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Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Courage of Convictions

Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid is a rather piquant quotation from Franklin P Jones. Watching the domino demonstrations in the Middle East and North Africa where thousands march in the face of guns is a humbling experience. It is too easy to see small figures on a tv screen and allow the brain to comprehend it as a spectacle, a computer game, a film with a cast of thousands and somehow discount the fact that every person out there is facing personal fear. It takes such courage to put one’s life on the line for the principle of democracy. Time and again, determined faces come up close to the camera and say ‘freedom’, ‘no corruption’, ‘peace’, ‘fair elections’. Old, young, religiously diverse, professional and every day workers, march for a future for their children, their fellows and their country.

Meanwhile we have to witness the great ‘unbrave’, the milk-toothed leaders of western states and their foreign representatives pontificating on how these toppling regimes must suddenly behave towards their citizens. The very same individuals and their governments have supported these same criminal dictatorships for decades without a murmur, without a single proclamation in support of their downtrodden citizens.

Let us see what transpires. Meanwhile isn’t there a sense of schadenfreude at our first world governments’ Uriah Heap hand wringing as they reap middle eastern everyman’s repugnance for their hypocrisy?


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