Military Review

The end of the old world

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The end of the old worldIt so happens that we live in times of strong movement and tremendous unprecedented uncertainty. It can be said that due to political conflicts and natural disasters and wars, the world as everyone knew him has changed forever.

Probably, before no one could even think about it. For example, what would they say about a person who, at the beginning of the year, would begin to say that by the spring in the Arab world not only strong political unrest would begin, but he would lose his two most long-existing autocrats; that the United Nations (UN) will approve military intervention in the affairs of a Muslim country under the leadership of the United States, that the tsunami will shake the second largest economic power in the world. Such a person would be called a pessimist, a deceiver, who says that it is possible only in his fantasies. And so it all happened as soon as we entered the 2011 year. It is not their unexpectedness that attaches importance to these events, as a permanent part of human life, but to those profound changes, which make it appear that we have a real moment stories.

The first and most important among all unpredictable, are uprisings in the Arab world. The revolution for the Middle East is far from new. Almost every second ruler there came to power in connection with the coups. But this time everything was different: the development of events was spontaneous; information about the insurrection through social networks, cellular communications, and, apparently, the events were not caused by any of the specific political groups, and, therefore, had no real organization. For decades, North African Arabs and the people of the Gulf region have come to terms with countries in which democracy, if it was, was nothing more than a fig leaf for presidents and kings, allowing them to get 99% approval ratings without any problems. All the benefits of any economic growth and oil revenues were received by the families of the rulers and they themselves could unquestionably suppress dissent in their own country. Partly to blame for this neo-colonialism. Western governments supported such regimes in the countries of the Gulf, North Africa, and Saudi Arabia, which, with the normal rules of progress, should have long since been sent to the historical dump several generations ago. But this would not be beneficial to Western governments, because in these countries there are considerable reserves of oil, and therefore money.

This is one of the amazing features inherent in the events. They are united by a common task - not to demand any concrete actions, but to change the attitude towards class and age groups tired of corrupt practices and economic and social ridicule. They are eager for freedom, but for the beginning they want to get rid of the power cultures that exist today, which greatly underestimate the horizons and thus limit their activities. Youth unemployment is one of the main factors of public discontent.

Statistics show that almost every country where demonstration movements are currently taking place can boast that 35 - 40% of its population is young people younger than 25 years, but quite often the unemployment rate of the young population reaches 20%. This problem concerns not only Arab countries, for example, in Europe the situation is even more extreme.

Here you can also add many other factors of indignation, for example, the growth of urbanization, even in countries with the smallest population. Earlier, especially in Asia, there were demonstrations of the landless and the hungry. These rebellions were strong and powerful, as people could quickly gather in squares, attracted by sending SMS messages, in a very short period of time.

Another distinctive feature that makes these uprisings so specific and surprising in the Arab context is the rather significant role of women among the demonstrators. Very often, journalists snatch the most active and emotional participants from the protesting crowd, and they are often women, and of different ages. Perhaps this is done to attract as much attention as possible to the importance and significance of events. Articulation in front of the camera is not evidence of the empowerment and rights of the female half of the population. But, of course, education, especially in such formally secular countries as Egypt, Tunisia or Shiite Iran, brings up a new generation of educated women who have their own views on politics and society.

Also, the speed of the overthrow of two rulers of the Middle East - Egyptian President Mubarak and Ben Ali in Tunisia through peaceful demonstrations was a huge surprise for these movements for the Middle East "experts". This happened within just a few weeks, after the first signs of intensifying dissent and almost without a fight. There are many hints at all sorts of reasons why this happened in these countries, but did not happen in Libya, Bahrain, Yemen. Oil is one such reason. The wealth that she brings into the country and which is accumulated by the rulers, perhaps makes it more accessible to protect against change. This is currently trying to make Saudi Arabia and some Gulf countries. Tunisia and Egypt had a large population, but, alas, did not have sufficient reserves of such minerals as gas and oil. These countries did not have enough resources to meet the needs of such a high number of people, and when the prices of raw materials began to rise, the prices of essential goods soared.

There is another reason - the army. The first thing that Colonel Gaddafi did when he came to power through a military coup was to neutralize the armed forces, depriving them of weapons and earnings. In parallel, he created a small group of well-armed and highly paid special forces, which were to be concentrated only around him. That was what gave him confidence and advantage at that time before making a decision to establish a no-fly zone over Libya, but it also made him vulnerable to air strikes now.

On the other hand, in Tunisia and Egypt, the army played a crucial and neutral role in the past. When the special security services of Ben Ali and Mubarak could not handle the raging mob of demonstrators, they were forced to call for help from the army. And, like during the collapse of the USSR in Eastern Europe, the police and armed forces could not shoot their own native people, they themselves determined the fate of the regime of government. This will also be the reason for the regime change in Yemen, since the generals are great opponents of the killing of civilians.

