ARABIC REVOLUTION: LEGITIMATE STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM, OR A GLOBAL CONSPIRACY WITH A HIDDEN AGENDA?

Iun 10th, 2011 | By | Publicat in categoria Nr. 1 Mai 2011, Revista nr. 1 Mai 2011

For more than half a century, the Arab people were caught up between the terror of their western-sponsored dictators and the rise of bearded burqa-wielding fanatics. This was actually part of a crafty system which had led the West to pillage and oppress the Arab people in its ongoing quest for maximum profit. Occupying their land and counterfeiting their history through the state of Israel was also part of the grand plan to crush Arab dignity and self worth. The biased media was also always ready to portray them in the worst possible ways. Anyone who dared stand in the face of this injustice was mercilessly demonized. Occasionally, Western powers would fail to calmly install a puppet leader at the head of an Arab country, or the man they bet on would decide to no longer play by their rules. This is when the West would directly interfere by waging wars, since its economy partly depends on the military-industrial complex anyway.

The Arab people finally gathered all the necessary courage and determination to take charge of their destiny and tried to put an end to this entire charade.
The Arab Revolutions started with the Tunisia Protests in December of 2010.

The events began in December 2010 and led to the ousting of longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. Street demonstrations and other unrest have continued to the present day. The protests constituted the most dramatic wave of social and political unrest in Tunisia in three decades  and have resulted in scores of deaths and injuries, most of which were the result of action by police and security forces against demonstrators. The protests were sparked by the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi on 17 December and led to the ousting of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali 28 days later on 14 January 2011, when he officially resigned after fleeing to Saudi Arabia, ending 23 years in power. Labour unions were said to be an integral part of the protests.

Following Ben Ali’s departure, a state of emergency was declared. A caretaker coalition government was also created, including members of Ben Ali’s party, the Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD), in key ministries, while including other opposition figures in other ministries, with elections to take place within 60 days. However, five newly appointed non-RCD ministers resigned almost immediately, and daily street protests in Tunis and other towns around Tunisia continued, demanding that the new government have no RCD members and that the RCD itself be disbanded. On 27 January Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi reshuffled the government, removing all former RCD members other than himself. On 6 February the new interior minister suspended all party activities of the RCD, citing security reasons. The party was dissolved, as protesters had demanded, on 9 March 2011.

Following further public protests, Ghannouchi himself resigned on 27 February, and Beji Caid el Sebsi became Prime Minister; two other members of the Interim Government resigned on the following day.

Riots in Tunisia were rare and noteworthy, especially since the country is generally considered to be wealthy and stable as compared to other countries in the region. Any form of protests in the country were previously successfully oppressed and kept silent by the former regime and protesters would be jailed for such actions, as were for example protests by hundreds of unemployed demonstrators in Redeyef in 2008. Al Jazeera English also said that Tunisian activists are amongst the most outspoken in its part of the world with various messages of support being posted on Twitter for Bouazizi. An op-ed article in the same network said of the action that it was „suicidal protests of despair by Tunisia’s youth.” It pointed out that the state-controlled National Solidarity Fund and the National Employment Fund had traditionally subsidised many goods and services in the country but had started to shift the „burden of providence from state to society” to be funded by the „bidonvilles,” or shanty towns, around the richer towns and suburbs. It also cited the „marginalisation of the agrarian and arid central and southern areas [that] continue[s] unabated.” The protests were also called an „uprising” because of „a lethal combination of poverty, unemployment and political repression: three characteristics of most Arab societies.” Another cause for the uprising has been attributed to the inability of the Tunisian government from being able to censor information from reaching the Tunisian people, such as information from WikiLeaks describing rampant corruption in the Tunisian government.

 Success encouraged others to join the movement and soon the Egypt Protests followed in February 2011. The movement spread in the region like an unstoppable virus that engulfed the rest of the Arab World, in what became known as the Arab Spring or Printemps Arabe.

In Egypt and also the wider Arab world, the protests and subsequent changes in the government, are mostly called the 25 January Revolution (Thawrat 25 Yanāyir), Freedom revolution and Rage Revolution ,and sometimes called[31] the Revolution of the Youth Lotus Revolution or the White Revolution ( al-Thawrah al-bayḍāʾ).[33] In the media it has been known as the 18 Day Revolution.

