Behind the rising of cries for freedom in the Middle East and Africa is a centuries-old denial of reality. Many societies have hidden behind layers of xenophobia and puritanical elitism, until now. Self-determination is not a game for anyone, least of all, religious extremists. The fall of Libya’s leader is indicative of the real nature of non-democratic governments. To add to the outrage felt by observers across the globe at the denial of the right to protest, the African Union is joining the cry to save the Libyan regime from the well-deserved thumping that is in the cards for every murderous regime. The UN Security Council vote that gave life to Resolution 1973 is a beacon for the exposure of the real colours of civic society.
The world waits to see how many more despots (Africa has its share!) will come under the gaze of the international communty, but no-one should be holding his/her breath. It could be a long time before the brats and thugs of Africa get their kick at the can. They will, eventually, learn that brutality has its judgment: you cannot use force to intimidate popular protest.
Canada and the western nations have their judgment coming too for behaviour like the police actions during the recent G20 conference held in Toronto. Racism and hatred are still the fuel for a lot of what is problematic in the world, and while people are waiting in line to line their pockets with the proceeds of economic manipulation, the basic rights and needs of people are being swept under the rug.
The path to an acceptable level of human rights realization is hampered by the fact that the UN’s Human Rights council is dominated by states that routinely violate human rights. The fox is guarding the hen-house! Does anyone expect the Human Rights table to suffer mass resignation? Sorting out the colours of civic society will take a lot of character and courage.