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Grote demonstratie in Tunis eist vertrek president
globalinfo.nl - 14.01.2011 15:33

BBC meldt grote en aanzwellende demonstratie in Tunis, die (nog) niet uiteengeschoten wordt. Vertrek President Ben Ali geeist.

Gisteren (13 januari) hield de Tunesische president Ben Ali een toespraak waarin hij hervormingen beloofde en de vrijlating van gearresteerde demonstranten. Ook beloofde hij niet mee te zullen doen aan de volgende verkiezingen. De Tunesische regering hoopte daarmee de golf van demonstraties en botsingen met politie te stoppen die al sinds 18 december in het land woedt.
Sinds enkele dagen was die ook overgeslagen naar de hoofdstad Tunis.

Vandaag gingen toch weer mensen de straat op en ze eisten het vertrek van president Ben Ali. De politie houdt zich rustig, volgens de BBC (Zie verslag en beelden  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12189535). Het is "voor het eerst in 23 jaar" (toen Ben Ali aan de macht kwam) dat er vreedzaam gedemonstreerd kan worden. TunesiŽ is een politiestaat die aan alle kanten ondersteund wordt door de EU (dat zich ook opvallend stil hield over de repressie van de laatste maand). De bbc-correspondent meldt ook dat er ondertussen 'misschien wel 70 doden zijn gevallen'. Buitenlandse toeristen worden geŽvacueerd ( http://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2011/01/13/nederlandse-toeristen-teruggehaald-uit-tunesie/)

Geruchten gaan dat het Tunesische leger Ben Ali heeft laten vallen, wat de reden zou zijn voor zijn aangekondigde hervormingen. Ook binnen de diplomatieke dienaren van de regering groeit de onrust. De ambassadeur bij UNESCO in Parijs, bijvoorbeeld, heeft zijn hoed al genomen.

Zie ook Al Jazeera over de demonstratie:  http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/01/201111410345507518.html
Al Jazeera meldt (bij een gerepost filmpje van nawaat  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzVP2Mcemyk) dat er nog demonstranten neergeschoten werden na de toespraak van Ben Ali. Ook is er tenminste een lid van een linkse oppositiegroep gearresteerd. Veel bloggers en rappers zijn gearresteerd en het Electronic Freedom Foundation roept op om voor hen in actie te komen ( https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/01/eff-calls-immediate-action-defend-tunisian)

Zie voor meer achtergrond en voortdurende update hier:  http://www.globalinfo.nl/Nieuws/jaar-begint-met-voedselprijzencrisis-en-rellen.html

 
aanvullingen
uit dit artikel zijn aanvullingen verplaatst naar de ruispagina
noodtoestand 
globalinfo - 14.01.2011 18:41

De noodtoestand is afgekondigd. Traangas gebruikt tegen demonstranten Tunis:
 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12195025
President land uitgevlucht 
globalinfo - 14.01.2011 20:09

Ongelofelijk: Ben Ali is vertrokken:
 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12195025
President Ben Ali's extended family; View WL 
Secreet - 14.01.2011 21:51

08TUNIS679 2008-06-23 13:01 2010-12-07 21:09 SECRET Embassy Tunis

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTU #0679/01 1751355
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 231355Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TUNIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5219
INFO RUCNMGH/MAGHREB COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

SS E C R E T TUNIS 000679

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/MAG (HARRIS)
STATE PASS USTR (BURKHEAD)
USDOC FOR ITA/MAC/ONE (NATHAN MASON), ADVOCACY CTR
(REITZE), AND CLDP (TEJTEL AND MCMANUS)
CASABLANCA FOR FCS (ORTIZ)
CAIRO FOR FINANCIAL ATTACHE (SEVERENS)
LONDON AND PARIS FOR NEA WATCHER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/23/2018
TAGS: ECON KCOR PGOV EINV EFIN SOCI TS
SUBJECT: CORRUPTION IN TUNISIA: WHAT'S YOURS IS MINE

REF: A. TUNIS 615
∂B. TUNIS 568
∂C. TUNIS 365
∂D. TUNIS 169
∂E. TUNIS 113
∂F. 07 TUNIS 1489
∂G. 07 TUNIS 1443
∂H. 07 TUNIS 1433
∂I. 06 TUNIS 2848
∂J. 06 TUNIS 1673
∂K. 06 TUNIS 1672
∂L. 06 TUNIS 1630
∂M. 06 TUNIS 1622
∂N. 01 TUNIS 2971

Classified By: Ambassador Robert F. Godec for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

