Skip to main content

It has been really disheartening to watch every diary on the important story of Tunisia get buried without much discussion. Why? I remember how Iran was always on the rec list. Why the bias? Is it because the Neo-cons don't want to go to war with Tunisia. I have no idea. But I assume it is because people think it is not important somehow.

Juan Cole on why this story is ignored:

Note that since the Tunisian crisis has to do with labor unions, unemployment, class anxieties, and a student youth movement rather than with Islam; and since the Tunisian government is counted as a firm US ally, the American mass media is largely ignoring this story

I watched the police raid this store today on 29 street in New York for selling fake Prada bags. The guys selling it probably had no other way of making a living, maybe university educated. Maybe not. But the point is they are working class guys trying to make a living in recession. And why is it illegal for them to make money from some stupid brand name that is way overpriced? Because the system is not fair. Just like it is not fair in Tunisia. The guy in Tunisia who set himself on fire was protesting because he was prevented from selling vegetables for lack of a permit. He had a degree. He tried to make money the honest way, and he got a fine and his goods confiscated, just like the guys on 29th street today. So why do people who are supposedly pro working class not able to support the rebellion of working class people in Tunisia?

In addition, the wikileaks story perhaps gave the Tunisians the last push they needed to fight for their rights. Freedom of speech is important to them just just like it is important to us.

The internet is blocked, and censored pages are referred to as pages "not found" – as if they had never existed. Schoolchildren are exchanging proxies and the word becomes cult: "You got a proxy that works?"We all know that Leila has tried to sell a Tunisian island, that she wants to close the American school in Tunis to promote her own school – as I said, stories are circulating. Over the internet and under the desks, we exchange "La régente de Carthage" [a controversial book about the role of Leila Trabelsi and her family in Tunisia]. We love our country and we want things to change, but there is no organised movement: the tribe is willing, but the leader is missing.

The corruption, the bribes – we simply want to leave. We begin to apply to study in France, or Canada. It is cowardice, and we know it. Leaving the country to "the rest of them". We go to France and forget, then come back for the holidays. Tunisia? It is the beaches of Sousse and Hammamet, the nightclubs and restaurants. A giant ClubMed.

And then, WikiLeaks reveals what everyone was whispering. And then, a young man immolates himself. And then, 20 Tunisians are killed in one day.

Another article on the role of social media:

A recent instruction on one of the most popular internet forums, Nawaat, read: "We remind all users of Facebook, especially if they are connecting from Tunisia: DO NOT CONNECT from an unsecure page."

Farooq Ferchichi, a 24-year-old software engineer, said he thought the authorities had become overwhelmed by the protests, and had simply become unable to censor everything.

"We did a page called: 'Mr President, the Tunisian peoples' souls are burning,' he said by e-mail.

"It was in the beginning of the events, it was censored. People did a second page : 'Mr President, the Tunisian peoples' souls are burning 2'. After some hours many thousands joined, and it was censored. Activists did the same five times, until the government gave up."

Some videos and posts are being uploaded outside Tunisia, but according to Lucie Morillon, head of new media at Reporters Without Borders, "the level of internet activity within Tunisia is still very strong".

She thinks the impact of social media use may be greater than during protests in Iran in 2009, where the significance of what was dubbed the "Twitter revolution" was later questioned.

And don't you wish we could be a little like them? That we could fight the bank bailout, the lack of healthcare, lack of educational opportunities and affordable housing? When we show our solidarity for people who are fighting for their freedom, we promote peace around the world. And please, all the comments about Tunisians should be happy with their lack of freedom; would you say that about Iranians?

The latest on the Guardian this morning:

Thousands of Tunisians took to the streets again today to demand that the president leave office immediately, after Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali said last night he would not seek re-election in 2014.

An estimated 5,000 people gathered outside the interior ministry in the capital, Tunis, to denounce the president, who has ruled for 23 years.

At least 23 people have died in police clashes during a month of protests. Independent estimates put the actual death toll around three times higher.

For additional info, the latest on Twitter:

@SPIEGEL_English: The World from Berlin: 'Tunisia Has Become North Africa's Belarus'... #sidibouzid

Please watch live feed of demo in Tunis against Ben Ali #sidibouzid #tunisia
The Tunisian Activist Slim Amamou is now free #sidibouzid #tunisia #Freedom
British tourists evacuated from Tunisia - BBC #sidibouzid
#sidibouzid RT Killing of 8-yr old child cuz she threw a rock at a police officer #sidibouzid OUTRAGEOUS, im crying my country #Tunisia

'm following Help Translate #SidiBouzid curated by @Tom_El_Rumi w/ 3 others
#FF All those who fight 4 their independance Freedom against dictators #Tibettruth's site #IranElection #Sidibouzid
Live: Tunisia turmoil from the BBC #opTunisia #sidibouzid
#Tunisie #OpTunisia #sidibouzid RT@wikileaks The First WikiLeaks revolution?

