Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Babylon (up)Rising and Falling...

Over a year ago or so, we witnessed heroic actions in the form of protests in Iran. In America, the right to protest is a given; in the Middle East, it's practically a deathwish. (Remember Neda, the "brave Iranian Lioness?) The protests there eventually died down, but the seeds were sown, and Neda has not died in vain; now, we are seeing the crops being harvested throughout the entire region, starting with Egypt, and currently focused on Libya.

Why is this happening? As one CNN article aptly stated, "the fear wall broke."

I've been waiting to comment on this, despite its importance, because, frankly...I'm overwhelmed; it's all happening so fast, and on such a vast scale, with so many repercussions that I don't know where to begin. The fact that this is happening in the historical setting of the Babylonian tale makes it that much grander. (I do find the Facebook connection interesting, considering that in the original tale, the downfall was brought about by differing tongues, whereas the social networking revolution is speeding up communication.) The fact that some of the dictator's own soldiers are defecting, refusing to fire upon the protesters, is also relevant to Babylonian theme of "one man's hero is another man's enemy."

I do have my concerns, of course, that without a solid philosophical basis, the freedom being fought for will give way to the "mob rule" which differentiates democracy from our original republic. (Contrast the American Revolution with the bloody French Revolution.) Who the hell knows what will replace these dictators? The Caliphate? The Muslim Brotherhood? Lady Gaga?

Still, I have to admire the heroic courage and willingness of the protesters to put their very lives on the line. Ultimately, I am heartened at the prospect that the centralized Babylonian dictatorships and their attempts to unite all under their heel are falling under the united banner of freedom. The fear wall has, indeed, broke.

May it never be rebuilt.