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Tearin' up the chickpea patch

By Michael J. Smith on Sunday January 16, 2011 03:03 PM

Sorry to say that I'm as ignorant as a rat about Tunisia and the recent events there -- though usually I love to see people running wild in the streets, and it's very encouraging that the Egyptian regime and the Israelis are worried about it.

Comments sought: is this a Good Thing or a Bad Thing? The real deal, or just another dreary Color Revolution? And why?

Comments (12)

Everything I know about Tunisia I cribbed while watching my son prepare a freshman history project for HS.

My impression is that Ben Ali was a sort of Saddam figure. Who knows what forces lie beneath the floorboards? Democracy? Taliban?

Meanwhile, dig the cat with the cig and sunglasses! Looks like a pretty interesting group of rebels...


People say that non-violence doesn't work, but beset me with 300 lawyers in the flesh and fuck it, you can have the country!


this is not a color revolution...not yet

in fact there's been too much
spontaneous non faction led upsurging here
and gun play too already
both not in the color job play book
ie this looks to be unsponsored
in fact like mubarak ali was our guy

the security forces seem to have xed out
the inside wings of any dissident org
right across the spectrum
from secular dumocratic to islamist

crow's naked horde here
inchoate to the 9's

jobless petty b types moved first
belatedly the wagery joined in
a healthy pattern
i suspect very different
from the anti ringo starr demos
in iran a while back

the reports of security forces and or army units roving about gunning down
stragglers and resolutes
and successful curfewing
of course these if true are not good signs

that this gets written up as a pre figuration
indicates a hope the masses blew off steam and will pipe down now

look for massive defiance of state orders tens of thousands in the streets
tomorrow or the next day or well ...wait until next year dodger fans

let us hope amok time continues until organization can take hold

as exiles return and hidden outfits that must be thee emerge into the light

Peter Ward:

Lenin's Tomb is a good place to start...


Thank you, Peter. According to lenin, and A'sad Abu-khalil (Angry Arab), this is the opposite of a color revolution. Ben Ali was a thoroughly corrupt thug and a whoremonger, as well as a US pal. I've also read that Wikileaks had a role in igniting the opposition.

lenin couples this with the unravelling of other ME states, including Lebanon, Egypt, and Sudan, and the simultaneous emergence of an Iran, Turkey, Syria block, supported by Russia, all very frustrating to US hegemony.

People get pissed when they're facing starvation. They're funny that way.


I blogged about it a bit over at my humble site.


War is God's way of teaching Americans geography. -- Ambrose Bierce

at the outset, this tunisian thing might as well be in another galaxy. expect madame secretary to contextualize it very soon and expect the usa to have important interests in the early return to stability of the unruly streets of ... wherever ... if and only if the some Nato state or states rely on energy exports and profits from wherever's oil fields .


of more interest to usa watchers will be the reaction of the regime to the return of Li'l Doc to Haiti... is it off to the Central African Republic or the executive suites of the Hotel George V, Paris?

this guy definitely needs some assist from the USMC!



the unity gub sham was inevitable
of course this is even shoddier then i expected

now the key question becomes
for those brave souls willing to risk all
and one only knows whether one has that in em
when the moment to dare and to act arrives
but the line of the people is obvious now
fully reject and opennly defy
the edicts of this shambola make shift cabinet

free elections in 60 days ??

mere words

more important by far then preparing candidate liss
--t a divisive debilitating process at best--
take and retain de facto control
of the main streets

secure by numbers
the basic liberty of mass assembly
at all and any hour

the security apparatus
has to be pressed till it pops ..
on that front its hard to believe
the facts are not already
either now or never

attacking only when victory
is a near certainty
is a luxury at this point

rule one
don't wait on the system for anything
run out ahead of it push push push

audacity always audacity as danton suggests

objective :
physically submerge
the houses of government in a sea of heads
comingle with the army units
if this is impossible
then popular liberation is impossible

declaration of press freedoms be damned
its a sign of fear by the elite
no more and of course no less

insure these freedoms by popular enforcement

mass occupations need to take over
the big daily papers and the broadcast system
at least put all these facilities under popular siege

smash off the sugar coating
take the promise and make it a fact

they promise to release all political prisoners
transmogrify that into
a mass march on the prisons
draw up lists of inmates unjustly imprisoned
demand immediate release
but only after surrounding the prisons themselves
with the aim of direct popular liberation
if action is not taken immediately

Just received this item from the author of the 1/17/11 Counterpunch reply to M.S. Alam's recent Islamist apologetics:


Looks like a worthy website, too.

Nick Hart:

Sounds like the real deal to me, and not some color-coded US-sponsored affair.



Wasn't a "colour revolution," although the demonstrators made skilful use of social media.

Looks like even most of the organized opposition groups were surprised by the rapid developments--i.e. this is quite a bit like a real revolution. Labour unions helped keep things going. Then the army refused orders, and that was it for Ben Ali.

Rapid price inflation of necessities was the goad in Tunisia, making the endemic corruption and arbitrary power, long borne, suddenly intolerable.

Then came the sublime courage and astonishing martyrdom of Mohammed Bouazizi, who contrary to most reports was not a university graduate, but a produce vendor full stop.

I am very happy to see the open discomfiture of the globalist investors, who until very recently kept touting Ben Ali's regime as a model for the Arab world.

Everyone has been dismissing the Islamic parties, and it is true that they played a very small role in the recent events. However, now that the secret police have been weakened, I predict that the Islamists to do better than most expect in any upcoming election. I'm not saying Tunisia will have a fundamentalist regime, but at any rate a more democratic Tunisia will become more conservative-looking than the pro-Western authoritarian gov't. The days of Eurotourists bathing nude in North Africa may soon be over.

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