-------
Summary
-------

∂1. (S) According to Transparency International's annual
survey and Embassy contacts' observations, corruption in
Tunisia is getting worse. Whether it's cash, services, land,
property, or yes, even your yacht, President Ben Ali's family
is rumored to covet it and reportedly gets what it wants.
Beyond the stories of the First Family's shady dealings,
Tunisians report encountering low-level corruption as well in
interactions with the police, customs, and a variety of
government ministries. The economic impact is clear, with
Tunisian investors -- fearing the long-arm of "the Family" --
forgoing new investments, keeping domestic investment rates
low and unemployment high (Refs G, H). These persistent
rumors of corruption, coupled with rising inflation and
continued unemployment, have helped to fuel frustration with
the GOT and have contributed to recent protests in
southwestern Tunisia (Ref A). With those at the top believed
to be the worst offenders, and likely to remain in power,
there are no checks in the system. End Summary.

-------------------
The Sky's the Limit
-------------------

∂2. (C) According to Transparency International's 2007 index,
the perception is that corruption in Tunisia is getting
worse. Tunisia's ranking on the index dropped from 43 in
2005 to 61 in 2007 (out of 179 countries) with a score of 4.2
(with 1 the most corrupt and 10 the least corrupt). Although
corruption is hard to verify and even more difficult to
quantify, our contacts all agree that the situation is headed
in the wrong direction. When asked whether he thought
corruption was better, worse, or the same, XXXXXXXXXXXX
exclaimed in exasperation, "Of course it's getting worse!"
He stated that corruption could not but increase as the culprits
looked for more and more opportunities. Joking about Tunisia's
rising inflation, he said that even the cost of bribes was up. "A
traffic stop used to cost you 20 dinars and now it's up to 40
or 50!"

-----------------
All in the Family
-----------------

∂3. (S) President Ben Ali's extended family is often cited as
the nexus of Tunisian corruption. Often referred to as a
quasi-mafia, an oblique mention of "the Family" is enough to
indicate which family you mean. Seemingly half of the
Tunisian business community can claim a Ben Ali connection
through marriage, and many of these relations are reported to
have made the most of their lineage. Ben Ali's wife, Leila
Ben Ali, and her extended family -- the Trabelsis -- provoke
the greatest ire from Tunisians. Along with the numerous
allegations of Trabelsi corruption are often barbs about
their lack of education, low social status, and conspicuous
consumption. While some of the complaints about the Trabelsi
clan seem to emanate from a disdain for their nouveau riche
inclinations, Tunisians also argue that the Trabelsis strong
arm tactics and flagrant abuse of the system make them easy
to hate. Leila's brother Belhassen Trabelsi is the most
notorious family member and is rumored to have been involved
in a wide-range of corrupt schemes from the recent Banque de
Tunisie board shakeup (Ref B) to property expropriation and
extortion of bribes. Leaving the question of their
progenitor aside, Belhassen Trabelsi's holdings are extensive
and include an airline, several hotels, one of Tunisia's two
private radio stations, car assembly plants, Ford
distribution, a real estate development company, and the list
goes on. (See Ref K for a more extensive list of his
holdings.) Yet, Belhassen is only one of Leila's ten known
siblings, each with their own children. Among this large
extended family, Leila's brother Moncef and nephew Imed are
also particularly important economic actors.

∂4. (S/NF) The President is often given a pass, with many
Tunisians arguing that he is being used by the Trabelsi clan
and is unaware of their shady dealings. XXXXXXXXXXXX
a strong supporter of the government and member of
XXXXXXXXXXXX, told the Ambassador that the problem is
not Ben Ali, but "the Family" going too far and breaking the
rules. Nevertheless, it is hard to believe Ben Ali is not
aware, at least generally, of the growing corruption problem.
This might also reflect the seeming geographical divisions
between the Ben Ali and Trabelsi fiefdoms, with the Ben Ali
clan reportedly focused on the central coastal regional and
the Trabelsi clan operating out of the greater Tunis area and
therefore, generating the bulk of the gossip. The Ben Ali
side of the Family and his children and in-laws from his
first marriage are also implicated in a number of stories.
Ben Ali has seven siblings, of which his late brother Moncef
was a known drug trafficker, sentenced in absentia to 10
years prison in the French courts. Ben Ali has three
children with his first wife Naima Kefi: Ghaouna, Dorsaf and
Cyrine. They are married respectively to Slim Zarrouk, Slim
Chiboub, and Marouane Mabrouk -- all significant economic
powers.

