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January 24 2011


Les grandes puissances n’aiment pas les bouleversements politiques qui leur échappent et contrecarrent leurs plans. Les événements qui ont fait vibrer la Tunisie depuis un mois n’échappent pas à cette règle, bien au contraire.

Il est donc pour le moins surprenant que les grands médias internationaux, suppôts indéfectibles du système de domination mondiale, s’enthousiasment soudainement pour la « Révolution du jasmin » et multiplient les enquêtes et reportages sur la fortune des Ben Ali qu’ils ignoraient jusque là malgré leur luxe tapageur. C’est que les Occidentaux courent après une situation qui leur a glissé des mains et qu’ils voudraient récupérer en la décrivant selon leurs souhaits.


Washington face à la colère du peuple tunisien | - par Thierry Meyssan 20110123

January 23 2011




Tagged entries on oanth of all kind of
informations concerning the Tunisian protests:
starting from 14th Jan 2011 - here:

To find older entries (before 14th Jan 2011)
use also Tunisia or Tunisie

oanth -- muc -- 20110123
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So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.
Reposted fromRockYourMind RockYourMind
YouTube - Riz Khan - Is social media driving reform in the Arab world?

AlJazeeraEnglish | 21. Januar 2011

What impact will Tunisia's popular uprising have on neighbouring countries and could social media become the driving force for political reform in the Arab world? Riz Khan talks to Sami Ben Gharbia, the co-founder of the Tunisian website, Nasser Weddady, the outreach director at the American Islamic Congress, where he promotes civil rights through social media, and Wael Abbas, an Egyptian blogger and activist who regularly reports on corruption.


// there are a lot of commentaries on this matter now in the international media scene: imo, for those who are familiar with the subject the first 10 min may be scipped. - oanth


Libyans are just as hungry as Tunisians | Hisham Matar - The Guardian 20110121


The first president of Tunisia, Habib Bourguiba, 70 years old by then, sat at a simple table with a microphone in front of him and a small glass of water to one side. He wore a French suit, his grey hair was slicked back, and he had on a pair of square dark glasses. He looked like Jorge Luis Borges. But, unlike the Argentinian author, Bourguiba wasn't a gifted orator. As a public speaker, the Sorbonne graduate lacked tact and was given to excitement. "What is the point of uniting 1.5 million Libyans with 5 million Tunisians?" he asked, mockingly.

It became clear, as Bourguiba went on, that he had two objectives in mind: to deflate and mildly humiliate the young Nasserist Libyan, and to outline his vision of the Arab world. Bourguiba's thesis was as simple as it was poignant: for the Arab people to build secure states and societies, they ought to concern themselves not with Arab unity, but with education and development.



January 19 2011

Middle East: A Closer Look at Tunisia's Uprising

Written by Amira Al Hussaini

As Tunisians continue to grapple with the fast paced events of the few previous days which saw the fall of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his escape, Arab bloggers continue to share their thoughts and reflections on the Tunisian uprising and what it spells for the rest of the region.

Syrian Abu Kareem, at the Levantive Dreamhouse, explains what is ‘invigorating' about the Tunisian uprising to its Arab neighbours. He says:

It is perhaps its spontaneity, its lacks of designated leaders that give it the feel of a genuine, popular uprising and not an ideologically-driven coup destined to serve the desires of a narrow constituency. It is easy as an Arab, to resign oneself to the fact that the region's stagnant and sclerotic political systems are immovable and immutable. It is exactly this state of hopelessness and inertia that most of the region's leaders strive to instill in their people. It kills hope, prevents progress and keeps the leaders in power. So I hope that the leaders across the region take note and that a cold chill runs down their spine as they watch the events in Tunis unfold; perhaps it will make them reconsider their ways.

Bahraini Emoodz broke his blogging silence vow to chant VIVE LA TUNISIE!

He remarks:

I watched with great excitement the events as they unfolded in Tunisia; in all honesty I had very little hope that the events will evolve and reach where it reached today. No matter how much research I carry out I still can’t understand how the Tunisian were able to overthrow a regime in a month’s time.

