A blizzard, sub below zero temperatures, ice. Is it spring yet? How I long for spring! Spring signifies new life and change. Indeed, change is happening all around us. In the Middle East, people are fighting for freedom to let their voices be heard. It is amazing and almost unbelievable. Tunisia and Egypt seemed to happen overnight and I felt like I missed something. I asked a friend that used to work in foreign affairs to catch me up because I was dumbfound. The reply:
The Mideast has been somnolent, caught between the US fear of upsetting bad governments and making fundamentalist governments and the efficiency of dictatorships intimidating the people into quiescence. Tunisia showed that the intimidation could be breeched, thus the contagion of action. Clearly this is a world historical moment, but whether it all ends up as progressive democracy and increased prosperity for the people or a rumble of stages of trying to create effective governments and a return to order is very much undecided. Revolutions tend to eat their babies. Leadership seldom comes from the moderate center, so the dangers of fundamentalism and also military rule are present.
I am a cynic, but when it comes to a peoples fight for freedom I root for them. I know America has political interests in the outcome, but I hope against all my cynicism that we would let the people of those countries dictate the outcome. I read an editorial in the Chicago Tribune titled “From Berlin to Cairo.” It is worth the read (see link below). Sam Cooke said it best when he sang “a change is gonna come.” We don’t know the outcome of that change, but spring has brought change to the Middle East.