I’ve learned a lot in the past few weeks. Most of what I knew about the Arab World has been turned on its head.
I didn’t think a largely peaceful uprising could overthrow a dictator. And I certainly didn’t think it could happen twice. In three weeks.
But too many people seem to using these incredible events to justify their own agendas. I did too. I hoped very loudly that Jordan’s King Abdullah would be next to fall. Until I listened to Jordanians, who – from what I am hearing – want reform not regime change. True, I’m listening to a very select crowd of (probably) West Ammanis, but still, it’s their country, their desires and their future.
Sure, it’s important to support the people when they rise up – but don’t pre-empt them, and certainly don’t tell them what they should do, or what they should want.
So it upsets me when outsiders cheer for the Syrian regime’s demise, without a thought to what Syrians are saying. Talk to Syrians, ask what their concerns are, then make your mind up. You might be surprised. I’m not saying Bashar is as popular as Abdullah, but it’s certainly not black and white. You could do worse than having a look here (click on Syria – and use Google Translate if you don’t speak Spanish).
To be fair, the press has been very cautious on Syria. Maybe it’s time the rest of us were, too.