Emoodz adds:

There is this great sense of excitement going around the Arab World over what had happened, news agencies and political analysts are all of a sudden talking about how Tunisia is just the beginning to what is expected to have a domino effect and extend to other Arab governments in the region, which I think is highly improbable…

In a post entitled Tunisia, Prove us Wrong, Saudi Hala_In_USA poses the following questions:

In the aftermath, all eyes in the Arab world is tuned to Tunisia, would this be a new beginning of unprecedented democracy in the Middle East? would it lure other countries to follow? or would it fall in the grab of Islamists or the same old Bin Ali‘s men under different labels?

She also shares her anxiety:

I have  a mixed feeling in this regards, while I share the same fears of Robert Fisk of the ugly truth, that countries in the region as well as in the West will probably never support a true democracy in Tunisia, for fear that it may bring unfavorable outcomes, that the people in power would only accept Arab state that would support Western best interests, the hate toward Iran and a tight control of their people… Yet,  I still believe that lessons of oppression and corruptions have been taken well by Tunisians, that they will not easily forget the body in flames of Bouazizi, they will always remember the days of oppression, poverty, and limited resources brought about by totalitarian regimen, I hope that Tunisia would lead the way for a new era, to see justice and experience for the first time a people government, to prove us wrong, and to prove that people do have a choice, can have a choice and can make a better future for themselves…

Algerian-American Kal, writing at The Moor Next Door, is also apprehensive. He notes:

The Tunisian case, with all its idiosyncrasies (the legacy of Bourguiba, secularism, its high rate of education and women’s rights) it represents something new in Arab politics that observers must continue to pay attention. Early on the Sidi Bouzid events were dismissed as bread riots and were not appreciated for they ended up being. This blogger was cautious, mostly for the same reason others were: things like this weren’t supposed to happen in countries like Tunisia. What was written here during the uprising happened only because it happened in the Maghreb (and because it seemed . . . strange). What should be very sad is if all the work Tunisians put into their intifada was hijacked by old party people and officers and put on course for rule by committees or strong men as has been the case following so many times before. The question remains: what will be done?

From Israel, Yael, at Life in Israel, predicts that Egypt could be next:

The events in Tunisia –the first collapse of an autocratic regime in the Arab world due to a popular uprising that has implications for the wider region –are unlikely to, at least in the immediate future, spark a domino effect of uprisings and overthrows in other countries in the region. But pretty much all the experts are saying to keep a very sharp eye on Egypt because it is quite possible that Egypt is going to be the next one to go.

She adds:

The Arab masses (not just in North Africa but the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula) have watched the fall of the Tunisian regime blow by blow, creating the possibility that the public in many countries may find inspiration in the Tunisian experience. It is too early to say how things will unfold in the Middle East and North Africa, as each state has unique circumstances that will determine its trajectory. What is certain, however, is that a regional shift is under way, at least to the extent that governments can no longer continue with business as usual.”

Syrian Qunfuz takes a closer look at whether this “domino effect” is possible in the region. He writes:

If there is a domino effect, it won’t be immediate and it won’t proceed evenly. Current conditions in Iraq obviously will not permit a unified national uprising against the government. Such language is not even relevant. In Syria the president is reasonably popular, even if the regime around him isn’t. And if the president were to fall dramatically from popular grace, Syrians fear that revolution would lead to sectarian war and Israeli intervention – both real possibilities. Saudi Arabia is too tribally divided, and many sections of society are too comfortable, for revolutionary disruption. The angriest population in the kingdom is the oppressed Shia community, but any action on their part would be fiercely opposed by the Wahhabi heartland. Bahrain, with a politicised and intelligent Shia majority facing an oppressive Sunni ruling family, is a more likely candidate for change. Egypt is the unknown quantity. On the one hand, the failure of Mubarak’s gangster regime has been resounding. On the other, very many Egyptians do not have the leisure to think about anything except their next meal. They don’t follow events on Facebook or even on al-Jazeera. And we can be almost certain that any serious attempt at popular revolution in Egypt would result in thousands of deaths. (But that can play both ways – nothing generates a revolution like a series of funerals. See Ali Farzat’s picture above.)

