Feb 11, 2011 in Foreign Policy
“People power” protests of the kind we have seen in recent weeks in Cairo and Alexandria have toppled far more rulers in recent decades than all the world’s terrorists and guerrillas combined. … In Egypt, Mubarak survived the massacres of tourists in the 1990s carried out by Islamist groups. He did not survive peaceful rallies in the heart of his own capital.
There is a lesson here for those not too fanatical or deluded to learn it. Put down the bomb, the sniper rifle, whatever weapon you have, and grab a placard, go on Twitter, organize a rally. True, many peaceful protests have been repressed too, as we have seen most recently in Iran; but they offer a much surer road to regime change than does blowing up innocent people.
The more terrible the regime, the riskier, but why Palestinians haven’t always known Israel is too liberal to resist peaceful resistance is beyond me. Then again, the internet is doing the most to change the world, and it’s hopefully only getting started.