• Reserving judgement about other people’s revolutions

    by  • February 21, 2011 • Everything Else • 3 Comments

    Four brief points,

    1. A lot of the enthusiasm on Twitter is rooted in the simple fact that people are reassured by the revolts in other countries because it means they don’t have to get out on the streets here.
    2. There are some futures in which this is the beginning of a global economic collapse or a wave of violent repression unlike previous Arab history or worse and people are rooting for it all, oblivious.
    3. America and Britain have lousy civil rights records, have started murderous wars, shipped people around the world to be tortured, and maintain Guantanamo bay. Democracy might not be what you mean. Civil rights, perhaps?
    4. Please, please, please think before getting involved with events with this degree of complexity and potential for massive loss of human life. Was there a slow-transition path? Will the Egyptian military play ball come election time? What if it all goes wrong? What if Iran slips into unrest? Saudi Arabia?

    We don’t know how all of this is going to turn out, but it behooves us, given the complexity of the situation, to carefully look to the downside, to try and minimize the risks to life and limb for all concerned, and to deal with our own political problems at home – our murderous elected politicians and their million person killing invasions – if we are so enthusiastic about somebody else’s revolution.

    This is not safe territory. It is not an armchair sport. Please respect the lives of all involved.

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    Vinay Gupta is a consultant on disaster relief and risk management.


    3 Responses to Reserving judgement about other people’s revolutions

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