Perhaps in six months’ time non-Arab commentators will decide that the Tunisian revolution was a mere anomaly in an eternally stagnant Arab world. But they’ll be wrong. The revolution will exert a long-term pervasiveness throughout Arab culture, as the Iranian revolution did before it. It will change the air the Arabs breathe and the dreams the Arabs dream.

Meanwhile, back in Bahrain, Mahmood Al Yousif is worried that Tunisia will now go from one extreme - to the other. He writes:

I’m willing to bet that the pendulum now will swing from the one extreme of robbing the Tunisian people of one important element of their identity, religion – through to the other end and we’ll see the rise of Islamism and Islamist sentiments.

So who and what gets sacrificed at the alter of extremism? Common sense and moderation.

Al Yousif adds:

We have quite a lot to learn from the “Tunisian Experiment”, and the wise will benefit most if they take time to understand what transpired and why and try to enact those lessons in their own societies with the inculcation of the respect for human rights and their freedoms of faith, association, thought and speech, and not to shove one doctrine or another down people’s throats.

La semaine qui a fait tomber Ben Ali

Dès le 4 janvier 2010, jour de la mort du jeune Mohamed Bouazizi, qui s'est immolé par le feu le 17 décembre 2010 à Sidi Bouzid, « Le Monde diplomatique » a décidé d'envoyer un journaliste en Tunisie. Du jeudi 6 janvier au jeudi 13 janvier, il a sillonné le pays, de Tunis à Tozeur, de Metlaoui à Gafsa, de Sidi Bouzid à Sfax puis Sousse. Son article paraîtra dans notre dossier du numéro de février. En attendant, voici le récit au jour le jour d'une semaine qui est d'ores et déjà entrée dans l'histoire (...) - Lettres de... / Tunisie, Mouvement social, Violence, Dictature, Répression
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Juan Cole: Tunisia Uprising “Spearheaded by Labor Movements, by Internet Activists, by Rural Workers; It’s a Populist Revolution” (Democracy Now!) | Informed Comment


JUAN COLE: Well, it’s a revolution—you know, all revolutions are multiple revolutions happening at the same time. So there’s a strong element of economic protest. There’s a class element. Twenty percent of college graduates are unemployed. There’s extreme poverty in the rural areas. And the regime was doing things that interfered with economic development. They would use the banks to give out loans to their cronies, and then the cronies wouldn’t pay back the banks, so they were undermining the financial system. And that made it—and the extremeness of the dictatorship, the demands constantly for bribes, discouraged foreign investment. So the regime was all about itself. It was doing things that were counterproductive. And it injured the interests of many social groups—the college-educated, the workers. Now, the three ministers that pulled back out of the national unity government today were from the General Union of Tunisian Workers, which is an old, longstanding labor organization. So, it was a mass movement; it included people from all kinds of backgrounds. ‘


Read the whole thing.

January 18 2011


Interim Tunisian government sworn in amid protests - 3rd Update | Earth Times News 20110118