--------------------------------------------
This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land
--------------------------------------------

∂5. (S/NF) With real estate development booming and land
prices on the rise, owning property or land in the right
location can either be a windfall or a one-way ticket to
expropriation. In summer 2007, Leila Ben Ali received a
desirable tract of land in Carthage for free from the GOT in
order to build the for-profit Carthage International School
(Ref F). In addition to the land, the school received a 1.8
million dinar (US $1.5 million) gift from the GOT, and within
a matter of weeks the GOT had built new roads and stoplights
to facilitate school access. It has been reported that Ms.
Ben Ali has sold the Carthage International School to Belgian
investors, but the Belgian Embassy has as yet been unable to
confirm or discount the rumor. XXXXXXXXXXXX asserted
that the school was indeed sold for a huge, but undisclosed sum.
He noted any such sale would be pure profit since Ms. Ben Ali's
received land, infrastructure, and a hefty bonus at no cost.

∂6. (S/NF) Construction on an enormous and garish mansion has
been underway next to the Ambassador's residence for the past
year. Multiple sources have told us that the home is that of
Sakhr Materi, President Ben Ali's son-in-law and owner of
Zitouna Radio. This prime real estate was reportedly
expropriated from its owner by the GOT for use by the water
authority, then later granted to Materi for private use. A
cafe owner recounted a similar tale to an Embassy employee,
reporting that Belhassen Trabelsi forced him to trade in a
cafe he previously owned in a prime location for his current
cafe. The cafe owner stated Trabelsi told him he could do
whatever he wanted there; if 50 dinar bribes to the police
were not effective, Trabelsi said the owner had only to call
him and he would "take care of it."

------------
Yacht Wanted
------------

∂6. (S/NF) In 2006, Imed and Moaz Trabelsi, Ben Ali's nephews,
are reported to have stolen the yacht of a well-connected
French businessman, Bruno Roger, Chairman of Lazard Paris.
The theft, widely reported in the French press, came to light
when the yacht, freshly painted to cover distinguishing
characteristics, appeared in the Sidi Bou Said harbor.
Roger's prominence in the French establishment created a
potential irritant in bilateral relations and according to
reports, the yacht was swiftly returned. The stolen yacht
affair resurfaced in early 2008 due to an Interpol warrant
for the two Trabelsis. In May, the brothers were brought
before Tunisian courts, in a likely effort to satisfy
international justice. The outcome of their case has not
been reported.

------------------
Show Me Your Money
------------------

∂7. (S) Tunisia's financial sector remains plagued by serious
allegations of corruption and financial mismanagement.
Tunisian business people joke that the most important
relationship you can have is with your banker, reflecting the
importance of personal connections rather than a solid
business plan in securing financing. The legacy of
relationship-based banking is a sector-wide rate of
non-performing loans that is 19 percent, which remains high
but is lower than a high of 25 percent in 2001 (Ref I).
Embassy contacts are quick to point out that many of these
loans are held by wealthy Tunisian business people who use
their close ties to the regime to avoid repayment (Ref E).
Lax oversight makes the banking sector an excellent target of
opportunity, with multiple stories of "First Family" schemes.
The recent reshuffle at Banque de Tunisie (Ref B), with the
Foreign Minister's wife assuming the presidency and Belhassen
Trabelsi named to the board, is the latest example.
According to a representative from Credit Agricole, Marouane
Mabrouk, another of Ben Ali's sons-in-law, purchased a 17
percent share of the former Banque du Sud (now Attijari Bank)
shares immediately prior to the bank's privatization. This
17 percent share was critical to acquiring controlling
interest in the bank since the privatization represented only
a 35 percent share in the bank. The Credit Agricole rep
stated that Mabrouk shopped his shares to foreign banks with
a significant premium, with the tender winner,
Spanish-Moroccan Santander-Attijariwafa ultimately paying an
off the books premium to Mabrouk. XXXXXXXXXXXX
recounted that when he was still at his bank he used to receive
phone calls from panicked clients who stated that Belhassen Trabelsi
had asked them for money. He did not indicate whether he advised
them to pay.

-----------------------
The Trickle Down Effect
-----------------------

∂8. (S) While the stories of high-level, Family corruption are
among the most flagrant and oft-repeated, Tunisians report
encountering low-level corruption more frequently in their
daily lives. Speeding tickets can be ignored, passports can
be expedited, and customs can be bypassed -- all for the
right price. Donations to the GOT's 26-26 Fund for
development or to the Bessma Society for the Handicapped --
Leila Ben Ali's favored charity -- are also believed to
grease the wheels. Hayet Louani (protect), a well-connected
member of Parliament, faced increased pressure from the GOT
after refusing several "requests" to donate money to
Trabelsi's soccer team. XXXXXXXXXXXX reported
that customs inspectors demanded 10,000 dinars to
get his goods through customs; he did not reveal whether
or not he acquiesced to the demand.

