Friday, March 25, 2011

Promising Revolutions Gone Bad

From American Thinker - "Excuse me for not joining in the cheering for the recent uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, and other Islamic countries. I'm very nervous about revolutions, especially those that take place in February.

"The symbol of all political revolutions is a spinning roulette wheel, with the croupier chanting "round and round the big wheel goes and where it stops, nobody knows." The leaders of a revolution are not necessarily the ones who end up in power. The people who rise up to overthrow one tyranny often end up suffering under another.

"The French Revolution in 1789 was fueled by the desire of common citizens for human rights and freedom from oppression by aristocrats and privileged classes. The original goal was a constitutional monarchy, but an extremist faction, the Jacobins, managed to seize control, arrest and execute the royal family, establish a reign of terror, and eliminate all opposition. The Jacobins were in turn overthrown by their rivals, the Girondists, who executed them. The resultant constitutional republic, under the Directory, lasted about four years until Napoleon Bonaparte seized control and became first "consul" and then emperor -- which was not at all what the original revolutionists had fought for.

"In February 1848, the second French revolution overthrew the Orleans monarchy and established the Second Republic. In December of that year, Louis Napoleon was elected president. Three years later, he suspended the legislature and, by a coup d'état that even Marx admired [1], established the Second Empire.

"In February 1917, the people of Russia overthrew the tsarist regime to rid themselves of its oppressive aristocracy and bureaucracy. Kerensky's democratic provisional government tried to work with the radical Bolsheviks and shared power with their network of "soviets." However, in October, the Bolsheviks engineered a revolution of their own and established a socialist tyranny (with its own aristocracy of bureaucrats) which was worse than any tsarist regime had ever been.

"The Cuban revolution ended in February 1959, when Batista fled from the country. In this case, the leader, Fidel Castro, remained in power, largely by killing or imprisoning all of his opponents. Soon enough, the people of Cuba realized that they were under a harsher dictatorship than they had endured under Batista.

"The revolution in Iran attained victory in February 11, 1979 when the royal regime was overwhelmed and the shah went into exile. Although the preceding popular uprisings had been inspired by a variety of secular and religious motives, the most organized components were followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini, who returned from exile just before the shah's departure [2]. Thereafter (according to one author [3]), "what began as an authentic and anti-dictatorial popular revolution, based on a broad coalition of all anti-Shah forces, was soon transformed into an Islamic fundamentalist power-grab." Ultimately, despite his numerous prior assertions to the contrary, Khomeini became the de facto ruler of a rigid Islamic theocracy." [...] (read entire column here)

However: "No ‘Revolution’ for Egypt’s Christians"-

"On March 5, Muslims attacked, plundered, and set ablaze an ancient Coptic church in Sool, a village near Cairo, Egypt. Afterwards, throngs of Muslims gathered around the scorched building and pounded its walls down with sledge hammers—to cries of “Allahu Akbar!” (h.t.-Frontpagemag)