The Arab Tyrant's Manual
Created: December 31, 2011
December 31, 2011
The Canonical "Arab Tyrant's Manual" compiled by "Iyad al-Baghdadi".
[Monday, 20 June 2011 16:33]
See also Robert Fisk's article "Bonfire of the dictators,"
The Independent, Saturday 31 December 2011 <http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/bonfire-of-the-dictators-6283351.html>.
Help me compile an "Arab Tyrant's Standard Revolution Response Manual".
What would be on it?" [Tag is < #ArabTyrantManual>].
- So an Arab Tyrant would, in response to revolution: Offer money like pay
- Say: "This is not X" (where X is the country that had a revolution
- 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."
- Blame it on a conspiracy. The more ridiculously bigger, the better. Our
country is so awsome that everyone is trying to bring us down.
- 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.
- Act surprised when suddenly, fire breaks out in prisons where political
detainees are held.
- 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.
- Addition to: Promise radical change. Say that this regime that remained
static for 40 years can reform in 9 months.
- 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 peacefully 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Bring in the boogie man of your grandfather's generation: Colonialism & imperialism.
- 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
- 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,
- 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.
- After your army steamrolls protests, swear that the army was unarmed. The
protesters did it to themselves to frame you.
- When bullet-ridden bodies, pictures, & videos are cited, explain that
the kids did it to themselves, just to spite you.
- 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.
- When things get really bad, appoint the second most hated guy in the country
as your VP.
- 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.
- To show just how much your people love you, hold a demonstration in your
capital. Louder than a gay pride parade.
- Explain how force is unfortunate but it's the only thing that will work
in this culture. Present yourself as a strongman.
- Remember to use delay tactics to liquidate & move decades of stolen
- 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
- 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.)
- When you've had enough of them, attack Aljazeera physically. Shut them
- Approve a few suck-up silly political parties. Point to this as an example
- 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.
- Cut cities' water & electricity and block the passage of food and medical
- 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.
- Call 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.
- Collect the bodies of the dead and injured (they will die eventually).
They will always come in handy.
- Don't allow Fridays. Big congregations are scary. Shut down mosques. Cite
- 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
- Find a big, hungry foreign country with no morals and offer them preferential
contracts if they give you support.
- Dye your hair and use a lot of gel, and have a voluptuous nurse apply botox
to your face. Look young.
- Demonstrate your confidence with a casual prop of some kind. Umbrellas
- Shoot fake footage or pass fake info to news sources, and then refute it.
Say this proves that all reporting by “foreign media” is false.
- Order police to kill people. Then say you don't know how it happened and
you'll form a fact-finding commission.
- Offer amnesty for whoever turns himself in. Say that if they don't, they'll
be shot dead. (If they do turn themselves in, torture them to death anyway.)
- Give your thugs 'net connections and Facebook accounts. Have them take
their thuggery online. Start with Twitter and Facebook, but don't forget
to spam article comment sections.
Introduction to the Manual
Source: <http://www.el-baghdadi.com/articles/48/67-introduction-to-the-arab-tyrants-manual.html> and
PDF copy of oriiginal here [PDF 210 KB].
Extract dealing with the section called "A Short Study of Tyranny".
A Short Study of Tyranny
Anyone interested in liberty must spend significant time & effort studying
tyranny (after all, doctors in training spend a lot of their time studying
diseases). The behavior of tyrants may at times seem erratic, but it isn’t
random. It follows very specific patterns, because it’s driven by primarily
the same principles and towards the same aim: absolute power & control.
Only the stupidest of tyrants, however, seeks direct control. Smart & successful
tyrants seek to control certain “puppet strings”, and may be very generous
otherwise, in ways that may seem confusing if you don’t realize what these
strings are. I have found these to be associated with no more than three drivers.
The average citizen believes he belongs to a country, while the tyrant believes
the country belongs to him. He truly believes the country to be “his”, and
he will not allow anyone to challenge his absolute property rights over it.
In benign cases this may apply to the “commons” – that which is not privately
owned by anyone, including open unclaimed land and natural resources. You can
say that the tyrant believes in the homestead principle, but only he can do
the homesteading. It’s “finders keepers”, so to speak, the tyrant being the
only “keeper” to anything “found”.
In extreme cases, the tyrant reserves the right to confiscate private property.
