Editorial from the English-language Kuwaiti paper, Arab Times, December 26, 1989:

The proverb says, “When your neighbor shaves his beard you should prepare your beard also for shaving.” Similarly many leaders should prepare themselves to face the same fate as the deposed Romanian leader.

People of many countries will certainly learn from the Romanian lesson and will severely punish their leaders. In the Middle East, there are many such regimes who have oppressed their people, destroyed their economic resources, suppressed their personal freedom and turned their countries into beggars seeking gifts and aid from others.

Leaders of these countries behave in the same manner as the deposed Romanian leader. They have amassed huge accounts abroad, mostly in the names of brothers, relatives, supporters, security personnel and a bunch of submissive merchants who facilitate the smuggling of funds.

Traditional slogans of honesty, dignity, progressive ideas, liberation, national independence, fighting the enemy, and others, are simply intended to mislead the people.

All who differ with these regimes are tortured with fire, electric shocks and other innovations at the hands of the secret police. Thus, electricity flew in their bodies, perhaps before it reached their villages.

People have woken up and punishment will follow at a time when escape for these rulers will be difficult. Present international law does not permit such leaders to flee after destroying their countries. Even funds have now been frozen in what was once called secret Swiss accounts.

These leaders should always remember that honesty and dignity in ruling, providing the people with their personal and public freedom and spending the people’s funds for the people, are the only right attitude. There are countries in the Middle East that would have become the richest countries in the region and would by now be exporting to other countries instead of waiting for charity from others, had they had a clean honest regime running their affairs.

But it seems that the current developments in East Europe and Romania are intended to be the great example and lesson for other peoples. Allah’s ability can do more than that. The oppressive regimes will certainly receive what they deserve of punishment. Souls of thousands of persons who died in jails are now certainly crying and searching for revenge. It looks that the time of punishment is fast approaching. Though the events in Romania are so painful, but it is the lesson.

Ahmad al-Jarallah

How to cite this article:

"The Lesson of Romania," Middle East Report 163 (March/April 1990).

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