Tunis: Curtains for Ben Ali?

Just looking at this coverage from Al-Jaz of the day’s massive and nonviolent protests in the Tunisian capital, Tunis.
As Trotsky so elegantly described in his “History of the Russian Revolution”, when the Cossacks start fraternizing with the protesters this signals the imminent end of the regime.
In today’s Tunisia, the “Cossacks” are the special armed police/gendarmerie tasked with guarding central government institutions. To see the protesters reaching out and high-fiving with the sparse numbers of police who remain, and embracing them, indicates to me that Pres. Ben Ali better rush to implement the Plan B he no doubt has hidden away somewhere: The helicopter ride to a French warship, perhaps, along with his family, and then speedy onward flight to some lovely, family-owned property on the Riviera…
And what of Tunisian politics? Bill the spouse was there for a short visit just last month, and knows a lot more about North African politics than I do. He applauded the dignity and discipline of the demonstrators on today’s newsfeeds, noted their numbers, and said he thinks the country’s people are really ready for a better and more equitably governed future…
It will be interesting to see which other citizenries elsewhere in the region become most inspired by the Tunisian example…

5 thoughts on “Tunis: Curtains for Ben Ali?

  1. Salah

    other citizenries elsewhere in the region become most inspired by the Tunisian example…
    No one will inspired as soon as tyrant regimes embarrass themselves behind big and heavy force with no hesitations to kill and vanish there citizenries.
    In same taken let not forgo the event of democracy in Iraq prepared and cooked by US how many “other citizenries elsewhere in the region” care about it or even regimes exited about the democracy they just rest and laughing on that cook chafe of the democracy in Iraq.

  2. Domza

    It’s wonderful but it is not over, even if Ben Ali has now left the country. I did not see a lot of fraternising when I was watching Al Jazeera this evening. I saw a lot of beatings. There is a curfew now and there have been a lot of detentions. Ben Ali’s buddy from at least 1987, his Prime Minister Gannouchi, has declared himself President, thereby violating the very constitution that he was at the same time vowing to uphold with scrupulous attention to detail. Has he got any credibility? No. Where among the ruling class would one find anything but a determination to regain the whip hand? The best hope is that there has been mass organisation (not social networking, for heaven’s sake). Contrary to what is being said on the TV, the uprising does look organised to me. Let’s hope it is. It needs to be, so as to withstand the reaction that is on its way.

  3. JohnH

    My guess is that Hosni Mubarak must be quaking in his octogenarian boots. Rising food prices was the spark in Tunisia, and Egypt imports a lot of food, so there is almost no way to avoid big price rises.

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