Every day brings us closer to some terrifying dramatic climax, between events in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen and the nuclear disaster follow-up from Japan’s earthquake and tsunami.
As if they were being orchestrated from deep out in space by a combination of the unknown creator (whatever force is behind pure science) of the charismatic, prize winning astrophysicist-BBC star-program presenter and former pop star, Professor Brian Cox and ancient deities round the world.
The Pacific Ring of Fire has come alive with a vengeance at the same time as ‘The Arabian Spring’. Even as cherry blossoms bloom in Tokyo, making more poignant the great loss of humanity and the despair of a nation, so the desert comes alive, as young men and old bleed to death in the golden sands.
A monstrous regime says they are marching on Libya’s would-be liberators in their stronghold of Benghazi. Their delusional PR man swears it’ll all be over in 48 hours. It’s hard to tell exactly what’s really happening on the ground but there are a number of scenarios possible; ‘a lot of things’ are surely happening behind the scenes, if you read between the lines of the UK Foreign Secretary Hague and the fact that a French flag is flying outside the liberators’ HQ in Benghazi–as France has been the first to date to recognize the real government of the people of Libya as the liberators’ Council.
Dreamers like me are hoping some swift action will suddenly take place with or without the UN Security Council absolute ‘ok’, and crossing our fingers that ‘we’ (non Libyans) won’t end up dragged into an ‘on the ground’ battle–which no one wants except probably the Gaddafis, to be able to justify their mad agenda. The defection of the former Libyan Interior Minister (with allegedly 8000 troops) to help lead the defense of the liberators is heartening as well as the news that the tyrant’s troops are too stretched to take Benghazi or hold even what they have (especially if more defections come) . The entire city of Benghazi is armed and the spirit of resistance strong, ‘to the death’ for freedom.
Old radicals like myself are stirred, as so many of us carry in our veins the blood of martyrs for freedom or causes won or lost, in my case the Great Graham, Montrose, and that scourge of his enemies, Bonny Dundee (also a Graham). My father claimed he himself was made for battle; WW2 was the finest time (however harrowing) of his life, when he was called upon to do his duty, to which he said, he was born to do.
The members of the younger generation who are resisting the Libyan regime (as well as their parents) may well feel that they too were born for this freedom fight. They hoped they would get what Tunisia and Egypt are still working on achieving (relatively successfully to date) by peaceful means. But it was not to be, as their tyrant is a mad man who has taken his family and supporters with him into deeper madness, rather than ‘letting go and letting the people win’.
Many of my friends are there in spirit, battling with them, as we were in Tahrir Square. But when our time comes–and it will, however differently–note what is happening in Wisconsin–what will we do? I hope we can avoid ‘the worst’ as our ancestors fought long ago, in the English Civil War, for the beginning of our democratic rights, for a constitutional (only) monarchy, and before then, with the ‘Magna Carta’, for basic human rights. They gave their lives, men and women and children, for the relative freedoms we enjoy today, for which I am deeply grateful.
The point is: we must ensure we do not sell them off cheaply or lose them for want of action to preserve them. Will we be lulled by governments in power using PR spin (David Cameron’s only former job in the marketplace was as a PR man) to ‘let go’ for the sake of stability, jobs, supposed economic advantage? As the rich get richer round the world and the poor get poorer and the middle-class disappears (where most successful revolutions emerge from).
Revolution comes in many forms. We must all be alert. Each one of us carries a part of freedom that ‘democracy’ rests upon. If our voices are not heard, not raised, if we don’t put our feet where our mouths are, it is easier for unscrupulous, vested interest lawmakers (the majority sadly) and crimpetititive-capitalists (as versus the good ones, smile) to use the nation-state to their selfish advantage, all in the Name of Something (whatever game they play). Once they have power and make laws to control us by force of police and armies, it becomes very hard to oust them, to change things; we get ‘democracy in name only’.
We are either close to a dramatically wonderful climax or its opposite, or maybe, more likely, some strange this-worldly combination. Perhaps all this, if we don’t shut down as a species from stress and over-whelm, is a moment when humanity can finally grow beyond its ‘teen-age’ into ‘adult-hood’ although that analogy is woefully inadequate, even paradoxical, because it is the teenagers and the young who are leading the battles in North Africa and the Gulf. Maybe simply, we can awake to a New Humanity, wiser and more determined to govern ourselves fairly, to distribute wealth fairly, to raise our children without prejudice of creed, race and class.
If only. Inshallah, Inshisis.