Sympathy for the Dictator

July 21, 2011 Comments Off on Sympathy for the Dictator

I do not necessarily endorse dictatorships or monarchies. But as I was reading updates on the Arab spring today, I got a sudden glimpse of what it must be like to be one of the bad guys. I was reading about Assad, I think, and the article said wryly that his system of violent suppression plus half-hearted promises of reform didn’t seem to be working. It gave me a vivid image of what it must be like to be confronted with an uprising like this. It’s hard to lay the smack down when you’re not sure it’ll work. It’s probably the only reason I’m scared to be a teacher. You have to bluff, and then if they call it you have to fall back to something lame, and that makes you look even worse. And losing that game is one of the worst feelings I can think of. And it’s probably much worse when losing it means getting a warrant put out for your head on a stick. It must be a horrible, horrible feeling. Not that I endorse his government (or him, for that matter), but I would be petrified in his position, and I can’t help feeling a little bit of sympathy. Even though it serves him right.

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