Tunis - Tunisia's new transitional power-sharing government was sworn in Tuesday, with the exception of four ministers, including one from the opposition, who resigned on the first day or were absent.Three ministers from the General Union of Tunisian Labour (UGTT) stepped down in protest over the reappointment of several ministers from ousted president Zine el-Abidine ben Ali's Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) party.A fourth minister, Mustapha ben Jaafar, leader of the Union of Freedom and Labour party (FDTL), one of three opposition leaders named to the government, was also absent for the swearing-in.Sources within his party told the German Press Agency dpa that Ben Jaafar had refused to join the government, also in protest over its weighting in favour of the RCD, which is widely seen as corrupt.The prime minister, minister for foreign affairs, finance, interior defence are all RCD members, who kept their jobs in the new administration.The resignations came as thousands of people continued to demonstrate for more reforms.In capital Tunis and in the southern cities of Sfax, Tataouine and Medenine, Tunisians took to the streets to protest the RCD's ongoing grip on power.Riot police fired tear gas and baton-charged demonstrators in Tunis, in scenes reminiscent of the protests that toppled Ben Ali, albeit far less violent.Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi defended the reappointment of the RCD ministers, saying they had "clean hands and plenty of competence."They kept their portfolios "because we need them in this phase (of building a democracy)," Ghannouchi, who also kept his job, told France's Europe 1 radio.Tunisia's Islamist movement Ennahda denounced what it called a "government of national exclusion."The government is charged with restoring stability after a month of demonstrations in which 78 people died, and organizing parliamentary and presidential elections within six months. <!-- google_ad_section_end -->
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What Sparked Tunisian Revolution?
Samer Shehata: A police state exercising total suppression of freedoms is more brittle and open to falling than a semi-authoritarian regime
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Juan Cole: Tunisian Revolution Shakes, Inspires Middle East | Juan Cole's Columns - Truthdig - 20110118

The Tunisian uprising that overthrew the 23-year-old regime of strongman Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali had resonances throughout the Middle East. Leaders of countries invested in the region’s authoritarian and highly unequal status quo rejected the political revolution, while groups and states that want change welcomed it. The spectacle of masses of demonstrators pouring down Bourguiba Avenue on Friday, overwhelming security forces and putting the president to flight, raised the hopes of the dispossessed and the downtrodden, even as it inspired a gathering dread in the breasts of the region’s dictators and absolute monarchs. Whether or not, as many observers rushed to predict, a wave of discontent will radiate from Tunis throughout the Arab world (and there are reasons to be cautious about that prospect), the “Jasmine Revolution” is a Rorschach test for distinguishing reactionaries from innovators in the region.



// oanth - A survey on the reactions and estimations in the Middle East & Maghreb region

January 17 2011

China: Tense days and nights in Tunis

Written by John Kennedy

The uprising in Tunisia has been widely reported on in Chinese media, and was one of the top stories online over this past weekend. Below are excerpts from a series of posts from a woman living in Tunis, blogging at under the name ‘tiger6698′.

突尼斯流血暴乱 (2011-01-13 04:51:54)
January 13: Tunisia's bloody riots





On the 17th of last month, a young man in the southern city of Sidi Bouzid attempted self-immolation in protest of brutal treatment by chengguan, which was followed by bloody clashes between the protesting public and the National Guard; as of now, more than 60 have died (official numbers).

It was on the 24th of last month that we went south to the desert for Tunisia's annual “international desert festival”. There was still no feeling then of the storm brewing, we saw many people of every sort and from every country, but with Oriental faces few and far between, our arrival added more than a little color to the barren dry desert.

Once we got home, we started hearing snippets about the unrest; at the time, we didn't think much of it, as Tunisia is known as Europe's own backyard and the political situation has always been rather stable, with friendly and kind people. What we didn't expect was that the clashes would continue to grow and begin to spread. More clashes took place, then riots and protests, then bloodshed, and then this Tuesday schools were closed indefinitely.

Tunisia is a beautiful place; now happens to be Tunisia's rainy season, and with Spring coming, flowers are blossoming and everything is coming back to life. Yet, none of this has been able to stop the bloodshed, and I sincerely hope that these violent clashes end soon.

突尼斯宵禁之夜 (2011-01-13 04:55:13)
January 13: Tunis' night under curfew




We heard word this evening that Tunis is now under curfew from 8pm until 6am during which nobody will be allowed to go out freely; anyone caught in the gunfire or any other accident will be responsible for themselves.

Later at the cafeteria, everyone was talking about this, and those quickest to react had already been to the supermarket to stock up on food. But the scene they described leaves the rest of us with little hope of being able to get anything from the supermarket tomorrow: the meat counters were all empty and next to nothing was left on the shelves. They were only able to rush and buy a few bags of dried goods, spaghetti and crackers. What worries us most is that before they'd even gotten out of the store, the security guards were already about to shut the doors, even with hundreds of people waiting outside wanting to come in and buy stuff. One wanted to lock up and the other didn't and there was an intense dispute, the sound of children crying, people arguing….just made an already tense atmosphere all the more terrifying. They hurriedly paid and left quickly through the back door.