The 2011 Egyptian revolution (Arabic: ثورة ٢٥ يناير‎ thawret 25 yanāyir, Revolution of 25 January) took place following a popular uprising that began on 25 January 2011. The uprising, in which the participants placed emphasis on the peaceful nature of the struggle, mainly comprised a campaign of civil resistance, which featured a series of demonstrations, marches, acts of civil disobedience, and labour strikes. Millions of protesters from a variety of socio-economic and religious backgrounds demanded the overthrow of the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Despite being predominantly peaceful in nature, the revolution was not without violent clashes between security forces and protesters. The campaign took place in Cairo, Alexandria, and in other cities in Egypt, following the Tunisian Revolution that saw the overthrow of the long-time Tunisian president. On 11 February, following weeks of determined popular protest and pressure, Mubarak resigned from office

After popular movements overturned the rulers of Tunisia and Egypt, its immediate neighbours to the west and east, Libya experienced a full-scale revolt beginning in February 2011. By 20 February, the unrest had spread to Tripoli. In the early hours of 21 February 2011, Saif al-Islam Muammar Al-Gaddafi, oldest son of Muammar Gaddafi, spoke on Libyan television of his fears that the country would fragment and be replaced by „15 Islamic fundamentalist emirates” if the uprising engulfed the entire state. He warned that the country’s economic wealth and recent prosperity was at risk, admitted that „mistakes had been made” in quelling recent protests and announced that a constitutional convention would begin on 23 February. Shortly after this speech, the Libyan Ambassador to India announced on BBC Radio 5 live that he had resigned in protest at the „massacre” of protesters.

Gaddafi appeared on Libyan state TV to deny rumors of his runaway voiced by the United Kingdom‘s foreign minister, William Hague, saying, „I want to show that I’m in Tripoli and not in Venezuela. Do not believe the (TV) channels belonging to stray dogs.” His government has also portrayed the recent rebellion as being engineered by Western elements and Israel, and has been suspected of manipulating the Libyan news media through planted reports in newspapers and television. Two Libyan Air Force colonels flew their Mirage F1D jets to Malta and defected, claiming they refused orders to bomb protesters. The military of Russia claims it cannot verify a single airstrike against protesters has taken place since the unrest began.

As of early March 2011, much of Libya has tipped out of Gaddafi’s control, coming under the aegis of a coalition of opposition forces, including soldiers who decided to support the rebels. Pro-Gaddafi forces have been able to militarily respond to rebel pushes in Western Libya and launched a counterattack on the strategic coastal towns of Ras Lanuf and Brega. The town of Zawiyah, 30 miles from Tripoli, was bombarded by planes and tanks and seized by pro-Gaddafi troops, „exercising a level of brutality not yet seen in the conflict.” Eastern Libya, centered on the second city and vital port of Benghazi, is said to be firmly in the hands of the opposition, while Tripoli and its environs remain in dispute.

However, in several public appearances, Gaddafi has threatened to destroy the protest movement, and Al Jazeera and other agencies have reported his government is arming pro-Gaddafi militiamen to kill protesters and defectors against the regime in Tripoli. Organs of the United Nations, including United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations Human Rights Council, have condemned the crackdown as violating international law, with the latter body expelling Libya outright in an unprecedented action urged by Libya’s own delegation to the UN. The United States imposed economic sanctions against Libya, followed shortly by Australia, Canada and the United Nations Security Council, which also voted to refer Gaddafi and other government officials to the International Criminal Court for investigation.

On 26 February 2011, the National Transitional Council was established under the stewardship of Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Gaddafi’s former justice minister, to administer the areas of Libya under rebel control. This marked the first serious effort to organize the broad-based opposition to the Gaddafi regime. While the council is presently based in Benghazi, it claims Tripoli as its capital. Hafiz Ghoga, a human rights lawyer, later assumed the role of spokesman for the council. On 10 March 2011 , France became the first state to recognise the National Libyan Council as the country’s legitimate government.

On 17 March 2011 the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1973 with a 10–0 vote and five abstentions. Resolution 1973 sanctioned the establishment a no-fly zone and the use of „all means necessary” to protect civilians within Libya.

