February 26, 2011

The Revolution Will Be Globalized

Tunisians find satisfaction in splitting the atom

America’s greatest strategic concern heading into the 2010’s was Iran’s nuclear program. U.S. policymakers must already view this recent history as the “good old days.” In fact, a nuclear bomb did go off after Tunisia's split atom sent shock waves across the Muslim world and Africa. Tunisians now celebrate their personal achievement in bringing down "the Arab wall of silence."

From Tunisia protests spread like a virus, infecting neighbor Algeria and hopping planes to Egypt, Mauritania, and Yemen. A dozen states had been hit by the time former Hosni Mubarak retreated to Sharm el-Sheikh. Two weeks later and, accounting for a variety of symptoms, 20 states display contact with Tunisia’s radiation.

It’s amazing to simply step back and measure the breadth of this global revolution:
Senegal and Madagascar are considered future candidates for initial protests. We've missed a few too so please add to the list. More importantly, Pakistan and Nigeria are ripe for protests of some kind, whether reformative or revolutionary. These two countries alone account for over 300 million people and, in Nigeria’s case, sizable petroleum reserves. Both governments and medias publicly acknowledge fears of unrest.

The energy released by 2011's events show no sign of depleting, creating ample time to debate and explore the transformative changes underway in the world. The sheer number of states at risk allows a global revolution to maintain momentum. Another movement starts each time one stops, catalyzing the revolution like an engine. And because state-controlled media guided protesters straight to the international media, those not directly participating locally have come to directly participate globally.

The Obama administration must realize that it can absorb this energy and reflect it in a transformative way. Suppressing the Millennial Revolution isn't an option.

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