Dictatorship:- When People fear the Rulers.
Democracy/Islamocracy:- When Rulers fear the people.
Bakeer Markar (former Speaker of Sri Lanka’s Parliament ) Memorial Lecture by Senior Journalist and Author Latheef Farook on Thursday 12 May 2011 at the All Ceylon Union of Muslim League Youth Fronts at KG 7,Elvitigala Flats. Colombo-8
Political uprising sweeping Middle East and North Africa has taken the world by surprise. Only a few months ago mere thought of people rising up and overthrowing rulers in Tunisia and Egypt would have been “wishful thinking” .However it happened. People throughout the region are demanding regime change especially from Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Libya, Algeria and Jordan.
When the uprising rocked Tunisia, Egypt thought it was an internal affair. However when. millions gathered peacefully in Cairo’s Tahriri square to overthrew President Hosni Mubarak; Syrian President Bashir Al Assad said his country, under his brutal regime, was far from such threats.
However Bashar Al Asad is now fighting for his political survival despite his scorched earth iron fist policy of indiscriminate killing of peaceful protestors calling for political reforms and dignity. Bashar Al Assad, in the footstep of his father Hafiz Al Asad, a tyrant, is also killing, so far 850, peaceful demonstrators and burying them in secret mass graves.
Ruthless dictators who rule their countries as private fiefdom spend sleepless nights these days facing wrath of their people. These dictators, even today, turn to their colonial masters-United States, Britain and France- for their political survival.
To understand today’s political ma and the peaceful uprising in the region, one needs to go back to almost a century when the entire MENA region, then under Turkey’s Ottoman rule, was brought under British and French Colonial powers in the aftermath of World War 1.The two colonial powers divided the region between them, under Sykes Picot Agreement of 1916, and created new countries.
In doing so both Britain and France sowed seeds of future conflicts. For example the newly created Syria was brought under France which placed in power minority Alawites, offshoot of Shia and constitutes only around 6 percent of the total population, in power deliberately ignoring the majority Sunnis who are more than 75 percent of the population.
As part of their strategy Britain and France installed their stooges in power who served them obediently in return for their political survival. In the process the interest and welfare of the ordinary people were ignored.
Almost a century later today the situation remains the same throughout the region. Some of these dictators were in power for more than 40 years and treat their people as herds.
Thus Long years of ruthless dictatorships, brutal oppression, denial of even basic human rights, arbitrary arrest, indefinite detention, torture and killings, endemic corruption of rulers and their sidekicks, endless poverty and sufferings of ordinary people ,rulers’ collaboration with American, European and Jewish crusaders in their evil designs against Arabs produced today’s brutalized generation , though educated and enlightened, yet never had any opportunity to vent out their feelings.
These dictators do not tolerate any opposition. Those who dissent end up in jail only to face long years of detention, torture and even death. Jails were overflowing all over the region and, in Saudi Arabia alone, there were reports of around 40,000 languishing in jails for years without trial.
These dictators employ their dreaded security apparatus to crush opposition. Shameful state of affairs have been such that Jordan and Egypt have become torture centers of Muslims handed over to them by US under its so called war on terrorism.
These dictators and their sidekicks freely plundered their countries for years and lived in luxury with all comforts with no concern for their people .For example Hosni Mubarak ,modern Pharaoh and lackey of Zionists , looted the country a colossal $ 70 billion apart from what his sons ,ministers and others plundered the nation while people lived on one dollar a day income.
Libya’s lunatic murderer Gaddafi ran the country like family owned property and invested around $ 160 billion all over the world.
In Tunisia not only overthrown President Zainal Abdin Ben Ali his family too plundered the country. His wife, a hair dresser turned first lady, took 400 kilo gold to Dubai on her way to join her husband in exile in Saudi Arabia. Her brother went in his own aircraft to Canada seeking Asylum.
In Syria Bashar Al Asad and his family control the entire economy of the country.
