When Bullets No Longer Kill

A lot has been written, is being written, and will be written on the 2011 Arab Revolutions: the surreal way in which one country after the other finally gave in to the will of the people, the way preemptive reform proved a futile tactic of political systems to gain the time they no longer controlled, the way dictators fled in shame as all their ill-gotten wealth could no longer buy them the power they still vied for.  But more importantly, there is the People…

… the people who formed the so-called Arab street, who had now been transformed into a People of their respective countries that finally wanted something and had the courage to demand for it.  The People who realized that revolutions weren’t the stuff of history books and documentaries but could happen if they only set their hearts and minds to it.  The People who courageously took to the streets and squares, infants and elderly, men and women against all odds.  And odds, there were, as regimes used, and continue to use every weapon in their arsenal, very literally in fact, to survive.  But the People proved and continue to prove that for once, their will was now steadfast…the bullets of their dying regimes could no longer kill them.

For close followers of Middle Eastern politics, violence and seemingly-eternal dictatorships are nothing new.  From Samir El-Khalil’s “Republic of Fear” to Alan George’s “Neither Bread nor Freedom,” the contemporary history of the region has been overshadowed by brutality, repressiveness, coercion, intimidation and murder by regimes of their people under a variety of pretexts.  And when the same regimes are faced with the prospects of coming to an end, why would one expect anything less, if not more, from them?

From the brutality exercised by security forces against peaceful protests in Tunisia and Egypt, the military might unleashed by the lunatic Libyan on his people, live bullets raining on demonstrators in Yemen and Syria with snipers on roofs to accompany them, blocking access to hospitals and police beating patients in emergency wards in Bahrain (not to forget additional support from neighboring Saudi Arabia, who only recently negotiated a $60 billion arms deal with the U.S.)…Wasn’t might going to prove right this time too? Apparently not. And to the very contrary indeed.

For close followers of Middle Eastern history, nothing seemed different, yet for them and the world at large, the role of 24-hour satellite television in covering the repression and the pivotal role played by social media in spreading gruesome descriptions of violence, as well as  pictures and videos that showed the brutality to those who managed to watch, the arrogance of regimes who fought their own people, murdering fellow citizens in cold-blood to protect themselves and denying people what they didn’t apparently have the right to- freedom – was now for all to be seen…

But it is only to be expected that whatever came by force, shall only be made to fall by force.  And whatever was sustained by blood, will see the day come when blood cannot sustain it any longer.  The bullets that were and are still being fired, the ones that didn’t and will not manage to kill the people, did and will turn straight around at the very shooters killing their people, providing the coup de grâce to all these dying regimes.

2 Replies to “When Bullets No Longer Kill”

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