Dictators on Way Out?

Protesters calling for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

Dictators all over the world have to be concerned after the protests in Egypt that led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. He stubbornly held onto power promising elections before finally caving in to the protesters and giving up his power.

Mubarak had been in power since 1981 when then President Anwar Sadat was assassinated.

Now we have Libya in a similar crisis with their leader  Muammar Gaddafi desperately holding on to power with his Air Force bombing protesters. He has been in power since 1969, ruling the country for 42 years.

Iran is still dealing with protesters calling for the overthrow of President Ahmoud Ahmadinejad. He has only been in power for six years but has made many worldwide enemies. His threats to use nuclear weapons against his enemies have many nations concerned.

He survived one round of protests but with the wave of protests in many countries he may suffer the fate of Mubarak and possibly Gaddafi sooner rather than later. The world would breathe a sigh of relief, if Ahmadinejad were removed from power and a leader who would  be less likely to use nuclear weapons was voted into the presidency of Iran.

Bahrain and Tunisia are also in disarray. Tunisia has already had two leaders this year with President Mohamed Ghannouci resigning on Feb. 27.

It makes me wonder how Cuban leader Fidel Castro would handle protests in Cuba, if protesters would fill the streets in Havana.

He has been in power since 1959 for 52 years. The fact that thousands have left Cuba in small boats since he took power tells me he is not that popular. However, he has dealt harshly with his enemies which probably deters his enemies from being too vocal.

The protesters in many cases in these countries are not asking for much. They want to be able to vote for who they want, not some despotic dictator who rules with an iron hand.

Each time a dictator is removed from office it will spur citizens of other countries who are governed by a dictatorship to try protests as a way of gaining free elections.

The economic effect of these protests has rocked the worldwide oil markets. Gas prices here are up as high as $3.37 a gallon after lingering below $3.00 for months.

Once again, the country is in another oil crisis. There will be talk of consumers needing to buy more fuel efficient vehicles but invariably when the crisis ends, if it ends the sales of larger gas burning vehicles will go back to where they were before the crisis.

Americans are being held hostage by the middle east countries who control the flow of oil to the United States.

We will know in the coming weeks if the current oil crisis will end or we will see increasing prices for all products since oil is needed to transport those products and the higher prices for oil will be passed on to the consumers.

We are at the mercy of the oil producing countries. For years the politicians have talked about developing other sources of energy besides oil but when an oil crisis ends the talk subsides.

What is it going to take for the politicians in Washington to actually do something about the oil situation? It looks like none of them care enough to do something about it since they can afford the higher oil prices. Meanwhile the people that are affected the most by the higher oil prices have to cut back on food and other expenses to be able to drive to work.


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

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