Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Vaclav Havel

Three and a half years ago, the world was riveted by massive crowds of youths mobilizing in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to demand an end to Egypt’s dreary police state. We watched transfixed as a movement first ignited in Tunisia spread from one part of Egypt to another, and then from country to country across the region.

Before it was over, 4 presidents-for-life had been toppled and the region’s remaining dictators were unsettled.

Some 42 months later, in most of the Middle East and North Africa, the bright hopes for more personal liberties and an end to political and economic stagnation championed by those young people have been dashed.

Instead, some Arab countries have seen counterrevolutions, while others are engulfed in internecine conflicts and civil wars, creating Mad Max-like scenes of postapocalyptic horror.

But keep one thing in mind: The rebellions of the last three years were led by Arab millennials, by young people who have decades left to come into their own. Don’t count them out yet.

Given the short span of time since Tahrir Square, it is far too soon to predict where these massive movements will end. During the “Prague Spring” of 1968,  a young dissident playwright, Vaclav Havel, took to the airwaves on Radio Free Czechoslovakia and made a name for himself as Soviet tanks approached. But then, after a Russian invasion crushed the uprising, Havel had to seek work in a brewery, forbidden to stage his plays.

That wasn’t the end of the story, however. Two decades later, after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Havel became the first president of the Czech Republic.

Or consider the French Revolution: Three and a half years after the storming of the Bastille, the country was facing a pro-royalist uprising in the Vendee, south of the Loire Valley, a conflict that ultimately left more than 100,000 (and possibly as many as 450,000) people dead.

And let’s remember that a decade passed between the Boston Tea Party and the American victory in the Revolutionary War.

There are, of course, plenty of reasons for pessimism in the medium-term in the Middle East. But when it comes to youth revolutions, it’s a pretty good bet that most of their truest accomplishments will come decades later.

The young Arabs who made the recent revolutions are, in fact, distinctive: substantially more urban, literate, media-savvy and wired than their parents and grandparents. They are also somewhat less religiously observant, though still deeply polarized between nationalists and devotees of political Islam.

And keep in mind that the median age of the 370 million Arabs on this planet is only 24, about half that of graying Japan or Germany. While India and Indonesia also have big youth populations, Arab youth suffer disproportionately from the low rates of investment in their countries and staggeringly high unemployment rates. They are primed for action.

Analysts have tended to focus on the politics of the Arab youth revolutions and so have missed the more important, longer-term story of a generational shift in values, attitudes and mobilizing tactics.

The youth movements were, in part, intended to provoke the holding of genuine, transparent elections, and yet the millennials were too young to stand for office when they happened. This ensured that actual politics would remain dominated by older Arab baby boomers, many of whom are far more interested in political Islam or praetorian authoritarianism.

The first wave of writing about the revolutions of 2011 discounted or ignored religion because the youth movements were predominantly secular and either liberal or leftist in approach. When those rebellions provoked elections in which Muslim fundamentalists did well, a second round of books lamented a supposed “Islamic Winter.”

Yet, in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood has been ousted (albeit through a reassertion of power by the military).

In Libya, Muslim fundamentalist candidates could not get a majority in parliament in 2012.

Even in Tunisia, where the religious right formed the first postrevolution government, it was able to rule only in coalition with secularists and leftists.

As they wait their time, many of the millennial activists who briefly turned the Arab world upside down and provoked so many changes are putting their energies into nongovernmental organizations, thousands of which have flowered, barely noticed. Others continue to coordinate with labor unions to promote the welfare of the working classes.

In this way, they are learning valuable organizational skills that — count on it — will one day be applied to politics.

Their dislike of nepotism, narrow cliques and ethnic or sectarian rule has already had a lasting effect on the politics of the Arab world.

And two or three decades from now, the twentysomethings of Tahrir Square and the Casbah in Tunis and Martyrs’ Square in Tripoli will, like the Havels of the Middle East, come to power as politicians.

We haven’t heard the last of the Middle East’s millennial generation.

Juan Cole is director of the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Michigan and the author of “The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East.” A longer version of this piece appears on tomdispatch.com.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

 

Disobedience is man’s original virtue…”

In “The soul of man under socialism”, Oscar Wild wrote:

“Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, and through rebellion…”

In “On the concept of history”, Walter Benjamin wrote:

“There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism…”

James Fenton in “Blood and Lead”

“Listen to what they did.

Don’t listen to what they said.

