Thursday, February 17, 2011

The People Ordered Pharaoh to Go...

There are many ways to oust a leader from office as there are many ways to seat and gain power. One of them is resignation and then happens a new election or a new designation. Example of these are those prime ministers or presidents from Japan, Korea, Somalia, etc, who personally resigned, in one point of the history of mankind, upon finding themselves unworthy to continue governing the country, without being forced by the people to leave their office.

Then another way to topple down a head of the government is through assassination, murder, plot, war or a military coup. And then another is by staging a people's power or revolt in a violent or peaceful manner.

So far I have witnessed and even participated in one of the three historical people's power in the Philippines that ousted two great presidents. The first of them is the EDSA Revolution of the 25th of February 1986 that ousted the almost twenty-year ruling-dictator Ferdinand Marcos from his presidential office and gave way to the assuming of office of first woman president of the country, the mother of  Philippine democracy, Corazon Aquino. I was then a little kid at that time and I enjoyed watching the choppers passing by our house on their way to Manila. That revolution inspired the Chinese people who tried to stage the Tiananmen Square protest in 1989 that ended up in the terrible Tiananmen Massacre that we know. The second one, is the EDSA II of January 2001 that ousted the president of the people, Pres. Erap Estrada. And lastly, the EDSA III which did not succeed to overthrow the second woman president of the country. (EDSA FOTOS) The original EDSA revolution  remains unique of the rest of the recent and past revolutions in the world because blood and life were never sacrificed during the protests.  

Most recently, we have witnessed the people's revolt in Tunisia in January that toppled Ben Ali. And just few days ago we heard and saw Egypt's cry and triumph ousting president Mubarak from his office leaving the country to the hands of the Egyptian military. "Pharaoh had let his people go" or  perhaps it is better to say  "the people ordered Pharaoh to go..."

Unfortunately, all of the aforementioned ways to topple a state leader were not the main motive which led me to write this blog entry. It was neither for the 25th year anniversary of EDSA nor for the developing revolt in Yemen. What pushed me to write this, and that which I could not believe is this news and video that I read today in Yahoo while taking a short break from the rigorous final paper I am working on that is due this weekend:

For just one lie of a man, the world witnessed the fall of Saddam Hussein and the devastating brutal war in Iraq was written in history. Que chulo! Compared to thousands and thousands of people who marched on the streets in order to topple a head of state, this one only spoke a few words and boom!

Setting aside the comparison, that for me dwarfs the rest of the ways to topple a leader, I wonder how my activists friends would react to this news. And I wonder how you feel for those who had been affected by this war, for the lives that had been lost since the war started whether they were civilians or militia men, whether they were locals or foreign. I am happy for those who got freed and felt freedom but on the other hand I am sad for those who will forever bear the fright and consequences of this experience.

I wonder how you look at the way leaders decides and tries to save the world and for the reason they do it for. A lot of political questions surfaces in my mind right now and it seems that some of the political terms that our professor gave as hand outs in socio-political ethics are all wrongly defined and all are but plain construction of words. Well anyway, good that this entry could be related to the paper I am working on in the book of Ester. I thought I had a break, but rather I encountered resonance of the paper on a present day context.

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