I am amazed at the turn of events over the past month. I didn't make much of the guy who torched himself last December in Tunis, but now that I have been following these events since then, I am convinced that we have seen the first internet coup d'etat ever. And it is possible that Egypt will be number two. The implications are many:
1. Mubarak is the chief American/Western proponent in the Arab world for all things political (King Fahd of Saudi Arabia is the economic/oil version). If Mubarak goes via revolt, this will demonstrate the fickleness of American support and will drive other Arab leaders away from the American camp ................ at lightning speed.
2. Egypt secures the Western border of Gaza. Israel will not be able to stop traffic there should Mubarak fall. This will trigger a massive flux of movement instantly on that side and may cause a great military retaliation by Israel. This will only further inflame the Arab/Muslim world and will increase tension immediately in Lebanon and Syria. All bets are off is Mubarak falls.
3. Whenever there is tension/uncertainty in that part of the world, oil prices rise. If Mubarak falls, watch for immediate escalation of price and perhaps a slowdown in production. The world economy is very anemic right now because US banksters (and British/Swiss as well) have looted trillions of dollars from the people. A massive rise in oil prices may bring many nations to the brink of an Iceland-style collapse. This is not good. Ireland is already on the precipice and Spain is not far behind.
4. The strain on any US response will be nearly unbearable. The military is past the breaking point and can't move from Iraq/Afghanistan. Money will have no effect in this situation. Israel cannot possible respond to anything more than the West Bank or Gaza. There is no Western response available.
5. If these protests translate into massive revolt in Saudi Arabia, there might be no stopping the downfall of the Saud family and a collapse of their government. This means no more oil. The world will collapse economically.
Events are happening fast and there is no telling what direction the protests will take next, but we have evidence that the CIA/Mossad group have been trying to oust Mubarak for quite some time now. Several articles cite Wikileaks as a source for this conclusion, a proposal WebsterTarpley gave recently on Russia Today.
It seems that the intelligentsia of the US and Israel have bitten off a bit more than they can chew. While they've been acting beneath the surface for years to undermine Egypt's government, they surely didn't expect the catalyst to come from nearby Tunisia. Yet, our new millennium has given other examples of how modern technology can be used by the masses in new and inspiring ways.
I think it's significant that Tunisia is small enough that current internet sites could muster the citizenry to gather simultaneously in the street in an overwhelming show of defiance forcing the ouster of a hateful dictator, Ben Ali.
This has actually been tried before, albeit in much more innocent surroundings. For years now San Franciscans have held spontaneous meetings in the street just to see the power of internet connections between totally unrelated neighbors. These meetings have sometimes drawn thousands of people to a particular spot merely on the suggestion of one or a small group of initiators.
Facebook seems to hold such sway in the case of Tunisia as people whose only connections were their nationality, geographic proximity and mutual dislike for their government, found each other on the website and agreed that the time had come to act. From the singular event of one disgruntled worker who lit himself on fire, a torrent of pent up grief poured into the streets across the country and overwhelmed the security forces.
This has occurred in other instances, most notably in Venezuela in 2002 when President Chavez was sequestered in a coup d'etat that lasted a mere 48 hours. Then it was the cell phone that proved the downfall of the perpetrators as people used the new device to circumvent the lack of TV coverage and the state of Martial Law. They entered the streets of Caracas, the capital, by the 100s of 1,000s and there too, overwhelmed the security forces.
The new gadgets that technology is so keen to breathe life into are also the possible purveyors of new methods of civil unrest and civil disobedience whose potential is as yet unimagined. We have seen the shot across the bow of those evil regimes that persist in their totalitarian dogma and human rights abuses.
Egypt's Mubarak, North Korea's Kim Jong-il, Zimbabwe's Mugabe, Burma's Than Shwe, Sudan's Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, Turkmenistan's Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Eritrea's Isaiais Afwerki, Uzbekistan's Islam Karimov, Ethiopia's Meles Zenawi, Chad's Idriss Deby, among others, are hereby put on notice that the old ways of suppressing opposition will no longer work in the age of instant access, instant connection, and instant congregation.
Facebook will connect the separated, Wikileaks will expose the hidden crimes, Blackberries will spread the word, and Google will arm the masses with knowledge and understanding. Just as the first decade of the 20th Century exposed a dying way and the wave of the future, the first decade has done the same. Dead are the wars waged with guns and bullets, depleted uranium bombs and white phosphorous. The wave now is to overwhelm the intrepid and the despotic with instant reaction and revolution that is neither predictable nor stoppable.