What was written in blood

Has been set up in lead”

In “The recollection of Alexis de Tocqueville 1896

In a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult part to invent is the End

W.H Auden in “Epitaph on a Tyrant

“Perfection, of a kind, is what he was after,

And the poetry he invented was easy to understand

He knew human folly like the back of his hand,

And was greatly interested in armies and fleets.

When he laughed, respected senators burst with laughter,

And when he cried, the little children died in the streets.”

In “Sonnets from China II”, Auden wrote: “They wept and quarreled: Freedom was so wild”

Mustafa Abdel Jalil (Libya interim president) said in September 2011:

“I hope the revolution will not stumble by retribution, taking matters into your hands and oppression…”

Late Vaclav Havel (President of Austria) said:

“Decent people cannot sit back and watch systematic, state-directed massacres. Decent people cannot fail to come to the rescue when within their power…”

Joseph Joubert wrote: “Love and Fear. Everything the father of a family says must inspire one or the other”

Joseph Stalin (Absolute dictator of the Soviet Union) said:

Death is the solution to all problems. No man, no problem

Omar Mukhtar (Libya resistance fighter leader to Italian occupation during Mussolini) said:

“We win or we die.” Finally, he surrendered and was taken to Rome in chains

Muammar Qadhafi wrote in his “Green Book”:

“There are inevitable cycles of social history:

1. The Yellow Race’s dominion of the world in Asia

2. The White Race’s attempt at colonizing extensive areas in all continents

3. Now it is the turn of the Black race to prevail in the world…”

One of the first steps to disobedience is to wean yourself out of rituals and ceremonies. Start to question the rationale and historical meaning and purposes of the rituals you are submitting to.

Civil disobedience is not an easy resolution to get engaged in: Law and Order institutions have to be revisited and reflected upon their validity in the pursuit of happiness, freedom of expression, human rights, and availability of opportunities to all regardless of race, genders, religious belief, and financial status.

Gandhi has developed the guidelines for non-cooperative movements against governments that broke their oaths and pledges to serving the people and are exercising cruelty, exploitation and oppression.

The program of non-cooperation is of 4 steps, each step is meant to reach a higher level of disobedience to the authority.

The first responsibility is to exposing, precisely, the project to the population at large through meetings and focused communication.

The next step is to convince the public servants to voluntarily abandon their titled positions and charges with the government and encouraging the lawyers and judges to stop serving the government.  No pressures should be exercised on the functionaries, especially if the movement is unable to provide for the bread winners. The private employees are excluded from the requirements of abandoning their services.

The third step would ask the army and security officers and soldiers to retreat from their duties.

The last step would amount to refusing paying taxes to the government.

In order to shorten the period of resistance with a successful outcome, the organization of the non-cooperative movement should cater to the weakest members in social status or economic needs.  The members of the movement should:

1.  stop taking loans from government funds;

2. conflicts among the members must be resolved through private arbitrage because lawyers should suspend the exercise of their official profession toward the government.

3. The members should start boycotting public schools; (in this request, I would include boycotting private schools so that no discrimination in economic status should be established).

4. The members should not attend any government reunions and meetings and ceremonies; they should refuse accepting any civil or military post.

5. In case of being under occupation, the members should rely solely on local and national products and manufactures “swadeshi” and thus,boycotting imported consumer’s products from the colonial powers.

For more details on non-violent-resistance-guidelines:  https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2008/10/03/gandhis-non-violent-resistance-guidelines/

Note 1: Quotes taken from “Sandstorm (El Ghibli): Libya in the time of revolution” by Lindsey Hitsum

Note 2: Listen to Matt Damon on “Civil obedience is the problem” Howard Zinn

You Think You Know Someone, and Then He Gets on a Stage and Blows Your Mind
represent.us

State highest interest: usurping Public Opinion; (October 17, 2009)

 

            In a previous post “The critical decade of Radical Islam” I stated as conclusion:”

As the Soviet Union was disintegrating in 1991, the US and Europe were busy with a new world order and intentionally forgot radical Islam for an entire decade.  The US was after the financial domination of the world and playing the role of International Police Force; Europe was busy re-unifying East Germany, managing the Eastern European States seeking independence of Russia, controlling the Slavic question of Yugoslavia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Serbia, and finding an appropriate resolution for expanding the European Union.

