Today is the anniversary of the events that triggered the Arab Spring. The apolitical “revolution” fire started with a Tunisian peddler burning himself five years ago. The riots suddenly arose from Tunis to Libya, Egypt and Yemen, pleasing the West instead of the rioters. The global dominators took their place in the lines of those who sponsored their interests, against the Bin Alis and Mubaraks.
The apolitical revolution, called the Arab Spring, was suitable to the postmodern period. According to the great revolution narrative, despotic tyrants repressing their societies for years lost their powers through social media organization. The East's stable and underdeveloped masses suddenly transformed into very democratic, liberal, pluralist masses on global media channels.
An orientalist odor and color dominated the approach toward the Arab Spring riots, which were excitedly expected to bring great transformations. The Arabs were finally in control of their own destinies. As a society, they emerged from their lethargic mood and sided with transformation.
This was an outstanding movement, according to the story, and the triggering reasons could only be the axis of Western values. The story was a predetermined one, deprived of all kinds of political attitude.
Indeed, people were oppressed under dictatorships. They were experiencing serious independence issues either under single-party governments or military dictatorships. Despite living on the world's richest lands in terms of natural resources, they were experiencing unjust distribution of income and poverty. They had issues with political legitimacy and their political demands being met. The natural resources of the land were being questioned in terms of whether they owned them or they were owned by the barons of the global system. First and foremost, Islamic movements and other political movements were suppressed. There was a serious Israel problem; while despotic regimes guaranteed the existence of Israel, they justified their status quo by threatening their societies with Israel.
Under all these circumstances, the status quo which outlived itself needed renewing and integration to the global system without turning into a social explosion. Therefore, the problem could be solved with a change of elites in the system and a some social participation. This was the reason the revolution flavored Arab Spring was approved and encouraged by global media, and the status quo was cornered.
Pitilessly oppressing the masses for years, former Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak suddenly become weary democrats.
The demands of the masses were more like apolitical riots instead of revolutions. An unorganized revolution story, loved by the media, deprived of political-ideological bases, organized via social media was being told. They thought that slack, aimless, unplanned masses toppled the organized government mechanism.
Apparently Ben Ali went to Saudi Arabia and couldn't return; Mubarak sat in his corner waiting. The resistant would be Moammar Gadhafi. Yemen would go into civil war, and the wave would break before entering Syria. The riots had no chance of getting anywhere near Saudi Arabia and the Gulf; those strategic regions could not be risked for mass demands.
At the point the Arab Spring reached, the movement, expected to remain as a transformation of elites in the system, was to consist of the demands of the masses.
However, the Islamic movement Muslim Brotherhood coming to the forefront in Egypt, the heart of the Arab world, stopped the process half way, despite the Muslim Brotherhood's accommodations discourse, as it was perceived to be a threat to the equation in the region. Despite all the institutions of an established system standing, the possibility of change especially mobilized Israel and Saudi Arabia. And those applauding the Arab Spring, a liberal democratic revolution, didn't hesitate to salute a despotic military dictatorship. It seems like an elite transformation was achieved with some kind of coalition with the reconciliatory attitude of the Islamic movement in Tunis. Despite Gadhafi's dramatic death, it seems like chaos still continues in Libya, however agreements have been reached on certain strategic issues. Despite the energy flowing to the West and political instability, it won't be long before new agreements are actualized.
The Arab Spring can be interpreted as a project, taking Islamic movements from being an alternative, to being a customer of the global system. The experiment of passing off the deprivation of masses, their real demands with a revolution-looking in-system change was a failure. The internal dynamics within the region and the countries didn't even allow fake formations to take place. Those who didn't permit social dynamics within political fields, are trying to block with forced methods. Organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood abstaining from the Arab Spring at first, entered the process with a dilettante and unprepared attitude which then ended in disaster. The Saudi despotism's military interventions misled the inexperienced and dilettante new government. The military management came back to the scene, killing innocent people, and imprisoning others. The Egyptian brotherhood, possibly longing for the Turkey experience, couldn't understand the difference of the conditions. A similar mistake was made in Syria, which turned into a bloody civil war.
At the point the Arab Spring, namely the apolitical revolution process, had reached, the status quo based on the energy and Israel equation had not changed, yet they prepared the grounds for global military intervention in geostrategic regions such as Syria and Yemen.