Friday, February 11, 2011

End Of Despotry

Quiz time!

Not to get all Fukuyama on ya (look how well that turned out!) yet the tingly feeling that assorted despotries (horrid or benign) are at the end of their collective lifespans in nation/state history pops up.

"...Why have the Arabs not raged before as they do now—why has there not been this avalanche of anger that we have witnessed in Tunisia and in Egypt? Why did the Arabs not rage last year, or the year before that, or in the last decades? 

"...An answer, one that makes the blood go cold, is Hama.

Whoa! Talk about a counter insurgency! When Syria's au courant despot's father was despot - Syria's General President For Life Hafiz al Assad reaction to a co op of rowdy Ikwhan, m"Hammedist Brohood cats and mercantile class at Hama made Waffen Ss Das Reich's  merciless bloody orgy at Oradour-sur-Glane seem tame, tempered and thoughtful.

Besieged by 12k troops - fighting in Hama lasted for 27 days - the first week "in regaining control of the town," and the last two "in hunting down the insurgents."

Syria's Air Force (this was back when Syria had one) bombed and strafed the city, ringed by at least two artillery brigades that fired non stop for days - blasting entry points in the ancient town to accommodate panzers and mechanized troops - huge bits of the city were destroyed with wicked rumours of Syrian truppen deploying WMD ala cyanide gas

Syria's ruling Ba'Ath Party scored big - crushing the upstart uprisers and racking up a literally killer score - killing 30,000 or 40,000 of Hama's homies - " addition to the 15,000 missing who have not been found to this day, and the 100,000 expelled."

"...Hama became a code word for the terror that awaited those who dared challenge the men in power. It sent forth a message in Syria, and to other Arab lands, that the tumultuous ways of street politics and demonstrations and intermittent military seizures of power had drawn to a close. Assad would die in his bed nearly two decades later, bequeathing power to his son. Tyranny and state terror had yielded huge dynastic dividends.

"...So three despots have fallen: Saddam Hussein in 2003, Ben Ali, and, to all intents, Hosni Mubarak. Saddam’s regime had of course been decapitated by American arms. Ben Ali and Mubarak have been brought to account by their own populations. 

"...This revolt is an Arab affair through and through. It caught the Pax Americana by surprise; no one in Tunis and Cairo and beyond was waiting on a green light from Washington. The Arab liberals were quick to read Barack Obama, and they gave up on him. They saw his comfort with the autocracies, his eagerness to “engage” and conciliate the dictators.

"...From afar, the “realists” tell the Arabs that they are playing with fire, that beyond the prison walls there is danger and chaos. Luckily for them, the Arabs pay no heed to these realists, and can recognize the “soft bigotry of low expectations” that animates them. Arabs have quit railing against powers beyond and infidels and foreign conspiracies. For now they are out making and claiming their own history.

Pic - "5 Threats To Arab Tyrants"


Hornygoat14 said...

Looking so Hmmmmm,but the Dollar sign in you neck is beautiful....
Thanks for post

SecondComingOfBast said...

Courtney you forgot the Shah, and there have been other despots before him, like Farouk. But the Shah is perhaps the best example of what lies ahead in most of these cases. Out with the old tyrant, in with the new one who will probably be worse.

This stuff in Egypt though is more than likely much ado about very little. Mubarak will eventually resign but the power structure will remain in place, as is, and things will eventually go back to normal.

Why? Because the Egyptian military constitutes the main political, ruling class of elites, and they aren't going to go away, unless they are physically deposed by outside forces, or unless we stop funding them, or both. The only ones capable of taking them out physically is the Israelis, and they have every reason NOT to do that unless they absolutely have to.

The biggest danger is that of a division in the military, a coup or what not. But that doesn't seem to be an issue for now either. That potential was defused when Mubarak's son left the country.

This is all a big sideshow, including Mubarak's supposed "furious" feelings against Obama. It's all bullshit. Egypt is not Tunisia.

Anonymous said...

I think she was following Ajami's dissertation of Arab 'despotries' Pagan - not tyrants in general