Lessons From Egypt: The Inevitability of Sudden Change
Richard M. Dolan
February 11, 2011
The world has turned upside down. What seemed unthinkable a mere month ago has now become a major political force throughout the world.
Hosni Mubarak, the autocratic head of Egypt, a man who had ruled his country for thirty years under a “State of Emergency,” who had suspended the Egyptian constitution, who had suspended the most basic human rights, who ran an irredeemably corrupt regime, who enriched himself and his family to the tune of more than $70 billion from the backs of the Egyptian people, has fled the country.
It took just two weeks of massive public demonstrations to get rid of him.
The events in Egypt – and before them, Tunisia – are electrifying for many reasons. In the first place, there hasn’t been a real popular uprising in the Arab world against their perennially autocratic rulers in most people’s living memory. There have been Islamicist movements, yes, and there have been many government-sponsored public demonstrations regarding the plight of the Palestinian people. Yet, for year after year, generation upon generation, Arab people continued to suffer at the hands of their own governments.
A populist venting of the people hasn’t occurred since Gamal Abdel Nasser’s pan-Arabism of the 1950s and 1960s. And even those protests pale in force and depth of feeling to those of today.
For what we are seeing now is something Nasser never encouraged: a true democratic spirit, a true voice of the people. Not an anti-foreign, anti-imperialist populism, but a genuine populism that has identified the corruption and evil of one’s own government, and which seeks to remove the tumor.
Across the Arab world, people are euphoric. Everything is up for grabs. Right now, demonstrations are occurring in Algeria, Yemen, and Jordan. Look for them to expand in Palestine and Syria.
The situation is exhilarating. It is hard for those of us, raised in a world in which we can freely express our opinions, to appreciate the feeling of release, of pure joy, that the Egyptians are experiencing right now. And yet, looking on from afar, we cannot help but feel some of their joy. Anyone who has studied the Middle East knows that Mubarak was far from unique. Everywhere you look, the Arab governments (many of which have been propped up by U.S. power brokers) are hopelessly corrupt. Such an undeniable victory of justice gives every decent person a renewed hope in the power of people to control their destiny.
And yet, the situation is also dangerous. Nobody can predict how stable or unstable Egypt will become. Although informed commentators point out that most of the demonstrators are young people who want basic human rights, not a desire for Sharia law, there remains the possibility of Islamicists becoming a dominant part of a new government. There also remains the chance of reaction and further repression. Nothing is certain and, for that reason, I hope the people of Egypt enjoy this moment for as long as they can. Surely, they will have a great deal of work ahead of them.
These current events remind us that the world often changes on a dime. We grew up learning this in history class, but always seem to forget the lesson. The French Revolution happened fast. In 1787 and 1788, the French government was having financial troubles, but no one expected a revolution to break out, or the monarchy to collapse, or the beheading of the King and Queen. Nor did people expect the swiftness of the Russian Revolution of 1917. Nor the rapid fall of the eastern European communist regimes in 1989.
Why do such rapid transformations occur? The answer is so obvious that we often fail to see it.
A fundamental conflict pervades nearly all societies at all times. As Noam Chomsky once put it, it is the struggle between “the prosperous few and the restless many.” Everywhere you look, a very few people control a very great portion of wealth and resources. Their goal is always the same: to maintain and increase that disparity to the greatest extent feasible. By controlling newspapers, radio, television, and internet, they control public perceptions. By controlling the police, they terrorize and subdue those who would challenge them. By controlling the political process, they exploit the very people they govern.
Yes, the great masses may be distracted by nonsensical television programming. They may lack formal education. They may be too busy trying to survive rather than fighting the machine. But even the most controlled prisoner can still smell something that is rotten. Even if they can’t always conceptualize it, they know when something is wrong. They know that what they have been fed by their rulers doesn’t match the reality that they know.
