In precisely 18 brief days, the younger protesters in Cairo's Tahrir sq. upended worldwide politics. now not even 3 weeks after the peaceable demonstrations all started, now not even weeks after pro-government thugs charged into the sq. on camels and horses to strength them out, probably the most entrenched leaders within the heart East and an established U.S. best friend, Hosni Mubarak, was once long gone -- and autocratic leaders from Morocco to Bahrain have been feeling the heat.
Where did this wave of anger come from? Why did it commence in Tunisia, and what does it suggest? FP's precise file starts off with a revelatory first bankruptcy that indicates how the innovative rumblings have been overlooked, relationship again to Issandr El Amrani's prescient caution to Barack Obama in January 2010: Egypt, he wrote, may be the ticking time bomb that overwhelms your foreign schedule. The assurance additionally features a dramatic daily retelling of the conflict to carry Tahrir sq., insider money owed of Washington's flip-flopping and fight to maintain with occasions, and a few of the world’s major authors and specialists, from James Traub to Gary ailing to Robert D. Kaplan, on the place we cross from the following.
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Extra info for Revolution in the Arab World: Tunisia, Egypt, and the Unmaking of an Era
The growth of Facebook, Twitter, and a Tunisian blogosphere— much of it based outside the country—made it increasingly easy for Tunisians to learn about the latest arrest, beating, or illicit business deal involving the president’s family. S. State Department communications in which the American ambassador described Ben Ali as aging, out of touch, and surrounded by corruption. S. ally, it mattered greatly to many Tunisians—particularly to politically engaged Tunisians who are plugged into social media—that American officials are saying the same things about Ben Ali that they themselves say about him.
Moreover, they didn’t play a particularly important role in organizing the protests that have presented them with this new opportunity. Can any of them, singly or together, convince Tunisians that they have the ability to cope with the country’s pressing problems and build a democracy? And what about the presidency? Ghannouchi has the virtue of experience, but his long service with Ben Ali will be a real handicap if he wants the job for a longer term. Other possible candidates have the virtue of principled opposition to Ben Ali, but they have been in exile or lack the bases of support in the country and its administration to easily assume such a critical post.
As long as you stayed out of politics, Ben Ali’s government left you alone and allowed you to make some money, buy a nice house or apartment, and live a better life than your parents lived. More recently, however, the Europe-dependent Tunisian economy was experiencing global-recession-related contraction—which hit university degree-holders of the sort that took to the streets against Ben Ali particularly hard. Then there is social media. When the definitive history of this era gets written, Facebook will get its own chapter.
Revolution in the Arab World: Tunisia, Egypt, and the Unmaking of an Era