It sounded so great: the ‘peaceful’ revolutions in the countries Tunesia and
promised a spring of low-violence revolutions all over the Arabic world. The old dictatorial leaders in countries like Egypt Libya, and Saudi-Arabia would disappear and a kind of younger, more democratic leaders would emerge there, turning the world into a better place. Syria
But as this dream is not fully over yet, it now seems that Libyan leader Ghadaffi is of another kind than his ‘predecessors’ Hossni Mubarak of
and Tunesian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Egypt
The old Desert Fox doesn’t feel a too good person to start a war with his own people over who is in charge in the country. Was the early momentum in favor of the insurgents, now it is hard to tell who is going to win.
Gadhaffi was ruthless enough to use bomber planes, tanks and artillery against the insurgents. Now, a few weeks later, he is fighting a kind of scorched-earth strategy with bombings of civil targets and soldiers of fortune who are fighting his dirty war, attracted by the massive pay checks that Gadhaffi can afford.
As a consequence the Libyan revolution is turning into a civil war of the nasty kind:
- With massive bloodshed under the citizens,
- Parties that are fighting for every building and don’t take any prisoners,
- Enormous flows of fugitives struggling to reach the shores and the borders and
- Foreign soldiers (Dutch and English) kept hostage and shown on national TV, as a kind of war trophy.
It is uncertain how this operation “Desert Mess” ends. If Gadhaffi wins, the whole uprising in the Middle-East:
- might fizzle out like a damp squib or
- might make the insurgents in other countries more ruthless and determined to win their own fight.
However, if Gadhaffi loses his (final) war, he might find himself and his whole family back standing at gunpoint of a firing squad, for a departure in Nicolae Ceaucescu style. There will be no mercy then under his victors.
At this moment the rulers in all Arabian countries and even countries as far as
China and are grinding their teeth and wringing their hands about the ending of this Libyan war. Even today the number of uprisings in the Arabian countries is increasing and I think that the insurgents will be as determined as they can be, now they know that the price of their uprising can be plain civil war, with lots of people getting wounded and killed. Russia
Saudi-Arabia is trying to turn the tide, by handing out some social ‘breadcrumbs’ to the people and preventing demonstrations from being organized, but it will probably be in vain.
The same goes for
that is now desperately trying to stop the massive inflation that has hit the country and the social unrest that this inflation causes. The Chinese leaders are remembering their Tiananmen Square Massacre all too well and don’t want an encore, now they try to convince the western world of their good intensions. China
But all leaders in the Arabic world, Africa, Russia and China have one thing in common: they lost the contact with and understanding for their people a long time ago, as they were all living in their ivory towers, surrounded by their paladins saying how great and powerful they are.
To give you an example: as my wife is Russian, I saw the Russian news many times. I saw dozens of interviews of leaders of neighboring countries, cities and regions with Vladimir Putin and Dmitriy Medvedev. However, I never saw these leaders listening interestedly to their conversation partners. There were either speaking to their partners in a way that tolerated no objections or they were listening with a dutiful and uninterested face.
One thing is sure: when the Arabian world comes to rest again, it will have been at the cost of many, many lives. In the meantime the process will be carefully watched by the Russian and Chinese leaders.