Revolutions to Come
[col. writ. 2/26/11] (c) '11 Mumia Abu-Jamal
As fires of rebellion and resistance flash through ancient Arab cities, the nations' pundits (especially those of the rightish variety) warn us of impending doom, in the form of rising gas prices, and the bugaboo of near-hysterical proportions -- Islamists.
But there's a funny thing about rebellions and revolutions. They may begin one way, but no one - No One - knows where they will end. That's the nature of revolutions!
The voices of America's pundit class have apparently forgotten that the Founders that they like to revere and praise as Prophets of Freedom, were -- well, revolutionaries, who stood against the most powerful empire of the age -- the British (with a little help and money from the French)
The very notion of having a nation without a king was, well -- a revolutionary idea. That's why, when France had its revolution a few years later, the crowned heads of Europe got together (conspired, really) to beat them into the ground. For, back in those days, the conventional wisdom was that kings and queens ruled by the will of God; hence, the divine right of kings.
The American, French, and Haitian Revolutions put a real dent into such notions.
Abe Lincoln, speaking as a Congressman in 1848, told his fellow members: "It is a quality of revolutions not to go by old lines and old laws; but to break up both, and make new ones."
The forces roiling today in several North African and Persian Gulf countries have been held in check for generations by powerful, repressive and ruthless governments, many of whom have been staunch U.S. allies. The forces which have been unleashed in recent weeks threatens to upend many, if not most of the old relationships and understandings that formed the basis of U.S. Mid-East policy.
Remarkably, none of the 'experts' on the region, few of the scholars, and virtually none of the talking heads on TV and cable had a clue, until the dam broke and the boiling rage burst forth.
We have no idea when our where these forces will dissipate. They may radiate for years. They may, indeed, spill out into other areas of the world.
That too, is the nature of revolution.
--(c) '11 maj