Popular revolution. Revolution of the people.
Not a military coup d’etat.
Not a politically-centralized, orchestrated campaign in which people follow the designs of certain politicians. (Example: not the so-called ‘Cedar Revolution,’ also known as the Potato Revolution).
No. This is a popular revolution. This is a revolution of the people.
What will happen tomorrow? Who will head the government in Tunisia? Who will head the government in Egypt? Those questions are secondary to the action that is happening now: a popular revolt.
Already, the paradigm has shifted.
The paradigm shifted during the 1st and 2nd Intifada – when the world took note of people arising and resisting – literally – in the face of tanks while armed with only stones and indestructible dignity. The paradigm shifted in May 2000 when the Israeli army – the strongest army in the region and the 4th (or is it the 6th?) strongest army in the world (it all depends on how destructive power is measured) – when this army – this terrorist force – unilaterally withdrew from occupied land, without any treaty of surrender. May 2000 was another paradigm shift. The paradigm shifted in May 2006 when Israel’s military power could not create a political or military victory in Lebanon; it could kill, yes, but it could not subvert.
All those victories created a paradigm shift: Israel can be stopped. We can stand up to Israel.
Tunis, though, Tunis and Egypt — the popular revolt of the people — the paradigm shift here is greater! The departure of Ben Ali from Tunis and the soon to be departure of Mubarak from Egypt – the paradigm shift here is greater!
The people CAN rise up. The people CAN change a leadership.
Just a few weeks ago, I heard the same comments I’d be hearing for years: we the Arabs need a dictatorship. We the Arabs need a military coup d’etat. The “people” are dumb. The “people” are sheep. Ironically, the folks making these comments were never part of the “people” they were condemning.
Now, in Tunis, and in Egypt – the people are rising. The people are leading. The people are organizing. The people are protecting themselves. The people are building something beautiful.
Stop for a second. Relish in this concept.
People believed – and believe – they can make a change. Hope is a powerful element. A very powerful element.
These people are us. Here.
What other myths will be broken? By the people.