Libyan revolution not without great amount of doubt

September 2, 2011 Editorials Print Print
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After decades of living under oppressive dictatorships, the Middle East has recently experienced a revolutionary uprising as citizens stake their rightful claim to democracy.

While this writer is hopeful for the futures of Libya and other Arab countries, she is also doubtful.


Whitney Knight

As of this writing, Libya’s former autocratic ruler Moammar Gadhafi is in hiding.

Libyan rebels have offered members of the dictator’s entourage a $1.5 million reward for capturing or killing Gadhafi.

The triumphant fall of one of the world’s most reviled leaders — at the hands of his own oppressed people, no less — is a victory for democracy everywhere.

Now, the question is: how long will it last?

In world history, few revolutions have been successful — and even in countries that have obtained freedom from dictatorship, many problems still remain.

For example, in the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the fascist rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was overthrown and replaced with an Islamic republic led by Ruhollah Khomeini.

However, Khomeini proved no better than his predecessor. An anti-American, anti-Western, religious zealot, Khomeini became Iran’s Supreme Leader — a position created in his new republic’s constitution — giving him ultimate rule over political and religious authority in the nation until his death in 1989.

In the decade Khomeini governed Iran, his reign was marked by extensive violations of human rights, including supporting the 444-day hostage-taking of 52 Americans and publicly calling for the death of author Salman Rushdie, whose book, “The Satanic Verses,” was called blasphemous.

What will stop Libya from succumbing to a similar fate?Now that Gaddafi is gone, who will take his place?

There is no discernible objective in the Libyan conflict.

Gadhafi’s tyrannical rule has been replaced with anarchy — a state of society with no government or law — which is hardly a better solution.

And when someone does take his place, who is to say that his successor won’t be just as bad as Gadhafi — or even worse?

With so many odds against that area, the chance for a true democracy in Libya looks bleak at best.

Click here to read Editor Jeremy Cloud’s thoughts on the Middle East uprising.

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