The Tunisian Intifada
The dictatorship of Zine el-Abdine Ben Ali, a Western client, is in serious trouble. A full-scale intifada is raging. It began in Sidi Bouzid as a protest against unemployment, corruption and police brutality. Then it spread to Sousse, Sfax, Meknassi, and the capital, inflated by long-simmering resentment at Tunisia’s lack of civil liberties. Because Ben Ali is a client, and because Tunisia is a mass tourism destination, the Western mainstream is leaving this largely alone. But here’s Nesrine Malik in the Guardian, and al-Jazeera (see below) is doing well. In the context of a horrific upsurge of nihilistic sectarianism in the Arab world, it is to be hoped that the Tunisian revolution will grow and develop, and teach a lesson to the Arabs in real, not illusory, action towards change.