Read up on the Spring of Nations:
Almost every European country in 1848 was seized with revolutionary fervor (or madness, if you will) and there was a Continent wide revolution against the tyrants: kings, emperors, dictators.
These mostly failed, as the older order did not hesitate to use soldiers to murder, massacre and as a reward rape the insurgents.
This 2011 Spring of Nations Redux is much more successful.
This is an Arab people's awakening, because, after losing to Israel multiple times, after having tyrants and murderers usurp all power (and control of its natural resources and the national purse), these people have had enough.
When your "president" has been in power for 30 odd years, when your "president" is worth more than US$70 billion while your own family is unemployed and starving, while your "president" blockades Palestinian territories and prevents (alongside weapons) medicines, foodstuffs, building materials and other things necessary for some kind of a life with dignity.
Based on the Guardian: Arab protesters tire of the men who would be king (Thursday 27 January 2011), lets take a look at the countries affected and look for patterns.
Tunisia was first, and to the surprise of the world, in an unprecedented show of People Power, tens of thousands people came out on the streets and literally staged a revolution.
The leader of that country, one Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, is worth about 5 billion British pounds.
A quite tidy sum.
How did this "servant of the people" acquire for himself and his family these monies?
The Telegraph, UK (19 Jan 2011):
Members of 'The Family' exerted total dominance of the Tunisian economy, owning banks, commercial enterprises, factories, tourist resorts and vast land holdings.
By conservative estimates Mr Ben Ali's immediate family had a £5 billion fortune, while brothers and sisters of his hated wife Leila Trabelsis accumulated even greater wealth.
The hasty departure of 30 or more Ben Ali and Trabelsis family members has brought the Tunisian economy to its knees – 43 banks, 66 shops and 11 industrial plants have been destroyed since Mr Ben Ali fled.
And speaking of excesses, The Guardian again:
American diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks described the "great wealth and excess" surrounding Materi, symbolised by a large tiger, named Pasha, kept in a cage in their Tunis home. "The opulence with which Materi and Nesrine live and their behaviour make clear why they and other members of Ben Ali's family are disliked and even hated by some Tunisians. The excesses of the family are growing," one US diplomatic cable reported.
A pet tiger kept in a cage, opulence and living like kings and princesses, while the people of the nation were unemployed and starving?
What took so long to throw these pieces of shit out, Tunisians?
As went Tunisia, so went Egypt.
And Egypt is much, much, MUCH more important to the Western interests (read - Israeli security) than other affected nations.
A bigger country translates into a bigger money pot, and consequently the "president" was worth much more than the kingpin of Tunisia.
According to another Guardian article, US$70bn (£43.5bn).
President Hosni Mubarak's family fortune could be as much as $70bn (£43.5bn) according to analysis by Middle East experts, with much of his wealth in British and Swiss banks or tied up in real estate in London, New York, Los Angeles and along expensive tracts of the Red Sea coast.
After 30 years as president and many more as a senior military official, Mubarak has had access to investment deals that have generated hundreds of millions of pounds in profits. Most of those gains have been taken offshore and deposited in secret bank accounts or invested in upmarket homes and hotels.
According to a report last year in the Arabic newspaper Al Khabar, Mubarak has properties in Manhattan and exclusive Beverly Hills addresses on Rodeo Drive.
His sons, Gamal and Alaa, are also billionaires. A protest outside Gamal's ostentatious home at 28 Wilton Place in Belgravia, central London, highlighted the family's appetite for western trophy assets.
Mubarak has been the "president" for 30+ years.
He is the one I wrote about in the beginning of the article, as if you couldn't tell (the clue was the blockade of Palestinian territories).
An interesting thing which everybody missed in the rush of events is this small happening; Mubarak has called the Israeli Knesset member, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, the day before his ouster.