            Radical Islam got under way in organization and proliferation and performed many operational activities in Indonesia, Somalia, Tanzania, Kenya, Chechnya, Pakistan, India, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia (the Khobar bombing of the hotel where the American aviators had residence) to end up with the 9/11/ 2001 attack on the Twin Towers.  During the decade, after the dismantlement of Russia, the US Administrations toned down every terrorist’s activities to its public opinion in order to focus on world financial domination and the restructuring of Europe.”

            Many evidences from outdated archives are surfacing that shed strong lights on the many instances that US Administrations usurped its public opinion on the ground of the “Nation Highest Interests”. The cult for secrecy in the various data (intelligence) gathering services in the US is not a recent discovery after the 9/11/ 2001 attack of the Twin Towers.

            Roosevelt had set his mind in joining the war against Germany and Japan since 1940 and was frequently deliberately provoking the navies of Germany and Japan.  Truman initiated clandestine contacts with Mao Tse Tong in 1948 that Stalin disrupted by purposely starting the Korean War.  Many nuclear American scientists were secretly permitted to flee to other foreign nations in order to appease public opinion after the debacle of the execution of the innocent Rosenberg couple in 1953. The US Administrations deliberately minimized the health risks of open ground nuclear testing and later the under ground testing.  The CIA was controlling experiments on brain manipulation and biological war fare.  President Reagan buried the conclusions of the committee of the Chamber of representatives that the assassinations of the two Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King were organized works. Irangate was the transfer of arms to Iran against the resolutions of the Parliament which also prohibited destabilizing Nicaragua.

            Two factors impress on the Executive branch to act in secrecy: Stock exchange and public polls. Two days after 9/11 the stock devalued 60%.  Greenspan injected several billion dollars in the private economy; trade level stabilized in four months. The reach this goal the tetanized public opinion was to be reassured of no further catastrophes. Thus, a quick victory in Afghanistan was urgent as well as mass disinformation on the danger of bacteriological warfare and the proliferation of the Pakistani nuclear threat. The anthrax affairs before and after 9/11 was quickly buried and toned down as related to a lunatic. Two kinds of anthrax were used; a high quality used in the US military and a rough quality. The Tcheck President Vaclav Havel confirmed publicly that the Iraqi Embassy in Prague got in contact with Al-Qaeda leader Saif Al Adl and anthrax was delivered.  The CIA promptly demanded that the Tcheck security services deny that fact. 

            Timothy Mac Veigh, one of the bombers of the Oklahoma City Federal Building in 1995, was quickly executed and 150 pages of the instruction disappeared in order not to go further in the investigation: the second suspect Terry Nichols had secret contacts in the Philippine with a girl friend who was also in close contact with Ramzi Youssef (another leader of Al Qaeda and in Manila at the time).  The downing of the TWA 800 by a small missile off the shore of Manhattan was attributed to a stray Navy missile on maneuver.  All these cover-ups were done with the close cooperation of both Republican and Democratic parties, the FBI, and the CIA. When the main superpower permits the widespread exercises of disinformation to its public opinion then this practice is capted instantly by the rest of world States.

 

            All these operations by Al Qaeda were backed by the triumvirate Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iraq of Saddam Hussein.  In Saudi Arabia, the financial backer of Al Qaeda and the Pakistani nuclear program, Prince Sultan was Defense Minister and his cadet brother Nayef was the Minister of the Interior (Bandar, the Ambassador to the USA and semi-brother of Sultan, was later appointed chief of the security services). In fact, all Saudi diplomats were sneaked out in secrecy after 9/11 even when evidences piled up high of their cooperation in the attack; two princes of the “Royal Family” were high ranking in Al Qaeda: They were disposed off shortly after the attack. Saudi Arabia sovereign fund was effectively cash money for the US Administration to use when the US Senate refused funding of any programs.

            Pakistan was in charge of training (the pilots of Al Qaeda received two years of training there).  Pakistan was the real threat for arms of mass destruction, nuclear, biological, and chemical, and no longer Iraq but Pakistan vital as base for attacking Afghanistan and for supply and logistics. Saddam Hussein cooperated and delivered the biological and chemical tools.   Thus, the US targeted Iraq as next pre-emptive objective after the economic fundamentals in the US stabilized; (Read my post “Why massive occupation of Iraq”).

            When the main superpower permits the widespread exercises of disinformation to its public opinion then this practice is capted instantly by the rest of world States.

 

Note: I extensively used information from a chapter in “The world is a kid playing” by Alexandre Adler.


adonis49

adonis49

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