The Cost of Revolution

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“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?”

-Mahatma Gandhi

          Over the past few years the Middle Eastern world has been torn to pieces in what we have come to call the “Arab Spring”. The Arab Spring began in Tunisia with a young man named Mohamed Bouazizi who was banned from selling fruit on the street from his vendor cart. With no livelihood left he went out on the street and set himself on fire. That fire lit the passions of a people under an all powerful regime. The Tunisian people overthrew the government on 14 January 2011. Shortly after protests began in Tunisia, Egypt began its first protest when a bomb exploded outside of a Coptic Christian church. The majority of the first protesters were Christians who were upset at the lack of protection afforded to them against Muslim militant groups. This resulted in the army unloading live rounds into the protestors and running them over in various vehicles possessed by the army. From this point on Egypt remains in conflict, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians, those are protesting and those who are not, women and children, Muslim and Christian, have been killed forced away and are in terrible conditions not fit for any human. The have burnt Mosques and Churches, government buildings and homes for the average citizen, there is no asylum, no safe place. The average citizen in Egypt has lost family, livelihood, property, and most of all peace.

          Lets move on from Egypt and talk about Syria. In March of 2011 the protests to remove the all powerful President Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus came to an abrupt halt when the police fired live rounds into the protestors leaving many dead. The protest began to escalate and the army was moved in. Homs, Aleppo and the suburbs around Damascus became occupied by government troops. Then the protests became violent. In June of 2011 the President Bashar Al-Assad issued a statement saying the 120 members of the security forces were killed by armed gangs and efforts must be made to control them. Leading to all out civil war. Within three months of the first protests over 10,000 Syrians fled into neighboring Turkey. The fighting worsened as no side seems to be gaining the upper hand and so the months wore on. Buildings destroyed, families evicted, hundreds of people dying each day. More than 40,000 people have fled the country into, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. Both the Free Syrian Army and the Government forces have fired on civilian populace. The war wages on with no end in sight.

          The question I pose to you is this. Is the fight for a Democratic nation worth the cost of human life? Will it even change anything? As seen in Egypt as a result of their revolution, they had a leader who attempted to seize almost complete control over the nation. So they revolted yet again, and now they are back where they started with an all powerful military republic. Does the loss of life matter whether it is for Democracy or Totalitarianism?

What is the life of a Syrian like now?

Syrian Timeline revolution

Credits to:

The BBC for the Video, the Syrian timeline, and Information

The Guardian for the Tunisian and Egyptian statistics and news.

By: Caleb Rigsby


  1. Interesting question. The devotional I read this morning actually talked about the concept of not fighting for your own rights, but rather letting your Christian character be an impetus for change.

    That said, is there a difference between loss of life in name of Totalitarianism vs. Democracy (I’d prefer Freedom). It depends on the life we are talking about. Life that is truly lost in the name of freedom should be life that was offered up in order to better things for others. Loss of life in the name of Totalitarianism is often the life of an innocent.

    Freedom fighters firing into civilian populace seems to be contrary to what they should be doing.

    Good article!

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