Let YNET news, 02.11.11, tell the story:
Hosni Mubarak had harsh words for the United States and what he described as its misguided quest for democracy in the Middle East in a telephone call with Labor Party Knesset Member Binyamin Ben-Eliezer a day before quitting Egypt's president.
Ben-Eliezer said on Israel TV Friday that he came away from the 20-minute conversation on Thursday with the feeling the 82-year-old leader realized "it was the end of the Mubarak era."
"He had very tough things to say about the United States," said Ben-Eliezer, who has held talks with Mubarak on numerous occasions while serving in various Israeli coalition governments.
"He gave me a lesson in democracy and said: 'We see the democracy the US spearheaded in Iran and with Hamas, in Gaza, and that's the fate of the Middle East,'" Ben-Eliezer said.
"'They may be talking about democracy but they don't know what they're talking about and the result will be extremism and radical Islam,'" he quoted Mubarak as saying.
Mubarak, on his way out, a day before he is kicked out of the country, called somebody needing a confidante.
Someone on who's shoulder he could cry on, complain and pitifully whine.
Whom did he call?
I would have imagined that he could have called anybody, from the King of Jordan, a ruler of Saudi Arabia, or even Obama or Mrs. Clinton.
But no - the day before his ouster, he called a motherfucking ISRAELI politician.
If it doesn't make you think, if it doesn't boggle your mind, if it doesn't make you say WHAT THE FUCK?! then you have not been paying attention to the recent Arab-Israeli history.
More of a clue, from Bloomberg News, Jan 31, 2011:
“This is a big blow,” former Israeli trade minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer told Israeli Army radio on Jan. 30. Ben- Eliezer, the Israeli politician closest to President Hosni Mubarak, spoke to the Egyptian leader over the weekend. Mubarak is “the only leader that I know who identifies himself, in a clear way, with the importance of the peace agreements with Israel,” the former minister said.
The Israeli politician must be close to Dear Leader Mubarak indeed, to be the one the "president" chose to talk to a day before he fled Egypt.
I cannot stress this point enough - these satraps, these dictators, are propped up with American and European money (paid for oil and natural gas), have placed their families as controlling members in banks and businesses, have lived lives that the old Turkish sultans enjoyed (with Harems of women, pet tigers, opulence, splendor) while their people were left to fend for themselves.
All it needed was a spark.
The successful Tunisian (relatively peaceful) overthrow of the corrupt regime provided that spark and the powderkeg blew up.
But wait, there's more!
After Tunisia and Egypt revolutions, which were very much successful, virtually every other country in the middle east, for lack of a better term, ignited.
Guardian Interactive Map of the Revolutions: Twitter network of Arab and Middle East protests - interactive map.
Currently the HUGE story (alongside big stories from Jordan, Bahrain, Yemen) is Libya.
Here's what's going on (and it should be a familiar story by now, the pattern is easy to spot):
1) Sclerotic, corrupt "president for life" leader of a country for over a decade? CHECK.
Gaddafi (or Quaddafi) has been in power since 1969.
2) Dear Leader using his position of power to live a decadent lifestyle fit for a Turkish Sultan of old? CHECK CHECK and CHECK.
MAILonline, 11 December 2007:
These lovely ladies are members of the elite all female Gaddafi bodyguard unit. No kidding!
Few of the orthodoxies of a state visit remained unchallenged as Colonel Muammar Gaddafi breezed into Paris in his Bedouin robes yesterday.
His 400-strong entourage arrived on no fewer than five planes before heading to the Hotel de Marigny, where the Libyan leader will pitch his heated tent in the grounds.
He was said to be bringing a Saharan camel with him in order to "greet visitors in the true desert tradition".
While Gaddafi has not been in France for 34 years, his son Hannibal has made quite an impact there.
The 28-year-old playboy triggered a major diplomatic incident in Paris two years ago when he was arrested for allegedly punching his pregnant girlfriend and wrecking a hotel suite.
He had to be arrested by armed police at the Paris Intercontinental, but was later released on bail.
