Russia has expressed concerns that the United States might instigate an Arab Spring-style revolution in Bangladesh following the January 7 parliamentary elections. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated on December 15th that there are substantial reasons to fear an escalation of pressure, including potential sanctions, against the Bangladeshi government in the coming weeks. Although Russia has not formally communicated this to Bangladesh, the fact that the official spokesperson has made these claims indicates a thorough analysis of the possibility of such a “spring” occurring in the country.
Arab Spring and Libya
The United States had a rich history of “exporting democracy” to different countries. The results of this export can most often be described by the Bible’s description of the coming of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – Death, Famine, War, and Conquest. The New Testament describes that the end of the world will be heralded by these four horsemen. Indeed, if one analyzes the American campaign of brining democracy to the Libyan People, the comparison to the horsemen becomes completely clear.
The Libyan economy collapsed in the wake of the popular uprising in February 2011 that led to the overthrow of the Muammar Qaddafi regime later that year. As the war raged, virtually all economic activity, especially oil production (the mainstay of the Libyan economy) witnessed a dramatic decline. Widespread violence and civil war continue in Libya to this day; with the country essentially divided amongst two different factions and several regional warlords. The toll on human rights has been extreme- with Libyan people living safe, secure and developed lives under Mummar Qaddafi, to fleeing the country; or dying in the crossfire; or being sold as slaves. While such a situation may be unimaginable, the reality on the ground is exactly as described above. This export was not isolated in Libya alone, but was spread throughout the Middle East and Africa, from Tunisia to Syria; with horrifying results.
Obama and Hillary’s Legacy of belligerence
The Arab Spring was not a spontaneous incident. The initial linchpin of the incident was, indeed, an ordinary Tunisian fruit vendor setting himself on fire in protest of corruption. However, the resulting widespread civil war across the region was aided and abetted by the United States and her allies. While the official narrative was “freedom from dictatorial rule and the upholding of democracy”; analysts argue that the true reason was most probably to weaken and destabilize several rising economic and military powerhouses across the region. The result also created a large refugee influx in Europe and North America- providing them with cheap and exploitable labor. The architects, president Barac Obama and Hillary Clinton, are both democrats. Today, Joee Biden, another Democrat and former vice president under the Obama Administration is now leads the country.
Awami League’s Devlopment Tapestry
The Awami League government has been leading the country for three consecutive terms now. Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina, the country has made quantum leaps in development and poverty reduction. Today, thanks to a stable political environment provided by a competent government with prudent policies, Bangladesh is now a regional economic powerhouse, well on the path to graduating LDC by 2026. The nation has continued this consistent growth all the while navigating multiple chalcogens; including the covid-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukrainian war and violence and arson by BNP- Jamaat led conspirators.
BNP’s Campaign of Violence
The BNP- Jamaat led alliance have worked since 2009 to undermine the democratic process and come to power. They have repeatedly attempted to derail elections, cause widespread economic damage and human casualties. Their attempts have been multifaceted, with the party leadership employing lobbyists in the US as well as endeavoring to utilize their historic affinity with the US democratic party. Analysis of The United States recent actions indicate that the US policy might be to provide support to the BNP’s campaign in order to derail the democratic process and bring their allies to power. The US Ambassador has repeatedly violated diplomatic norms to meddle in the internal affairs of Bangladesh; while the US visa policy was, in all probability, was an attempt by the US to pressure ethe ruling government.
The Bangladeshi government however, has been steadfast in its dedication to democracy and to ensuring that the people’s will is enacted. Their tough stance on arson and vandalism and timely policies to address various issues has resulted in people uniting behind the leadership of Prime Minister Shekh Hasina; with the International Republican Institute rating her approval at 70%. The fact that almost all major regional and global powers have declared the upcoming elections an “internal matter” of the United States has further isolated the US in regard to its agenda in Bangladesh, including reliable allies such as Japan and France.
Arab Spring in Bangladesh- A Gossip
The possibility of an Arab spring in Bangladesh is highly unlikely, especially due to the widespread popularity of the ruling government and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The strong public support and nuanced and wise foreign policies means that the government has allies nationally and internationally; with the United States the only voice in the crowd “crying wolf” and almost no one else towing the line.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Awami League General Secretary, Obaidul Quader have both ruled out the possibility of an Arab spring like “eruption” in Bangladesh in separate statements. Their statements further reenforce the government’s determination to uphold the constitutional obligation to hold a free, fair and inclusive election.