Down With the Dictator
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr
Governments and their intellectual front men believe that nothing unites a population like a war. Actually, that’s not quite true. What happens is that during war, governments strike fear into their domestic opponents and silence them through intimidation. The appearance of unity is wholly illusory.
If you truly want to unite a population, here is a key: drive the dictator out of the country. The fleeing of a despot always leads to unparalleled and authentic celebration because the people perceive a new-found freedom. In the street celebrations, dancing, enthusiasm, and optimism, we gain a glimpse of what freedom is all about. It is about removing the boot from the neck.
This is precisely what we see in Yemen today, as President Ali Abdullah Saleh was escorted out of the country by henchmen hired by his protector state of Saudi Arabia. There he is undergoing medical treatment for wounds suffered in a successful hit on his presidential compound. There is no way that this guy can come back and rule his country again.
This deeply ignorant thug, who grabbed and held power in the same way they did in the old days of the Soviet thugocracy – murder, mayhem, slavish loyalty to powerful sponsors – has been a persistent violator of human rights since 1978. All these years he held power through sheer brutality and lies, though the people themselves never believed a word of it.
This year’s uprising throughout the Arab world swept through Yemen as in many other countries, and he held on through violence, bloodshed, and by promising reforms, elections, and departure – though he failed to carry out any of his promises.