In the oil rich Gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia, ruling families own everything other than the air the people breathe. They are law unto themselves. The entire nations’ wealth remains in the hands of the ruling families .Their corrupted and vulgar life styles have become sources of embarrassment to Arabs and Muslims worldwide. All of them deposited their plundered wealth in the West.
In most of these countries there is sizable population who suffer from poverty. The problem is they cannot speak out. If they express their frustrations they end up in jail perhaps never to be seen again.
Hostile towards Islam
All of them are secular dictators .They banned Islamic organizations and allowed only people to pray, fast and do other rituals. They are also prevented from promoting Islam in keeping with their Western masters’ wish.
In the name of promoting tourism they promote prostitution and corrupt societies .In some Gulf countries prostitution is flourishing industry. They import poverty stricken Muslim women from Central Asia for prostitution. Disgusted people fiercely oppose this .However there was nothing they could do.
Frustrated people throughout the region also watched for decades with deep anger the way the rulers killed their own people. For example in September 1970 Jordan’s King Hussein killed around 30,000 Palestinian to the benefit of Israel. This massacre was supervised by CIA.
In 1976 Syria’s Alawite Shia dictator Hafiz Al Asad killed around 29,000 Palestinian refugees in Tel El Zatar in Lebanon. Six years later in 1982 he massacred around 30,000 Sunni Muslims in Hama .This genocide was supervised by Hafiz Al Assad’s brother Rifat Al Assad who later lived happily in Spain and London as a wealthy businessman.
In the midst Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 and slaughtered Palestinians there. In Sabra –Chatila refugee camps alone around 3000 Palestinians were slaughtered by Christian Falangist supervised by Israeli butcher turned Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who is struggling between life and death for the past six years in a life saving machine. Perhaps divine punishment?
In the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, Saddam Hussein invaded Iran in 1980 and triggered the Eight Year Gulf War which killed more than a million people, destroyed infrastructure of the two countries besides costing billions .Who benefitted? Israel and the weapons industry in US and Europe.
As if these destructions were not enough Saddam Hussein precipitated yet another crisis by sending his troops into Kuwait in August 1990.He was instigated by the US Ambassador to Iraq April Gaspie who had reported to have told Saddam that if Iraqi dispatch troops to Kuwait US considers it Arab-Arab affair.
Exploiting the opportunity, as planned, President George Bush Sr bribed and blackmailed regimes in the region and unleashed US military might on Iraq under the guise of liberating Kuwait. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were slaughtered. Middle East was divided with deep bitterness and enmity for generations to the benefit of Israel and the war mongers in US and Europe. Saudi Arabia spent $ 55 billion for this war which could have been avoided as suggested by Prince Hassan of Jordan.
In the aftermath of the carnage President Bush Sr, speaking of the real reason for the war, said “Israel is safe in the region and the uninterrupted oil flow is ensured.
The US and European crusaders divided Iraq into three zones. This followed the United Nations sanctions on Iraq which caused the death of around 1.5 million Iraqis, including 500,000 children. Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright justified this slaughter. Once again who benefited? Israel and the West? Palestinian issue was put to cold storage.
Then came the bombing of World Trade Centre in New York in September 2001. Within 24 hours President George Bush Jr accused former Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaida of being responsible.
Almost every independent study into the incident exonerated Muslims of any involvement. However George Bush Jr, in the footsteps of his father Bush Sr, blackmailed weaker nations, formed coalition, attacked Afghanistan within 27 days and turned this war battered country into an almost waste land.Hundreds of thousands of innocent Afghans were massacred. Perhaps killing Muslims is blood sport for American leaders.
Two years later in 2003 Bush Jr together with his British partner Tony Blair, invaded Iraq with no valid reason and turned this almost developed country into yet another wasteland. Indiscriminate aerial bombing using most sophisticated fighter planes and the latest of destructive weapons Bush and Blair killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, destroyed well developed infrastructure. Today total death stands at 1.49 million.
