Sunday, February 13, 2011

Punish The Tyrants

Egypt is free. The prople have prevailed. Many trials yet await them before they truly become free and elect leaders of their choice. But the first historic step has been taken.

The tyrant has fled. Sort of. He is lounging in a palace in the lovely resort of Sharm-El-Sheikh, actually.

Yet again, it seems, another tyrant will make a comfortable exit and live the rest of his life in happy luxury. He will not be called to account. He will not be tried for the 30 years of misery and fear that his people underwent. Like Idi Amin, Marcos and countless other despots. Nor will most of those who aided and abetted him in his excesses be punished.

Mubarak's sense of entitlement is stupefying. At one point, he wanted to leave with 'dignity'. What about all the people whose dignity he carelessly stripped during his rule? And those who lost their lives opposing him? The tortures that they underwent at the hands of his secret police? The privations that their families suffered?
And the at least 300 Egyptians who died in these last 18 days at the hands of his armed thugs while he made his last desperate bid to hang on to power?
All to be forgotten?

No, Mubarak must be made to face his wrongdoings. He will have to account to his people. So will his minions. In fair trials, unlike what he offered his victims. Reparations must be made to the families of those who died. If he is allowed to walk away scot free, it will only send an encouraging signal to the next would-be tyrant. That you may oppress and plunder for decades, and then, if forced out, still enjoy your ill-gotten gains.

Switzerland has made a positive first step, by proposing to freeze Mubarak's accounts. And confirming thereby, that he has accounts and monies in Swiss Banks. Whatever he has stashed away, and some reports put it as high as USD 70 Billion, must be returned to the Egyptian people. Every cent.

The Army may feel tempted to protect Mubarak. He is, after all, one of their own. They must not.
Various western governments may prefer a quiet retirement for Mubarak rather than a public trial. He may know too much or have embarassing information about their too often cynical manipulations. Justice cannot be denied the Egyptian people to save them enbarassment. And in the era of the Internet and Wikileaks, the truth may out anyway.

Action must be taken now, before Mubarak and all his coterie make their queit escapes. And he must be made an example of, for all current and would-be tyrants. In Egypt, and around the world.

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty" - Thomas Jefferson

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