The inception of the modern Middle East came with baggage – with ongoing colonial pursuits on part of foreign powers, remnants of misaligned allegiances post WW II, broken promises on part of leaders, and divvied up territories which marginalized groups of people whose ethnic perceptions of themselves hardly paralleled the authorities and geography they were forced to live with. Most of all however, the modern Middle East was born with a sort of schizophrenia – or perhaps a dialectical dilemma would be the more acceptable term: they were nominally formed as autonomous states on the one hand, and on the other hand, that autonomy was inherently phony given its creation by other powers who still maintained if not direct control over the states, then covert control via financial, military, and ideological coercion.
The Middle East never really hatched out of its shell. It’s embryo was interrupted and prodded, and still its geopolitical value grew exponentially; and its growth was synonamous to the stifling of its people’s self actualization. Whether we call it postcolonialism, neocolonialism or simply the non-occurrence of a foundational element to any nation which assumes itself part of a state, the region was born with a lid on it, and now the contents are erupting. It’s physics really- an object is only as strong as its weakest point. And the people have now finally twisted that spot open. The people of the region today, beginning with Tunisia, stretching to Egypt and inclusive of Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and other countries, are revolting against their entrapment by pseudo leaders who for decades have ensured that their people remained infants. Perhaps because they themselves have embraced an understanding of themselves which in itself is infantile.
The revolutions of today are about beating off the oppressors who continued to pile baggage onto the people. The current revolutions are about recognizing that the state has been a leech; about stopping the draining of their life force, and fighting for a chance to discover what it is they want out of their lives. They are fighting for civil society, a chance for a relationship with a government that truly represents their best interests – they are fighting for organic development by allowing themselves to face who they believe they are and can be.
Hopefully, puppet governments will discontinue, and foreign intervention in domestic regional growth will no longer be an epidemic. These are truly historic times because these revolutions aren’t against any specific other – they are against the inner colonialism of their minds, practiced by leaders who have repeatedly lied to their own people. As the eggs of self determination hatch, we can only hope that the outside world will be awed by the sight of genuine calls of democracy; awed enough to keep their tentacles far, far away.
– Love in a Box
Political cartoon by Eric Young online. Visit his site at: http://ericyoungonline.wordpress.com/tag/political-cartoons/