Hezbollah, Lebanon, March 14

Are All (Middle Eastern) Revolutions Created Equal?

The developments in Lebanon are little more than a distraction compared to the amazing events that have unfolded in Tunisia over the past couple of days. Demonstrating protesters! Police brutality! Collapsing governments! Fleeing autocrats! Thrilling stuff…

Now that the Western media has finally sat up to take notice of what’s been happening in Tunisia, several debates are developing in tandem. What will happen next? Was this the first Twitter revolution? The first Wikileaks revolution? Is the role of social media being overstated? Is social media actually harming the protesters’ chances of success? If you’re interested in following these stories, be sure to check in regularly with Foriegn Policy‘s Mideast Channel, and tune your Twitter feed to #Tunisia.

One thing I’ve found a little bit puzzling about some of the commentary on the “Jasmine Revolution” is the emphasis on the fact that the ousted dictator, Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, was an ally of the West. This is obviously true, but it’s not clear to me what this has to do with the protests themselves. Have we seen people marching in the streets of Tunis with signs denouncing America? Not really: the main target has generally been Ben Ali and his successor. And yet, the fact of Ben Ali’s ties to the U.S. is increasingly raised as a token of the “authenticity” of this particular Middle Eastern revolt, in distinction to certain other popular movements such as Lebanon and Iran in 2005 and 2009, respectively.

Let me put it another way. Let’s imagine that Tunisia’s revolution succeeds, ushering in a democratically-elected government. While tackling problems of unemployment and corruption, this government also establishes strong relations with America and Europe. Does anyone believe that these relations will push people out into the streets again to demonstrate against their government? Seems unlikely.

Why, then, is civic action in the Tunisian case more authentic to some people than the derisively-labeled “Gucci Revolution” in Lebanon, or the abortive Green Revolution in Iran that so many commentators dismissed as insignificant and over-hyped? Why does one get the sense that those who call for drastic political change in Egypt, for example, would prefer to tweet about the weather if such change came to Damascus or Tehran?

Similarly, doesn’t it diminish the significance of what is happening in Tunisia to compare it to the current Lebanese standoff, as my friend Nick Noe did today? (Nick, If you’d let people comment on your blog, I wouldn’t have to do it here!) He argues:

Having just come out of a meeting with Hizbullah officials, there is little doubt in my mind that the SMART play would be for Sayyid Nasrallah to endorse the Tunisian “process” NOW – to name it, embrace it etc (JASMINE REVOLUTION? The same mistake as Bush’s Cedar Rev? I wonder here strategically?) AS BREAKING THE sectarian attempts (which happened often in Tunisia) to split the Resistance Axis from the Sunni “street.” I am not sure Hizbullah has the courage to do this right now…. especially given the domestic choices it now faces as a result of its decisions over the past few days. Publicly highlighting the toppling, linking it to the toppling project in Lebanon and CALLING FOR A TRIBUNAL FOR THE SUNNI LEADER in Tunisia….. who has the blood of tens of thousands on his hands unlike the Hariri murder

Come on. Hizbullah’s walk-out is a “toppling project” akin to the Sidi Bouzid protests? Can one really imagine Lebanon’s Sunnis buying into that argument? To my mind, equating Hizbullah’s resignation from Hariri’s cabinet to the Sidi Bouzid revolt is not only a stretch: it cheapens the significance of the latter.

What we are witnessing in Tunisia today is a monumental event, despite the fact that it has almost nothing to do with the West. And like it or not, the March 14 protests in 2005 along with the Iranian Green movement were similarly monumental, despite the fact that the West was obsessed with them. I feel that a little bit more intellectual honesty is needed on these issues.

Back to the Twitter feed…

UPDATE: Nick Noe responds to this post here.
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Discussion

35 thoughts on “Are All (Middle Eastern) Revolutions Created Equal?

  1. I think it’s more that people with their own agendas are using the fact that he was an ally with the West to attack the West for being aligned with a repressive dictator.

