National Commentary

‘Spring’ Reawakening

The world is witnessing a revival of the Egyptian revolution and listening to the demands of a disappointed people. The protesters who are part of this Arab Spring have told the world they have power. The Occupy Wall Street protesters heard the message, too: People have power.

They declare on their website, “We are the 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants. … The only solution is World Revolution.”

The world is not only watching the fight for democracy in the Middle East and Africa, but this spirit of people power is contagious.

The Syrian people are seeking democracy, revolting against the government of Bashar al-Assad after some 30 years of one-man rule by al-Assad’s father, Hafez al-Assad, who killed some 10,000 people in Hama alone, and put his son on the throne.

For the brutal Syrian leader to try to hold back the dawn is incredible. He was another anointed by his father alone. He has seen the fate of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, but he is still using the fire power of his military regime to kill and destroy.

He is truly a disgrace to Syria, which had great and early roots in fighting against French occupation in the 1920s, and an outstanding legacy in fighting for freedom and independence.

Now Egypt, whose Tahrir Square was the site of a once peaceful revolution that began nine months ago, is again in upheaval.

The revolt in Egypt has turned bloody – more so than the first revolution which ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak – because the interim government has tear gassed the protesters and killed many, although in many attacks rubber bullets were used.

Egyptians who threw out the Mubarak regime are up in arms over the new military rulers. The complaints in Egypt have been that there have been no changes and no reforms. The rebels are saying “nothing has changed.”

The struggle spans Egypt, not just in Tahrir Square’s home city of Cairo, but in Alexandria as well.

As one Egyptian put it, the revolt leaders are against the interim ruling government, which has disappointed them. As a result of the second revolt, the Egyptian cabinet has resigned.

The biggest problem is that the Egyptian military have tried to hijack the revolution and sieze power. The wary people are not about to be subjected by Mubarak holdovers again.

In the Egyptian street, protestors are demanding “freedom, justice and human dignity.” They are seeking the principles of democracy.

As usual, the White House is urging “restraint” on both sides. Otherwise, the U.S. is not helpful.

The protesters are manifested by anger and frustration. They now realize their power to challenge the powers that be – whoever they are. The people are no longer afraid.

The Egyptians have learned the lessons of the past. History shows that revolutions are often lost to one-man dictators who grab power. Fortunately, America has remained true to its constitutional concepts of the rule of law and the rights of man, dating back to the Magna Carta.

Egyptians are expected to elect a parliament next week and a president in August 2012, if the army doesn’t intervene – the military has ruled Egypt for the last 60 years.

Hopefully, the Arab world will fulfill its dreams of freedom – a dream that has taken too many sacrifices. The world should be rejoicing that people who have known oppression for so long are throwing off their chains.

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