December 17, 2010, Muhammad Bouazizi, a street vendor in Sidi Bujid, Tunisia, burned himself down after his fruit and vegetable cart was confiscated, triggering a large-scale protest. This movement, known as the “Arab Spring”, soon swept the Arab world like a tide, causing many governments to fall one after another like dominoes, and the regional situation changed profoundly.
For example, Tunisian President Ben Ali stepped down and went into exile on January 14, 2011, and Egyptian President Mubarak resigned as president on February 11, 2011.
The Libyan opposition overthrew Gaddafi’s regime with direct military intervention from the United States, Britain and France and other NATO countries and killed him on October 20, 2011. On February 27, 2012, the Yemeni political agreement officially entered into force, and President Saleh abdicated.
Ten years later, the “spring” that many people have high hopes for is still far away. However, the aftereffects of this movement still affect the Middle East. Many people who have experienced the movement are very disappointed with the development of these countries after the movement, and even think that the situation is worse than a decade ago.
Because “spring” did not come as expected, many scholars no longer use the “Arab Spring” to describe the movement ten years ago. For example, the American scholar Noah Feldman described the history with his famous book “Arab Winter”, and the Canadian scholar Michael Ignatif also thought that the movement had suffered a “miserable failure”.
The positioning of these scholars on this movement is relatively objective. Many countries that have experienced wind and cloud-like changes are now in a downturn, armed conflicts continue and people are displaced.
For example, in Tunisia, where the movement originated, the now fragmented parliament cannot produce a stable government, political turmoil has led to a lack of a stable environment for economic development, some struggling Tunisians try to emigrate to Europe illegally, and some unemployed young people choose to join terrorist organizations. According to Japan’s Tokyo News, in today’s Tunisia, the unemployment rate of young people has risen to about 35%, and some local people lament that “democracy cannot be eaten as a meal”.
Egypt, a big country in the Middle East, although its current political situation is relatively stable, its economic situation is not satisfactory. According to India’s Economic Times, Egyptian writer Ahdav Suwef believes that those exciting days in February 2011 have become a mirage.
She said: “The people are more poor than ever, and Egypt has even become the land that young people are trying to leave.”
In contrast, the situation in many countries is much worse than that in Tunisia and Egypt. Syria fell into civil war after the Arab Spring, which has not yet subsided, killing hundreds of thousands of people and displacing more than 6 million people, most of whom have become refugees.
Libya and Yemen have also entered the endless tunnel of civil war, accompanied by the chaos of people’s livelihood.
Regarding the losses caused by the Arab Spring, Egyptian President Sisi said on January 17, 2018 that the “revolution” in the Arab world has killed more than 1.4 million people, more than 15 million people have become refugees, and caused nearly $1 trillion in damage to the infrastructure of relevant countries.
In addition, the movement also had a side effect, that is, the rise of terrorist forces. The Islamic State took advantage of the opportunity of many countries to fall into war and grew, once occupying large areas of Syria and Iraq, and launching terrorist attacks in many parts of Europe.
Moreover, the turmoil in the Arab countries has also caused a large number of refugees to flow to Europe and changed the political ecology of some European countries to some extent, resulting in the emergence of far-right political parties and the rise of populism. This change in political ecology is also one of the triggers of Brexit.
However, European countries beset by the refugee crisis and terrorist threat also need to reflect on their role in the Arab Spring movement. The United States and some European countries bear an inescapable responsibility for the emergence of these problems.
In the “Arab Spring” movement, these Western countries not only encouraged and supported the opposition of many countries to resist the government, but also directly fought naked.
For example, the United States, Britain and France led NATO troops to carry out multiple rounds of air strikes on Gaddafi’s government forces, which reversed the situation in Libya and contributed to the fall of Gaddafi’s regime.
These Western politicians “worklessly” put their hands out to exotic places, pretending to care about the human rights of other countries under the banner of “justice”, “promoting democracy” and “defending freedom”, pretending to care about the human rights of other countries, and do their best to incite themselves to incite the hegemony, hoping to incite the “color revolution” by instigating the “color revolution” Violence, rebellion and other activities to endanger the security of other countries, weaken the strength of other countries and even subvert the regime of other countries. When the goal is achieved, the well-being of the people of those countries will never be considered by them.
The world has long recognized the hypocrisy of Western countries.
Some netizens pointed out sharply that when American politicians “stand firmly with Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and other countries (people), these places are razed to the ground”.
I hope that those Western countries and politicians who are keen on interfering in the internal affairs of other countries can turn their eyes to their own countries and focus on solving their own problems. Don’t often point fingers at other countries’ affairs or even directly punch.
I wish those countries that have suffered deeply after turmoil can achieve peace and stability at an early date, find a development path suitable for their national conditions, and usher in a real “spring”.