August 22, 2011

FROM THE ARAB SPRING TO THE ARAB FALL



We'll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgement of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again

The change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the fold, that's all
And the world looks just the same
And history ain't changed
'Cause the banners, they are flown in the next war

Good News Everyone!

And gosh, if it isn't good news that Gaddafi (in whatever way you may want to spell him) and his Boys are soon to be gone, wiped from office, perhaps even wiped from the face of the planet, then what is? Or in the immortal words of Donny "Let me bomb the shit out of you" Rumsfeld, "Iraq will already be a better place just for the reason that Saddam is no longer there."

Say, how is that working out there?

Oh, it isn't? Bugger. Must have been all the Americans' fault, because we all know they walk around on the planet arrogant little buggers they are, thinking they can fix everything, in what can only be called Operation: Hey, You're Free Now!

Yeah, that really didn't work out all that way, didn't it? Because the moment they could, the Shiites went all "ethnic cleansing" on those who had oppressed for decades, and if there are places now in Bagdad that are relatively safe, it is because they are no Sunnis left. Ah, the sweet smell of freedom. Strange how it smells exactly like burning houses. And sounds exactly like exploding cars. Gosh. So disappointing, that.

But wait!

Isn't Egypt now a better place, and isn't that what we have all been looking forward, extrapolating, projecting our hopes into those events that happened on January 25 and following?

Wasn't it great? wasn't it awesome?

To see a peaceful "revolution", to have everyone come together, for one time, not bucking, not budging, not going away, until their demands for "freedom" and "democracy" were met? Were we not all sitting in front of our televisions, our computers, our mobile phones, wasn't that the best game ever we watched?

Like, it even beat the Holland-Spain final of 2010. And it went on forever. And we knew exactly on which side we were, and it was an easy choice to make, because on the one hand you had another dictator, one funded and helped by the USA, one who oppressed his own population, one who had built a corrupt system that penetrated every social strata.

And on the other hand, the young, oh how can you not love the young, with their hopeful faces, with their sparkling eyes, with their shouts of "We will not go, you will go"?

Yes. We projected our own hopes into these masses, because the last time we projected our hope onto something or rather somebody, it was Obama, it was 2008, and by the time February 2011 had come around, most had already seen through him, another politician, another liar, another war criminal who bombed, who tortured, who let people like Bradley Manning thrown into jail for (allegedly) telling the world some of the rather smallish nasty things that happened even under the Obama watch.

People in the world needed hope, they wanted to see hope, they wanted a spark. And wasn't it awesome that it came from the most unlikely of places? I mean, come on, North Africa? Really? Who'd have thunk?

And these things happened. And these things were real. And for one moment, as it is so rare in history, change was possible, change was within reach, and Mubarak said, like we all knew it, that phrase, that those in the West, they don't understand the Arab way, the way that has worked for so long, hell, what the fuck do we care about how many people were tortured, or how the cells looked or how badly run the justice system was? I mean, fuck, look at our justice system, right?

And we thought, we deluded ourselves, especially people like me, those cynics with the hardened shells, those who so desperately try to look for that little spark, that little bit that should be in all human beings, who believe that humanity is better, must be better, we deluded ourselves that we are all the same, that there is something - helped, not hindered by technology - that makes us all equal.

And so we stood with them. It was easy. It was as easy as hitting a button on software like TweetDeck, we didn't do more, couldn't do more, but we did what what we could, with whatever little means we had.

And look at what is happening, has happened and will happen in Egypt.

Nothing. That is what has happened.

Nothing. That is what is happening

Nothing. That is what will happen.

But wait, you say. Hasn't there been at least one "free" election? Weren't we all proud? Weren't we all watching? Yes, we were, while in the backrooms the Egyptian Army performed "virginity tests" on women who protested. Which means, let's be honest here, let's be the fuck crude, because that is what it is, crude, they violated those women, and none of those who did were held responsible.

Forget about it. Move on. Believe.

And those who didn't forget what this had been supposedly be about, that revolution, they didn't want to go, they still set up little camps on Tahrir, they still said, "hey, nothing has changed, the people in power are all those who supported Mubarak, these are the same generals, where is our democracy?"

And the same people who were calling themselves Egyptians, who very often live in the US or in the UK or wherever the fuck, they were okay with when the Egyptian army forcefully, violently removed those who had remained, and fuck those in the rest of the world who dared to speak out against that, those same people then said the following "You are not an Arab. You don't understand our culture."

Interestingly those same people didn't (because these types of people never do) understand the irony of their wording. Nor did and do they understand that they now use the same vernacular, the same language, the same ideology of their former master, ah, gotta love that, the stupidity of people. Because you of course are welcome as long as you agree.

