“Libya Will Advance on the Road to Freedom”

by Roger Alford

“People of Libya! In response to your own will, fulfilling your most heartfelt wishes, answering your incessant demands for change and regeneration and your longing to strive towards these ends, listening to your incitement to rebel, your armed forces have undertaken the overthrow of the reactionary and corrupt regime, the stench of which has sickened and horrified us all…. From this day forward, Libya is a free, self-governing republic…. She will advance on the road to freedom, the path of unity and social justice, … where injustice and exploitation are banished, … where all will be free, brothers within a society in which, with God’s help, prosperity and equality will … rule us all.”

~ Muammar Gaddafi, September 1, 1969 announcing the coup against the government of King Idris.

Just a gentle reminder not to get too excited about the forces of change sweeping the Middle East.


2 Responses

  1. As compared to the War in Iraq, it would seem to me there is much to be excited about in what is going on across the Middle East.  How it all turns out is of course always another story. But, we should not underestimate the difficulty of what people are trying to do here or be too patronizing from our safe places.  A bit of humility might be in order.  After all, George Bush promised to be a humble President and not do nation building and we saw where that got us.  Not all of us are existentialists all the time.

  2. I haven’t done any serious study of prior populist revolutions and their outcomes, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find that 1/3 result in a transition to a stable democracy, 1/3 result in a relatively swift counter-revolution and the reimposition of an authoritarian regime, and 1/3 result in a lengthy and messy civil war.

    I would be surprised if all the countries in the Middle East that recently went through revolutions could be classed as stable democracies five years from now.

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