They Aren’t Leaders If People Won’t Follow
By James Donahue
It strikes us that Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad,, Iranian
President Mahmond Ahmadinejad and all of the other so-called “leaders” of Middle Eastern Moslem nations have a
twisted concept of leadership in today’s new world.
Men like these, old school power figures who rule their kingdoms with an iron fist and pillage
the wealth of the masses to finance their personal luxuries, are about to become dinosaurs. Indeed, the clamor in the streets
should be warning them that a time of change is here. The youth of the world, now connected via the Internet, their cell phones
and other systems of electronic communication, are joining forces in rebellion.
It began with the sudden fall of Tunisia’s authoritarian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali
in January, followed by the overthrow of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. Suddenly uprisings appeared to be breaking out in countries
everywhere. The people, long living under extreme suppression and suffering from dictatorial rule, were connected. They appear
to be rising up in a great quest for change and freedom.
It is obvious that the telephone wires between the palace rulers have been active. The decision
was made to “do something” before another domino falls. Thus began the great military battles in Libya, Syria,
Iran, Yemen, Bahrain, Sudan, Djibouti and even Iraq where U. S. forces are still mopping up after years of fighting.
Nowhere has the struggle to retain power been more obvious than in Libya, where General Qaddafi
has employed his military might and turned his US furnished tanks, aircraft and artillery against the rag-tag resistance fighters.
Qaddafi strangely holds on even though his decision to slaughter thousands of his own people turned world opinion against
him. Strangely, United Nations support for the rebels has been so limited that the battle may still be won by Qaddafi. Is
it all for show? Are world leaders united against the people?
In Syria, President Assad appears to be gaining the world spotlight as he, too, has begun to turn
his military against the rebellious youth now demonstrating in the streets. Similar action has occurred in Bahrain. Iran turned
its guns on demonstrators to curtail similar protests.
While these so-called “leaders” are clearly willing to use force to maintain control
of their countries, we wonder what they are hoping to accomplish. If the people are openly expressing rebellion, it is obvious
they no longer wish to be ruled by these regimes. And if the people are unwilling to follow, how can the people on the thrones
consider themselves’ leaders?
Libyan rebels and Qaddafi have been seeking a cease-fire agreement even as the fighting continues.
Thus it appears that Qaddafi is winning his war against his people. Yet after all of this, after all of the violence and bloodshed,
exactly what has Qaddafi won? For him, and for many of the other rulers of suppressed nations not only in the Middle East
but around the world, victory must be caustic.
In the United States, similar protests are occurring in all 50 states as elected governors and
state and federal legislators continue their moves to turn the nation into a fascist government. Americans are waking up to
the fact that they have been cheated and lied to by the people they elected to office.
The revolution is gaining strength. Change is in the air. It all boils down to a class war between
the haves and the have-nots. We pray that resolution can be reached everywhere without more bloodshed.
April 18, 2011