But you know what freedom is? The ability, the choice, the right to disagree.

And to stand on that fucking square and continue to protest.

But of course not. Not important, that. Move on. Believe.

So, now it's Gaddafi's turn. Out he goes, and boy, what did I hear on Twitter today? Echoed, rising, flooding, that sentiment that Gaddafi should get the same brand of "justice", the same brand of "law" that he dished out. Fuck, put him in the same torture cells! He deserves it! He was responsible for the death of 40,000! Get him in there, and fucking lose the key, yes, that is the right way to do it.

And you say that this is not the way, that there must be a better way, that this is not justice, this is vengeance, and unless you are the wife, the son, the father, the mother of one of those who were killed, you (and I mean especially you who were in the safety of another country for most of it) have no right to vengeance.

And you say it, and you get "You don't understand Arab culture"

No, I don't understand it, but I am slowly getting a good picture of it, and that picture is not a pretty one, it is ugly and misshaped, and the most ironic thing of it all is that the idea put forward towards me is "the Americans do it too."

Which I find hilarious on many levels. Because as much as there is visceral hatred towards America (some of it for very good and historically understandable reasons), this particular argument reveals an ugly truth. Not just about the Arabs, but about everybody who uses it.

And that ugly truth is It's okay if we do it our enemies, but it is torture, it is war, it is unfair if it is done to us.

And how pathetic does that make you, who say it?

Already religion is used again in Egypt to supress those who are of a different opinion. Hey, no protests on Ramadan. Can't offend the prophet, right? Fuck that shit. And fuck your prophet!

And before somebody on the Christian Crispy Rightwing Nutbutter Brigade starts clapping at this point, fuck Jesus too! And the same goes to those Jews in Israel who think they are chosen to be something better. Fuck all of you who hide behind books that you are more than willing to use to oppress others and only scream like stuck pigs when they are used against you.

Because that is what has happened to the Arab Spring.

It has become the Arab Fall. And the leaves are falling, exposing what is rising behind it. The Arab Winter. When nothing has changed, nothing will. Only the players change, the game stays the same. And the truth, the cold, historical facts of the French Revolution, they wave all the way from 1791, when it became more and more pronounced that the second sons, the third sons and the upper class were the ones who filled the voids left by the dictator back then, gosh, it was so nice to have all that power now to you, and fuck those who had bled on the street.

For what? For a change in management.

What did The Who sing? Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

I am as of late remembering South Africa. Not only because my love comes from there. But I remember how it was, what enormous courage DeKlerk showed when he dismantled South Africa's apartheid system, when he no longer stood against the tide, but was forced to follow it, and instead of choosing what would have been the easy way out, the way with guns and violence, he relented.

I remember that, and I remember one of the bravest, kindest men in the history mankind, Nelson Mandela, who also didn't understand the "Arab Way" it seems, which also has become the "American Way" and the "Way" of all those who either are in power or are itching to get it. I remember a man who had every reason to kill every white motherfucker in the entire country. Who had been imprisoned, tortured, humiliated, threatened to be killed for 27 years.

And he walked out of that cell. He walked out with his head held high.

He walked out of that cell. And he told those who - like those in the Arab countries right now - talked about retribution and vengeance, all in the mantle, under the cover, with the brand name of "justice", he told them that "Reconciliation begins here. Forgiveness begins here."

Reconciliation. Forgivneness. Both words that have often been said by those two men both those "Christians" and "Muslims" worship. But words nobody ever really believes in, right? Those who hide behind the other words from those books, the rules, who justify them for their positions of power, who cream that it is unfair when somebody else uses them against themselves, they certainly don't.

Forgiveness is the foundation of peace. Forgiveness is the foundation of civilization.

Because if you don't, where will you stop?`Will you kill Gaddafi? Hey, everybody's fine with that, right? Kill his sons? Hell, we can live with that, too. But where do you stop? Will you put those who just ran over to the rebels weeks or sometimes even days ago, will you put those on trial? Most of them have blood on their hands. Shouldn't they pay? Or is it okay for those to walk away free? because, hell, they chose the right side (and by the right side we always mean "our" side) in the end, gosh, wow, just about made it... wheeeee! Safe!

But to think like that, well, that apparently is not the "way".

And I will repeat here what I said once before in a Tweet. The next time somebody uses the same standards against you, don't count on me to raise my voice for you. Never again. I once wrote that there is something called a shibboleth. It's what was used to differentiate between friend and foe, originally, but in sociology it can be defined as "What you do when you are absolutely certain you can get away with it."

It's what defines you. As a person. As a culture. As a society.

And so far, you are all failing the test.