∂9. (S) Nepotism is also believed to play a significant role
in awarding scholarships and offering jobs. Knowing the
right people at the Ministry of Higher Education can
determine admission to the best schools or can mean a
scholarship for study abroad. An Embassy FSN stated that the
Director of International Cooperation, a long-time contact,
offered to give his son a scholarship to Morocco on the basis
of their acquaintance. If you do not know someone, money can
also do the trick. There are many stories of Tunisians
paying clerks at the Ministry of Higher Education to get
their children into better schools than were merited by their
test scores. Government jobs -- a prize in Tunisia -- are
also believed to be doled out on the basis of connections.
Leila Ben Ali's late mother, Hajja Nana, is also reported to
have acted as a broker for both school admissions and
government job placement, providing her facilitation services
for a commission. Among the complaints from the protestors
in the mining area of Gafsa were allegations that jobs in the
Gafsa Phosphate Company were given on the basis of
connections and bribery.

---------
Mob Rule?
---------
∂10. (S/NF) The numerous stories of familial corruption are
certainly galling to many Tunisians, but beyond the rumors of
money-grabbing is a frustration that the well-connected can
live outside the law. One Tunisian lamented that Tunisia was
no longer a police state, it had become a state run by the
mafia. "Even the police report to the Family!" he exclaimed.
With those at the top believed to be the worst offenders,
and likely to remain in power, there are no checks in the
system. The daughter of a former governor recounted that
Belhassen Trabelsi flew into her father's office in a rage --
even throwing an elderly office clerk to the ground -- after
being asked to abide by laws requiring insurance coverage for
his amusement park. Her father wrote a letter to President
Ben Ali defending his decision and denouncing Trabelsi's
tactics. The letter was never answered, and he was removed
from his post shortly thereafter. The GOT's strong
censorship of the press ensures that stories of familial
corruption are not published. The Family's corruption
remains a red line that the press cross at their own peril.
Although the February imprisonment of comedian Hedi Oula
Baballah was ostensibly drug-related, human rights groups
speculate his arrest was punishment for a 30 minute stand-up
routine spoofing the President and his in-laws (Tunis D).
International NGOs have made the case that the harsh prison
conditions faced by journalist Slim Boukdhir, who was
arrested for failing to present his ID card and insulting a
police officer, are directly related to his articles
criticizing government corruption. Corruption remains a
topic relegated to hushed voices with quick glances over the
shoulder.

------------------------
The Elephant in the Room
------------------------

∂11. (S) Several Tunisian economists argue that it does not
matter whether corruption is actually increasing because
"perception is reality." The perception of increasing
corruption and the persistent rumors of shady backroom
dealings has a negative impact on the economy regardless of
the veracity. Contacts tell us they afraid to invest for
fear that the family will suddenly want a cut. "What's the
point?" Alaya Bettaieb asked, "The best case scenario is that
my investment succeeds and someone important tries to take a
cut." Persistently low domestic investment rates bear this
out (Ref H). Foreign bank accounts, while illegal, are
reportedly commonplace. A recent Ministry of Finance amnesty
to encourage Tunisians to repatriate their funds has been an
abject failure. Bettaeib stated that he plans to incorporate
his new business in Mauritania or Malta, citing fear of
unwanted interference. Many economists and business people
note that strong investment in real estate and land reflects
the lack of confidence in the economy and an effort to keep
their money safe (Ref C).

∂12. (S) Thus far, foreign investors have been undeterred, and
according to Tunisian business contacts, largely unaffected.
Foreign investment continues to flow in at a healthy rate,
even excluding the privatizations and huge Gulf projects
which have yet to get underway. Foreign investors more
rarely report encountering the type of extortion faced by
Tunisians, perhaps reflecting that foreign investors have
recourse to their own embassies and governments. British Gas
representatives told the Ambassador they had not encountered
any impropriety. XXXXXXXXXXXX stated that several years ago
Belhassen Trabelsi attempted to strong arm a German company
producing in the offshore sector, but that after the German
Embassy intervened Trabelsi was explicitly cautioned to avoid
offshore companies. Despite pronouncements about increasing
domestic investment, the GOT focuses heavily on increasing
FDI flows to the country, particularly in the offshore
sector. Nevertheless, there are still several examples of
foreign companies or investors being pressured into joining
with the "right" partner. The prime example remains
McDonald's failed entry into Tunisia. When McDonald's chose
to limit Tunisia to one franchisee not of the GOT's choosing,
the whole deal was scuttled by the GOT's refusal to grant the
necessary authorization and McDonald's unwillingness to play
the game by granting a license to a franchisee with Family
connections.

