Goodbye 2011

To a year that was good beyond imagination, I say thank you. 2011 was not any normal year that passes by, it’s a year when history was re-written. A year that for anyone who lived the events and changes it brought to us will never forget, I never thought or imagined I would witness revolutions sweeping the Middle East not even in my wildest dreams, apparently 2011 stated it was time for the change everyone was waiting for so long.
On a personal level 2011 had its ups and downs, it’s the year that changed my life, I started my blog, and found myself in writing, it’s the year I became active on twitter, it’s the year I met many people who inspired me, changed me, I had hope restored to me.

Thank you 2011 for being that great year we all were waiting for, but more importantly I want to thank the people who took their destinies in their hands, demanding their stolen rights, demanding the better living they deserve, thank you Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Bahrain for showing us what the simple citizen can do. Thank you you brave humans who refused to keep living in the shadows of life, thank you for bringing back to me the hope that I had lost. Thank you for proving the world wrong, that we are not a dead nation, that we are alive just like anyone else, that we are free, thank you from the future generations who will look back and realize that the freedom, democracy, and decent living they have, were nothing but the result of the sacrifices made during this year.

In 2011 the first refugee came back to Palestine though for a short period of time, but it proved that the right of return is nonnegotiable, and is not some fairy-tale, it proved to the world that 63 years later and we haven’t forgotten, it proved that Ben-Gurion who said that in two generations we will forget was wrong, it proved that the right of return will seize to being a dream and become a reality.

I hope that 2012 goes on the same tracks like its predecessor 2011, and becomes the year of Democracy for the countries that revolted, and to help the Syrians win their country back and remove the dictatorship that was established on their bodies.

The Arab dictators guide to suppressing the revolution

All those who are tracking the Arab spring will notice the pattern used by the regimes to attempt to suppress the masses. Apparently those Arab Leagues summits weren’t as crappy as we thought, the same pattern was and is being used over and over again except in the case of Libya which is an attempt to suppress the Libyan population but also an experiment for the rest of Gaddafi’s colleagues, and if Gaddafi wins and manages to suppress the revolution then many of the Arab leaders will follow in his footsteps.

Week One:

When the protests kick off, introduce the police and security forces and order them to fire tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons can be effective for a while, and occasional live ammunition could be fruitful (If you are Gaddafi all of the above doesn’t apply to you, for humane reasons you skip all of the above to use Anti-Aircraft and live ammunition because using tear gas is a crime). On the political level send out a low profile politician to explain that the protests in your country are not important and won’t lead to the regime being overthrown because your country is not ( and here you mention countries where the revolution was successful). If the number of casualties is great then blame that on non-existent thugs who show up from nowhere with the sole purpose of killing the protesters (If you are Gaddafi then blame it on the protesters and claim they are under hallucination pills provided to them by Al-Qaeda), if the protesters manage to take over police stations and occupy important facilities then it’s advised that you remove all policemen and state security personnel from the streets, while releasing all the criminals from prisons, remember political prisons must be kept in.

Week Two:

In case the protests don’t end and this is the most likely scenario then it’s time to address the nation (If you are Gaddafi you can send your son to replace you), in your speech try to explain what happened in week one, explain that you ordered the security forces to make sure the protesters are safe, and announce that you want a new government formed as a solution to the protesters demands. Try to warn the protesters that if you’re gone Islamists can take over and make their life even worse. Meanwhile send snipers to building tops and order them to fire at will. Cutting the means of communication can be helpful and make sure foreign press are far from the main protests, if Al-Jazeera is focusing a lot on your country you earn the right to blame them for what is happening and that they have a hidden agenda.

Week Three:

At this stage if protests are not over then you have a problem, and you can resort to plan B which consists of bringing all the police officers you took from the streets and sending them to protests supporting you and your regime, you are allowed at this point to hire thugs as well, if you manage to bring a couple of thousands then you can try sending them to attack the protesters (using camels and horses maybe helpful). Another speech maybe good at this point trying to blame all of the events occurring in your country are done by outside forces (blaming it on Israel, USA, or Iran maybe good). If you are Gaddafi all of the above doesn’t apply to you, you may continue shooting and killing your own people and telling them you’re no president to resign.

Week Four:

If all of the above measurements fail, then it’s time for your last speech praising yourself, mention your history of serving your country and emphasis that you only wanted to serve your country the best you could, while the speech is being prepared pack your suitcases withdraw all your fortune from the banks, and pick a place to run away to, after you’re gone rumors that your health is bad and that you’re sick may drive the people to sympathize with you.

REMEMBER:

The state television must and at all times show pictures that shows that the country is fine and nothing wrong is going on, that the protesters got paid to protest and had KFC meals, and keep emphasizing that they have hidden agendas.

Even if you do everything mentioned you will still fail, because the will of the people is much stronger than you and they will eventually remove you whether you like it or not.

If you are Gaddafi and you’re reading this, any of the above doesn’t apply to you.