He may claim that you obtained your property by his own blessing, having granted
you the privilege to build, trade, or homestead on “his” land. He may take
your property claiming that you obtained it illegally in the first place. Or
he may cite the “common good” that, of course, trumps your private property
The tyrant’s right to own it all entails full classical property rights.
Therefore he may freely do whatever he wishes with his “property” – he may
rent it, sell it, develop it, or even give it away. Heck, he can mess it up
if it wishes, and he’s answerable to no one on all counts.
Once secure in his absolute ownership, the tyrant may be very generous –
giving grants, stipends, and pay raises – provided this is understood to be
an act of generosity for which you should thank him, rather than a responsibility
which you should demand of him. Try asking the tyrant for aid and he may show
tremendous graciousness. Try demanding the same as being your right and you
may end up in jail.
Where would a tyrant be without loyal & willing slaves? The perfect slave
here may be well-off – even wealthy – but he attributes his livelihood neither
to God nor to his own initiative, but to the graciousness of his master, who
allowed him to build, trade, or farm on “his” land/ In this way, everything
the slave owns becomes a confirmation of the tyrant’s lordship over him.
Absolute Lawmaking Powers
Owning everything is just the start. It cannot bring absolute power if the
tyrant has to play by the same rules as everyone else. The tyrant’s “golden
rule” reads. “He who makes all the rules, ends up with all the gold.” Hence
the tyrant’s demand for an absolute right to make the rules, with no regards
to any reference or higher power except his own expediency and interests.
This may be achieved in one of two ways. The “liberal” tyrant will establish
a parliament or “legislative branch”, which would be constitutionally responsible
for making the rules. Of course, he will make sure that it is neither independent
nor influential, and exists merely to lend a semblance of legitimacy to his
whims & wishes.
The “traditionalist” tyrant will look towards the people’s classical reference
for law & legislation, typically religion, and will seek to use it to his
advantage. Hence the love-hate relationship between religion and tyranny –
the tyrant will either fight it as an enemy that threatens his absolute right
to make the rules, or will use it as a powerful ally in making rules tailor-made
Religion or not, the tyrant will never accept any limitation on his absolute
power to regulate and legislate, and interpret the law. He may well allow a
“political process” and “civil institutions”; ora religious hierarchy – he
will even bow his head in mock deference to these establishments, or pay lip
service to them, so long they know who’s boss.
The smarter (or more insecure) tyrant won’t stop there, but will take it
up a notch, defining not just rules but also values. Here too, he demands a
monopoly, accepting no competition; hence his intolerance for intellectuals,
philosophers, and moral teachers, and his exasperation with modern tools that
threaten his control over communication with the public, such as social media.
Perfect slaves follow the rules set by the master, no matter what these rules
may be. Be out of fear or conviction, the slave knows his place – it’s not
to make or even suggest rules, but only to help the master follow through and
implement these rules regardless of their intent. “Master knows best.”
You’d think the tyrant would be satisfied owning everything and making all
the rules, but all of that is at risk if someone can take it away from him.
Hence he must have absolute and unchallenged legitimacy as ruler, and must
have total loyalty from his people.
Legitimacy can be established using the same tools by which rules are created.
It could be through a “political process” (employing the wonderful silver bullet
of elections). Or it can be a “divine right”, articulated by a very friendly
religious establishment, and ratified by a grateful tribal leadership. One
way or the other, the tyrant emerges as the “rightful” ruler.
Challenging the “legitimate ruler” is, of course, an act of political subversion
or even treason. By defying him, you become an enemy of the people, of the
nation, and of God.
Once secure in his absolute legitimacy, the tyrant may allow a hierarchy
to grow beneath him, so long it pledges fealty to him at each level, through
the party, the tribe, or the religious establishment. Being a jealous master,
he tolerates no “leadership” outside of this hierarchy. No one can have people’s
loyalty or give meaning to their lives. Hence charities, hospitals and schools
must be run by the state.
The perfect slave, like a good dog, offers his master absolute trust and
loyalty, regardless of his master’s character or conduct. If master does well,
he should be commended. If he doesn’t, he should still be commended. It’s not
that he messed up, it’s just that the world wasn’t ready for his genius.
This study as guide
We’re all familiar with Lord Acton’s saying. “Power corrupts- absolute power
corrupts absolutely.” The drivers above seem to describe the path a tyrant
takes towards absolute power. They seem to apply equally to tyrannical individuals
and tyrannical institutions. I invite you to keep them in mind while reading