-------
Comment
-------
∂13. (S) Although the petty corruption rankles, it is the
excesses of President Ben Ali's family that inspire outrage
among Tunisians. With Tunisians facing rising inflation and
high unemployment, the conspicuous displays of wealth and
persistent rumors of corruption have added fuel to the fire.
The recent protests in the mining region of Gafsa provide a
potent reminder of the discontent that remains largely
beneath the surface. This government has based its
legitimacy on its ability to deliver economic growth, but a
growing number of Tunisians believe those as the top are
keeping the benefits for themselves.

∂14. (S) Corruption is a problem that is at once both
political and economic. The lack of transparency and
accountability that characterize Tunisia's political system
similarly plague the economy, damaging the investment climate
and fueling a culture of corruption. For all the talk of a
Tunisian economic miracle and all the positive statistics,
the fact that Tunisia's own investors are steering clear
speaks volumes. Corruption is the elephant in the room; it
is the problem everyone knows about, but no one can publicly
acknowledge. End Comment.

Please visit Embassy Tunis' Classified Website at:
 http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/tunis/index.c fm
GODEC

 http://213.251.145.96/cable/2008/06/08TUNIS679.html
___________________________________________________
 http://213.251.145.96/origin/19_0.html
Staatsomroep BBC en Irak 
antimili - 15.01.2011 03:35

Het stoort mij dat Global Info continu de BBC opvoert als bron. Alsof de BBC niet de leugens van de Amerikaans en Britse overheid heeft helpen verspreiden over de vermeende atoomwapens in Irak, waarop de oorlog door werd goed gepraat en gerechtvaardigd. De BBC is 100 procent fout, verlengstuk MI5 en CIA. En waarom plaatst Indymedia dit bericht prominent op hun site?
commissie hutton over bbc/irak 
nn - 15.01.2011 03:42

 http://nos.nl/archief/2004/nieuws/index.html#@http://nos.nl/archief/2004/nieuws/dossiers/irak_wederopbouw/algemeen/achtergrondartikelen/kelly_hutton.html
What's Happening In Tunisia, Explained 
Nick Baumann - 15.01.2011 06:29

January 14, 2011 | in Mother Jones


What's Happening In Tunisia, Explained
The Tunisian dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (Ben Ali), has fled the country and the Army has taken power.


Reports just emerged around 12:30 p.m. Eastern time that the Tunisian dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (Ben Ali), has fled the country and the Army has taken power.

Want to know what's happening in Tunisia? Let me explain:

What is Tunisia? Tunisia is a mostly Arab, mostly Muslim country in North Africa. It is on the south side of the Mediterranean sea, east of Algeria and west of Muammar Gaddafi's Libya. Its capital is Tunis, and it has been ruled by dictators since it won independence from France in 1956. The current ruler, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (Ben Ali), has ruled since 1987. He is the kind of ruler who gets re-elected with 90 percent of the "vote."

What's happening? Violent riots and protests have spread across the country over the past four weeks. Now Ben Ali's totalitarian government seems to be collapsing. (Elliott Abrams, a former Bush administration official who unfortunately is rarely right about anything, thinks that if democracy can take hold in Tunisia, is could spread elsewhere in the Arab world, too.)

Why are Tunisians unhappy? Well, they don't have much freedom. But there also just aren't enough jobs. Official unemployment is 13 percent, but it's probably actually much higher. The combination of a repressive regime and a faltering economy is often bad news for the regime. Plus, the regime has diverted a lot of the country's wealth to Ben Ali's family and friends, so people are really upset about official corruption.

How did it all start? On December 19, authorities in the small, central city of Sidi Bouzid seized the produce cart that 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi was using to make a living. So Bouazizi set himself on fire. Young people in the small, central city of Sidi Bouzid rioted, and police moved to seal the city. In early January, Bouazizi died, becoming an early martyr for the cause. Brian Whitaker, the Middle East editor of the Guardian and a Tunisia expert, has agood article explaining how Bouazizi and Sidi Bouzid got the ball rolling on revolution.

