I grew up when there were curfews that lasted for days, when listening to the wrong radio station can land you in jail, when a stupid illiterate “security/mokhabarat” can haul you to jail for no reasons and I remember when and seen “darak” policemen on horses raid villages breaking into homes mixing rice, oil, lentil and flour in the middle of the floor.Yes, in those days we did live in fear and so did hundreds of millions of Arabs. That is why dictatorship flourished all over the Arab word and that is why 30 and 40 years later, sooner than later the people and nations are paying the price of fear and are paying the very heavy price of dictatorship in blood, lives and destructions.
One has to wonder what Egypt would be like if Nasser was not a military and political dictator. Would Egypt lost the 67 War and would Egypt have Sadat and Hosni Mubarak as leaders? Would Egypt be in the terrible mess it is in now and have been for the last 50 years. While Hosni Mubarak, his family and his friends looted the country, world financial institutions were demanding the Egyptian government reduced even cancel subsidies on bread, together with fava beans the stable food for the majority of the Egyptian people. Those lucky families would be abler to have chicken or boney meat once a week if any.
One has to wonder would Iraq be the same if it did not have a criminal dictator like Saddam Hussein. Would Iraq be in the terrible mess it is in now. Would Iraq engaged in its 8 years with Iran for and on behalf of the US? Would Saddam waste the nation wealth and over one million of his citizens over a reckless war? But then we had our own George W. Bush and our two wars and we are not even Iraq.
Saddam dictatorship was something to remember engaging Iraq from one war to anther, from the war with Iran to the war on Kuwait and that of course led to the American/Israeli invasion of Iraq. Millions of people were wasted and trillions were flushed down the drain. George W. Bush did the same, flushed trillions down the drain.
Hafez Assad was no different from Saddam. He took over in a military coupe, ruled the country with iron fist, and allowed his family to loot the country and to preserve his family rule engaged in deliberate war against the city of Hamah no different from the Assad family attack on the city of Homs. His brother as commander of Saraya El-Diffa’a or Presidential Guard claimed to have killed not less than 38,000 in the city of Hamah back in 82. His son Bashar is following in his father’s and uncle footsteps. In dictatorship the country becomes a family farm and the people become vassals of the regime.
Ali Saleh as a commander of the Yemeni army took over the entire country placing members of his family in key positions in the army, in the petroleum industry, airlines, and commerce. Elections were rigged every time and while he was the clear winner in these elections the entire nations of Yemen was the loser. It will take Yemen one to two generations to catch up with time lost.
Mouamar Qadaffi was not different from all the other dictators of his time. He ruined the country with his reckless misadventures in Chad, in Sudan, in Africa, in Philippines in Northern Ireland, wasting tens of billions on ‘revolutionary” ventures while his country and people were living in state of fear. Tens of thousands of the bests and brightest going to exile and with a nation lacking all of the basic services. Libya could be a Dubai or Abu-Dhabi but it was not? No one dared to challenge Qaddafi and the nation and people ended up paying a very heavy price and the nation at the brink of breakup.
Bin Ali of Tunisia was no different. He was security functionary who knew how to use fear to take over an entire nation. He hijacked the nation allowing his security forces to stifle freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and he and his family fleeced the nation all the while the World Bank, and IMF and Western leaders were all praising his leadership and the great economic miracle he achieved for Tunisia.
Somehow it seems that representatives of the World Bank and Western leadership preferred the lavish comfort of the 5 stars hotels and presidential guesthouses over traveling to the countryside to see the widespread misery the majority of Tunisians and Egyptians lived in.
In Iran, in Indonesia, in Latin and Central America, in Somalia, the story is the same, military dictators take over the country in a coupe de estate and establish themselves as rulers for life, imprisoning oppositions, looting the country and destroying the nation civil societies and any semblance of a representative government.
From Tunisia to Indonesia parliamentary elections were rigged in favor of the dictators and their cronies, security forces were there not to protect the nation but to protect the regime where hundreds of thousands simply disappeared within the corridors of the ministries of interiors and security agencies.
In Jordan and in Egypt and in many countries, becoming a kinder garden teacher would require formal approval from “mokhabarat/security services” and if one does not have a certificate they are simply no one, they could not rent a house, or get a job, they are simply no body.
Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Guatemala, Indonesia, Iran, Sudan. Libya, Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen and many other nations and people all paid a very heavy price for accepting to live in fear for so long. These nations and countries paid a very heavy price for not snuffing these criminal dictatorships early on when the price would have been much much less.
Dictatorships even those funded and sponsored by countries like the US, France, England among others will sooner than later falls, and must and will fall by the will of the people, not NATO jets. Sooner than later even the most corrupt indoctrinated army will turn against its masters and will return to its roots, the people. Syria does not need NATO or US jets, it needs its own army to turn against the dictatorship of Bashar Assad and his family.