Thursday, February 17, 2011

Non-violence protests in the Middle East

So the New York Times today had this: "Few Americans have heard of Mr. Sharp. But for decades, his practical writings on nonviolent revolution — most notably “From Dictatorship to Democracy,” a 93-page guide to toppling autocrats, available for download in 24 languages — have inspired dissidents around the world, including in Burma, Bosnia, Estonia and Zimbabwe, and now Tunisia and Egypt."  This is so untrue.  No evidence to that whatsoever.  What an overstatement.  The case is simple: protesters in the Middle East have resorted to non-violence due to practicality.  Violent protests in the Middle East have failed: the state uses overwhelming force and the US/EU always support Israeli and Arab regime repression against civilians.  Arabs realized that--unlike other people in the world--the world does not let them engage in any kind of armed struggle or violent protests.  So much massive violence have been imposed on the populations and that have undermined the utility of smaller-scale violence by protesters.  Also, even assassinations--which were kind of popular in earlier more innocent times--are now impossible: even MPs in Lebanon move in convoys of armored cars.  It took such a large operation and 1000 tons of TNT to assassinate Rafiq Hariri.  All this, have moved populations to resort to non-violence and also they know that this won't allow the regimes to raise a hue and cry over terrorist plots by Al-Qa`idah.  How many times do I have to say this: Arab youth don't know who Gene Sharp is.