Behind #Tunisia Unrest, Rage Over Wealth of Rulers (Finally a headline w/out "riots") #Sidibouzid

RT @Tharwacolamus: BBC News - #Tunisia's young protesters reject 'empty words' - #sidibouzid

V @octavianasr Tunisians document protest even using Google Latitude from inside prison #Tunisia #SidiBouzid #FreeSlim

Tonight at kaireddine hospital - Le Kram (Tunis suburbs) [videos] #sidibouzid #optunisia

"All they're interested in is grabbing all the power&all the money.Of course we're protesting-wouldn't you?" #sidibouzid

@ifikra: How to mirror important videos from/for #Tunisia spread the word ! #sidibouzid #netfreedom #censorship

New Tunisia Update: A: Australian students trapped in Tunisia among the vio... #sidibouzid #jasminrevolt #optunisia

Originally posted to Kandy on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 08:56 PM PST.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I feel your pain (16+ / 0-)

    I'm just amazed how our nation is manipulated and it doesn't realize it.

  •  Media lead Americans by the noses (19+ / 0-)

    If the hegemonic media tells us something is important, like a blonde gone missing in the Caribbean, it's important.  If the corporate media doesn't pay any attention to something it mustn't be important, not that we would know, because we would know noting about it, because we as a people depend almsot entirely on what the media tells us for what to believe.

    So when the media told us that secular Arab nationalist dictator Saddam Hussein was in league with a terrorist group, al-Qaeda, whose primary strategic objective has always been the overthrow of repressive secular Arab regimes, it had to be both true and improtant, regardless of how patently absurd an assertion it was.

    We don't respond to Tunisia because we aren't told about Tunisia, not told how we are supposed to respond to Tunisia.  Demonstrators taking the same actions, one in Teherna, the other in Athens:  the one in Teheran we see pure and noble, freedom fighter.  The one in Athens?  Irresponsible violent hippie troublemaker.  Where do we get those contradictory ideas about two differnt people in two different places doing the exact same thing?  You tell me.

    And the working class?  I've always been down with "Workers of the world, unite!" but it ain't happening any time soon.

    Hegemony is always electable.

    by ActivistGuy on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 09:20:07 PM PST

    •  I don't watch a lot of TV (10+ / 0-)

      The other day, I was waiting for an appraiser. I figured I would turn the TV to HLN. It took me a while to find the channel.

      You know what the first thing I heard was? Brittney Spears has a new album!

      Yeah for Democracy! Yeah for an informed populace that understands the effects of their vote! Yeah for an America than understands its role in the world!!!!!

      •  HLN was once somewhat useful as Headline News (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but it changed to the Missing White Girl network long ago, and didn't even make the pretense of keeping "news" in the name after that.  It seems to be some weird sort of E!/Lockup amalgamation nowadays.

        I like lemurs -6.50, -4.82

        by roadbear on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 03:33:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I still hope (7+ / 0-)

      "If those in charge of our society -- politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television -- can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves."-Howard Zinn

      People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little. - Jean Jacques Rousseau

      by Kandy on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 09:29:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is a horrible comparison: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Guinho, MichaelNY

      Demonstrators taking the same actions, one in Teherna, the other in Athens:  the one in Teheran we see pure and noble, freedom fighter.  The one in Athens?  Irresponsible violent hippie troublemaker.  Where do we get those contradictory ideas about two differnt people in two different places doing the exact same thing?  You tell me.

      And in denigrates the risks that protestors take in Iran.

      Greece is a modern democracy where anyone has the right to freely express themselves while Iran definitely is not.

      "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

      by Lawrence on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 12:09:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  tell that to the greeks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't think they voted for social service cuts.  The leftists party acted out austerity measures that took away rights.  They voted for the a social welfare state and continued progress.  They got a Ronald Reagan quisling who cared more for international bankers then the citizens wishes.  That is not democracy in my book.

        PS: The greeks where expressing themselves to the dissatisfaction of the government as fully as possible.  The crackdown still happened much like it always happens in any state regardless of government.

        •  Sorry, but comparing the situation of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          protestors in Greece to that of dissidents in Iran is just plain revolting.

