Arab Spring Stifled

Sadly the region is still in turmoil, and the scent of freedom is once again a distant pipe dream for millions. Why has this happened ? What led the historic opportunity be lost in this modern and enlightened era?

The Middle East has long been an area of so called dictatorial or one party states, military regimes. States such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and Israel to name a few have put the whole concept of democracy into disrepute.

The horrible and tragic death of Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi., on 17 December 2010 sent shock waves of unimaginable proportions to the masses that at last enough was enough.

These events were to have been the final straw and initiated changes such as the collapse of the iron curtain, so that the people could enjoy their freedoms, equality and justice without prejudice. Things some of us take for granted.

Sadly the region is still in turmoil, and the scent of freedom is once again a distant pipe dream for millions. Why has this happened ? What led the historic opportunity be lost in this modern and enlightened era? Egypt has always been the Arab or Middle East bench mark for change and seen as a leader a kin to USA or UK in our region. Its election was the first democratic election in the region, it was a historic moment of epic proportions. Like any new democracy there were errors, we in Britain have had hundreds of years to evolve in our Democracy, sadly Morsi was not afforded the privilege of even a term. The Military with so called secularists embarked on a road of defiance and self destructiveness leading to the re instating of the military once again. A coup that was never classed as a coup. Today we see the self styled and soon to be appointed President in charge.

The critics of the Morsi Government, citied economic ineffectiveness, this is mind blowing. A new government in its first term was criticized with the economic failures of some 40-50yrs of military and emergency rule and expected to cure them in 6mths. The other charge of curtailing freedoms is now self evident in the current junta, as it is a junta and not a government. The word Hypocrisy stands and rings out very loudly.

Tragically a few days ago another 40 Egyptians paid the price with their lives to add to the thousands butchered and imprisoned. During this journey back into the dark abyss, women have been raped, innocent killed and imprisoned, opposition outlawed, elected president arrested on trumpets up charges and journalist imprisoned. Frankly this resembles a sketch out of a Monty python film.

What should have lit the beacons of the regions democracies once again reinforced the oppressive regimes. We have sadly played a part which history may not forgive, by allowing the forces of oppression to once again stifle freedoms all because it suited our fear of the Muslim Brotherhood or so called Islamists. The Spring thus died in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain to name a few.

In any language or law, Morsi is and will be the president through the ballot, ousting him in the manner is a coup and remains a coup. Whichever way America chooses to package this, it is illegal and was illegal.

Our stance should have been more critical and forceful, diplomatically and economically. After all the USA gives some 1.2 billion to the direct coffers of the junta, a withdrawal would have a significant impact on it, followed by action on trade, tourism...

Since assuming power, General Sissi and his bunch have behaved in a manner that Stalin would have been proud of. The attempt to sell this clampdown as a war against terrorists sits very uncomfortably with reality. The arrests of the Muslim Brotherhood in droves and their detention is unimaginable as is the manner of treating protest e.g. jailing of school girls for some 11 yrs for protests, eventually overturned by courts.

So called democratic governments or protectors of democracy have been remarkably silent and invisible in comparison to the recent death of one protester and protests in Ukraine.

As P Oborne said in his article in the telegraph on 14 Jan 2014, we all may pay a terrible price for this failure to act. We have stood by in silence at this savage butchery and oppression, ironically we have been calling for this action for decades, now we are complicit in our response.

What is very uncomfortable from a purist point of view is that we have stood silent indeed some would argue supportive of the Junta. Ex Prime Minister Tony Blair who is controversial figure to say the least, current Middle East peace envoy appears to be advocating total unequivocal support of Sissi as a protector of Democracy.

How can we on the one hand continually promote democracy and the freedoms we so cherish in Britain, yet when it comes to reality we go against the very principles of democracy, freedoms and the UN charters.

Democracy cannot and should not be imposed, it needs to develop, grow just like a child learning and evolving at all time within its environment.


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