. The joy was overwhelming, and so was the momentum. No sooner had Mubarak left, when all eyes shifted to Libya and the start of the February 17 movement. But then things took a more disheartening route as countries like Libya, Bahrain and Syria met their opposition with brutal force. We began to see the downside of revolutions. We began to see the risk factor. The disincentive. The consequence of what happens when people without guns stand up to people with guns. The momentum of the Arab Spring began to crumble and what the region discovered was that some governments would be harder to topple than others.
Enter persistance. Enter Libya. Enter the Arab Spring 2.0 – a reaffirmation of hope and a reminder that freedom always comes at a cost. Libya’s achievement is exactly what was needed to remind people of what can be achieved if fought for valiantly. It is also a reminder to other Arab regimes who were just beginning to regain some degree of comfort that uncertainty remains; that the fires of the Arab spring are still burning and that their streets are still highly flammable.
Staying up last night to watch the events unfold on the streets of Tripoli, I cannot help but feel the sense of confidence that swept across the region last night; radiating from TV, computer and mobile screens. I could not help but hear the deafening silence of those who believed the Arab spring had already met its doom, and those who had abandoned their hope in the capabilities of average citizens. The silence of the same people who are content with the grandeurs of their status quo. The same people that have consistently demonstrated their inability to understand the value of freedom, and especially what it’s worth to people who don’t have it, and people who cannot afford it. It is thrilling to see their beliefs shaken to the core; to see them watch a people risk the certainty of the status quo for the uncertainty of something greater, and achieve it.
So to the Arab leaders that remain in power I cannot help but point out the obvious. Not all evolution mandates revolution, but when you refuse to evolve, when you nurture an environment where your people have less and less to lose, where they are willing to risk their status quo, their fear of the unknown, and their very lives, all for an intangible aspiration – then you force a revolution. You create a situation where people are willing to gamble everything, in hopes of achieving anything; anything but this. Because anything is better than this. And all the guns, tanks, money and promises won’t be able to convince those people otherwise.
The time for diplomacy has ended. The era of compromises, broken promises and short-comings is drawing to a close. The cost of hubris has been revealed. And if history is written by the victors, then the pen and the keyboard is now in the hands of average citizens, where the revolution is crowd sourced. Where the masses meet mass media. If Tunisia broke a taboo, and Egypt created momentum, then Libya has lowered the barriers of entry and nudged the Arab Spring towards experiencing the political equivalent of economies of scale.
So thank you Tunisia for lighting a flame. Thank you Egypt for adding the fuel. And thank you Libya for keeping it alive.
Were you watching a different “revolution” the last 6 months?
Does the abbreviation NATO ring a bill?
A revolution in Libya is just starting over now-rebels-few-months-ago-Gaddfi-crew-council and the coming beast to steal everything; as US today expressed the pride it feels for being part of this “revolution”
Wishful thinking is sweet, its nice to see people full of hope and determination but its nothing but worrying and trembling when that wishful thinking becomes an illusion that detach us from reality even if that was the most suitable way to warn other leaders.
So does this mean NATO air strikes on Syria next?
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Sorry but I don’t think the Arab spring is a spring at all. Take egypt, the Islamic brotherhood which advocates cutting peoples heads off for freedom of speech, wants tourists to were a niqab when they visit calls its party the freedom and justice party. And its very popular amongst the majority of uneducated not ready for democracy citizens. Even though I tend to disagree with a lot of the policies in Jordan am very much grateful for our king.
and thank you NATO and the US for without them Benghazi would be in the rubbles now and Qaddafi will be stronger than ever
People with a mind set like yours is the reason why change will never knock on our door !! You make me wanna vomit
Hareega That what some Iraqis said when the US and NATO occupied Iraq , and now they regret what they did and said ..
how free is Lybia now, given that the European and US vultures are soaring over this country and each is waiting for its chance to grab a piece of the vulnerable prey weakened by the war .. when watching the int. news (not just Jazeera or Arabiah), I noticed that many of the Lybian youth being interviewed in the streets of Tripoli or Benghazi were talking perfect American -English (I mean like natives and not like those trying to imitate them) , ok, maybe all these studied in the US or happened to have lived there long enough, just coincidence…..but there are many issues that make you think.. no wonder many people are skeptical about the “Arab Spring” … why would the NATO and others support Arabs who are not only seeking freedom from their internal dictaros, but as true freedom fighters would logically seek next to fight the threat of the Israeli war and terror machine ? on the Lybian side, will reason, intelligent politics of a qualified and uncorrupt government, and the will to work hard for freedom take over , or the old story where foreign powers easily take control through supporting a dictator and his gang ? will the story of Iraq repeat itself in Lybia ? and the Islamists in Lybia, having played their role in the armed rebellion will they accept a democratic system?
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correction – see my comment above: “natives” meaning regular US Americans, not native Americans……
speaking of native Americans, when will the Red Indians experience their spring ?
regime change and freedom are two different things ..
regime change could be the same as freedom, it depends on the situation and how “freedom” is defined.
the Lybians have only one thing on their mind: where is Mu’amar Gadhafi? that’s because they have no other ideas and apparently did not get other instructions or professional assistance other than military, the question is NOW WHAT? The average Lybian cannot find clean water for drinking, all this shows how influenced, unqualified and uneducated the new Arab revolutionists are… the Arab spring needs to start all over again, next time without influence from outside powers and after becoming aware, open-minded and well-eductaed about the history and what’s currently happening in the world.
antar .. yes regime change could be the same as freedom .. yet that doesnt contradict what i said .. they are two different things
just like a rectangle can be a square but not always .. because they are two different things
thank you NATO and the US for without them Benghazi would be in the rubbles now