Middle East at War

A war has been brewing in the Middle East, a war which has a unique character, a battle unprecedented in the last four decades; a war against tyranny, autocracy, brutality, oppression and injustice. This conflict has a different connotation altogether as it pits the people who have attained a point of saturation, i.e., we can’t take it anymore; against establishments who know nothing but to loot, plunder, suppress and murder innocent people. The revolt meant the masses who have lingered in despair have finally shunned the veil and were now foreseeing the immediate prospect of change, i.e., the change of guard at the pinnacle of the government.

Astonishingly the unusual demand for this radical shift has not been made by the older generation, but rather by a countless herd of young rebels united in their cause to topple the government. The young were out in numbers to vent out their anger and this time they did so marvelously well that even the deaf could have heard them. The message was loud and clear, “We want change”. This is a revolution in opposition to non-performance, unwanted economic stagnancy, uncontrollable corruption, hounding bureaucracy and misery of the poor. The protestors knew that this was their moment, because if not now than never. They used Satyagraha as a tool to defy the dictate of the government and were intoxicated by a drug called ‘A moment for Change’.

This sea of change began when a fruit seller from Tunisia named Muhammad Bouazizi confronted the corrupt administrators, but was singled out. When his soul could not take the insult any longer, he burnt himself alive and the reaction to his untimely death triggered a wave of non-violent protests in which the people of Tunisia were up in arms to say goodbye to their cruel President Ben Ali. As the pressure mounted on Ali, he quit office and left the country. This was the first time in the modern history of Middle East wherein the people were successful in ousting a regime which had ruled them with the power of the muscle.

However, what can be called rather incredible is the fact that how easily the people were triumphant and were able to crush the tormenters who have ruled them by their stick for decades. Even more startling is the truth that the change was brought about without firing a gunshot.

The historic transformation in Tunisia inspired the Egyptian population to an extent that millions marched on the streets of Cairo and assembled at the famed Tahrir Square protesting police brutality, unfair elections, and suspension of civil and fundamental rights. President Hosni Mubarak responded by sending troops on the roads, although the military said it would not fire on the non-violent protestors. With a non-cooperating Army, Mubarak had no choice but to budge in favor of the people’s demands and had to quit. With Mubarak gone Egypt has began her tryst with an impending transformation from autocracy to a democratic government, which the Army says will be installed in the next six months.

With the toppling of governments in Tunisia and Egypt, the people of the Middle East realized that this could be their moment too. A series of anti-government protests have set in motion in Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and Iran and the confidence the people now have can be gauged by a banner held by a protestor; the banner has imagery of both the outgoing Presidents Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak and asks “who’s next”.

The Regimes of Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and Iran have responded with brute force, unleashing a reign of terror, instigating a fear psychosis in the minds of the people with the help of a loyal Army which will do anything to save their totalitarian establishments from being overthrown. However, the people have become reluctant to leave their demands and want change, at whatever cost it comes. Moreover, as international pressure mounts on these nations, the states will have to give in to the wishes of the people. The war for change will not die down, even though more than two hundred people have been killed by Libyan forces since the revolution began. It will finally come down to the wire who blinks first and there is a strong evidence in support for “Change”, as people want to see the ‘End of Misery’ and the ‘Birth of Democracy’. Let’s see who wins?

Pawan Atri

Image Source: [http://www.flickr.com/photos/magdino20/5471975531/]