A democratic revolution in Tunisia. Pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt. Foreign Policy magazine says “In one fell swoop, the candor of the cables released by WikiLeaks did more for Arab democracy than decades of backstage U.S. diplomacy.”
How? They helped the Tunisian people realize that it was obvious to the rest of the world what they thought only they knew — that their government was corrupt, repressive, and downright rotten to the core. It also showed them that the US would not back the Tunisian leader, giving them hope that change was possible.
Now the same thing is starting in Egypt and there are stirrings in other countries with repressive governments. Maybe we should stop persecuting Julian Assange, and instead award him the Nobel Peace Prize.
Peace? Are you crazy? Revolutions generally lead to strife and war. Witness the French revolution (1789) which led to the Reign of Terror, to the emperor Napoleon, and to the Napoleonic wars lasting until 1815. The Russian revolution (1917) led to internal purges and gulags, and had no good effect in the atmosphere leading to WWII, and led to the cold war after WWII.
We are in for a period of war and instability across North Africa in the Middle East
My first reaction to this was that this was giving a lot more credit to Wikileaks than may be deserved.
But I think the more important point, after having read the article, is that it reminds us that US diplomats do what they do to support US interests, not human rights or democracy. If it is in US interests to support or at least abide repressive regimes, we’ll hold our nose and keep our opinions to ourselves.
Haggard – What are your views on the American Revolution (1776)?
Are you suggesting that the American Revolution didn’t lead to strife and war? Remember the war against the secessionist southern states?
Revolutions against totalitarian monarchies don’t come cheap.
Despite that – I doubt Americans are sorry the revolution occurred, neither are the French or Russians.
The Peace Prize does not go to a person for actually creating world peace, but one who champions human rights and the liberties of those who are struggling against oppressive regimes. It is given to those who further the causes of peace, prosperity, and liberty. I think that Assange should at least be left alone if not officially recognized as a activist for human rights.
And yes, revolution leads to further revolution. That is the nature of society; every so often, we face an upheaval that eventually leads us to a better system. This is the view “America” has taken on the war in Iraq: a necessary evil, but one that will ultimately lead to peace and stability.
The nature of Revolution is revolt, so it necessarily involves conflict. I don’t understand the point that Quidam and H. Rider Haggard are trying to make. No totalitarian or dictatorship voluntarily relinquishes power, or any form of government including our democracy for that matter.
On Starluna’s point of “If it is in US interests to support or at least abide repressive regimes”. We as a nation have tolerated many atrocities and less then desirable goverments. After exiting Vietnam, we sat by and watched the systematic killing of 2 million Cambodians. In Rowanda we sat back and watched 100s of 1000s of innocents get killed. We are still watching Somalia destroy itself. All these were/are revolutions and we didn’t intervene because it does not serve our national intertest or it wouldn’t be stomached by the American public.
Whats this got to do with wikileaks and the fencing of stolen documents?
I have a suspician that the Tunisia/Egypt revolts are being organized/aggravated by those actually opposed to free democricies. Al Qaida – ran out of Iraq when we surged there and have run out of Afghanistan now. They leave behind a small force to try and keep things stirred up, but you can bet they are all over North Africa. There are too many weak goverments there ripe for the picking. I’d bet my last dollar they are getting backing from Iran as well who despises Egypt and its Sunni majority. All it not as it seems.