The Arab Spring

The Arab Spring

The Arabic Renaissance

30 years in power are more than enough to create a state of cultural depression, where false thoughts become common in society, the equation used by the regime is as follows, if the people are poor they won’t show any interest in politics, but at the same time the people shouldn’t starve, because if they did this would endanger the regime.

And this worked on the previous generations, but with the informational revolution that developed in the twenty first century, this equation has proven to be failure. The informational revolution created a generation that won’t accept these humiliating conditions that were enforced on the people using many methods, starting with the powerful secret intelligence that spied on people, abducted people from their homes in the middle of the night, creating a wall of fear that surrounded the society, until it became a taboo to talk about politics or criticize the regime’s actions, not to mention the corruption that worked it’s way from the smallest employee in the state to the heads of the state, everyone had to take a piece of the cake until the country’s resources were in the hands of a corrupt elite, that in most cases formed less than 1% of the population, while the rest were poor. This young generation formed mostly of unemployed educated youth who said “Enough, we won’t take this anymore”, and started their revolutions shaking the grounds under the leaders, and promising a great future ahead.

After the revolution a cultural revolution is needed to accompany the political changes as well to remove the bad habits that were created as a result of the policies used by the removed regimes, the thoughts they used to fill the people’s heads with, the concept of leadership, how the leader is the one and only person capable of leading the nation, how criticizing the policies is considered an act done by terrorists only trying to ruin the serenity in the state, the propaganda that tried to prevent the people from thinking straight, and how if a leader is a good one he has the right to be a dictator to “protect” the country from outside or inside threats, and giving the president ultimate power, making him a god-like creature, where the chance of him going wrong is ZERO.

We the youth should work on removing the thoughts and ideas the old regime had planted in each and everyone of us. We should work on ourselves, by abolishing these ideas, and acts that we used to do, we should go back to reading books and write our own, we should stop the culture of violence that has grown in us and go back to be the compassionate humans we were once known as, we should clean our streets and keep them that way, we should stop the culture of negligence we carry around, we should go back to making real music, we should construct and build instead of wrecking state facilities that are there in the first place for us, we should plant trees and flowers not tear them down and pick them. If everyone ceases to do the bad habits they used to do, our country would be much better for us and those around us.

The Arabic Revolutions

The Arabic Renaissance

What Lies Ahead

“What we’re seeing here, in a sense, is the growing — the birth pangs of a new   Middle East and whatever we do we have to be certain that we’re pushing forward to the new Middle East not going back to the old one.” Condoleezza Rice in a Press Conference on July 21, 2006.

It looks like madam Secretary was right, we are indeed seeing the birth of a new Middle East only not in the form Rice imagined it would be. The Arabic nations are revolting  and the wave is spreading, those who are not revolting are demanding free speech, democracy, and better living standards. For the first time in many years people are starting to criticize their governments in a loud voice with no fear what so over from being captured or taken away after midnight.

Are we going to see a better Middle East? Are we going to see respect for human rights? Are we going to see the Middle East flourish like it was centuries ago?  We are now on a crossing, and two main scenarios rise in the air:

The first that indeed we will see a revolution by all means of the word, mental revolution that changes what’s inside the people (their thinking, their actions, and their behavior), a revolution in literature, a revolution  in the daily life of the people where people will get along and the religious tensions that were created by the regimes will dissolve, which will lead the Middle East to be similar to Latin America, with a Social-Democracy taking place, free elections and the freedom to establish political parties, providing good health care for everyone, a good educational system, and we may get to see the Middle East turn into an industrial nation, instead of living solely on the money that comes from the oil revenues, and most importantly we will see true peace occurring between the Arabs and Israel because that peace will be between the nations and not just a signed piece of paper between two leaders.

The other scenario which is the dark one although the chances of  it happening are not that high but it’s on the table, radical Islam rises to power, and tries to turn the Middle East into Islamic states like Iran, where no human rights exist, one has limited free speech but no one will care what he says, religious laws being passed every now and then slowly taking ones freedom of choice, people will be much worse than they were. Why is this scenario only has a slight chance of happening? Well it’s due to the fact that anyone who will be elected will know that if he tries to do any tricks, or shows the slightest amount of dictatorship will go away. This revolution is also a lesson to the future generations, they will know why people revolted and how were they treated.

Middle east revolutions 2011

The current hot spots in the Middle East


Gaddafi played all his cards in one go

The king of kings? Or the king of capital punishment?

Today in Gaddafi’s speech, he played all his cards in one go. He threatened the people with violence (as if violence was not used until now),  then he started talking about conspiracy theories, that this revolution is organized by foreign intelligence agencies (Westernand Arab ones). We believe that Gaddafi is trying a psychological warfare agaist the people, by warning them of a possible civil war at one time, then of radical Islam at another. Everyone can notice that Gaddafi is trembling and shaking, one of these signs is the not so well staged speech.