Six months earlier he was pulled over for driving his Porsche at 70mph down the Champs-Elysees.
Two years before that, Hannibal was arrested for attacking three Italian policemen with a fire extinguisher while on holiday in Rome.
In all the incidents, he successfully claimed diplomatic immunity and no charges were ever brought.
But wait, lets not forget the Ukrainian, err, "nurse", who takes personal care of the Dear Leader.
The Telegraph, UK, 30 Nov 2010:
Diplomats in Tripoli described how the Libyan leader appeared to be reliant on Galyna Kolotnytska, without whom he reportedly “cannot travel”.
In a despatch to the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, sent in September 2009, embassy officials painted an intimate portrait of Col Gaddafi’s many fears and “eccentricities”.
The secret memo, which was headed “A glimpse into Libyan leader Gaddafi’s eccentricities”, said he “appears to rely” on his senior nurse, and less than in the past on his “legendary” band of women bodyguards who used to accompany him everywhere.
“Gaddafi relies heavily on his long-time Ukrainian nurse, Galyna Kolotnytska, who has been described as a 'voluptuous blonde’,” it said.
Col Gaddafi sent a private jet to ferry his nurse from Libya to Portugal to meet him when she was delayed by a late visa application.
It's good to be the king, eh?
Please do not forget that back in the 1980's the name Gaddafi was synonymous with terrorism.
Wikipedia: Pan Am flight 103:
Pan Am Flight 103 was Pan American World Airways' third daily scheduled transatlantic flight from London Heathrow Airport to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. On Wednesday 21 December 1988, the aircraft flying this route—a Boeing 747–121 named Clipper Maid of the Seas—was destroyed by a bomb, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew members. Eleven people in Lockerbie, in southern Scotland, were also killed as large sections of the plane fell in the town and destroyed several houses, bringing total fatalities to 270. As a result, the event has been named by the media as the Lockerbie bombing.
The Lockerbie bombing.
The funny thing is, after so many American and British citizens died because of Gaddafi's decision authorizing a terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103, after president Reagan ordered the US AirForce to bomb Libya for this atrocity...
Well, the funny thing is that the British government could not wait to bend over backwards to release the convicted terrorist to Libya.
The British Labour (err, actually the New Labour is very much a neocon organism, like the American politics now or Sarkozy's gang back in France, "it's not new and it's not Labour" runs the joke) helped make this deal happen - of course, this had nothing to do with any oil concessions to the UK from Libya (Huffingont Post, 09-20-09:
Scotland freed the terminally ill Lockerbie bomber on compassionate grounds Thursday, letting the Libyan go home to die despite American pleas to show no mercy for the man responsible for the 1988 attack that killed 270 people.
Announcing the release, Scotland's justice secretary insisted freeing the Pan Am Flight 103 bomber was an expression of the Scottish people's humanity -- a decision rejected by many in the U.S.
"I think it's appalling, disgusting and so sickening I can hardly find words to describe it," said Susan Cohen, of Cape May Court House, New Jersey, whose 20-year-old daughter Theodora died in the attack. "This isn't about compassionate release. This is part of give-Gadhafi-what-he-wants-so-we-can-have-the-oil."
Al-Megrahi, who had served only eight years of his life sentence, was recently given only months to live after being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
Gadhafi engineered a rapprochement with his former critics following the Sept. 11 attacks. He renounced terrorism, dismantled Libya's secret nuclear program, accepted his government's responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing and paid compensation to the victims' families.
Western energy companies -- including Britain's BP PLC -- have moved into Libya in an effort to tap the country's vast oil and gas wealth.
But wait, there's more!
BBC, 1986: Berlin disco bombed
A bomb has exploded in a crowded discotheque in Berlin, Germany, killing two and injuring at least 120, including more than 40 Americans.
American authorities in Berlin said the two dead were an American soldier and a Turkish woman of 28.
