The vulnerability or not, of dictators

Sound advice today from Dr Chenoweth at the NYT how to ‘topple” (i do dislike this word plenty) dictators and their dictatorships:

“The good guys don’t always win, but their chances increase greatly when they play their cards well. Nonviolent resistance is about finding and exploiting points of leverage in one’s own society. Every dictatorship has vulnerabilities, and every society can find them”.

Ok. Lets see: As a rule nonviolent (pacific?) resistance is a very slow process (of change). I would argue irrelevant for some generations. It took 40 years to get rid of Franco, actually he aged and died; 20 years to get rid of Pinochet, he was still kicking; hundred years to get rid of the British Empire and consider that India got Gandhi; around the same time to get rid of French Colonialists (?) (actually with a lot of dying going on). Two hundred years, and Mandela, for South Africa to topple the de facto white supremacist dictatorship. An like them apples, hundreds of example (dozens?). Algiers became independent after a bloody bloody war. Vietnam? Cambodia? China from everybody else in the world. Of course the Somozas’: Sr and Jr. 40 plus years of american contempt and complaisance. The arab “world” is the illegitimate child of western influence; deal with it, for once for the love of God.

All Im saying is that vacuous, surreal messages compound the suffering of the real human beings undergoing brutality as it conveys the idea that the people is doing the wrong thing to get rid of the opressor. The equation is simple if you have more firing power you win if you didnt you didnt. Based on a lng resistance history, Gandhi and Mandela chose non violent resistance, so did the Lama and others. Without a choice, Castro went gunfighting resistance so did Ho Chi Minh. Life is hard, violent and often short when you are poor, frustrated and fear is the dominant emotion only supplanted by rage against the dictator/system.

Dont go on preaching intervention/nonintervention (she claims that 50% nonviolent resistances from 1900/2006 “won”, havent seen the data) unless we-you-are prepared to bite the sour hard bullet of history, ignored completely by said Dr Chenoweth.


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