At this current time, the civilian leaders of the January 25th Revolution in Egypt continue to meet and negotiate with certain members of Egypt’s military establishment, as they plot a course towards a free, open and democratic society in Egypt.
Meanwhile, as I suspected would happen, a government backlash has begun to occur in other Arab and Muslim nations — specifically Iran, Yemen and Bahrain — where changes to the status quo are not the least bit desired by the dictatorial leaders of those countries. There have already been reports of clashes in the streets, beatings and arrests, as the people of those countries try to follow the example of what happened in Tunisia and Egypt.
I suspect that the people of Syria would meet the very same fate if they try to rise up against the government of Bashir al-Assad. Like his father, Hafez al-Assad, Bashir is turning out to be a ruthless leader, even though he has a background in ophthalmology. That he would choose this profession would lead one to believe that he has compassion for his fellow man, and desires to help them, yet that certainly isn’t how the situation has turned out with Bashir.
When his brother Basil — who was being groomed to be the next “president” of Syria — died in a car accident in 1994, Bashir was recalled to Damascus — he was furthering his education by living and studying in London, and speaks English fluently — where he began his training to become the next leader of Syria. Apparently, the influence of his father, and his life with the Syrian military, really changed him. It is sad to think that despite these western influences, he has followed in the tracks of his ruthless father.
My gut feeling is that we will continue to see more of the same kind of government backlash as the peoples of other Arab and Muslim nations attempt to throw off the oppressive yokes of their corrupt leaders. The leaders of those countries will continue to fight tooth and nail to hold on to their power, just as Hosni Mubarak did to the very last moment when the Egyptian military apparently forced him to step down . . . assuming that this is what really happened. Mubarak hasn’t been seen, and the Egyptian military is being very guarded regarding what it says in public.
Personally, I am still not fully convinced that the Egyptian military is working in good faith to bring freedom and democracy to Egypt. Of course, I only speak as an outside observer and a spectator, and I really don’t know what is going on in their minds and hearts. The young leaders of the January 25th Revolution will have to determine that.
As much as we would like to see freedom and democracy spread like wildfire throughout the lands of the Middle East, I personally don’t see it happening any time soon. For that matter, neither Iraq, nor Tunisia, nor Egypt are totally out of the woods yet. Democracy really hasn’t taken firm root in those nations yet. There is barely a tender, young sapling of democracy sprouting in those lands. Whether or not the sapling will survive all of the dangers which threaten to destroy it remains to be seen. There are so many sectarian divisions in those countries, and so much corruption within their respective governments, that it is very difficult to say how each situation will turn out in the end.
All we can do is watch and wait to see what happens. Whatever happens, as Christians, we must assume that in some way, it must be a part of God’s overall plan; and He does have a plan, even if we humans don’t always understand it. As the Scriptures tell us:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9, KJV
“Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.”
Job 9:10, KJV
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”
Romans 11:33, KJV