The Democratic Nations SHOULD Support the Arab Revolutions
Most of the world have been transfixed by the unfolding events in the Arab world. Today I discuss why I think the Western world should support those who want fundamental freedoms
So since December 2010 North Africa and the Middle East have seen unprecedented protests. 2 dictators have already fell (Tunisia & Egypt), with 1 on the brink (Yemen), and one which has brought on the wrath of the international community (Libya, more on them later). The uprisings are still spreading across that part of the world. A world where the population used to be afraid of the state services, are now standing tall and saying “no, enough!” “We want freedoms, we want a say in our country!”
My opinion is that our governments in the west (I’m British), should support these revolutions regardless of whether or not the current dictator is a friend of the west or not. At the end of the day, the general population of any country should have a RIGHT to decide who leads their country, and should be ALLOWED to express their opinion whether or not that’s the opinion of their government or not.
I hear arguments saying “well if that happens then maybe someone will get elected who is anti-west”, and to that I say “So what?”. If that’s who that population votes in then that is who we have to deal with. It should be their choice who is in charge and not open to foreign influences (whether that is from the west, or closer to home). As long as the public has an option to vote them out of office 4-5 years later, and those elections are fair and free then we have absolutely no right to interfere. Obviously one of the big arguments is oil. If an anti-west government took over some of the major oil nations then there is a fear that they might rise the prices. Whilst this would be painful for us, you have to put it into context. To what price do you place freedom? To what price do you place Democracy? For people to choose the direction their country heads, and to make amends if the previous decision didn’t work out (voting out a government).
I have followed the revolutions closely since the Jan 28th (knew about the Tunisia uprising but was only on this day when i started to very closely watch the situation in the Arab world. I would just like to make a few things known about the situation in Libya.
Didn’t Start As An Armed Revolution
One Tweet I saw a few days ago said “Gaddafi has a right to use military might during this. It’s an armed rebellion.” The revolution in Libya started with purely peaceful protests. Tobruk, Benghazi and others peacefully marched, and chanted. Gaddafi than responding by not just using the state police (like in Egypt), but using the full might of the army in all three formats (land, air and sea), to bombard these protests. These were peaceful protests that were being shot and bombed BY THEIR OWN LEADER. Of course they armed themselves, it was either be armed and have a chance of living, or stay 100% peaceful and be slaughtered.
The airstrikes are needless Western aggression
This is also a load of rubbish in my opinion. In the face of thousands of civilians being killed, cities who have had their phone lines, internet, water and electricity cut, the international community had a moral obligation to respond. Benghazi was probably 24/48 hours away from being destroyed, a city with a population of 700,000 would’ve lost at least half the population. It wouldn’t have been through fleeing, it would’ve been through a massacre. We had no choice but go in and defend these people.
I’ve seen some people in the US, even senators say that they shouldn’t get involved as the US has no interest in Libya. Er … so just because there’s nothing to financially gain from the situation does not mean you shouldn’t get involved. I don’t understand how some people/nations (looking at you Germany), can just stand idly by and say “you know what, it’s not affecting us so why should i/we care?”
At the end of the day whether it is here in the UK, in the US, Australia, France, Egypt, Libya or Syria. Every human deserves their say. Every human deserves their rights to freedom, to be able to decide who leads them, without the fear of being tortured, kidnapped or killed. In these situations, financial interests and political interests shouldn’t matter, what should matter is the basic human interest.