          Two of my best friends are Greek, and they would chew you out big time if you tried to tell them something so aburd.

          Dissidents in Iran face death and brutal torture all the time while Greeks have very strong human rights.

          Trying to create that kind of false equivalency between what Greeks face and what Iranians face is just plain sick.

          If you don't believe me, I suggest you first go to Athens and express your political views openly and then follow it up by going to Teheran and then express your political views openly there.

          "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

          by Lawrence on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 08:43:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you want to play this sorta game... (0+ / 0-)

            Then you are right... It's apples to oranges...  Greece had a broader base while the Iranian "green revolution" was compromised of almost entirely middle class youth and almost no rural participation.  It's as if most of the poor stayed home in the country instead of battling it out in the shopping centers and streets of tehran.

            Another difference is that the only attention paid by other countries to Greece was that they needed to pay because they are part of the pigs nation.  Cut the social services and get the police to gas those rioters!  Iran, on the other hand, needed to radically change its very society.  Protestors screaming "death to the dictator" (who had massive support in rural Iran) is just freedom!  I guess advocating assassination is a true protest platform for you.

            Now I don't know if "Supreme puppet boogiemanajad" won or lost.  Since many more knowledgeable scholars say he won and many more knowledgeable pundit bloggers say he lost.  I see it as conspiracy theory area myself.  What I do know is twitter was, for a period of time, forced by the US government to stay up (as it had to perform maintenance during those days) and Hillary herself said she did it in support of the protests no other US politician would tolerate in the USA.  Such a protest would be condemned by both sides and then it would be crushed faster then it was in Iran.  We already arrest people before they even protest to begin with for starters.

            Find me some greeks who feel that way then put them in a room with some redshirts of thailand.  You know, the poor people who democratically elected a president who then was thrown out of power in a military coup.  I guess they would be the mellon in the apples to oranges comparison.  They came to restore their democracy which was taken from them so that the better off could be better off.  Built their shanty town in the middle of the shopping district to bring their plight to the faces of the people who denied them.  What did they get again?  Oh yeah, the military declared the whole place a free fire zone killing many with USA made weapons.  The protest leaders even surrendered to stop the violence but it continued until all the redshirts fled to there abject poverty or thrown in jail.  

            Do you remember that time?  Apples to Oranges to Melons it is then.  The only difference is that two of them came from the poor and disenfranchised while the Iranian movement consisted mostly of the middle class on what was a disputed election.  Not a protest against a ruler undemocratically imposed on them but on election results that many people outside Iran took as "stolen" based on sheer emotions. That many scholars have looked at and their is no consensus.  

            A few extra things I wanna address as well. "Two of my best friends are black" is not an argument.  Labeling things as logical fallacies without proofs is not an argument but is, itself, an ad hominem attack.  Also, you sincerely believe that human rights in Iran would change under another president?  Really? Another thing, saying that Greece is more liberal as it carries out a crackdown is not much of an argument in regards of "they do crackdowns" and "It's not democratic when who you voted for does the opposite".

            Also, I wasn't arguing the degree of state brutality but the common tactic that all states use to destroy the will of the people.  The degree of brutality you bring in reply, which is your entire premise, is a strawman.  Don't put words in my mouth.  What you did there and said was revolting.  You denigrate any protestor when the outcome they face in confronting power is uncertain.  They are taking the risks while you watch like it's some sort of revolutionary porn flick.

            Get real.

            •  I can only shake my head that you would (0+ / 0-)

              double down and continue to try and compare the situatuion in an E.U. member country, where some of the strongest human rights worldwide are in play, with the situation in a dictatorial, culturally and socially extremely repressive regime.

              You really need to get out more.

              "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

              by Lawrence on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 11:05:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  The NYT has it as the first story online this AM (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skwimmer, MichaelNY, Dont Call It

      at least on the email they send me.  It's been discussed a bit on NPR/BBC, but it's a story that needs to gain traction.

      The lede was something along the lines of people being frustrated with the wealth of the elite at a time of high would be nice if that sort of thing (sans the violence) took root here too.

      I like lemurs -6.50, -4.82

      by roadbear on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 03:31:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm against violence. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        roadbear, MichaelNY

        But what will you do when any protest is met by state violence?  Every RNC convention there are protests and what happens?  The state causes this violence.  The last one in Minnesota was a disgusting show with even none protestors maced, beaten, and imprisoned.

