Last week, we watched the fast forward Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, which took most of the world by surprise. Part of the reason it took everyone one by surprise was because we weren't paying attention. Tunisia has been one of the most repressive and corrupt Northern African countries, but in Europe, it was seen as part of Frances sphere on influence and special interest. In fact, it is one of the biggest tourist destinations for middle class Europeans. As with most commercial tourist industries, what went on beyond the gates of the hotels and the guarded beaches made little impression on the rest of the world.
It was eye opening to see how unprepared and totally out of synch the French response to the upheaval in one of its client states actually was. As events unfolded, it became clear that this was a "new phenomena".
A secular, non fundamentalist revolution fueled the labor unions and the young. The engine seemed to be internet social networking. Perhaps a warning shot had been sent, and ignored when the Group, Anonymous, who have been so important in the defense of Wikileaks through cyber sabotage was able to effectively shut down the Tunisian Government Web as well as Zimbabwe's earlier in the week.
Another extremely important part of the whole was the behind the scenes involvement of American diplomacy.
As France's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Michelle Alliot-Marie scrambled to absorb the reality and declare that France was ready to send their Armed Police, The CRS to maintain order, the American State Department was in contact with the Tunisian Military, negotiating their complicity with the Revolution.
The French were so complexly intertwined with the Tunisian Corruption that they could not begin to react in any sort of positive manner,. There only concern was to preserve the the status quo of the Ben-Ali Government and what they perceived as their own financial connections.
As events unfolded, it became a huge embarrassment to the Sarkozy Government in regards to both their response and their apparent ignorance of the source of the rebellion and the reality.
But why has the Tunisian Revolution gotten as far as it has? What lessons can we learn that must be applied to the present unrest in Egypt? How can this be to America'a advantage, because in reality, the success of the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia is advantageous to American interests, in fact to every nation concerned with the so called War On Terror. The success of the Jasmine Revolution is one of the most potent weapons in the "War On Terror".
That is why it is in our best interests to encourage and abet the educated middle class, youth and intellectual secular uprising now occurring in Egypt.
This is not class struggle in any traditional attempt to couch it in classic "Class Struggle" type of rhetoric. This is a new game, the inevitable evolution of class struggle. This is the emergence of the educated majority over throwing centuries of oppression and corruption. It is more comparable to the Revolution that united and created Our United States. Learn more about yesterdays massacre by the police in Suez and the suppression of social media here.
To stand in the way of the Egyptian people and kowtow to the perceived interests of the Israeli Conservatives would be maintaining the status quo, the conditions which have created the ferment which has given Radical Islam such a firm grip in much of the world. Even more to the point, it can be easily argued that the policies of Nixon and Kissinger and the historical American support of the Shah of Iran, the American supported coup that destroyed the progressive Socialist government under Mohammed Mosaddeq directly were responsible for the success of the present Iranian Conservative Shiite Regime.
This is the crossroad we are now standing in. Do we follow the path of folly? Folly in the historical sense is to pursue a policy which has failed, led to even greater failures and problems and situations that were never imagined. Folly as in The Trojan War, the Renaissance Catholic Church and the Reformation , The British loss of their American Colonies or The Vietnam War. These are all examples of policies based on lack of imagination, refusal to accept reality or just laziness of vision, all of which led to utter disaster.
The Obama government has shown their ability to be imaginative and flexible in quite a few situations regarding diplomacy and foreign policy. Their involvement in the Jasmine Revolution demonstrated a prescience that demonstrated they are aware of the forces behind this great social struggle in Mediterrenean Africa. Do we acquiesce to the will of Conservative Israel and contribute to the propaganda that can only be used against us by the Radical Islamists? Or will we do something completely different and support the rise of an educated Moslem secular world?
Today, Mohamed ElBaradei the former head of of the IAEA returned to Egypt to be a part of the Revolution, as reported in the NYTimes, this morning:
“It was the young people who took the initiative and set the date and decided to go,
Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Wednesday with some surprise during a telephone interview from his office in Vienna, shortly before rushing home to Cairo to join the revolt.
Dr. ElBaradei, a Nobel prize winner, has been the public face of an effort to reinvigorate and unite Egypt’s fractious and ineffective opposition since he plunged into his home country’s politics nearly a year ago, and he said the youth movement had accomplished that on its own. “Young people are impatient,” he said. “Frankly, I didn’t think the people were ready.”