From Russia to Iran – will the rumble of their people lead to a tumble of their leadership?
By Neville Berman
The French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian Revolution of 1917 have one thing in common. They both resulted in the overthrowing of the ruling class by their own subjects.
Fast forward to the post Second World War period, and we see history repeating itself again and again. There is ample evidence of citizens ruled by kings or dictators removing their leaders once a certain tipping point is reached. All the leaders mentioned below were totally in control of their countries when they were suddenly either forced to resign or were killed. Here are six examples in chronological order of their overthrow.
King Farouk reigned over Egypt from 1936-1952. Upon his removal from the throne, he remarked that one day there will only be five kings left, the king of England and the kings of spades, diamonds, clubs, and hearts. King Farouk died in exile in Rome in 1965.
Mohammed Reza was the last Shah of the Imperial State of Iran. He was crowned in September 1941. He had the largest standing army in the middle east. The army swore allegiance to him personally yet failed to support him when the people rose up against his rule. He was forced into exile in 1979 in the Iranian Revolution.
Ferdinand Marcos ruled the Philippines for 20 years from 1966 – 1986. His authoritarian rule unraveled as a result of public criticism of his corrupt lifestyle. He was removed from office and died in exile.
Nicolae Ceausescu ruled Romania with dictatorial powers for 24 years from 1965 to 1989. When he was overthrown, an elite army unit was requested to provide 10 volunteers to be part of the firing squad. All the members of the unit volunteered. Ceausescu died with 10 bullets in his chest.
Erich Honecker led East Germany for 18 years from 1971 to shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall in October 1989. When Gorbachev refused to intervene to protect him, Honecker was forced to resign. He died in exile in Chile.
Muammar Gaddafi ruled Libya for 42 years. After declaring that “all his people loved him” he was forced to flee. When he was found in his hometown of Sirte, he was immediately executed. The date was October 20, 2011. Clearly not all his people loved him.
It seems plausible that both President Putin and the Iranian regime are both approaching the tipping point from which there is no return. Much in the hands of their people, an anxious global community watches and waits.
The world will be a much safer and better place should their rule end.
About the Author:
Accountant Neville Berman had an illustrious sporting career in South Africa, being twice awarded the South African State Presidents Award for Sport and was a three times winner of the South African Maccabi Sportsman of the Year Award. In 1978 he immigrated to the USA to coach the United States men’s field hockey team, whereafter, in 1981 he immigrated to Israel where he practiced as an accountant and then for 20 years was the Admin Manager at the American International School in Even Yehuda, Israel. He is married with two children and one granddaughter.
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