Winds of change that can bless—in the Middle East

A young idealist is thrilled as he watches the gathering pace of the Iranian Revolution. The regime being opposed is autocratic, and he revels in a feeling of having a ringside seat to watch what appears to be the onward march of freedom. As events unfold, though, he feels he is watching a dramatization of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Like the “revolutionaries” that take over the farm in Orwell’s novel, so the actions of the revolutionaries gaining the upper hand in Iran begin to mirror those of the regime being replaced. As strict religious conservatism aggressively turns back the clock on the rights of women, the young idealist is devastated. His hope that the march of time would inevitably be progressive is crushed. 

That same disappointed idealist has been following the news in the Middle East. Since a young, frustrated fruitseller set himself on fire as an act of protest against Tunisia’s repressive regime, the winds of change have been blowing. In the cases of Tunisia and Egypt, a new spirit of revolution bringing a genuine prospect of renewal seems to have arrived. Meanwhile in Libya—at the time of this writing—a repressive backdraft has been sweeping violently through the country. The gusts battering other countries seem to lie somewhere in between. 

Trustworthy government—present now
April 25, 2011

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