The Arab Tyrant Manual by Iyad El-Baghdadi

A Point of View, Middle East & North Africa, Politics | | March 23, 2011 at 20:43

The credit goes to @iyad_elbaghdadi who put together an “The Arab Tyrant Standard Revolution Response Manual” on Twitter today. I like to call it “”Dictatorship for Dummies.”

Iyad El-Baghdadi from Dubai: So an Arab Tyrant would, in response to revolution:

Offer money like pay increases…

Say: “This is not X” (where X is the country that had a revolution just before)

Uniformed police, followed by plainclothes thugs, followed by the army.

Blame Aljazeera, then attack it, then shut it down in the country.

Blame it on “foreign agendas.”

Say “We support the youths” (while their own police force is beating the crap out of the youth)

Blame it on Islamists. Start small (Muslim Brotherhood) then go all the way to the big boogie man, Alqaeda.

Ignore events completely, realize late how serious things really are, and give a midnight speech to the nation.

Warn of factionalism, sectarianism, tribalism, and many other scary “isms”.

Reshuffle the cabinet. Then reshuffle it again.

Get thugs out of jail, give them bludgeon type weapons, and let them loose upon the people.

Burn down your own police stations and blame it on the protesters.

Make a teary, emotional display about how much you love your country and how you spent your life serving it.

Insist that everything is fine.

When things get bad, shut down mobile networks & social media. When they get really bad, shut down the internet.

Claim ignorance. “I didn’t know that there were these problems, and I will punish those responsible for it!”

Say that only a tiny percentage of the people are against me. The majority are with me. Cite the latest elections.

Say that “Change must take place” and promise great and amazing things if those kids would just stay at home.

Say that you were going to retire soon anyway and had no intention of running for the next elections.

Say that you are planning to peaceful relinquish power at the next election, scheduled 12 years later.

Get yourself a shameless liar and make him Minister of Information & head of state TV.

Insist on following the constitution. Ignore them when they say you didn’t care about the constitution before.

Complain on behalf of “average citizens” that normal life is being held up due to the protests.

Order police to kill people. Then say you don’t know how it happened and you’ll form a fact-finding commission.

Say that you ruled the country out of love and service and you have no desire for power and have no money.

Have a military parade. Say it’s for the nation. It’s actually to show them what’ll come at them if they revolt.

Order the interior minister to kill them all. Then sack him for his heavy-handedness.

Say that the kids were pure of heart, but were tricked by “foreign agendas”.

Say that the kids were tricked into protesting through X (KFC, Nescafe, drugs, sex, etc.)

Kill a thousand. And then say that you have no idea how they died because you haven’t used force “yet”.

Stage demonstrations in support of your rule. But don’t give them flags & banners. Give them 50 bucks & an AK47.

Say your country doesn’t need a revolution coz it already had one. Cite the year you came to power.

Let your thugs loose on the protesters. Say that these were unfortunate clashes between pro- and anti- demonstrators.

Call your favorite brown-nose celebrity (singer, dancer, soccer player, etc.). Ask to talk on TV in your support.

Use religion. Call your state mufti and promise him a pay raise for the proper fatwa.

Hold a press conference to suck up to journalists. Then, send thugs after them to punch them and smash their cameras.

Say that the protests started as a pure youth movement but were “hijacked” by a foreign agenda.

Foreign agenda X (where X can be: Islamism, Zionism, Israel, Iran, USA, colonialism, imperialism…)

Have a charming interview with a famous journalist. Amanpour would do.

Say that your people are not ready for democracy. You have to pave the way to it, by acting like a complete asshole.

If foreign nations criticize, blast them for not understanding your culture. “In our culture, I rule. They obey.”

Send your army into the streets. Say they are there to “protect the kids”. Have them kidnap and rape the kids instead.

Pull a Bundy (“four touchdowns in one game”). Brag about your wartime achievements for your country.

Say that you finally understand the people. “I understand you now.”

Tell them that if they don’t go back home, the bad men will come and take away all their oil.

Say that you “got the message” and “will act on it soon”. Don’t mention what “soon” means.

Reshuffle the cabinet one more time, just coz you’re bored.

Bring up the economy. The kids are destroying the economy. Don’t mention how the economy looked before this point.

Say that you have no real power anyway so you don’t need to step down

When in doubt, insult. “They are X”. (X = Dogs, rats, mice, snakes, owls, generic small animals).

Say that your presence is a safety valve, and if you leave the country will explode in an orgy of sectarian killing.

Ask parents to keep their kids at home. Tell the kids that they shouldn’t say no to their parents. It’s bad manners.

Insist that all your beeble love you and would die for you.

Explain how force is unfortunate but it’s the only thing that will work in this culture. Present yourself as a strongman.

If it gets out that you have X billion dollars, say that you’ve been saving up for the people’s birthday present.

In your “Amanpour moment”, explain how you are secular and Westernized in a land of tribal savages.

Tell the people that they are your children and you speak to them as a father

Say that you will not let this foreign agenda pass and you’ll fight for (against) your country to the bitter end.

Say that you are a great soldier who never gives up the fight. Book a suite in Jeddah, just in case.

Tell people that if they don’t go home, the country will become the next X (X = Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc.)

Approve a few suck-up silly political parties. Point to this as an example of change.

Shut down the stock market and the banks. Blame it on the protesters.

Choose a scruffy looking opposition figure who has no support among the people. Hold “talks” with him about change.

When it gets really bad, hire mercenaries and have them shoot at your people.

Blow up a Church and blame it on the Islamists. Say that your rule provides stability and protects minorities.

Let some crazy Islamists out of jail. Tell foreign politicians that if you allow free elections, they will come to power.

all all your other tyrant buddies and ask them to provide guns & money for you. Tell them if you fall, they’re next.

Don’t allow funerals. Hold the bodies. Funerals become demonstrations.

Don’t allow Fridays. Big congregations are scary. Shut down mosques. Cite emergency fatwas.

When all foreign TVs are showing the main square protests, air something inane on your own TV. A drama. Or a comedy show.

Say you never intended to have your son run after you. Make sure you have a daughter.

Find a big, hungry foreign country with no morals and offer them preferential contracts if they give you support.

“Promise radical change. Say that this regime that remained static for 40 years can reform in 9 months.”


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