06-17-2011, 08:43 AM
Arab Spring protest in S.F.: unexpected twist endi
| Arab Spring protest in S.F.: unexpected twist ending |
June 16, 2011 - 3:33 pm - Zombie
Whenever I attend a political rally, I almost always know ahead of time whether or not I’ll agree with the protesters. The flyers or online notices usually make it very clear where on the political spectrum the organizers stand and what their stated goals are.
But last Saturday was different: A rally was scheduled for San Francisco’s Civic Center, and for the first time in a long while I didn’t know whether or not I sympathized with its intent.
The Facebook page announcing the event called it “San Francisco Rally and March for Democracy in the Middle East,” with a tagline that said,
Protest and march to stand in solidarity with the people of Syria, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and other countries in the region as they struggle against dictatorships and repressive governments.
[Clip - Pictures and comments ........... ]
As you can see, for lack of anything better to do, I snapped a picture of some Middle-Eastern flags that the rally’s organizers had piled up on the ground. I was about to delete the image when something caught my eye: The flags all said “Please return – AROC.” Curious, I Googled AROC.
Turns out that AROC stands for Arab Resource and Organizing Center, a local San Francisco Arab political organization that was behind the rally.
What kind of Arab political organization, you might ask? Well, that’s where things get, shall we say, interesting.
No, they’re not Islamist. I was right about that. But a quick survey of their Web site revealed various buzzwords and telltale phrases:
“oppose all war and occupation”
…and so on.
Furthermore, their “values” platform includes:
“1. Challenge the racism and religious discrimination.
2. Work to create an economically just world free from occupation and exploitation.
3. Oppose sexism, homophobia, classism, and ableism within our organization….”
…etc. They’re also stridently pro-Palestinian and demand the “right of return.”
And it dawned on me: These are the exact same phrases one sees spouted by American socialist and communist groups. And so these must be…Arab communists! [Slaps forehead.] Or, more precisely, Arab crypto-communists, since they take great pains in their literature to never say the c-word (or the s-word, for that matter). They say all the wink-wink nudge-nudge code phrases so like-minded far-left activists know how to identify fellow travelers, but keep the verbiage somewhat neutral so that mainstream freedom-minded Arabs might join up without full cognizance of the group’s true political slant.
(As a side note: I noted when I first arrived that the chants at the protest were the exact same chants I hear at leftist rallies, with the same rhythm and structure — but with the words changed. I assumed at first that this was coincidental, but I see now that it was likely intentional.)
So my original impression of the non-Arab leftist hangers-on was incorrect: the various Code Pinkers and communists probably all knew that the rally’s organizers were of a similar political orientation; and the AROC folks were glad to have fellow travelers on board, to at least beef up the protest’s numbers a bit.
I distinguish “communism” from “democracy” because communism, by its own definition, is a “dictatorship of the proletariat”; according to theory, once a society goes communist, it never goes back, as other political parties are banned. (In practice, luckily, some communist countries have successfully reverted back to a democratic system. But that’s a different story.)
Of course, my diagram is a great simplification. A few extra steps are left out: What will likely happen, in most cases, is that the revolution will lead directly to simply a different kind of totalitarian government — a military dictatorship, for example. But in other cases, even if there is a brief moment of true democracy, the people may legitimately elect either an Islamist or a communist government, after which all future elections would be essentially cancelled as either Sharia Law or a dictatorship of the proletariat is implemented.
Now, as an aside, we should all remember the epic blunder made by the Iranian communists in the late 1970s. Both they and the Iranian Islamic fundamentalists wanted to kick out the pro-America Shah; but neither were on their own sufficiently powerful enough to get the job done. So the Iranian communists decided to join forces, albeit temporarily, with the anti-Shah Islamists, and together kick him out — on the presumption that when the revolution was over, the communists would either be able to outmaneuver the Islamists and seize complete control, or at worst enter into a sort of joint-rule arrangement that would presumably be an Islamo-communist hybrid.
Well, you know the rest of the story: Ayatollah Khomeini quickly cemented complete Islamic rule, and froze the communists out of power, killing some, jailing others, and driving the rest underground or out of the country.
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