    Posted by Travis | January 15, 2011, 2:56 pm
  2. Ya’ni ya QN, nothing can be more pathetic than Nick Noe and Anthony Shadid bravado who obviously have no clue about the history of Bin Ali, Tunisia and its political/Islamist movements of the last 30 years,

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb6511/is_5_41/ai_n28837572/?tag=content;col1

    Why did you even bother to quote them?

    By the way the Iranian uprising was not Green. It was Velvet.

    Now we have Yasmin. I like Yasmin odor.

    Posted by anonymous | January 15, 2011, 3:16 pm
  3. Haven’t you read Abukhalil?

    No [non-] Muslim, non-Arab reactions in solidarity with Tunisia

    The fact of the matter is that many of those who rightly pillory the US for only supporting democracy in countries that are unfriendly to Washington suffer from the flip side of that coin. It’s just as hypocritical and cynical as US foreign policy but doesn’t even have the excuse of realpolitik or les raisons d’état.

    To go back to the Angry Arab: “2) I judge a revolution by its sponsors: the sponsors of the Lebanese and Green Revolution are US, France, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.” … “5) I like revolutions that concerns Israel and not those that please Israel.”

    This explains why Abukhalil dismisses the Southern Sudanese referendum (by saying it’s meaningless because Southern Sudanese are illiterate) but is excited about Tunisia. One would imagine his excitement about protests in Libya varying with relations between Brussels/Washington and Tripoli.

    Posted by sean | January 15, 2011, 3:28 pm
  4. QN – This was my point: “Until the very day of the revolution’s victory the Anglosaxon media kept as quiet as it possibly could. This in marked contrast to its coverage of the Iranian Green Movement, which had a much narrower social base but was cast as a near-unanimous uprising, its martyrs were named and lionised, and reams of nonsense were written concerning the ‘twitter revolution’. Well, here was a secular mass movement calling for freedom and civil rights, using the new media, appealing to universal values, on the southern shore of the mediterranean – and nobody wanted to know.”

    I’m living in the West, and I’m pointing out the different media treatment of the two cases, which tells us something about the media here.

    I’ll have no problems if the new dispensation in Tunis establishes strong links with the West. That’s different from having a corrupt clique with business ties to the West and pursuing a foreign policy which takes Western ‘advice’ more into account than local interests.

    I don’t agree with Asa’ad Abu Khalil on everything, but I agree with this:

    Some have sent me asking for reasons for my enthusiasm for the Tunisian Revolution and not for the so-called Green (Early Khumayni) Revolution. Silly ones have suggested reasons having to do with the Arab identity of Tunisians. 1) The last notion is silly. I have been most critical of the Lebanese Cedar Revolution and wrote more against it than about any lousy Revolution, and the Lebanese are Arabs. 2) I judge a revolution by its sponsors: the sponsors of the Lebanese and Green Revolution are US, France, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. 3) I judge the movement by its leaders: Hariri and Musavi and Rafsanjani don’t inspire my enthusiasm. The Tunisian Communist Workers Party does. 4) There is no sectarian or religious slogans in the Tunisian movement, while there is plenty in the Green and Cedar revolutions. 5) I like revolutions that concerns Israel and not those that please Israel. 6) I never denied that there are sincere people and youths in the camp of the Green Revolution but that it is led by lousy individuals who raised lousy slogans: (Mousavi and Rafsanjani wanted to go to the early Khumayni “purity” or revolution. That is it. http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/01/on-tunisian-revolution-vesus-iranian.html

    Posted by Robin Yassin-Kassab | January 15, 2011, 3:31 pm
  5. Abukahlil is obviously suffering from a tunnel vision syndrome,

    http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/8C055FA3-9E24-4CBA-B786-0EBD8C00D4EE.htm?GoogleStatID=9

    Who is Abukhalil’s sponsor by the way?

    Posted by anonymous | January 15, 2011, 3:42 pm
  6. can anyone shed any light on the audio tapes released on al jadeed tonight?

