Thursday, 27 January 2011

Walk like an Egyptian


Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia plus a plethora of other minor Arab states are undergoing a very simple revolution.

Might has always been right. The biggest tribe took everything. Presidents were selected for life based on how many palms were greased. Democracy was something foolish Westerners practised but who cares as long as their aid kept coming to buy the Learjets, their weapons kept coming allowing neighbour to fight neighbour and their multinationals kept coming to dig up more of this black sticky stuff that lets them honour Allah by buying solid gold Rolls Royces.

Of course, to your average North African or Arab, it's always been that way. The few at the top got the lot and you were lucky if he let you take your goats to his water hole to drink. If the natives got uppity, a few Imams could be summoned to declare protest was against Islam and the masses would go back to the desert to grow olives whilst their rulers feasted in the tent of plenty.

Suddenly, it ain't so. Goat herders are getting sick of watching the elite, installed for generations simply helping themselves to wealth owned by the people. People who would normally sit under a palm tree cursing Allah that they were born into the wrong tribe are now on the streets, demanding a slice of their own future, demanding an end to dictatorships, an end to censorship, an end to enforced poverty, an end to the status quo that says "it was ever thus".

Are we seeing a genuine revolution that will free MILLIONS from the slavery of tribal rulers and vested interest Imams? I certainly hope so. They have 500 years to catch up. The sooner they start, the better.

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