When things get really bad – when people feel hungry and hopeless – all that is needed to get people into the streets is the proper spark. This time, it was caused by Mohamed Bouazizi, the young Tunisian university graduate, out of work and out of hope, who set himself ablaze.
But the Arab-speaking nations are not the only ones with a problem. They are not the only ones susceptible to a spark. Lies, corruption, and exploitation are the norm in our world, not the exception. Ruling elites everywhere are concerned, and a few are trembling.
Within the United States, many billions of dollars have been demonstrably misappropriated. Stolen is a better word. It has happened via a labyrinthian federal accounting system that makes such shenanigans easy for those who know how to work the system. No doubt much of this theft has enriched certain personal offshore bank accounts, but much of it has also gone into clandestine bank accounts for black budget projects.
You could spend the rest of your life trying to untangle the threads of America’s black budget theft industry, and you would only extract a small fraction. Before Catherine Austin Fitts completed her four-year term (1989-1993) as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), she concluded that a proper audit of the U.S. government was an impossibility. Most assuredly, this was by design.
For many years, I have concluded that UFOs comprise an important part of U.S. black budget history. I conclude this not only from insiders who have told me so, but more importantly from the available declassified documents. Frankly, the open public documentation tells us definitively that UFOs are real, that they are a problem of national and global security, and that they are very, very important.
I have also concluded that secrecy on this all-important topic will not last forever. The disparity between the official “truth” and the actual truth is simply too great, creating pressure like two grinding tectonic plates, waiting for the opportunity to release enormous pent-up energy.
As happened in Tunisia and Egypt, all that is needed to set things in motion is the right spark.
There are several possible sparks that will force the end of secrecy about UFOs. My own feeling is that it will be caused by a mass sighting that will prove to be undeniable. There have been a few close calls in the past – Roswell, the Hudson Valley, the Phoenix Lights – and it is only a matter of time before The Big One occurs.
That’s because there is an underlying force at work in our world – the same force that caused the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. It is our ever-changing technological infrastructure. The revolution in Egypt has its own Facebook page, which was important in organizing and galvanizing the people. Even five years ago, such a thing would have been impossible. Our world is changing so fast that we struggle to keep up.
What will our world look like in ten years? Twenty? Fifty? Do we really think the conditions that maintain UFO secrecy (even so, just barely) will still be around in another generation?
In twenty years, our world will have a level of computing intelligence we can scarcely imagine, and a global interconnectivity that will vastly exceed what we have today.
Consider the revolutionary nature of Wikileaks, which I have written about elsewhere, and which is yet one more expression of our changing world. Ask yourself what technologies will one day exist to facilitate the leaking of sensitive data. What leaks might we expect from this or similar groups in the next few decades? What political changes might they spark?
The UFO phenomenon is an ocean of power and depth; the secrecy is a crumbling wall, ultimately unequal to the task. When the inevitable occurs – a forced admission that, yes, there is a genuine UFO reality – it will not be the end of the road, but the beginning. Not the end of our quest for truth, but the earliest glimmer of sunrise.
Just as the millions gathered in Tahrir Square, demanding change, reform, and a better life, so too will millions gather at Area 51, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dugway Proving Ground, Fort Hood, Manzano Weapons Storage Area, Los Alamos National Laboratories, and many other places where UFO leaks and citizen observations have placed important parts of the secret. They will have a simple, terrifying demand: the truth.
Wackenhut Security can handle five or ten or even a hundred protestors. But they cannot stop a march of one million. And you can bet that, once some official admission is made about UFOs, such a march will happen. People will wake up very suddenly, and they will want answers.
I don’t know when change will come. It could be this year, it could be in the next decade. It might even be a little longer than that, but it won’t be a lifetime.
An earthquake of the mind is coming. When it happens, it will be sudden. Like the events now unfolding in the Middle East, the tragic will accompany the glorious, and business-as-usual will tag along with the new. The process will be messy, and much of it will be unpleasant. But, also like the events of today, it will offer hope for genuine change, a chance to create a better world.