    Posted by tamer k. | January 15, 2011, 3:42 pm
  7. QN,

    I couldn’t agree more. I am all for democracy wherever it happens in the Arab world as I strongly believe that democracy in the Arab world, wherever it happens is beneficial for Israel.

    I wonder if all the support the people in Tunisia are getting from the people you mention, the people of Syria would get if they do the same thing. Somehow I have the feeling that in Syria it would be seen as a “Zionist” conspiracy.

    Posted by AIG | January 15, 2011, 4:23 pm
  8. I’m mainly bemused by the bit on Nick’s blog about “split[ting] the Resistance Axis from the Sunni “street.”

    In Lebanon–which, frankly, is where it matters most for Hizbullah–the “Resistance Axis” is already well and truly broken from the “Sunni street” largely because of the actions of the “Resistance” itself: http://pewglobal.org/files/2010/12/2010-muslim-01-04.png

    As for Tunisia itself, it is worth remembering that, for the moment, the people in charge are the RCD and the military–that is, the old regime, not a new one. That in no way diminishes what Tunisians have achieved, and it in no way predicts the RCD will stay in power post-elections (if we get there). Heck, they might not hang on for the next 60 days. The regional implications could be substantial.

    However, what has happened so far is that the existing regime jettisoned its president to save the regime–and so far, they’re still afloat.

    Posted by Rex Brynen | January 15, 2011, 4:43 pm
  9. I’m pretty sure if those nations neighbouring Israel were to actually shake off their despots and the will of the people were to actually influence policy, Israel would cease to exist in a heartbeat. Unless of course, by ‘democracy’, you meant Egypt and Tunisia …

    Posted by w_led | January 15, 2011, 4:44 pm
  10. Elias, you’ve got the significance of the “Green” thing in Iran wrong.

    It was an attempted color coup. There was no election fraud; the best analysis to date being this:

    http://brillwebsite.com/writings/iran2009election.html

    And, no less than four credible public opinion polls taken of Iranians inside Iran mirror the official election results, with a solid majority supporting their present form of governance:

    http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brmiddleeastnafricara/652.php?lb=brme&pnt=652&nid=&id=

    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/65872019/Iran-Public-Opinion-2010

    Iran endures challenges to its national security from extra-regional powers, for which this “Green” thing was propped and manipulated.

    It didn’t work. It was not “monumental.” And it is now irrelevant inside Iran.

    That’s not to say there’s not a more liberal element to the leadership and electorate of Iran. But this element currently represents a minority of only about 30%. And in a democracy–as opposed to mob rule–it is the majority that win an election, not the mob on the street representing the minority seeking to overturn the result. That is the opposite of democracy.

    Professor Mirandi of the University of Tehran recently wrote a paper in which he alluded to the occurrence of what’s taking place in Tunisia right now. Of the Arab dictatorships, most of which are propped up by US support, he stated “the center cannot hold.”

    http://www.raceforiran.com/the-islamic-republic-of-iran-the-united-states-and-the-balance-of-power-in-the-middle-east

    He has a few references to Lebanon, as well. It’s worth the read, Elias.

    Posted by Pirouz | January 15, 2011, 4:49 pm
  11. Well, other than that pesky Israeli nuclear capacity, w_led ;)

    Posted by Rex Brynen | January 15, 2011, 4:52 pm
  12. Rex,

    wait! what nuclear capacity!!?? :)

    Posted by w_led | January 15, 2011, 4:56 pm
  13. (rewritten with URLs modified to avoid moderator)

    Elias, you’ve got the significance of the “Green” thing in Iran wrong.
    It was an attempted color coup. There was no election fraud; the best analysis to date being this:

    http://brillwebsite.com/writings/iran2009election.html

    And, no less than four credible public opinion polls taken of Iranians inside Iran mirror the official election results, with a solid majority supporting their present form of governance:

    www |dot| worldpublicopinion |dot| org/pipa/articles/brmiddleeastnafricara/652.php?lb=brme&pnt=652&nid=&id=

    www |dot| docstoc |dot| com/docs/65872019/Iran-Public-Opinion-2010

    Iran endures challenges to its national security from extra-regional powers, for which this “Green” thing was propped and manipulated.
    It didn’t work. It was not “monumental.” And it is now irrelevant inside Iran.

