We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lapp√©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Long Season of Change Ahead for Every Arab Nation

Click here to access article by Mouin Rabbani from Jadaliyya. 
As the Arab Spring continues to flower and wilt, and flower again and wilt again, there will be simply no way of knowing where things are likely to stand six months in the future.
However, there is one optimistic statement in the article that concerns me:
Where leaders remain in power, the military is playing a much larger role in repression, with regimes effectively declaring war on their own people.

Ironically, however, the mobilisation of conventional military forces may also hasten the success of uprisings. That is because the soldiery is never particularly reliable when it comes to domestic repression.
The repressive rulers seem quite aware of this, and I've noticed that some are employing mercenary soldiers to put down the their citizen uprisings. My memory fails me at the moment, but I think this has occurred in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. This is obviously a dangerous trend confronting the insurgents.