Shortly afterwards, Libyan Foreign Minister Mussa Kussa stated that „Libya has decided an immediate ceasefire and an immediate halt to all military operations”. However, attacks against insurgent strongholds appear to have continued despite this claim.

There is much but much to talk about, oil, population explosion, international politics, European corporate interests, but I have the impression that these processes have been accelerated not only by the issue of revolutionary mass organization through Facebook (organize marches, revolutions, etc..) but because the visibility of the affluent life  was through crappy TV, soap opera, News and other Media controlled by the political caste.

All this was rather unexpected, and came as a surprise. The US, that was hit by a great paradox, attempted to embark on the wave of popular protests in the Middle East. They were obliged to quickly readjust their previous stance, placing themselves in the role of the helpers, and claiming these revolutions are within the framework of US strategy and interests. They were unsuccessful however in gaining the trust of the Arab people, who boycotted the visit by the US diplomatic chief & US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the region. They however managed to hijack some of the revolutions, guiding them towards their own interests in the region, with the help of KSA via Qatar.

In Yemen the pro-democracy protesters marched through the dusty streets of this Middle Eastern country capital, voicing hope that the revolution unfolding in the Arab world would soon reach them.

„Yesterday, Tunisia. Today, Egypt. Tomorrow, Yemen,” they shouted, trying to make their way to the Egyptian embassy.

But the small march on Saturday never reached its intended target. A line of police stopped the protesters; then a loud, unruly crowd of pro-government supporters emerged, and the two groups clashed. The protesters soon vanished, their voices muffled by pro-government chants.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has ruled Yemen for 32 years, is clearly rattled by the anarchy unfolding in Egypt. But what has happened here also shows that Yemen’s situation is distinct from its neighbors, even as many Yemenis share the same grievances and frustrations driving the upheavals in Egypt and Tunisia.

Many among the Arab world’s dispossessed hope for a domino effect that could see more of the region’s autocratic regimes fall, like the swift collapse of the Soviet Union. But in Yemen, activists are facing numerous obstacles, straddling political, social and economic fault lines, even as they gain courage and inspiration from the momentous events unfolding in the region.

Unrest quickly reached other parts of the Arab World, with the Libya Protests and the Yemen Protests. Muammar Al Gaddafi was given ample time to suppress demands for reform by using unprecedented force, and therein giving an ”excuse” for the west to directly interfere under legitimate pretexts. Israeli intelligence infiltrated the Libyan opposition, that was in desperate need for help. Al Gaddafi broke all taboos by killing thousands of his own people, placing his country at the verge of a civil war, and most importantly putting a stop to the flow of revolutions in the region!

 The Bahrain Protests asking for the preservation of national unity, the end to discrimination and the elimination of financial corruption, thus received less media coverage. The officials tried to portray the legitimate protests of the Bahraini people as a sectarian fight, and undermined their plight by inflating Sunnas vs. Shiites tensions. Riyadh and its allies were also determined to prevent the breeze of political reforms in the Arab world from reaching to other member states of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council.

Emboldened by the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a key ally of the United States, other pro-American regimes in the region are quickly coming to realize that their countries are not immune to the revolutionary fervor that has swept through the Middle East. In Bahrain, protests to topple the monarchy continue today, as protesters mourn the deaths of five fellow demonstrators killed the day before in a violent clash with the kingdom’s military.

Ruled by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa since 1999, Bahrain is an absolute monarchy. Before him, the country was ruled by his father Emir (a high title of nobility in the Muslim world equivalent to sheikh or other high ruler) Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa from 1961 to 1999.

The Bahraini monarchy is ruled by the House of Khalifa — the ruling family since Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Khalifa came to power in 1783 as Bahrain’s first Hākim or monarch.

The Bahraini people have never known political freedom as some of their fellow Arab neighbors have, and after seeing that a revolution can topple a longstanding powerful ruler such as Mubarak, many in Bahrain see this as their opportunity to overthrow the monarchy and establish a free democratic society.

As with the recent events in Tunisia and Egypt, the United States has been careful not to interfere too much, hoping to be on good terms with the government -— whoever that may be once these revolutions subside.

Although a tiny island nation located in the Persian Gulf, off the coast of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Bahrain is a key strategic outpost for the U.S. Navy. Bahrain’s naval ports are the home away from home for the U.S. Fifth Fleet, which — because of its proximity to Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan — has played a more important role in the War on Terror and  the Iraq War than any other U.S. fleet in the world, and is also responsible for keeping oil shipping lanes in the Gulf secure.

