Political and Social Change in the Middle East?
peter.reardon: on social turmoil for social justice in the Arab world
The fallout from the success of the recent public demonstrations against the totalitarian Tunisian government was swift and massive and was copied across the Middle Eastern countries ruled by corrupt and oppressive dictators.
Whether or not the 'popular voice' of the people in the various countries, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, and Yemen has caused chaos in various towns resulting with tens of thousands of people taking to the streets to oppose governments such as Egypt's leader Mubarak who has been in office for thirty suppressive years. Mubarak "has to go" the demonstrators chant, and, "the people want bread, freedom, and justice."
Egyptian leader Hosni Mobarak, in a speech addressed to the people at about midnight local time talked about building democracy,and promised reform but he will not be leaving office. From a speech aired by the BBC news-caste 28 January 2011. Mubarak has sacked this government and will form a new one tomorrow, elections are not on the dictators agenda.
But this a speech of smoke and mirrors because Mubarak does not lead office from a democratic perspective his chosen approach is totalitarian. Reporters throughout the Mddle East who supply comment and video to the current BBC presentation suggest that Mubarak is out of touch with the people of his country which is causing "alarm" at the possibility of Mubarak adopting a tougher line against the many thousands of demonstrators who have ignored the police to disperse.
The National Security Service in Egypt cut telephone and television services to stop people organizing but the people can (could?) communicate via social networks such as face book.
The American government is putting out cautious sound bites about the dramatic changes happening in the Middle East. President Obama is probably wondering why Mubarak has not requested the White House to send in the the US armed force to protect the one billion aid to Egypt for about the the last nine years to develop military capacity.
However, President Obama supports democracy he says and the people have a right to free expression. The right of assembly is a right of all people, as is the right to be heard, and meaningful dialogue for the Egyptian people.
Hillary Clinton is telling the long serving dictators that America supports human rights and democracy for the people and armed aggression is not the way forward.