        "protest zones" in which you might not get smashed by pigs are literal cages miles away from anything.  Just as in Tunisia, the lack of a truly free press (private corporate press is not really a free press), the lack of political diversity, and the lack of social and economic mobility is startling.

        The difference between Tunisia and the USA for actual change is this.  Our education system is shit and class consciousness is absent among the majority population of the USA.  As long as the middle class can squeak by with unemployment, they will not care to organize in mass.  Nor risk their neck for their neighbor.

        An example of that last point was a few years or so (i don't remember exact details) when a man, in protest, committed a similar self immolation in protest of the war in Iraq and other Bush policies.  The public reaction was of extreme anger at the deceased man for stopping traffic.

        •  Were you against violence in Greece? (0+ / 0-)

          I think I misread your long post, then. There was a lot of violence in Greece. Do I understand the anger that provoked it? Yeah. But did it produce anything proportionally positive?

          •  I am for people power (0+ / 0-)

            I am against violence.  Destruction of private property is only considered "violence" to asshole laywers.  Now if the people decide to reclaim such property for redistribution then that is there business in the way they use it.  It is not my place to say what people should do in their quest of liberation.  As any means that helps them regain their human dignity and direction.  

            A government based on deception and/or oppression does not deserve an inch since it does not represent the people of it's nation.  Such governments hardly "govern" then as they usually are just corruption machines breaking the backs of the nations masses for the privilege of the few.

            For any people to shrug off such yokes they need a revolution but such things are often extremely painful.  The potential cost in human lives can be so extreme to make any advocate of any revolution rethink their actions.  With the potential of powers that take over after being even worse.  Then again it could be a Cuba.

            Not that I'm saying this is a revolution.  I don't know what this is yet.  What I do know is that the former regimes institutions that supported and empowered him must be disassembled and/or smashed to prevent the reestablishment of another dictator.  

            The people of Greece will do with Greece as they please.  Anarchists would call police stations to warn them of the time their bomb would go off before the economic turmoil.  This is not new and when a supposed socialist government pretty much gets rid of the socialist part for international bankers.  Well people will get angry and protest.  Despite that it is the state that almost always starts the violence.

            •  Private property (0+ / 0-)

              includes places where people live, work, and shop for food.

              If you think that destroying your own home is a good way to produce positive change, I'd say "think again," but I don't think you will. I also note that you consider Cuba a positive example of the results of a revolution.

              I think the difference between us is that I am a social democrat. I won't categorize you; no need to do that.

  •  in Pictures: Tunisia Unrest (17+ / 0-)

    Tunisia protests serve warning to autocratic Middle Eastern regimes

    A rare wave of protests sweeping through Tunisia has revealed a population not only concerned about high unemployment, but deeply angry with its repressive and corrupt regime. The unrest serves as a startling red flag for governments across the region that have long dismissed warnings that maintaining stability through suppression may one day backfire.

    •  Rioting by burning non-governmental buildings (0+ / 0-)

      Is that going to benefit anyone? Did it when it happened in the US?

      •  If they actually run their Dictator out of the (7+ / 0-)

        country (which they're not far from doing) it very well may.

        S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

        by JesseCW on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 02:37:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  True (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Are you sure they're not far from doing that? But even so, look at how long places like Newark, NJ have suffered from the destruction of the center of town in rioting. Yes, destruction of the center of Tunis may be worth it if it results in democracy, but boy, what a big economic hole the new government would have to dig out of!

          •  What you call rioting I call post Reagan. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Euroliberal, Gracian, MichaelNY

            BTW Ben Ali just said he will dismiss the government and call early elections in 6 months.  Economics takes a back seat to human dignity not the other way around.  Today human dignity is winning in Tunisia.  Today you should be happy for them instead of looking down at them.

            •  Who is "them"? (0+ / 0-)

              You mean people who burn down buildings? Or do you mean the Tunisian people in general? Questioning arson as an action or as a strategy does not mean I'm disrespecting the Tunisian people. If it results in democracy, as I said, it may be worth it, but probably not for everyone. What happens to all the people whose buildings were torched and all the people who had jobs or businesses in those buildings?

              Explain "post Reagan," please. I don't get it.

            •  If Ben Ali really follows through (0+ / 0-)

              and there really are free elections, yeah, I do think this will have been worth it (even if, as I said above, not for everyone). The number of deaths per capita sure is way lower than the carnage in Indonesia that forced Suharto out. That revolution ultimately had good results, but it was accompanied by what I'd call a pogrom against Chinese Indonesians.