Bush used latest of napalm bombs to destroy the Iraqi city of Fallujah and massacre people there. Unable to survive large number of women who lived a comfortable, dignified and peaceful life under Saddam Hussein, turned to prostitution.
Meanwhile the US led Europe unleashed a ferocious anti Muslim campaign targeting every Muslim man and woman, their religion, religious schools ,their culture and their economies besides projecting Muslims as barbarous .The Arab dictators shamefully joined hands with this anti Muslim campaign .
The claim of United States and Europe of championing democracy is a sham? In the 1990 free and fair elections in Algeria Islamic party, FLN, won with an overwhelming majority. France, with the support of US, Britain, Israel and the corrupt Arab dictators staged a coup and installed a military dictatorship. Algerians were not only deprived fruits of their democratic exercise but around 180,000- Islamic party supporters were battered to death.
In a free and fair elections supervised by former US President Jimmy Carter Palestinian organization Hamas won .How did the West respond? Israel imposed a inhuman economic blockade by closing the entry point to Gaza. Champions of democracy in Washington, London and Paris followed suit. With Egypt also closing down the only remaining entry point Gaza was turned into the largest open prison in the world. Many described this cruelty as genocide.
In the midst came the Israeli genocide of starving Palestinians in Gaza in December 2008/January 2009, perpetrated in cooperation with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Palestine Authority.
Adding insult to injury these dictators shamelessly hob knob with Israeli leaders who were committing crime after crime against Palestinians and humiliating the Arabs all over. For example, despite Bush’s genocide on Muslin Afghanistan and Muslim Iraq, Saudi King Abdullah who facilitated the US-UK destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, went all the way to Washington and presented the highest national award to Bush. The entire Muslim world was humiliated. Further he hosted a dinner for which he invited Israeli President Shimon Peres – the architect of Qana massacre.
Thus people throughout the region were seething with anger and the time was ripe for an unprecedented Arab uprising. It was a volcano awaiting eruption. The trigger came when the Tunisian unemployed graduate set fire to himself and committed suicide as he was not allowed to sell fruits to earn the day’s meal for the family.
The scale of the fast spreading uprising shocked the world. The question is how this peaceful people came forward in millions to sacrifice their lives for the sake of freedom and dignity. The west tried to project the uprising as sponsored by Islamic fundamentalists, but failed.
What is most significant is the peaceful nature of the demonstrations. Only when they found that regimes started using brutal measures to crush the demonstrations they started demanding the removal of their governments. Now the uprising is raging the entire region like a democratic tsunami. It is just the beginning and the process is bound to continue.
In Most Arab countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries, the armed forces were trained and armed by America, France or Britain with deep Israeli involvement. As a result US and Europe managed to create armies friendly and dependent on them.
For example Omar Suleiman, selected by Hosni Mubarak as vice president, was a CIA-Mossad trained torturer. Omar Suleiman and the present armed forces are friendly with Israel and America and the annual 1.3 billion American aids is used mainly for the armed forces which is deeply involved in big businesses and flourish in wealth. The brutal crackdown of peaceful demonstrators near Israeli Embassy in Cairo marking the 1948 NAQBA was a clear indication that Hosni Mubarak has gone but his pro American, pro Zionist and anti people armed forces remain in power. They are certainly interested in preserving their own interests than the country’s interests.
The situation is equally worse in Saudi Arabia and the GCC countries including United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain. These countries also maintain US military bases which were used to strike Afghanistan and Iraq. The UAE has turned to sworn enemy of Islam Erick Prince, founder of BLACKWATER, to create, under a 529 million dollar deal South African, Columbian and other mercenaries of non Muslims to be trained at Zayed Military City to help crush any political uprising. The irony is that the Abu Dhabi rulers couldn’t find trustworthy Muslims to do this job from among the more than 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide.
Under the circumstance people’s uprising continues. Their immediate success depends on the armed forces. If they respect the will of the people it would facilitate the smooth transfer of power. Instead if they armed forces resist rivers of blood are bound to flow in the streets of the Arab capitals with unpredictable consequences.