What's the WikiLeaks connection? Foreign Policy's Christopher Alexander explains:

Shortly before the December protests began, WikiLeaks released internal U.S. State Department communications in which the American ambassador described Ben Ali as aging, out of touch, and surrounded by corruption. Given Ben Ali's reputation as a stalwart U.S. ally, it mattered greatly to many Tunisiansóparticularly to politically engaged Tunisians who are plugged into social mediaóthat American officials are saying the same things about Ben Ali that they themselves say about him. These revelations contributed to an environment that was ripe for a wave of protest that gathered broad support.

Hackers affiliated with Anonymous, a vaguely defined, loosely organized group that has defended WikiLeaks, hit Tunisian websites in early January.

What's the latest news? A visibly shaken Ben Ali appeared on national television Thursday night, promising reforms and indicating that he would step down in 2014. But protests only grew larger on Friday. The very latestói.e., what happened Friday afternoonóis that Ben Ali has fired his cabinet and promised legislative (but not presidential) elections in six months. Then he declared a state of emergency. Police are definitely shooting at protesters, according to an American quoted in this New York Times report. The very very latest is that Ben Ali has fled the country, according to Al Jazeera, and the Army has taken power.

How do I follow what's happening in real-time? Your best immediate resource is theTwitter feed of Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, a columnist for The National, the United Arab Emirates' leading English-language newspaper. The hashtag to follow (or "feed," as theTimes mistakenly dubbed it) is #sidibouzid, after the city where the first riots took place.#tunisie is another good option. Al-Bab, a blog written by Brian Whitaker, the Guardian Middle East editor mentioned above, is indispensable. Whitaker's latest postsó"Tunisia: Double or Quits," and "Tunisia: The Last Days of Ben Ali" are must-reads. If you're looking for a more US-centric view, you should also check out "Tunisia on the Brink of Revolution?" and "When Pro-Western Regimes Fall: What Should the U.S. Do?" over at Democracy Arsenal.

 http://www.alternet.org/news/149534/what%27s_happening_in_tunisia%2C_explained?page=1
---------------------------------------------------


Friday, January 14 2011
Wikileaks disclosures play key role in Ben Aliís outing

First of all I would like to say that I am sorry for the repression and the people who have died in Tunisia but excited about the unexpected overthrow of an Arab dictator by its own people.

While I am no expert on Tunisia and defer to others for an in depth analysis I have visited the country a few times as well as many other Arab countries (Syria, Lebanon, Morocco, Egypt and others) I am happy that a corrupt dictator who has been in power since 1987 was thrown out by popular rebellion. And as this article explains it took the American diplomats and Wikileaks efforts to reveal what many Tunisians suspected and that is the extent of the governmentís corruption and abuse. Now the paradox here is obvious. USA spends hundreds of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of human lives are lost in a bloody military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq with very little success. And instead, diplomats telling a detailed story about corruption in Tunisia and a group of determined journalist/hackers at Wikileaks accomplished what a decade of military intervention in the Middle East could not and that is a popular uprising against corruption and dictatoriship. Yes, the realities of Afghanistan, Iraq and Tunisia are different but as this New York Times article explains, many in the Arab world are watching Tunisia and wondering how long will they put up with their own Ben Alis.

It is interesting though that it took a combination of Wikileaks and US diplomacy to ignite the rebellion. Most likely if it had been Hillary Clinton alone telling this to the Tunisian people it would have backfired. I think the State Department should learn a lot from Tunisia and rethink Wikileaks.

Martin Varsavsky
 http://english.martinvarsavsky.net/middle-east/wikileaks-disclosures-play-key-role-in-ben-alis-outing.html
--------------------------------------
The Tunisians answer: yes we do 
said - 15.01.2011 06:36



Obama said: yes we can
The Tunisians answer: yes we do
proud to be tunisian
Regime change without the MOD 
triplex - 15.01.2011 06:45


The industrial/military complex cannot be happy with this.

Good Luck Tunisia.
aanvullingen/BBC 
globalinfo.nl - 15.01.2011 12:36

BBC is gewoon een van de burgerlijke 'kwaliteitsmedia' en dan van een groot Westers land, dus moet met die bril op gebruikt worden.

Nieuwe updates op globalinfo ( http://www.globalinfo.nl/Nieuws/jaar-begint-met-voedselprijzencrisis-en-rellen.html) zijn (het lukt niet om de links mee te kopieren):

Plunderingen en mysterieze ordetroepen (Al Jazeera)

Ben ali zit in Saoudi-ArabiŽ) (Al Jazeera)

Tunesia seeks to restore securty (BBC)

What's hapening in Tunisia explained (Mother Jones)

fotoserie

Why Tunesia's Revolution is Islamist-free (FP) (foto's)

The Great Food Crisis of 2011 (FP)
Plundering? 
AliBabba - 15.01.2011 12:51

Een foto van een plundering?


