Sunday, February 20, 2011

An open letter to the leaders crushing protests


The publication of this letter comes as the New York Times reports that Libyan security forces Sunday opened fire on mourners attending the funerals of demonstrators who were killed by troops.
By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Dear leaders of Bahrain, Libya, Iran and Yemen,
I share with you your desire for stability, peace and tranquility in your nations. I want to see you all live long and prosper. So I am offering to you, at no charge, a suggestion that will, at least, make it likely that you can hang on to power for a little while longer.
Stop attacking your own citizens.
Don’t you realize how tactically stupid this is? Don’t answer this question. It’s rhetorical in nature.
Setting aside the obvious – that you are killing innocent unarmed citizens you’ve pledged to, as their leader, protect – your attacks on them are just hastening your own demise.
I know of people in your countries who, when all the unrest began, pledged to remain as apolitical as they have for their entire lives. That was until you attacked. Then they left their homes to join the growing number of demonstrators on the streets.
Your brutality is turning your own people against you.
Maybe before the advent of the Internet and satellite news communications you could, and probably did, get away with this. But you can’t keep this Genie capped in the bottle of your own nation’s borders any longer. The truth will out. Always. And it is.
Even shutting off the Internet and firing at foreign reporters from helicopters doesn’t stop the flow of information to the rest of the world. And that information, both domestically and internationally, represents a stronger weapon than all the bullets, tanks and military might you can muster.
So, even if you care nothing about your own people (and clearly you don’t) – you should be treating them with respect – not killing them. Killing them does not represses the movements against you. It just galvanizes them.
My advice to you: stop your brutality. Now. For your own sakes.

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Talk to Paltalk News Network News and Programming Director Gary Baumgarten 5 PM New York time Monday-Friday on News Talk Online.

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