Will the Violent Response Spread, Con’t

Could Qaddafi inspire other leaders?

A quick post today: the other day I mentioned the possibility of Qaddafi’s violent repression of protests spreading to other countries. Leaders in Bahrain, Yemen, Iran… have watched the wavering, disorganized responses of Mubarak and Ben Ali result in the end of their regimes. Meanwhile, by turning his military and security apparatus on Libyan people, Qaddafi could possibly survive the challenge to his power. So the question becomes what will others do if Qaddafi succeeds?

Michael Collins Dunn agrees:

As the Libyan government juggernaut moves eastward, apparently willing to use the full weight of modern arms against Libyan citizens, other autocratic regimes will no doubt be watching. This could still result in a long civil war, but events of the past few days suggest that we cannot completely rule out the possibility that Qadhafi will crush the opposition with as much ruthlessness as Saddam used against the Shi‘ite and, until Western intervention, Kurdish revolts in 1991 (or as Syria did in Hama in 1982). Should that happen, many of his fellow autocrats may decide that Tunisia and Egypt were exceptions, and that the old methods still work, despite Twitter, YouTube and Al Jazeera. But I’m not abandoning hope yet.

Photo from Yemen Press

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3 thoughts on “Will the Violent Response Spread, Con’t

  1. A fuller analysis is required to to really predict the possibility of the regimes in Yemen and Bahrain to follow suit. What may really make them or give them the gut to apply the same methods is their ability to control the army and the security personnels. If they are, then the possibility is much above 50%(if quantification may be allowed).
    Another factor which is equally important in predicting the possibility is the west decisive action against Gaddafi. When a serious step is taken to stop Gaddafi by US, European union, united nation and possibly African Union, the chances of other regimes applying the same method to crush opposition may be below 50%. At least it may deter them from doing so.

    1. Saleh, thanks for the comment.

      I agree that a fuller analysis is needed and meant this to be an initial, un-researched thought. My belief is that since the US has a much bigger stake in Bahrain (navy fleet) and Yemen (possible AQ stronghold) the stance of the US becomes even more hypocritical if those allied regimes start to use force on the scale of Qaddafi. Thus, I have to imagine that the US is attempting to somehow persuade those countries to avoid such a tactic.

      I think you are completely correct too. If the US comes down hard on Qaddafi (I don’t think it’ll happen) than chances of a copycat repression happening lowers. A lot of things to consider, but other countries are definitely watching Libya to see how other powers react.

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