Gaddafi pretended to be talking to the Libyan crowds, and calling them to be stop clapping so he can continue his speech, funny thing is that we couldn’t hear anyone clapping or chanting, and the cameraman didn’t even bother to give us a glance at these crowds. Another thing we noticed a side from his hilarious figure, his shaking hands, drinking water every once in a while, and the excessive repeating of subjects, especially when he claimed that the revolutionaries were drug addicted youth encouraged by the mentioned above foreign intelligence agencies and radical Islam. Gaddafi who is known for his wild imagination said these “hateful elements” were trying to convert “the great” Libya into a copycat of Afghanistan. He also tried to justify his actions against the Libyans with what Boris Yeltsin the late Russian president did when the Russian Duma went on strike.

One of the evidences that Gaddafi is far from being sane, his endless talk about himself being “the true revolutionary”, mentioning capital punishment around fifty times and on various issues most of these crimes are specially designed to protect this failing regime and prevent anything that has to do with human rights, calling Libya the leader of the nations and continents starting from Asia and ending in Latin America, and his talk about himself being a Libyan war hero, patriot, and the caring leader.

It is crystal clear that regime is one step away from falling with Col. Gaddafi and his sons on board, and we wish to express our great support to the Libyan revolution, and also our deepest condolences to the families of those who fell in this revolution.

Because Libya also deserves freedom

As the tension in the Middle East keeps on rising, regimes are shaking as well. After the Tunisian revolution people were amazed, and started envying the Tunisians for their courage, and their ability to overthrow the dictator Zine Al-Abideen Ben-Ali who ruled the country for 23-years with a firm fist preventing any form of free speech or opposition, they all wished for something similar to happen in their countries, and every regime in the Arab countries claimed they were not Tunisia. On the 18th of January, the Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit downplayed fears that a Tunisian-style popular revolt

A protest calling for Gaddafi to step down

A protest calling for Gaddafi to step down

could spread to other Arab countries, calling it “nonsense”. And we have seen

what happened next! The Egyptian people toppled the regime in 18 days, forcing the Egyptian president for 30 years Mohammed Hosni Mubarak to resign, and he chose the city of Sharm El-Cheikh, overseeing the Red Sea to spend his last days.

The people again looked in amazement at the Egyptian success, and how their glorious revolution inspired not only Arabs, but the whole wide world. The domino effect became faster, last week we have seen the beginnings of protests in Bahrain, Libya, and Yemen. The governments tried to suppress these protests violently resulting many deaths. The most brutal and violent of all occurred in Libya, on Friday Benghazi and the easter area in Libya have seen violent clashes, the Gaddafi regime has shown it’s real ugly face. Reports kept on coming of African mercenaries shooting and killing the protesters, and the picture started to get clear, Gaddafi has hired African mercenaries to suppress the protests, the mercenaries had a visible shoot-to-kill policy, eyewitnesses reported that most deaths occurred from shots in the head or in the chest.

Apparently Gaddafi decided to break the Arabic protocol for suppressing a protest, which we have seen examples of, starting with  firing tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons, and finally live ammunition. If all these measures fail withdraw your troops, create chaos, and let loose all the prisoners. This way people will see the unfelt benefits of the old regime, and head back home. Unfortunately for Arab dictators the people are not as stupid as they thought, the people have self organized, created security committees, and neighborhood watches. Gaddafi decided to skip the tear gas and rubber bullets,  and go straight to the live ammunition part. Yesterday in the city of Benghazi, Gaddafi launched a full scale attack on the city of Benghazi. The attack that

The ex-president of Egypt Hosni Mubarak and the ruler of Libya Col. Gaddafi

was carried out by the army with the aid of the African mercenaries, consisted of heavy artillery fired on the people, mortars, machine guns, they even used Anti-Aircraft machine guns, this left more than 300 deaths and thousands of injured, I personally think this was an attack of desperation, and that would be a sign that the regime is shaking, and if this had any effect on the protesters it only made them more determent to topple the regime, and some even called for the execution of Gaddafi.

Gaddafi who has been in power for 42-years and is considered the oldest ruler in the Middle East, is not popular in the western world, starting with his close relationship with the late Soviet Union at the times of the cold war, the Lockerbie attack in 1988 where Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb, and the United States bombing of Libya. Until in 2003 when Libya agreed to settle the Lockerbie case and accepted full responsibility and compensating the casualties, and agreed to dismantle the Libyan nuclear program. And that’s when Gaddafi became closer to the west, and Europe.

We may wonder now in all this mess why is it that we are not hearing anything from president Obama, unlike the support he showed for Egyptian protesters. Although it is no secret that Egypt is the center of the Arab world politics, Obama backed the protesters and we would see him every couple of days expressing his solidarity and calls for change standing up on the USA’s longtime ally in the region. Libya has something the world needs badly, and can’t afford to risk it, and you can guess what that is! It’s Oil, Libya has very big reserves of Oil and that’s why we won’t see Mr. Obama calling for change in Libya aside from the usual “People have the right to protest and express their Opinion”