    That’s not to say there’s not a more liberal element to the leadership and electorate of Iran. But this element currently represents a minority of only about 30%. And in a democracy–as opposed to mob rule–it is the majority that win an election, not the mob on the street representing the minority seeking to overturn the result. That is the opposite of democracy.
    Professor Mirandi of the University of Tehran recently wrote a paper in which he alluded to the occurrence of what’s taking place in Tunisia right now. Of the Arab dictatorships, most of which are propped up by US support, he stated “the center cannot hold.”

    www |dot| raceforiran |dot| com/the-islamic-republic-of-iran-the-united-states-and-the-balance-of-power-in-the-middle-east

    He has a few references to Lebanon, as well. It’s worth the read, Elias.

    Posted by Pirouz | January 15, 2011, 4:58 pm
  14. w_led,

    Let’s assume Israel has no nuclear weapons and overnight Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon become real democracies. Please explain how that brings to the end of Israel. In fact, it will be good for Israel because while most Arabs do not like Israel most also do not like fighting wars. So what will happen is that there will be regimes that may not have peace with Israel, but certainly would not be at war with Israel. Israel can easily live with that.

    Posted by AIG | January 15, 2011, 5:05 pm
  15. Western support for most Arab regimes–in terms of aid–is actually rather marginal relative to overall government revenues. Certainly there is political support, intelligence cooperation, and so forth. Weapons are almost always purchased however, and not “given”–and the Russians and Chinese would be equally pleased to sell them if the US, France, or UK didn’t. As Syria, Sudan, and Iraq (1990-2003) show, Arab dictatorships are fully capable of staying in power without US assistance.

    What may be more important, IMHO, are the signals the US sends to key regime constituencies.

    Posted by Rex Brynen | January 15, 2011, 5:40 pm
  16. What’s more significant than direct subsidies are the loans and guarantees. e.g. The Algerian regime could not have successfully suppressed the democratic movement in the early ’90’s without such help from many Western countries (among them, unfortunately, my own country, Canada).

    Posted by Roland | January 15, 2011, 8:25 pm
  17. AIG, you are utterly delusional. A democratic Arab world will immediately open up the doors for all forces who want to resist Israel’s racism and help bring the millions of refugees back home with tears of joy. Even if the new governments will not be capable at first of directly engaging Israel militarily, they will allow unfettered support to flow to every aspect of the Palestinian movement. Borders will open, financial and military aid would flow to/from/through Egypt, Jordan, the Gulf and beyond in addition to what already flows through Syria and Lebanon. Volunteers would flock in, and resistance organizations with the kind of effective guerilla tactics employed by Hizbullah in 2006 would multiply. Israel would undoubtedly do what it has always stupidly done best and engage in more massacres and blundering displays of military bravado. But now the popularly elected governments would be pressured by their populaces to engage in the fight more effectively and not to back down. And with the US voice in the region increasingly ineffective, Israel’s Apartheid regime would have fewer friends to turn to internationally and increasingly find itself in the position of the South African Apartheid regime in it’s last days. Isolated and a pariah as the pictures of it’s ever-growing civilian target victims multiply even as the right of return and BDS movements gain more traction internationally. Israel should fear a democratic Arab world, it is a more powerful weapon by far than Israel’s entire arsenal of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons combined.