And you are most likely to be right if, on the basis of this particular type of analysis, you make the assumption that the wave of insurrections and demonstrations eventually ends in nothing and no changes will follow it, that the army will be behind the power schemes of past years, and not future ones that the suppression of demonstration movements in Bahrain will become commonplace, and not the exception to the rule, that Middle Eastern experts proclaim the correctness of their predictions that the Arab world will never change. True, now no one can be confident in the results. And such analyzes do not catch the main thing. The Arab people rebelled in the form of a peaceful protest. People said they want change and no longer want to live in the past. But no matter how it all ends, the future policy in the Arab countries and the discussions will no longer be the same as they were before. Moreover, because this time the Arabs acted for themselves and for themselves. This type of insurrection must have occurred for the first time in more than half a century, whose indignation (any, other than that shown by cornered Gaddafi) is not directed at all against the imperialists of the West and America. Israel also avoided universal accusation of all misfortunes, even though its representatives, along with Tony Blair, who was put to shame now, continue to repeat that the Muslim League has nothing to do in politics and moreover it cannot be allowed to go there, despite that there are a lot of religious extremists in Israel, who sit in their own government and are part of the ruling coalition. (The Muslim League is a figurative expression, meaning a political group that was founded in 1906 year, she also led the movement for the separation of British India and the formation of a Muslim state - approx. Transl.) This is an Arab movement with tremendous courage, and driven by none other than the Arabs themselves. It had absolutely nothing to do with the West, of course, with the exception of Libya. One cannot overestimate the undoubted, potential importance of this for a world in which the Middle East has always been accepted as a source of incurable and hopeless evil.

Of course, one should not underestimate the world reaction to the uprisings, namely their consequences. While in Libya military intervention begins from falling into disputes, the subject of which are military objectives, from the initial phase of saving Benghazi, it is very easy and simple to remain cynical in questions about the attitude to the actions themselves and the motivation of those who carry out these actions. All this may well end in an incomprehensible confusion and highly undesirable differences between the allies. But the fact remains that this time the Western world was expecting Arab support and acting through the UN, which is even more important. At the very beginning of the year, the UN Institute was an institution completely alienated from world processes and having lost its former credibility, because at that time, US President Barack Obama pursued only his own goals, and for the most part ignored the rest of the UN world.

But to really assume that a globally new, international era of cooperation has come, it would, of course, be very naive. For some reason, Colonel Gaddafi has an extremely rare property - to unite everyone absolutely against himself. His actions were so strange, selfish, eccentric, that only Zimbabwe breathes unevenly to him, and that for obvious reasons - support from his side. And when it comes to Yemen, Bahrain or another country, such a combination of events is unlikely to take place. But because of this, we should not be blind to the facts that this time the United States had to be only the reluctant leader of the whole process of intervention from the West, that the support of the Arabs made this intervention quite possible, and that again the UN, as well as was and in the days of the Cold War, should be considered as the basis on which international cooperation should and will be built.

If half of all the surprises that the world faced in the coming year falls on the uprising among the Arab world, then it is not in vain. These events have shown the world a great deal, especially the fact that Arab citizens in general can rebel in principle and the fact that this has absolutely no connection with the West. Nobody expected that protesting citizens would succeed so quickly, and even overthrow the two ruling autocrats, that all of this would happen spontaneously, and be organized, thanks to mobile phones, and not some political grouping, that the result of all these events would be Western Muslim intervention and that the UN sanction will be demanded again.

It is impossible not to mention another important event, namely the strongest earthquake and the subsequent tsunami in the land of the rising sun. There is nothing new in this outbreak. Japan, which is located in the most earthquake-prone area for decades, prepared for tsunamis and earthquakes, has introduced the highest standards in construction safety and the construction of marine coastal barriers. But the enormous force of the elements inflicted such an unexpectedly powerful destructive character that the waves simply poured over the established barriers, washing away everything in their path, and leading to a huge nuclear crisis. The very fact that this happened to a country that had been preparing for such a situation for so long and thoroughly made the whole world immediately look at the situation in their country. Although the crisis was ousted from the first places in news the summaries of programs around Libya, we cannot say that it is over. Its development continues. And the more information we receive, the more we fall back on old problems - ignoring security warnings, hiding the real and frightening scale of the problem until everything explodes. For the Japanese themselves, these consequences are sufficient in terms of their trust in government and business. For the rest of the world, it is important to highlight the omens and predictions that the meltdown threat, when realized, will have consequences for human health, the environment and food.

Other reasons that proclaim our times as important historical events are purely speculations. As a rule, historical events take on special significance when they are followed by global changes. During the economic crisis of 2007-2009, there was a huge amount of predictions that the end of the capitalist era was coming and, at the same time, the beginning of a new hegemony of China and India, the beginning of a new world constrained by climate change. These forecasts, of course, proved to be incorrect. Measures to deal with the banking crisis and huge debts in the West hardly differed from the measures often used before. Destruction of capitalism did not happen and the government, and consumers behave practically, as well as before the crisis.

But, it can not be such that crises of such magnitude do not change. The events taking place in the Arab world and in Japan are partly unexpected and unique to themselves. Look at the list of complaints - corruption, which leads to the enrichment of a small number of people and the ruin of the rest, political systems that have lost the trust of the population, industrial solutions that are unable to cope with the disaster. These are all fairly common claims for most of the world.

Since the main feature of the events taking place today is their unpredictability, then there is no need to make predictions and predictions about how they will end, because we are not even getting close to this knowledge. But it can be concluded that our history has set in motion and we stand only at the very beginning.
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  1. turnip
    turnip 27 March 2011 13: 52
    +1
    as the saying goes, if the sun rises in the East, then someone needs it.