Geplunderd 
Moment opname - 15.01.2011 13:19

Gaat de regering door met plunderen?
After Ben Ali 
dearkitty - 15.01.2011 13:32

See also

 http://dearkitty.blogsome.com/2011/01/15/tunisian-dictator-gone-no-democracy-yet/

Website: http://dearkitty.blogsome.com/
 
doden bij gevangenisopstand 
globalinfo - 15.01.2011 15:24

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12198396
Arab Activism: Brought to you by a White Man 
Ed - 16.01.2011 11:43

Arab Activism: Brought to you by a White Man


Veel Tunesische blogger's en Twitteraars maken zich kwaad over de met name uit Westers landen komende analyses alsof het om een Twitter of Facebook revolutie gaat. Ook de verwijzing naar de veronderstelde invloed van WikiLeaks gaat hen veel te ver. Terecht denk ik net als de kritiek op dat er weken lang gesproken werd over voedsel en brood rellen.

Hier een van de reacties op WikiLeaks
 http://uhuh-she-said.tumblr.com/tagged/you_say_you_want_a_revolution

Verder zie voor meer kritiek
 http://www.d4net.nl/Midden+Oosten


E-Mail: d4net@xs4all.nl
Website: http://www.d4net.nl
 
Libie en Tunesie 
Ed - 16.01.2011 12:02

Angst bestaat dat Khadafi om onrust in zijn eigen land nu en in de toekomst in te dammen belang heeft de militia in TunesiŽ te steunen.

Er gaan cijfers de ronden dat het totale politie apparaat inclusief de veiligheidstroepen en militia bestaat uit 150000 mensen en dat op een bevolking van 10 miljoen. Het is grote dan het leger.
Zeker de veiligheidstroepen en militia hebben alle te verliezen. Zij zijn dan ook degene die een groot deel van de plunderingen uitvoeren. In Auto's en op motors rijden zij schietend rond. Angst aankweken bij de bevolking. Als je dat lang genoeg kun je hopen dat een deel van de bevolking verlangt naar vroeger.
Het leger probeert overal op te treden er zouden al 3000 politie agenten opgepakt zijn. De komende dagen zijn dus bepalend. Als er echter een ander land er zich mee gaat bemoeien in dit geval LibiŽ als buurland dan gaat het een hele andere dimensie krijgen.
De oude machtsstructuur in TunesiŽ is nog grotendeels intact maar er zijn ook berichten dat het leger mensen uit deze structuur oppakt zoals familieleden van de familie van Ben Ali en zijn schoonfamilie Trabelsi.
Een neef is doodgestoken en veel van de bezittingen van deze familie zijn gericht geplunderd.

E-Mail: d4@xs4all.nl
Website: http://www.d4net.nl
 
verbannen islamist tunesie keert terug 
nn - 16.01.2011 12:48

De verbannen leider van de Tunesische partij Ennahdha, Rached al-Ghannouch, keert terug naar zijn vaderland.
 http://www.powned.tv/nieuws/buitenland/2011/01/verbannen_islamist_tunesie_kee.html
Ambulance moordenaars 
Ed - 16.01.2011 12:53

Drie leden van de presidentiŽle garde gebruiken ambulance van ziekenhuis om te moorden.
 http://networkedblogs.com/d3VhQ

Website: http://www.d4net.nl
 
Yemen, Algerije, Sudan, Jordanie 
Ed - 16.01.2011 13:10

1000 studenten demonstreerden vandaag in Yemen

 http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/4021.aspx

In Algerije heeft gisteren een werkloze man zich in brand gestoken.
Er is een foto van maar ja..

