Four of our writers at The Right Angle wrote their opinions on the recent political uprisings in the world, and we feel that they should be shared with you.
Kaan Özçelik, on the topic of strikes and protests opening doors to a “new world”, says:
“To begin with, strikes and protests have made huge impacts on the course of history, they have changed our modern definition of civilizations and governments. A strike has the power to change the regime and even uproot and overthrow a government, but why do these strikes have so much power we must ask ourselves? What gives a simple citizen the power to change the very world that he or she lives in? Well there are many different factors to this; one of these is the power of unity and power in numbers. Even if a citizen alone may seem puny and insignificant to the eye of a government or regime, if this citizen stands up and clenches his fists and calls his friends, the tables turn. A great and simple example of this is the French revolution and the coming of industry, once the citizens or lower class villagers in this case rise up to their aristocratic or bureaucratic leaders they can change the course of power and rise up to rule truthfully and according to the public.
In the modern day world a great and recent example to this uprooting of the government is Egypt. This uprising of the Egyptian people has been successful even though their dictator fashioned leader Hosni Mubarak has attempted to quell the uprising. After his 30-year reign of chaos the people and the military have successfully taken over the government. The reason for this is, the core of any government lies in the people, from the smallest tax payer to the biggest industrialist every single citizen has power deep inside the heart of a government, and if the government does not treat the people well, the foundations of the government which is the people will collapse causing the government to topple like a slain beast. Even though there were 384 deaths and many injured, the advantage that the people had together, gave them a new life and a new course in history.
But a failure example to this can be the happenings in Tunisia, even though the people had overpowered the government, their leader stole their main resources from them and escaped punishment. Mainly they achieved their goal, but sadly they are still in turmoil and even the people do not have the ability to rule themselves, there must be someone to sit on the throne of leadership and take over the government and rule truthfully.
In conclusion, the main reason that the people have the power and heart to overthrow the government is the fact that the people actually form the foundations of a government, by paying taxes and forming a stable environment for bureaucracy. So therefore if the people unite, they can topple any government. No matter the loss or circumstances, eventually every government will fall at the feet of any uprising.”
Nathan Candaner, on the topic of whether or not armed forces should intervene in Libya, says:
“The year 2011 will be remembered as “the year of revolution”, since millions of Middle Eastern citizens revolted against their undemocratic rulers and their government. Hosni Mubarak, the autocratic ruler of Egypt, resigned from office as well as Tunisian President. The most important aspect of all is that there are so little casualties.
The same protests are ongoing simultaneously in Libya as well. Nevertheless the problem in Libya is different because Kaddafi Government in Libya is brutally killing its own citizens. Right now, on the 3rd day of protest, the death toll in Libya surpassed 300. Libyan Military are bombarding their own cities in order to preserve Kaddafi’s power. On February 23rd, Muammer Kaddafi announced that he won’t step down and wants to die a martyr, as the leader of his country. According to sound estimates, the death toll will increase more dramatically in Libya. It is clear that this merciless dictator is a mass murderer and United Nations should take actions for the sake of humanity.
Right now, UN armed forces are protecting us and fighting for humanity in 15 different locations all around the world. The most dramatic and well known of these is UNAMA, which is in Afghanistan. The reason why Un Armed Forces intervene in these various countries is to defeat and dismantle terrorist organizations residing in those countries. What is happening in Libya is clearly a state-terrorism. Whereas the institution of state or government has become a vaporizing terrorist organization itself by killing innocent and discontent citizens of its own. When you compare Al-Quade and current Libyan government there are no major differences besides Al-Quade is a worldwide threat as they proved on September the 11th. However a country, which is being ruled by a blood lusting, unpredictable tyrant, is a potential global threat too.
Whether you agree or disagree, it is clear to see that Libyan people are not content by their incumbent government. However since they are being killed by their own state, they have no other institution to rely on besides United Nations. When we look at the history of UN, UN was found to obstruct further wars and to prevent any kinds violation of human rights. Therefore United Nations should fulfill their duty and help the Libyan locals by intervening the situation in Libya.
In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak ruled his country for approximately 30 years. The same goes for the Tunisian president. However they were mature enough to step down when their own people didn’t want them. Despite them, Kaddafi is acting very much like the leader of the third Reich, Adolf Hitler. When the Red army invaded Germany, Hitler gave the order to destroy Germany so the Russians will get nothing out of it. Kaddafi proved that he is no different than a tyrant; therefore United Nations should intervene the situation in Libya and fulfill its responsibility towards humanity. “
İlhan Mertsoy, on the topic of whether or not political leaders reserve the right to resort to any means necessary to retain power, writes:
“When a human being is born, it is unprotected against the threats of the world that he or she is born into. That’s why the world protects him with certain rights. These human rights give the human being certain claims such as freedom of speech or freedom of will. However the most important right above all is the right to live. Every human has the right to live. His life is his own and nobody can end or control it without his will. Somebody dropping bombs on people just to maintain their social position is simply wrong and should be obscured at any cost.
There is a level of violence even in the worst cases such as war. For example, after certain wars, the usage of certain weapons such as nerve gas and cluster bombs were forbidden even in wars. The usage of jet fighters or carpet bombers against unarmed civilians just trying to prove a point is pointless. That’s why leader must avoid certain debasements even when dealing with the harshest of protests. Violence is never the answer. There is always a way.
Another important point that I must mention is the ripple effect of chaos and civil unrest that extreme measures will cause. Leaders might want to show their power and determination by executing some protestors or firing at protestors. They might think that this will cause people to see what will happen to them if they continue what they are doing. This is completely wrong. If they order their forces to use extreme measures, then people will see how bad of a leader he is and try even harder to get rid of him. Using force doesn’t show that you are strong. It shows how desperate you are.
Extreme measures are wrong and should not be used. They make the people hate their leaders because of the violence, chaos and unrest it causes. That’s why I strongly believe that rulers should not resort to all means necessary to retain power.”
Logan Ketterling, on the topic of whether governments have the right to comment on the status of other countries’ political happenings, says:
“Recently there have been many political uprisings in the Arab world. Some have ended peacefully and, regrettably, some with violence. What happens within the borders of a country should stay within the politics of that country, however. Until the revolts and revolutions begin to harm citizens of other countries, or make their way into another country entirely, other countries of the world should refrain from commenting on the predicament of the revolting state. The happenings within a country are the business of that country, and no others’. For example, the current revolts occurring in Libya, Yemen, and the recently ended revolution in Egypt, are in no way the business of the United States. That being said, if violence reaches the point that any American tourists, soldiers, or any other form of travelling citizens are harmed, the United States should have its say in asking for the violence to stop.
If the revolt never reaches a point at which citizens of another nationality are harmed, then any political happenings are the business of the state in question. The turmoil in Libya has reached the point where citizens of Turkey, Russia, United States, Germany, and the Ukraine have been harmed. The political leaders of these countries should have full right to comment on the predicament that the revolting country is in. Turkey has already evacuated over 17,000 of its citizens from the situation, which proved to be a very diplomatic approach and did not upset the country further. The United States, Germany, and the Ukraine are currently working on evacuating their citizens.
As seen from past events, countries fall deeper into turmoil when another country tries to act on the prior’s political happenings. The United States has been criticized about this many times. Many people believe that if the US were to keep to itself and stop forcing it’s form of government, beliefs, and unwanted peace onto other countries than the world would look at it with a brighter position. This just goes to show that political leaders should stay out of the business of other countries.”