Talk about a revolution

Here's a thought for a peaceful Sunday morning. Sorry for the sarcasm. If I wanted to know about peace I would have looked out on the loch and the mountains rather than at the TV screen with its sequences of uprisings all over the Middle East and North Africa. My thought is just this, that no uprising of  'the people' can succeed in producing anything except chaos and unhappiness unless the uprisers (a) are in the majority (b) have the support of either or preferably both of the civil police and the armed force and, by far the most important, (c), they have a have a clear idea of precisely what comes next, who makes it happen, and how.

I fear the Bahrainis, the Algerians, the Yemenis, even the Egyptians all fall at the second and the last hurdles. It is never enough to cry freedom, because freedom means anarchy, means blood and pain and a worsening of the lot of the people. Sorry to say it but how many Iraquis would vote for a Saddam Hussain comeback versus the current status after the events of the past seven years? Bush and Blair had no idea of what would come next, and cared less. And yet another thirty or so people dismembered by explosives yesterday proves me right. By the way, it hardly got a mention in our lovely flame-fanning media.

The historical revolts I listed the other day - in the USA, France, England, Ireland also prove me right. I'm reading Sebastian Barry's novel of the Irish Rebellion and the First World War, A Long Long Way. The Irish certainly knew the precise shape and texture of the post-rebellion things they were determined to achieve for their beloved homeland - and to hell with Flanders Field.

Western leaders are all pontificating right now, all urging the Arab leaders under siege to, quote, show restraint and allow freedom of expression, unquote. Mister Cameron, how much restraint would you be showing, how much freedom of expression would you be allowing if a hundred thousand of your people were marching across Westminster Bridge demanding the abolition of the monarchy, dissolution of parliament and your head on a plate? Could it indeed just be that a benevolent dictatorship would be a better option anyway? Some might think so. Don't worry. Not me. (But that is called freedom of expression, is it not?.)

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