Sudan
 http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110115/wl_nm/us_sudan_protest?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

JordaniŽ afgelopen vrijdag
 http://www.enduringamerica.com/home/2011/1/16/jordan-feature-protest-the-pressures-of-poverty-and-the-midd.html

Website: http://www.d4net.nl
 
Fotograaf Lucas Dolega overleden 
Ed - 16.01.2011 14:05

De Franse fotograaf Lucas Dolega is vandaag overleden aan zijn verwondingen Hij werd getroffen door een traangasgranaat afgelopen vrijdag in Tunis.
Hier een aantal foto's die hij die dag maakte.
 https://webgate.epa.eu//preview.php?WGSESSID=cb95056eeea5752907930d43d71dc0e1&SECTION=SEARCHRESULT&IMGID=00000402531386
Orders van de VS aan het leger 
Ed - 16.01.2011 14:30

Ahmed al-Khadrawi, an officer in the Tunisian National Guards, said that the military's Chief of Staff, General Rachid Ammar, who was removed by President Ben Ali on Wednesday, received last-minute instructions from the US Embassy to take charge of Tunisian affairs if the situation was out of control.

 http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/news/tunisian-officer-washington-tells-dismissed-chief-staff-take-charge

Website: http://www.d4net.nl
 
Oude regime stort in 
Ed - 16.01.2011 15:01

Het hoofd van de presidentiŽle garde Ali Seriati en een aantal collega's van hem zijn gearresteerd. Deze garde wordt in verband gebracht met plunderingen. Er zijn ook berichten dat een groot aantal leden van deze garde op weg naar LibiŽ zijn aangehouden na een vuurgevecht met het leger.
De voormalige minister van binnenlandse zaken die vorige week door Ben Ali in een laatst poging het tij te keren werd vervangen is ook zojuist gearresteerd. Het gaat dus de goede kant op.
fotograaf Lucas Mebrouk Dolega is niet dood 
Ed - 16.01.2011 21:42

De fotograaf Lucas Mebrouk Dolega is niet dood. Persbureaus schreven vanmiddag dat hij was overleden als gevolg van een traangasgranaat vrijdag in Tunis. Ik ging dan ook van uit dit klopte. Hij ligt in kritieke maar stabiele toestand in het ziekenhuis.
weer demonstraties, waterkanonnen 
globalinfo - 17.01.2011 14:30

Maandag: nieuwe demonstratie om vertrek van oude machthebbers (en hun veiligheidsdienst) te eisen. Mensen vertrouwen politie voor geen cent, militairen zijn populairder
 http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/01/201111781735384829.html
Fotograaf alsnog overleden in Tunis 
nn - 18.01.2011 13:51

 http://www.photoq.nl/articles/nieuws/actueel/2011/01/18/fotograaf-zwaar-gewond-tunis/
Tijdlijn dinsdag 18/01 
NN - 18.01.2011 16:02

Vooral over gebeurtenissen in Tunis, maar ook met updates over o.a. protesten in Egypte

 http://www.enduringamerica.com/home/2011/1/18/tunisia-and-beyond-liveblog-watching-the-regimes.html
Eerste ministers alweer vertrokken 
globalinfo.nl - 18.01.2011 18:19

Ministers quit new Tunisian govt

Troops battle protesters on the streets as at least three ministers resign from the country's new 'unity government'.
 http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/01/201111810106847770.html
De Tunesische Intifadah 
Ed - 19.01.2011 17:39

Na vanaf het begin de opstand in TunesiŽ intensief gevolgd te hebben werd het tijd om de verkregen indrukken daarvan in de vorm van een artikel aan de wereld prijs te geven.


De Tunesische Intifadah

Het belangrijkste signaal dat deze Tunesische intifadah geeft aan vooral de Arabische wereld, is dat het onmogelijke mogelijk is. Het is mogelijk om een dictatoriaal regime dat al decennia bestaat af te zetten door zelf, zonder een georganiseerde oppositie, in aktie te komen. De regimes in de Arabische landen zijn kwetsbaar.
De Tunesische Intifadah is dan ook een unieke en historische gebeurtenis die verstrekkende gevolgen heeft of misschien beter gezegd, een eerste verschijnsel is van een grote verandering in de Arabische wereld.

 http://www.d4net.nl/node/813

E-Mail: d4net@xs4all.nl
Website: http://www.d4net.nl
 
Tunisia and the IMF's Diktats 
Ed - 21.01.2011 13:03

General Zine el Abidine Ben Ali , the defunct and deposed president of Tunisia is heralded by the Western media, in chorus, as a dictator.

The Tunisian protest movement is casually described as the consequence of an undemocratic and authoritarian regime, which defies the norms of the "international community".

But Ben Ali was not a "dictator". Dictators decide and dictate. Ben Ali was a servant of Western economic interests, a faithful political puppet who obeyed orders, with the active support of the international community.

Foreign interference in Tunisia's domestic affairs is not mentioned in the media reports. The food price hikes were not "dictated" by the Ben Ali government. They were imposed by Wall Street and the IMF.

 http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22867

Website: http://www.d4net.nl
 
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