The Arab Domino Effect

King Mohamed VI's regime is being tested to its limit. It claims to be the most liberal and tolerant establishment within the Middle East yet is facing revolutionary change. The people of Morocco demand a new constitution and greater democracy. This is just one example of the winds of change currently taking the Arab world by storm. After taking inspiration from their Arab counterparts, notably Egypt freeing itself from 30 years of an oppressive Western backed regime the desire for change seems at least tangible. The turbulent journey so far has been somewhat of a roller coaster but is the epitome of true democracy. Democracy is essential to the mechanics of modern day life and the people should be able to feel comforted in the knowledge that their leaders are acting in the public's best interest. However concerns have arisen regarding the stability of the Arab world. Tunisia's success in forcing Ben Ali out of office could be seen as the qualifying trigger, the extent of the domino effect unpredictable.

These uprisings symbolise hope and optimism to the people of oppressive regimes. This direct action ought to be applauded, the people staying strong despite the Governments responding violently. Commemorating the death of two pro democracy supporters, the people of Iran took to the streets to show their support. In a bid to unclutter the streets the Iranian Government acted defensively firing tear gas and wielded batons on its people. Determined not to allow the voice of the Iranian people to be heard, the Government appears to be taking all measures necessary to silence them. This suppression is indicative of the treatment those demanding regime changes in Bahrain, Yemen and Libya are currently facing.

Despite the well known human rights abuses in these countries, it was ironically the UK who supplied the weapons in the protest crackdown to Libya and Bahrain. The Libyan Government warned that it was prepared to use live ammunition on protestors and with an escalating number of deaths in angry protests, it seems their warning has transformed into a promise. This not only questions but fundamentally undermines the moral backbone of the UK in that their boast of democracy and freedom of expression yet effectively have been propping up some of the most undemocratic corrupt regimes in the world. How far these protests will continue is imprecise, but the growing instability suggests the issue will not disappear overnight.

The Western world has quietly watched the events unfold over the past few weeks. aware of the fact that when the regime changes occur, the Arab people may neither forget, nor forgive, those who kept them under the thumb of an oppressive ruler. The death toll of anti-government protestors continues to rise as a result of the Arab world's domino effect; even the fear of death seems not to quell the peoples' fight for freedom. How long this fight must be endured, and who leaves victorious remains a question that only time can answer.

Images from The Guardian