To be an Arab tyrant these days is not easy. Watching protests calling for their removal can be hurtful to one’s feelings and sense of stability. Just last year, the people worshiped them. Throw in some foreign influences, drugs, terrorists and everything turns to hell! This can be quite traumatic for the poor despots who have worked to hard to advance their countries into the 1930s.
To stay in power, experts say, a leader has to stay hot. Once they’re no longer in, they’re out.
To stop from going crazy, you frightened dictators out there should stay busy staying HOT. Staying active, out there doing stuff, is key to avoiding insanity or a quick toppling. Do not be perceived as being aloof or just waiting. That is not cool. Plus, as they say, idle hands are the devil’s playground.
So here is what today’s Arab autocrat can do before and during protests to prevent the unpleasant revolution from being successful.
- Breath in/breath out. Remember, you are alive. They haven’t murdered you yet. The dead man walking look — a la Hosni Mubarak — is, pardon the pun, a nail in the coffin. So breath hard, breath deep, even if you’re on the phone with state media.
- Appear defiant and the man against all odds, even if you risk appearing out of touch. Everyone loves an underdog, even if that underdog jails dissidents, has a huge net worth and controls the country’s military. One way to do that is by pointing out in list fashion all the even more powerful foreign threats that want you out because of how awesome you are for the country. Work hard to push this line even if you and I both know it’s a load of shit.
- Issue a press release condemning Iran/ the Weather channel/ Saudi Arabia/ Al Qaeda/ Facebook/ the Crusaders/ the United States/ Canadian mounties/ Online gambling/ Al Jazeera/ the Jews/ Niqab-wearers. Mix and match, have fun with it. Keep bringing up new enemies of the state, it makes your regime look busy.
- Take a tour of some abandoned part of town filled with people on your payroll cheering you on because it’s freaking awesome and everyone always falls for it.
- Hire that Haifa Wahbe music video director to make you look good and youthful. Techno-Arabic-pop music is a must. Make a pick on who’s your favorite singer on Star Academy nominate , and ask people to vote for him/her.
- Put your cash into gold faster than a Glenn Beck groupie. Make sure gold is somewhere else so that the people don’t get it. Cash you do not convert should be very well-hidden in your mansion. By the way, if your cash has your photo on it, save some because that is freaking awesome in other contexts.
- Get your presidential tailor to get you as many highly customized suits as possible. They could take everything but why take suits that only fit you! Plus you can demand keeping them in exchange for surrender.
- Re-shuffle the cabinet several times. Just take the Minister of the Interior have him switch with the Foreign Minister. Then abolish the Ministry of Silly Walks, only to rename it with the same Minister the following week. This is great busy work, can be re-done endlessly and vaguely resembles actual reform.
- Phone calls. Phone calls. Phone calls. Cell phones – NO. Ornate, official-looking land-line phones – YES. And get your picture taken making them, or else there was no damn point.
- Visit some other country or send a high-ranking official to show you are still in control. The risk is you get overthrown or your dignitary defects. But screw it, send the dignitary You can always kill the defectors family if he or she leaves. Hot means getting the last laugh.
- Demolish national monuments that protests take place at. It really looks like you’re doing something when you are not…. at all.
- Change your mind often. Offer reforms, take them away. Promise to resign one day, break it the next. Flip-flopping can be made to look like actual strategy. The fact it is not does not matter at all. It’s essentially saying, I’m way too hot to touch.
- Speeches. The more speeches the better. Do not make any that sound like your last though, such as a crazy meandering tirade, or at least one that is more crazy than your norm. That is very much NOT HOT.
- Do normal stuff at first. Walk around, sit in gaudy French furniture, giggle with other dudes in suits. Let the people see you absolutely have no sense of anything happening, so they think nothing is. Then when the coercion starts and everyone gets a sense something it happening, go bat shit nuts, over-state the threat, and sharpen repression.
- Practice your remorse face. When your forces kills protesters it is vital you look apologetic, actually sad, even as you deny any responsible whatsoever. Don’t think this tip matters? It could mean the difference between being Ben Ali or being Bashar.
- Play around with social media filtering and false flag operations. You have no plan, really, but you know social media revolutions are totally in this season. Do not look lost in the Arab Spring by missing the chance to molest Facebook somehow.
- Offer your useless endorsement of other equally embattled and doomed dictators. It will be super moving.
Remember despots, stay active or eat it hard.
[Tarboush Tip: Will]Filed Under american politics, Arabic culture, Hanitizer, human rights, humor, iraq, islam, media, pop culture, satire, syria, U.S. foreign policy, war of terror