    Posted by Non-Arab Arab | January 15, 2011, 8:38 pm
  18. Non-Arab Arab,

    No Arab country will do what you say because that strategy exactly made Lebanon pay a huge price. Any state that allows groups to attack Israel, will be viewed as a legitimate target. Why do you think Syria has not fired a shot in anger in the Golan since 1973? In what sense is Hezbollah effective if it is afraid to attack Israel since it knows it will be the end of Lebanon? Most Lebanese hate Israel and do not want peace, but they also do not want war. And it will be the same in all other Arab countries. All the countries need economic development and job creation, and wars with Israel will only make things worse.

    Posted by AIG | January 15, 2011, 11:03 pm
  19. Stay delusional AIG, it hastens the end of Zionist Jim Crow. You vastly underestimate the willingness of people throughout the Middle East to support the freedom of the exiled Palestinian people and stand up to the Israeli bully. You badly misread Hizbullah which maintains and grows it’s strength knowing racist Israel with its inherently violent ideology will find an excuse to attack innocents again and bring the time to undermine them to the fore o n their own with no help from the outside. Israel has never once had a “legitimate target”, 90+% of the people throughout the region know this, just as they now know from 2006 how false the Zionist goliath’s show of power is beneath the laser-guided knickers, and no matter what subtle diplomatic games a democratic government might have to play in Egypt, Jordan, Syria as the Zionists spread their inevitable stench of death, the will of people and popular pressure to support Palestinians in their quest for freedom will grow and not shrink. Zionists’ days are numbered as democracy advances in the region, especially when leftist movements are able to influence as in Tunisia. I welcome your delusions, especially in thinking that dictatorial Syria and sectarian Lebanon (long the fascist plaything of fascist Israel) somehow gives you a model for predicting the future. You seem incapable of realizing how even these two stunted examples have produced the most capable resistance Israel has ever faced thanks to a narrow sectarian support base, and how a wide support base would multiply this power exponentially. I strongly suggest you join those calling for a secular, unified state from the river to the sea so that the end of Israeli Apartheid can come South Africa style.

    Posted by Non-Arab Arab | January 16, 2011, 5:19 am
  20. http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/3926.aspx

    Silvan Shalom understands what Arab democracy would mean for Israel.

    Syria is unlikely to see events like Tunisia, because people are divided by sect and fear sectarian chaos, becuase people fear foreign (israeli) intervention, because Bashaar al-Asad (though not the regime surrunding hin) is more popular that Ben Ali was. But if there was a genuine anti-regime mass movement involving a very broad base of the population (as opposed to a foreign-promoted ‘colour-coded’ exercise) then of course I would support it. The fact of broad national unity, as we have seen in Tunisia, means that sectarianism etc is no longer a danger.

    Posted by Robin Yassin-Kassab | January 16, 2011, 10:26 am
  21. What a democratic Egypt and Jordan might do WRT Israel.

    Neither would or could challenge Israel militarily.

    Neither would allow guerrilla operations from their territory.

    It is not even clear they would renounce their respective peace treaties.

    BUT….

    They would

    1) End their participation in the siege of Gaza. (Israel can besiege it by itself, but will have to do its own dirty work)

    2) Support Hamas politically over Abbas/Fayyad

    3) Withdraw any support to the ‘peace process’ exposing it as the charade that it is.

    4) Condemn any Israeli incursion into Lebanon or Gaza rather than rationalize it as Mubarak and Abdullah did in 2006, 2008.

    5) Improve relations with Iran and Syria.

    6) Which would put pressure on Saudi Arabia to do the same.

    None of these things would cause Israel to cease to exist. Certainly Israel can “live with them.” But It would be less comfortable than how they are living now.

    Note that none of these would be acts of war, or even pretexts for another to start a war.

    Now if some form of democracy were to come to Saudi Arabia, the possibilities would be endless. None of them would require firing a single bullet Israel’s way.

    Posted by Lysander | January 16, 2011, 12:06 pm
  22. What Shalom is saying is that if Mubarak falls he would be replaced with the Muslim Brotherhood. Now, the MB will have two choices:
    1) Keep the peace treaty with Israel
    2) Dissolve the peace treaty

    If they choose 1, what has changed?
    If they choose 2, Israel will retake the Sinai and the US will stop supporting Egypt and the West will cut trade with Egypt. Egypt will be in dire economic straits and become even more weak. If you think this is what the Egyptian people want, it is you that is delusional.