          •  They did it :) (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gracian, MichaelNY

            S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

            by JesseCW on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 03:43:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  That was a reaction (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        from the states repression towards it's own citizens.  The violence started long ago by the police state.  Your opinion of those people is inhumane since you look down on them for simply trying to gain basic freedoms.  You don't comment on the people whom that regime has tortured or killed recently.  You comment on things.  Things can be rebuilt.  Those people are still dead or brutalized.  

        Please don't be so condescending towards the natural reaction of the disenfranchised.  It is disturbing that you show more concern over things then the people who are fighting for their human dignity with their lives on the line.

        •  Your reaction is unwarranted (0+ / 0-)

          I understand very well that rioting is a reaction to violence by the authorities. It was in Newark, too, and in Detroit, Watts, Harlem, etc., etc. African-Americans were enraged about killings and constant harassment by cops, injustice in the courts, and the fact that even Gandhian non-violence was met with assassination. But our experience shows that destroyed downtowns are not so easily rebuilt, so expressing concern that the "natural reaction" of torching a city is not necessarily the best way to go about things is nothing I will apologize for.

          As for this, you are wrong:

          It is disturbing that you show more concern over things then the people who are fighting for their human dignity with their lives on the line.

          I have much more concern about people than things. Don't jump to unwarranted conclusions based on one post.

  •  of course, the media is blaming wikileaks (9+ / 0-)

    for each and every dead body. How sad the international media has become. They know 90% don't care about anything other than themselves so they can lie and not give a crap.

    "Sad songs are nature's onions."-Mr. Show

    by cedar park on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 09:44:24 PM PST

  •  I was in Tunisia last year and am scheduled (13+ / 0-)

    to visit there again this month, which is doubtful now.

    There is a tourist beach city on called Hammamet, which is the european and american rich boyz' marina playground, where hundreds of expensive yachts and boats are 'parked' through out the year for them to 'enjoy the summer season'.

    So, why spoil the rich boyz' playground by talking about democracy, freedom of speech, lack of jobs ( a qualified engineer's salary was princely 500 bucks a month) etc. ?

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.

    by amk for obama on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 09:45:25 PM PST

  •  But oh, what things we CAN do (10+ / 0-)

    and will do...

    Shed your fear, as the Tunisians have done, and you can change the world.

    We are Anonymous

    •  We are anonymous (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Zydekos, marsanges

      It is the only way! Shed your fear, your ego, facebook page, and become anonymous.

      People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little. - Jean Jacques Rousseau

      by Kandy on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 10:12:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  To do something you have to put your neck out. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You have to be able to have the will to dance in front of machine gun fire with a smile.  All the while not fighting back since that plays into the hands of the police state.  Violence is their business.

      Martyrs are those most likely to change the world when they have the conviction to not compromise even in the face of armageddon.  Just not a lot of people are willing to be a martyr as long as they have their bread and circus.  

      When you can do consecutive hunger strikes to show your conviction with the preceding person starving painfully to death such as the IRA.  Or self immolate in the most painful death like those who are on this list

  •  The events in Tunisia have been completely off (6+ / 0-)

    my radar screen. Thank you for informing me. My heart goes out to the Tunisian people, and I hope they succeed in bringing democracy and clean government to their country, or at least more of a voice for the people in how the country is run.

    •  well, let's rec these up. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, MichaelNY, Dont Call It

      These are tough days for getting attention, but i'll keep reccing things until it gets up there.

      But yes, Americans know practically nothing about Tunisia, including me, which is astnoshing to me, because I am among one of the most internationally knowledgeable Americans I know.  It has been utterly off my radar until now.  Democracy in North Africa is HUGELY important to the United States, in truth.  This needs to be covered far far more.

      Another fucking retarded, santimonious purist for Obama.

      by Guinho on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 12:25:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have no idea whether it's important for the US (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And that is not the important thing to me. It's important because it's right.

        I think the reason I didn't know about what's been going on in Tunisia is that I've been living away from my apartment and radio, and haven't been listening to BBC World Service every night.

        •  It's important that it sets a precedent. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It's also important what our nation does and doesn't do.  In the last century we would use these opportunities to then destroy the nation for being too "commie" and install the bastards that we liked.  We cannot do this anymore.  What we did to any legitimate protests in Iran, with Clinton and the Republicans vocally supporting them just crushed all legitimate protests.  

          A stable middle east.  Something we all want.  Is something that must happen without us.  Without our money and without our aid and without our funding of repressive crackdowns and weapons towards horrid regimes.  That's why it's important.

