I would hope that all of the leaders who would like to rule forever and do little for their people are looking and learning from what is going on in Egypt, Tunisia and Russia. When you deny the people the basics of life and the ability to take care of their families and loved ones eventually they will fight back and it is not always nice. At some point the oppressed only have two choices protest with the hope of making some one pay attention, but most likely you may be killed by your own government for your efforts, but even this knowledge becomes the preferred choice when the only other option is to watch your family die from starvation and die slowly doing nothing.
There is only so much abuse that even the gentlest and meekest of people can withstand, before they break and become civilly disobedient and take to the streets in protest. Water cannons, rubber bullets and sonic ear drum breakers will not be enough to keep the crowds back as the head of Tunisia,(Zine El Abidine Ben Ali) found out as he was forced into exile. Speeches and promises to do better will fall on deaf ears as your people stand together to get rid of you as Egypt’s, Hosni Mubarak is finding out right now. How many metro bombings and airport bombings and world Trade Center type bombings will it take for people to understand that the problems of the world will not be settled by ignoring them, or with the assigning of blame for them. The problems of the world will and can only be solved by helping at home as well as abroad.
As the nations of the west move further away from democracy in their practices, raise taxes and give nothing in return that will help the hungry, homeless, elderly and sick, just to name a few, the beginning of revolt whispers can be barely heard, but they are there. As the working people continue to go without out cost of living increases and suffer through forced pay freezes while we spend money on articles of war, host summits costing billions of dollars in security, our domestic pressure will build and then finally burst. Working people once considered the middle class are tired of the rich laughing and calling them the new lower-class. Students who graduate from college are tired of spending upwards of $50.000 dollars plus to get through school in fees only to find that the only jobs they find will be in McDonalds, or Best Buy. The middle class is tired of the politicians voting themselves raises and talking to the rest of us about, holding on we are not out of our financial problems yet. When the middle class becomes disenchanted with the powers that be and joins the lower class who are the poor and really angry, all hell has a way of breaking out.
People in most countries do not ask for too much from their governments that is not considered a basic living requirement, but for a long time now governments have been telling people to stop thinking about themselves and start thinking globally. Governments give tax breaks to large corporations calling them stimulus packages a necessity they say if the economy is to recover and the corporations outsource the work and put our countries people out of work. The banks also get large tax breaks that they do not need and then charges us for every service that they once did for free and for some that they do not even honor, like the charge for certifying a check and then not honoring the certification.
When people die in waiting rooms waiting to be seen and die in their homes from fires trying to stay warm, because they can not afford to pay the high cost of heating; you will start to see a shift in the nature of your once calm, docile, law-abiding people, to angry, militant, justice seeking people.
You can close off the internet, the phones even control the news media, but it will not stop the protesting and unrest once your people take to the streets in protest, untill you are removed from your office. Governments can send in the police and the army to shoot and kill its own people, but will find as the two other leaders and Russia did that this only tends to fuel the fire of outrage, instead of crushing, quelling, or dampening the growing protest now near anarchy.
Is being a super power to the world so important that we choose it above our own people getting what they need to survive? Is being a super power to the world more important than helping a starving, or thirsting neighbor? Is being a super power to the world worth turning your guns, military forces and police on your own people? This is where we are heading and the evidence is in what is happening around the world. The protesting and the suicide bombings; the racial, religious and ethnic cleansing; the wars that are going on all over the world, like the war on terror and all for what? The right to say our God is superior to theirs, or that we are stronger than them? How many more raids in the night will we justify? How many more Omar Khadrs, will we need to sacrifice? How many ship loads of refugees need to drown? How many more raids will be conducted in international waters, before we learn the way of peace?
No one even addresses why some one would choose to blow themselves up to get at someone else. No one cares what could be the driving force behind such an action, so all we do is retaliate, or take pre-emptive action, which usually means airstrikes in the middle of the night from thousands of feet in the air, or missiles launched from hundreds of miles out at sea, which fall on unsuspecting sleeping people who we usually brand as terrorist which seems to make the action justified in our way of thinking at least. They respond with more suicide bombings killing more of us and on and on goes this senseless killing. Would it not be a better solution to resolve the problem and come to some kind of agreement that all could live with? The west has long stopped being an impartial party and so we must stop pretending to be. All sides think that they are in the right, but the sad truth is, it does not really matter, because people just keep on dying and nothing changes for anyone with the exception of the families of the dead.
This all could be avoided, if politicians and the leaders of the world were like those of old, who occasionally did something for their people, before there was a melt down brought on by the desperation of a suffering people. The people of whom I speak are not lazy, shiftless people, but the working class of nations. The nine to fivers; the people who keep countries going; the back bone of society. If these people decide to stop going to work the country will not be considered a super power for long. France, Britain and most of the European countries have been shut down by is angry middle class. Latin America has forced into exile many a would be despot, or over thrown governments for not doing enough to help its people.
All over the globe we see the outcome of what happens when governments put power, money and world opinion over what is good for their people and yet in the west our leaders give speeches on non violent protests and play the blame game. There seems to be no political will to do the right thing and the grumblings are getting louder and people are taking to the street in protest. In Canada local governments are being brought down and political leaders are abandoning ship like rats on a sinking ship. In the United States the discontent over giving people medicare, medical insurance, seeing that everyone has an equal chance at getting an education and insuring that everyone eats and sleeps under a roof is causing people to take to the streets and demand that President Barack Obama be removed and the progress that he made along these lines be repealed, or at least delayed.
I mention this because, no matter what the nature of the discontent of their people, a leader of a country must listen and convince the people that what the government, or they are planning is for the good of all, because if the government can not do this and forces its will on the people it invites civil disobedience and unrest. Forcing the hand of voters does not often work no matter how good, or just the intentions of the politician, or the government of the day.
I say that our leaders must begin to take the people of their countries seriously and get back to what is really important to their people. Promises made at election time are made because politicians realize that this is truly the direction the people want the country to go. To break these promises is to get into public office using deceit; this worked for a long time, but I think that this type of behavior is growing old, frustrating and the citizens of the world are rising up and showing their discontent. The question now is will the governments of the west learn more from the woes be falling Tunisia, Egypt and the needless bloodshed in Russia, than how to develop a kill switch for the internet and better ways to keep their social unrest suppressed?
I was reminded not long ago from a fellow blogger and rightfully so, that just because you are legally right does not mean that a stronger military power will obey the laws and give you what you are due; not even if they are supposed to be our ally and best friend. The comment reminded me of why no one trusts, or puts faith in anything that politicians say. No agreements can be reached in the world because agreements are never honored. It becomes hard to trust in some one, or something when everything that comes out of all mouths are lies and that before the ink is dried on a document of peace, or conditions of peace everyone knows that the document isn’t worth the paper it is written on. As long as everyone in the world with real power adopts the policy of justice is just for us, there will be no peace in the world and no peace at home.