    Posted by AIG | January 16, 2011, 12:08 pm
  23. A democratic Arab world will immediately open up the doors for all forces who want to resist Israel’s racism and help bring the millions of refugees back home with tears of joy.

    Non-Arab Arab,

    If that’s the case, then why doesn’t the Arab street call for democracy? What are YOU doing to hasten Arab democracy?

    Volunteers would flock in, and resistance organizations with the kind of effective guerilla tactics employed by Hizbullah in 2006 would multiply.

    Non-Arab Arab,

    Why is it fanatics like you keep talking a good game about detroying Israel, and then, suddenly, when Israel defends itself, you start crying about Israeli “massacres”?

    The world understands that every country has the right to self defence. Meanwhile, the US along with the Islamic fundamentalists are killing orders of magnitude more arabs and muslims than Israel could ever dream of.
    So who crys about what they are doing?

    Also, Israel has no “apartheid” regime, Arabs have equal rights in Israel. At least that is what several NGOs are saying:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Israel

    Posted by Akbar Palace | January 16, 2011, 12:42 pm
  24. w_led and Non-Arab Arab,

    Keep thinking the way you do and you will join the club of perpetuators of Arab negativism which – as AIG correctly points out – has led to nothing but misery and poverty and destruction. Anyone who thinks Hizballah has served the interests of Lebanon and the Lebanese people and that the 2006 war was a “divine victory” is evidently delusional. It is sad that what I would assume are educated people – maybe people living in the West (if you do, just go back to whence you came from; you don’t deserve the freedoms you enjoy) – continue this shortsighted, misguided, and utterly ignorant line of thinking and expectation.

    Remember all the wars that the Arabs lost to Israel. Expect more of the same if the scenario you paint happens.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 16, 2011, 12:49 pm
  25. Know also that the Palestinian themselves, at least the sane among them, want nothing of the scenarios you’re depicting. Hamas is a different story, but then who thinks Hamas will ever produce anything for its people other than misery?

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 16, 2011, 12:51 pm
  26. QN,

    You’re making a mistake in your logic. Because, if an Arab country reaches democracy and install a democratic governement, then BY DEFAULT it will NOT be pro-american.

    Because the Arab Crowd is pro-Palestine and pro-Arab, therefore a democratic representation of this crowd will – de facto – be pro-arab and against the West.

    Why do you think that all the leaders of the pro-West countries are dictators?

    Because the only way for the West to keep friends as leaders in arab countries is… to have them be dictators !!!

    Democracy in an arab country = listening to the people = pro-Palestine foreign policy = anti-West.

    Simple as 1+1=2.

    cheers,

    Posted by Tunisian | January 16, 2011, 1:11 pm
  27. Tunisian,

    The point we are making is that the Tunisians would be like the majority of Lebanese:
    1) Anti-Israel
    2) Anti war with Israel
    3) Pro economic growth and therefore pro trade and interaction with the West.

    All 3 positions are not contradictory and in fact held by the majority of Lebanese. No Tunisian will support sending a Tunisian army to help the Palestinians, that is all we mean.

    Posted by AIG | January 16, 2011, 1:53 pm
  28. Tunisian,

    You take as a given that “pro-Palestine foreign policy = anti-West”
    You are mistaken.
    First you have to define what “pro-Palestine” means. I’d much rather think of “pro-Palestinian,” as in supporting the Palestinian people in improving their circumstances, their lives, the future of their children. Such is not equivalent to anti-West. On the contrary.
    Being anti-West just to be anti-West is the ultimate in stupidity. There has to be a reason. The “West” is made up of democracies where real debate, most of the time civil and occasionally overheated, real elections, determine outcome.
    The path to asserting one’s opinion and rights is through such systems and through debating and arguing from within such systems.
    The more widespread the education in the Arab world, the less the blind influence of religions, and the more the evolution towards betterment of life, towards democracy, towards real peace for all the people in the region, including Israel and Palestine.