The bomb went off at 0150 local time (2350 GMT) when La Belle disco was packed with nearly 500 people.
The disco is a favourite with American servicemen, and many of those injured were soldiers.
"There was suddenly a loud bang, unbelievably loud," said a disc-jockey. "Then I found myself in the cellar as the floor had collapsed."
Dieter Jaehner, 46, who lives nearby, said, "I saw through my balcony window men and women running in and out of the disco.
"They were waving their arms about and were in an hysterical state. Some were covered in blood, and their clothes were in tatters."
Wikipedia does a good report on the bombing, and it squares away with the fantastic book Stasi about the East German secret police activities and monitoring of the "Libyan People's Bureaus" (google those too - basically a bunch of Libyan terrorists operating in Europe with full diplomatic immunity. Gaddafi was... and is... kinda nuts.).
Wikipedia on the bombing:
In spite of reports blaming Libya for the attack on the nightclub, no individual was officially accused of the bombing until the 1990 reunification of Germany and the subsequent opening up of the Stasi archives. Stasi files led German prosecutors to Musbah Abdulghasem Eter, a Libyan who had worked at the Libyan embassy in East Berlin. Stasi files listed him as an agent, and prosecutors said he was the Libyan spy agency's main contact at the embassy.
Eter and four other suspects were arrested in 1996 in Lebanon, Italy, Greece and Berlin, and put on trial a year later. In 2001 Musbah Abdulghasem Eter, and two Palestinians, Yasser Mohammed Chreidi (or Yassar Al-Shuraidi or Yassir Chraidi) and Ali Chanaa were convicted in Berlin's Landgericht of aiding in murder, and Chanaa's former German wife, Mrs Verena Chanaa, was convicted of murder. They were given sentences of 12 to 14 years in prison.
Prosecutors said the three men had assembled the bomb in the Chanaas' flat. The explosive was said to have been brought into West Berlin in a Libyan diplomatic bag. Verena Chanaa and her sister, Andrea Haeusler, carried it into the La Belle in a travel bag and left five minutes before it exploded. Ms Haeusler was acquitted because it could not be proved that she knew a bomb was in the bag.
But, because we, the Western world, need, desire, crave oil, wherever it is from and whoever sells it to us, we will look the other way, work with murderers, release terrorists, sell them weapons.
Now that we have profiled Mr. Gaddafi a bit, it should come as no surprise that he is a delusional, sick in the head human being.
So this should not be shocking to you, as I tell you that am watchnig Al-Jazeera and France24 reports that the Libyan Air Force is bombing Tripoli (that is, their own capital!) which streets are full of demonstrations and mobs shouting for Gaddafi to end his rule.
There are reports (and videos) of protesters being mown down by machine guns.
Of course, there are videos and reports of Bahraini protestors being shot in cold blood also.
Last but not least, keep in mind that it is not just the pro Western satraps who are feeling the heat.
Iran is experiencing turbulence, and so is Syria.
Again, look at the Twitter network of Arab and Middle East protests - interactive map.
These are exciting times - it is incredible to see a People wake up from their stupor and take destiny into their own hands.
What will the Middle East look like in a year's time?
Hard to tell, as it is hard to predict what will happen by tomorrow in the Arab countries.
These are heady days.
My own personal hope is that the democracy will really flourish (I bet the neocons who cynically used American retards to "remake the Middle East" - read, make it safer for Israel - are flabbergasted now).
I hope for a plurality of political parties, with everyone represented, from secularists to Moslem Brotherhood, from communists to pro Western parties.
If you are not an atheist like myself, I would urge you to pray to your God for that, for ALL the Arab countries.
Update on Libya:
Reuters, Two Libyan pilots defect, say ordered to bomb protesters.
This is truly mind boggling - this mass murdering and quite mad, delusional piece of shit is ready to kill his own people in their thousands rather than leave to live in another country (Saudi Arabia, probably).