          •  I think we're in agreement (0+ / 0-)

            In regard to Iran, what I think you're saying is that it was harmful for U.S. politicians to vocally support the opposition, and I would agree. So what do you think U.S. policy toward Tunisia should be? Sympathetic neutrality?

          •  I think this is more about what the US does (0+ / 0-)

            and doesn't do than whether it's important to the US for Tunisia to have a democratic system. Perhaps it is, but I don't believe in judging everything from a perspective of US interests. What's more important than US interests is what's in the interest of Humanity. And on that, I have no doubt that governments of the people, by the people, for the people are best.

  •  My stepdaughter has relatives.. (10+ / 0-)

    ...(aunt, cousins) in Sousse and Sayada. So we've been following Tunisian videos of the action in the country.  

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 12:08:45 AM PST

  •  i first found out via juan cole (9+ / 0-)

    as well as a friend of mine posting a youtube video by a tunisian rapper who had been jailed for dissent. as for why it's not on our radar, cole makes a pretty clear argument:

    Note that since the Tunisian crisis has to do with labor unions, unemployment, class anxieties, and a student youth movement rather than with Islam; and since the Tunisian government is counted as a firm US ally, the American mass media is largely ignoring this story. Ordinarily if it bleeds, it leads; but not when it is about class instead of about race or religion, since the latter categories are the only ones useful to monopoly capital in keeping ordinary people divided and distracted.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 01:21:41 AM PST

  •  Latest BBC (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skwimmer, marina, Cartoon Peril, Gracian, Kandy

    Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in the centre of the Tunisian capital, Tunis, calling for President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to leave office immediately.

    On Thursday night, Mr Ben Ali - who has governed Tunisia since 1987 - announced he would stand down in 2014.

    His speech came after weeks of protests that have left at least 23 dead.

    A BBC correspondent in Tunis says security forces are surrounding the protesters but have not yet intervened.

    Tunisia has not seen such protests in the 23 years since Mr Ben Ali came to power, says the BBC's Adam Mynott in Tunisia.

    Trade unions have called on people to observe a general strike on Friday.

    Our correspondent, who is outside the interior ministry in Tunis, says between 6,000 and 7,000 people have gathered, testing the president's promises of greater freedom of expression.

    They are saying Mr Ben Ali must go and that Tunisia cannot have true democracy while he remains in charge.

    This is in reaction to the president's speech, our correspondent says, but probably not the reaction he was expecting.

    Human rights groups say more than 60 people have died in weeks of unrest across the country, as security forces responded to people protesting over corruption, unemployment levels and high food prices.

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.

    by amk for obama on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 03:59:27 AM PST

  •  You know this is something that the media (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skwimmer, marina, Cartoon Peril, MichaelNY

    and various elites see as embarrassing.  They didn't start this social movement after all.  You can tell since the various economic powers that enable these dictators are now evacuating their various citizens.  

    I guess they want to first evaluate the situation which must be embarrassing to them.  Embarrassing since Tunisia is supposedly the new "IMF success story".  As well as, if such a thing where to succeed and the Tunisians where to get their human dignity back.  Well, that would set a dangerous example amongst the disenfranchised of their own country.  Something the elites do not wish.  Thus the hush hush.

  •  Hit "Tunisia" on tags to get several good diaries (5+ / 0-)

    by kossacks Unspeakable and Mutually Assured Destruction on this topic.

    Their good work was ignored during the Sarah Palin feeding frenzy.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:55:37 AM PST

  •  Guardian;Tunisian government fired, early electio (5+ / 0-)

    Tunisian state news agency says President Ben Ali is dismissing government, and is calling for early legislative elections.

    Through twitter it is mentioned that early elections will be held in six months.

    Breaking news; Ben Ali Dismisses government

    guardian uk; Tunesian state news agency

  •  Tunisian President Ben Ali dismisses government (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, Gracian, MichaelNY

    Calls for elections in 6 months.

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.

    by amk for obama on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 08:10:10 AM PST

  •  Who's who in Tunis? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Tunisia; people woth watching Dominic Dudley

    More recent developments
    -State of emergency declared
    -Soldiers taken in places at airport and other strategic places. Airport closed.
    -More police violence
    -Protests of journalists at state television

  •  President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali forced out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kandy, MichaelNY


    Tunisia's president has stepped down after 23 years in power amid unprecedented protests on the streets of the capital Tunis.

    Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi said he would be taking over from President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

    A state of emergency has been declared amid protests over corruption, unemployment and rising prices.

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.

    by amk for obama on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 10:27:07 AM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site