Kevin Ovenden skriver på Lenin’s Tomb:
He moved in to the Presidential Palace with his official wife, but Leila [hans elskerinde] kicked up such a stink that he divorced and she moved in. Her brother, a small time mafiosi, overnight was transformed into one of Tunisia’s leading businessmen. Stellar advancement beckoned for the rest of the Trabelsi clan as Tunisia itself sank into the nightmare of police repression, corruption on a Croesian scale and slavish adherence to US/French policy interests, all glossed over in Washington, London and Paris, of course, as they encouraged tourism and then latterly the enforced one way flights of rendition to the black jails of the Tunisian desert.
So – an endearing first family for life. Somehow I don’t hear a Lloyd-Webber musical in the wings, a la Evita: Eva Peron had in contrast infinite redeeming features.
Ben Ali was not alone at the top of a pyramid of sadistic repression, grand corruption internally and pimping the country externally. The core of the movement of demonstrations and strikes is surely right in focusing the next steps on the complete clearing out of all those tainted by association with the regime. The caretaker President is already being targeted and the protests continuing.
It is enormously significant that one of the most pro-western and seemingly stable dictators in the Arab world has fallen in a revolution. Only belatedly do events seem to be entering the calculus of Western policy makers and of potentates and princes in the Middle East. Sarkozy was looking forward to playing kingmaker in the unfolding crisis in another former French possession, Lebanon, as Western forces vainly try to get their ducks in a row to isolate Hizbollah and turn back the strengthening alliance between Turkey, Syria and Iran, thus shoring up their own interests and those of Israel.
Se også TV-klippet herover. En politistat falder; et historisk øjeblik.