    The conviction with which you equate your opinion with “1+1=2″ betrays your narrow minded, monochromatic and misguided thinking.

    Posted by Honest Patriot | January 16, 2011, 2:06 pm
  29. Yes, I was making a quick post with shortcuts.

    And of course i’m being completely pragmatic, meaning i’m talking about the coming years with a realistic world (i.e. america still dominant).

    The arab crowd, if given a voice, will mostly take a much more pro-palestinian stance than what their leaders are doing.

    Arab leaders are often quite about Palestine because they know they’re being watched by their western masters.

    A wave of democracy in the arab world will of course bring the official voice of the arab countries to be matching the voice of the arab street: i.e. pro-palestine ~ anti west.

    Anti West is a shortcut to say that when the West is looking for its own interest in the middle east, saying NO to these moves is being “anti-west”. That’s all. It’s not about some grand scheme of civilization shock, it’s just a stance.

    You’ll have to show how we can be “pro-palestine” and “pro west” at the same time? I’d love to hear that.

    The west is indeed made up democracies with debates …. INSIDE. To the outside world, the West is pretty much a monochromatic bloc that is moving ONE WAY.

    Quick proof:
    – With ben ali in power, Mossad was in Tunisia
    – Now ben ali is gone, Mossad is leaving (20 already flee!).

    That’s a simple, pragmatic example.

    Posted by Tunisian | January 16, 2011, 2:17 pm
  30. AIG,

    With pro-West leaders arab countries couldn’t have solid stance regarding palestine and iraq and so on … now, if the arab crowd put ITS people on top, the voice of the arab crowd will be heard truthfully.

    This will be different for the West when negotiations or bargains will have to take place …

    Posted by Tunisian | January 16, 2011, 2:20 pm
  31. Tunisian,

    Where is the “proof” that 20 Mossad agents were in Tunis and that they left? Can you link to any credible source?

    Posted by AIG | January 16, 2011, 5:20 pm
  32. AIG:

    Here

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4013971,00.html

    They are called “tourists”.

    To make you think, in the video where the “swedish/german” “hunters” were arrested in the street of Tunisia, you hear Tunisians all around naming Mossad as a first reaction.

    It’s well known from all Tunisians that the Mossad had agents in tunisia to help ben Ali against whoever.

    So yeah, we know who these “tourists” are. Of course you’ll say i’m imagining things because the Zionist Regime had no history of lying …. (sarcasm).

    Posted by Tunisian | January 17, 2011, 6:25 am
  33. Tunisian,

    If they were Mossad agents, why would Israel publicize this at all? They were real tourists whose families were worried about them. I had friends that visited Tunisia and my parents visited Morocco as tourists. If that is your proof, conspiracy theories that are “well known”, then you have no proof at all.

    Posted by AIG | January 17, 2011, 11:13 am
  34. Really. The short of it here is that the big difference between how Tunisia is viewed and how Iran/Lebanon are viewed is that Iran/Lebanon are a centerstage for regional politics and knee deep in the Israeli-Palestinian issue and the US/Iran issue by extension.
    Tunisia is not. So revolutions there are not viewed through the prism of “conspiracies”.

    Posted by Bad Vilbel | January 17, 2011, 2:52 pm
  35. Arabs view the Tunisian revolution very differently compared to the “Gucci” or “Green” ones in Lebanon and Iran. The real difference lies in legitimacy. The Tunisian revolution is viewed as genuine, unifying, organic and pure, while the other two were tarnished, divisive, exploited and largely manufactured or promoted externally. The “revolutions” in Lebanon and Iran happened with full support from the west, while the Tunisian revolution took place despite the west trying to undermine it for a month.

    Posted by Idaf | January 20, 2011, 6:29 am

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