The loss of Bahrain to radical sectarian forces or a government non-sympathetic to Washington will be a major thorn on the side of the Pentagon and especially the White House as it gears up for presidential elections next year.

The loss of Mubarak pales in comparison to the loss of a U.S. Navy fleet base, which would severely debilitate U.S. naval operations and interests in the region as well as throw into doubt prospects for President Obama’s re-election, at least in light of his foreign policy.

There is no doubt to the U.S. defense establishment that Bahrain is vital to American interests in the region. Although the United States is in the business of promoting „democracy” abroad, Bahrain’s protests are looking at the United States less as a source of inspiration and more as an accomplice to their plight.

Despite all of the news reports surfacing from Bahrain, many still remain unaware of what is going on and what forces remain at play.

Although online social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook act as a vital conduit to disseminate information and spread word of what happens where and when, it is the organizational forces behind the scenes that are the primary instigators of revolution — just as in Egypt.

The protests in Bahrain began as an extension of the demonstrations in Egypt. On February 5, 2011, Bahrain’s Gulf Daily News reported that “[h]undreds of Bahrainis took to the streets yesterday in support of the Egyptian people.” The protestors, made up of men, women and children, “showed up in large numbers at a peaceful demonstration.”

The demonstrations were authorized on the previous Thursday night, February 3, by the Interior Ministry after having declined two previous requests.

The report further explained that the demonstrations were “organized by Bahraini political associations and trade unions, rallying behind the demands of Egyptian citizens.”

The ruling al-Khalifa family subscribes to Sunni Islam while the majority of the population is Shiite Muslims, who feel oppressed by the Sunnis. Shiites claim to be treated like second-class citizens in Bahrain, despite their overwhelming majority in population.

It is clear that they seek to build on the successes of both Tunisia and Egypt, hoping to dethrone the Bahraini monarchy . The situation is clearly becoming more and more tense by the moment as the army continues its relentless brutality on the people for the sake of the preservation of the monarchy and as protestors both religious and secular leftist continue to demand change. Like Egypt, this is one hot spot to pay attention to as its ramifications may be global.

 The Saudi Arabia Protests, Qatar Protests, Kuwait Protests, and UAE Protests remained under control; A definite sign that the plan might have actually worked. President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen who was close to being ousted, also got a second chance, with a prolonged stay.

The rest of the Arab World was not spared however, with the Oman Protests, Algeria Protests, Lebanon Protests, Jordan Protests, Iraq Protests, Palestine Protests, Sudan Protests, Morocco Protests, and even Djibouti Protests.

Loosing (or risking loosing) existing Arab allies could not pass without a counter revolution attempt. Some opposing powers also witnessed unrest like the Syria Protests. It also reached other regional powers with the Iran Protests.

The counter-revolution also manifested itself by pushing forward personalities such as Mohamed Elbaradei that could absorb the crowds into a more ”moderate” and pro-western change, to ensure western interests.

The Arabs were also very saddened by the bitter-sweet reality of their long lived love affair with Al Jazeera. Although the News TV Station was decisive in the success of the first few revolutions, it gradually became obvious the station had its own hidden agenda. Based on a deal between Qatar and KSA, the station looked away from what was happening in Bahrain or those two other mentioned kingdoms, and attacked one of the last remaining strongholds of the resistance against Israel , Syria, by repeatedly airing fake Youtube videos, manipulating information and giving credibility to fake eye-witnesses. They also seemed to be promoting in a way a NATO occupation of the region. The growing sentiment of mistrust felt by the viewers was reinforced when Ghassan Bin Jiddo resigned from his post at the station.

Like with most things, some conspiracy theories started circulating around claiming to bring about the real story behind these Arab Revolutions.

Some people believe that the protests in the Middle East and North Africa are the starting point and the building block to what is known as the New World Order. The new-world order is not a new theory, it has been around for many years. People who follow this theory believe the world is moving in the direction of one unique powerful government.

 

 Facultatea de Ştiinţe Economice, anul II de studiu la specializarea „Administrarea afacerilor”

Manea Doinita (partea economica)

Marinescu Cristina (partea politica)

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