Lidt baggrund om Tunesien

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.

Oprør i Tunesien

Den udmærkede Bahraini Mahmood udtrykker utvivlsomt mange araberes følelser under overskriften: “An Arab Revolution! WTF!“:

Bye bye dictator.

Good luck to Tunisia and Tunisians over the critical coming few weeks and months. Keep your head, for goodness sake and don’t turn it into a North African Iraq. You have an unbelievable chance to make things better and inculcate popular modern democracy. Don’t fall into the theocracy trap, it won’t do you good. One Iraq and one Iran is enough for our world.

Bonne chance Tunisie.

Brian Whitaker forklarer i The Guardian (28. december), hvordan opstanden begyndte:

The riots and demonstrations that have swept through Tunisia during the past 10 days also began with a small incident. Twenty-six-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi, living in the provincial town of Sidi Bouzid, had a university degree but no work. To earn some money he took to selling fruit and vegetables in the street without a licence. When the authorities stopped him and confiscated his produce, he was so angry that he set himself on fire.

Rioting followed and security forces sealed off the town. On Wednesday, another jobless young man in Sidi Bouzid climbed an electricity pole, shouted “no for misery, no for unemployment”, then touched the wires and electrocuted himself.

On Friday, rioters in Menzel Bouzaiene set fire to police cars, a railway locomotive, the local headquarters of the ruling party and a police station. After being attacked with Molotov cocktails, the police shot back, killing a teenage protester.

By Saturday, the protests had reached the capital, Tunis – and a second demonstration took place there yesterday.

Egyptian Chronicles har bemærket, at der er tale om et historisk øjeblik:

Do you follow what is happening currently in Tunisia ?? You do not , then you are missing a lot.
Forget about the Lebanese government ,forget about the South Sudan , even forget about Egypt for now because we are now in front of a history making moment. The Tunisians.
Currently there is a revolution in Tunis, the capital , thousands are protesting in front of the ministries and central bank demanding Ben Ali to step down immediately. The clashes in the capital are violent and yet the people are not giving up nor they are deceived by Ben Ali’s tricks …”

Selvfølgelig fumler der også nogle danske bonderøve rundt dernede til skam og skændsel for alle danskere med to brikker at flytte rundt med og  blot antydningen af et hjerte. TV2 beretter således om de heltemodige danske golfturister, der svæver i yderste livsfare på deres luksushoteller.

Hvordan kan det være, at jeg ikke har ondt af disse velhavende mennesker, der ser folk kæmpe for deres frihed og mod det diktatur, deres egne turistkroner går til at støtte, og ikke tænker på andet end, hvor traumatisk og ubehageligt, det er for dem selv? Hvad har disse golfturister gjort eller tænkt sig at gøre for at støtte demonstranterne? – spørger man uvægerligt sig selv. De kunne faktisk gøre en betydelig forskel i retning af at sprede ordet om oprøret og dets baggrund – i stedet sidder de og ryster på deres hoteller og venter på, at rejsebureauet skal komme og redde dem.

Meget apropos spørger Mark Lynch aka Abu Aardvark, hvor demokratiets forkæmpere dog er blevet af i spørgsmålet om Tunesien:

Barely a month goes by without a Washington Post editorial bemoaning Egypt’s authoritarian retrenchment and criticizing the Obama administration’s alleged failure to promote Arab democracy. But now Tunisia has erupted as the story of the year for Arab reformers. The spiraling protests and the regime’s heavy-handed, but thus far ineffective, repression have captured the imagination of Arab publics, governments, and political analysts. Despite Tunis’s efforts to censor media coverage, images and video have made it out onto social media and up to Al Jazeera and other satellite TV. The “Tunisia scenario” is now the term of art for activist hopes and government fears of political instability and mass protests from Jordan to Egypt to the Gulf.

But the Post‘s op-ed page has been strikingly silent about the Tunisian protests. Thus far, a month into the massive demonstrations rocking Tunisia, the Washington Post editorial page has published exactly zero editorials about Tunisia. For that matter, the Weekly Standard, another magazine which frequently claims the mantle of Arab democracy and attacks Obama for failing on it, has thus far published exactly zero articles about Tunisia. Why are the most prominent media voices on Arab democracy so entirely absent on the Arab reform story of the year?

Hvis du gerne vil holde dig generelt opdateret, er Aljazeera ikke det værste sted.

Denne video – som kun er én blandt rigtig mange – kan også give et indtryk af stemningen og ikke mindst den voldsomhed, demonstrationer slås ned med i disse dage: