The real lesson to be learned from the fall of several Arab dictators, whether of right or left, is that nothing is forever, and that is one thing commentators – of right or left – never mention.
Sixty years ago the United States government was convinced the Soviet ‘monolith’ would last forever, unless we got up the courage to bomb it out of existence. (At that time, we were still somewhat in awe of what we had wrought in Hiroshima – although those were ‘Oriental’ deaths.)
Now we talk about ‘boots on the ground’ not being there, while more or less hiding the fact that every category of military personal is there (the British at least own up to it), except those who wear combat boots.
Fidel Castro predicted in one of his op-ed pieces that the US would invade Libya; the Italian left now says it is NATO that is conquering Libya. However you see this uprising, the reasons for it are widely accepted: when the discontent of the governed reaches a tipping point, change is inevitable. Yet our smug references to ‘regime change’ shows how reluctant our leaders are to act accordingly. They would like us to believe that everything will fall into place with the right change at the top.
Nuclear power is still a threat – as Jonathan Schell continues to remind us – but now there are two additional threats to human life on earth: one is climate change, and the other, less investigated, is the tipping point of the global many against the global few.