Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Sea Change -- the Middle East on Fire?: The news of the unrest in Syria challenging the power of Assad is astounding. It is jaw dropping and it is giving Iran, Syria's ally, a nervous stomach. Who would have predicted Middle East power structures falling like dominoes? The yearning to breathe free is a human common denominator. Ever since I was a child in elementary school I remember thinking how wonderful it was that I could ask my teachers absolutely anything. I was utterly free to speak my mind. Later when I realized that not everyone experiences that I thought how difficult it must be to censor one's thought.

The Internet, Facebook, Twitter, cell phones that capture pictures must give power agida. It is hard to squash the truth when one has these technological wonders at one's disposal to record it all and there is NOTHING power can do to stop it. It does not mean, however, that power will not try their damnedest to hide at all costs the unspeakable things they know they have done to their own people. We cannot be so smug even here as the Wikileaks provider, Corporal Manning, could, I am sure, attest. Power does not give up its secrets easily. It is up to we the people to demand the truth from them and hold their feet to the fire to get it.

The biggest question I have about each Middle Eastern state that has fallen or is in the process of revolt is who are these rebels and where will they take their people. If they go the way of religious fanaticism then I say not much has changed but if they go the way of a truly free society with secular equality, free speech and the accompanying bill of rights then we will have witnessed a sea change for the better of repressive, totalitarian religious fanatical states. If the latter is the case then no wonder Iran has a queasy stomach tonight. It SHOULD!

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