TORONTO, Canada — The two successful revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt have, without doubt, inspired and given hope to thousands in the Middle East to fight for their freedom and democracy.
Voices once silenced by oppressors are now united and have the strength at last to bring justice.
Mass revolutionary struggles are now sweeping the Middle East with people condemning their highly oppressive leaders and demanding immediate reform.
To control these popular uprisings and once again silence the people, pro-government thugs are attacking protesters and security forces are opening fire on them.
Many people have been killed and thousands injured in Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Bahrain, Morocco, Iran, Iraq and Libya, all of which have had violent clashes.
All this bloodshed doesn’t seem to have an effect on many Arab leaders who refused to give ground despite the suffering of their people. They are content to continue the oppression that has held the people down for years.
Libya’s leader, Muammar el-Qaddafi, has proven by far the most inhumane and outrageous of these dictators and kings, vowing to wipe out all who stand up to him.
Violence in Libya has continued to escalate, with Qaddafi willing to massacre protesters with hired guns and mercenaries. He even ordered fighter jets to bomb his critics.
Coming to power 42 years ago, Qaddafi is far from “the leader of the revolution” that he claims to be. In fact, he’s proven he could not care less for his own people.
Libyans are suffering a tyrant’s crimes against humanity as they fight to remove him.
In Tunisia, some 219 lives were lost to overthrow Zine El Abidine Ben Ali while Egypt saw 365 die in overthrowing Hosni Mubarak’s regime.
But already in Libya it appears that well over 1,000 are dead and the numbers are rising. To Qaddafi, seeing people dying and families suffering is as normal as watching a horror film.
It’s hard to imagine how a person can live with the burden of killing so many. But Qaddafi is ruthless and his greed for power so extreme that taking lives means nothing to him.
Yet it is his very inhuman behavior that makes it so crucial for Libyans to bring democracy and justice to their country.
They can no longer support Qaddafi’s regime so no matter how dire the threats, they keep fighting for their rights.
Though Qaddafi’s son promised rivers of blood if the protests didn’t end, they continued.
The regime cares more for its oil than its people.
Qaddafi’s claim that ultra-orthodox Islamic groups were tearing apart the country was especially outrageous.
Did it never occur to Saif al-Islam Qaddafi that Libyans might want liberty? It would never occur to the son of a dictator that it doesn’t take Islamic groups with political agenda to unite the people to fight for their rights.
Qaddafi himself can forget about holding his ‘Green Book’ high in the air because Libyans will never tolerate his repression again.
Even many members of the government – ministers, diplomats and military men – are turning away from Qaddafi.
Protesters firmly control the eastern half of the country from the border with Egypt to Tobruk and Benghazi, where soldiers have joined the rebellion. Qaddafi controls very little, just parts of the capital and the town of Sabha.
It’s only a matter of time before protesters will seize the entire nation.
But how many more lives will it take? How much blood must flow?
If the violence worsens, international action is needed, beginning with sanctions and perhaps going further until Qaddafi and his cruel regime are gone forever.
When Libya is freed, we will all remember those who sacrificed their lives for freedom there.
And we will continue to hope for the day when all of the people in the Middle East, and around the world, will have democracy, liberty and the rights that everyone deserves.
Mehran Shamit is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.
See www.YouthJournalism.org for details.