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28 Jan, 2011 08:01

You say you want a revolution, but be careful what you wish for

You say you want a revolution, but be careful what you wish for

The images of angry protesters in Egypt in Tunisia gathering in the streets are may look similar to the color revolutions that have rocked the world in recent years. However, they may differ in at least on one crucial point: spontaneity.

A night curfew has been declared in Egypt on Friday. It comes as internet access across Egypt has been shut down and mobile phone services are reportedly off in some regions.US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged calm from both sides of the ongoing conflict in Egypt. She has also called on the country’s authorities to reverse the unprecedented steps it has taken to cut off communications.Clinton added that Egyptian authorities must investigate and prosecute any allegations of brutality by security forces against protesters "We are deeply concerned about the use of violence by Egyptian police and security forces against protesters, and we call on the Egyptian government to do everything within its power to restrain its security forces," she said. 

Dr Steven Ekovich, associate professor of political science and history at the American university of Paris, thinks it is unlikely in the short term to overthrow the current political regime in Egypt, as with other countries in this region. Tunisia in this regard seems a unique case as it is a very small and educated country. “If any country, any people can move to a moderate, liberal democracy, then Tunisians can do it”, believes Ekovich. Commenting on the US Secretary’s of State recent rhetoric, Elkovich expects the US to continue encouraging Egypt to move to democracy, but the impact is dubious. “That will lead to a break-down of the government and chaos. That might even provide the possibility for, for example, the Muslim Brotherhood or other extremists to take power in Egypt,” Ekovich says.

”People leading Middle East riots coached in US”

There was Georgia’s Rose Revolution in 2003, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004, the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan in 2005 and the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon in 2005. Similar opposition rebellions were attempted in Uzbekistan in 2005, in Armenia in 2008, in Moldova in 2009, and several in 2010: in Iran, in Thailand and finally in Belarus in December.Next it was the turn of Tunisia and now Egypt, where protests continue to ripple throughout the country, in which deadly clashes with police have claimed five lives on the third day of violence.The turmoil is inspired by the month-long chaos in Tunisia, where uprisings deposed the country's leader, left 80 dead, and led to a cabinet reshuffle. But are all of these uprisings completely different revolts, previously unheard-of political epidemics, or is there a plan much bigger than one might think?“If you look more closely, you look at the so-called people who are leading this, are being coached. And they're being coached by the US Intelligence Services, the same way the Orange Revolution was in Ukraine or the Rose Revolution with Saakashvili in Georgia,” revealed author and researcher William Enghdal.A string of revolutions – some bloodless, some not – rocked the post-Soviet space at the beginning of the 21st century. There were a number of common factors: an uprising against the regime, rooted in a popular dissatisfaction with standards of living, and also a unifying theme for the protesters. Hence the collective name “color revolutions”. Amazingly, their outcomes have been quite similar too.Six years ago on Ukrainian capital Kiev’s Independence Square was the birthplace of the Orange Revolution. It promised a new dawn and major changes for the country, but ultimately all aspirations came to nothing.Lawyer Grigoriy Sitenko is one of those disenchanted with the outcome of the Orange makeover.“Poverty and corruption increased, the country is now divided by ideological issues. Nothing changed for the better, only for the worse. Viktor Yushchenko, the revolutionary hero [who became Ukrainian president in the aftermath of the revolution] got only five per cent of the votes at the next presidential election. The lowest result for an acting president in the world,” Sitenko said. He says the bright promises of the revolution’s leaders have in reality pushed the country into an abyss.It was a similar story in Georgia, where the heady optimism of the Rose Revolution soon gave way to disappointment and eventually to mass protests. Their anger with President Saakashvili was met with a response that was all too familiar, as gas grenades and water cannons were used to quell the unrest. And in Kyrgyzstan, the revolution of 2005 also quickly turned sour – last year saw yet another popular revolt.But those false dawns, and bitter lessons, are far from the minds of those clamoring for change in North Africa.“Danger emerges when the power overturning the government, which they thought illegal and out of credit, like in the case of Tunisia and Egypt, does not have a political platform and the government apt to put things in order in the country,” shared Eva Golinger, editor of Venezuela’s Correo Del Orinoco newspaper. “The danger lies in the personality of those who would desire to use the revolutions which happened in the Arab world. We have to take care that the far right or any other forces with an imperialistic mood will not take advantage of the situation.”She concluded that “If those are really people’s movements – they should not have let anyone interfere with there affairs.”Experts agree that it may take some time before the world sees whether or not the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt will change things for the better in these countries. Just as they have a common opinion that if these uprisings flop, Europe will be the first to suffer from waves of immigrants.