According to them, the parking lot was packed full of cars, and outside people were waiting in a panic to start buying.





Usually around six at night is when the streets are at their busiest, but now you rarely even see a car go buy, everywhere is deserted. We finished dinner and drove home, all the shops were already closed. We were heartened to finally see a vegetable shop still open as everywhere else was closed, but they too were about to close up, even though inside was packed full of people. We rushed out of the car and got in line. The owner laughed when he saw us, I guess their shop has never seen so many people in it before.

I was able to buy some potatoes, turnips, greens and one carrot (it was the last one left, I guess the woman standing next to me hadn't noticed it, she was buying up every kind of vegetable in the shop), and those who came with us bought a lot too. If the supermarkets don't open, and we eat through everything stored at the cafeteria, at the very least we'll have enough food to last a few days, we won't starve.

On the way home ours was the only car on the road, no sign of the bright lights and activity usual for this hour, and the smell of gunpowder had begun to fill the air.

By the time curfew began, the streets of Tunis were filled with fully-equipped soldiers and armored vehicles and every sort of military vehicle. We could hear ambulance sirens outside, with the occasional rat-tat-tat of gunfire.

Hands of Tunisian youth, from Flickr user 3afsa

在突尼斯抢购 (2011-01-13 22:59:45)

早上醒来便早早的打开电脑查看一下有没有最新的消息,结果还真的有,昨天晚上骚乱和暴动已经蔓延至LAC区,而就在昨日夜间,靠近家乐福方向(ADECCO)区域遭到攻击,闹事群众已经将此区域的一家 MONOPRIX超市烧毁,而我们食堂附近的MONOPRIX也从今日起暂停营业;而突尼斯西部和中部已失去控制,军队已撤出此两个城市,表示放弃镇压。昨天夜间,在西部区域发生11名女孩被强奸事件。暴动群众完全失控。外交部领事司及驻突使馆也发出了安全防范,减少不必要的外出,尽量不要前往事发地区或人员聚集场所,务必注意安全的提醒。 

This morning I got up early and turned on the computer to see if there was any news, and there definitely was. By last night, the rioting had already spread to the Lac district, and Adecco district near the Carrefour was attacked overnight. Angry crowds even burned down a Monoprix supermarket there, and the Monoprix near our canteen has closed starting today. The west and south of Tunisia are already out of control, and the army has already left withdrawn from two cities, suggesting that they'll cease the repression. Sometime last night, an 11-year-old girl was raped in the western region. The crowds of rioters are already out of control. The foreign ministry attache and the embassy here have sent out a advisory warning us to take safety precautions, to only go out when necessary and to stay out of the affected areas and away from gatherings of people.




I really don't know how I should feel about all this news, it feels as though it isn't real. I opened the window and went out onto the balcony, a cold wind was blowing, I couldn't help but start shivering, and then I looked down. Just yesterday, there were parents watching their children laugh and goof around outside the school downstairs, but not a single one of them came today. All there is are the few small flags flapping in the wind, with the faint distant sound of ambulance sirens.

Yesterday when I told my husband of the gunshots I'd heard, he said they sounded like firecrackers. Yeah, they really do sound like firecrackers, it's just that our firecrackers are for when we celebrate, but right now here we're all worried, worried that people out there are getting hurt each time we hear the “firecrackers” or the frequent sound of ambulance sirens.

The sound of keys in the door, it turned out to be the cleaning lady. I showed her some pictures online, then she started making gestures like of somebody getting shot……

在突尼斯蜗居 (2011-01-15 03:29:21)



Today Tunis went on general strike, and everything is dead quiet outside our home, possibly because we live quite far from the city center and presidential palace.

I originally thought the curfew was only in place for Thursday night, but I only later heard from somebody that until an order comes down to lift the curfew, it stays in place. Last night as I was coming home after dinner at the canteen, every shop I passed had their metal gates pulled down tight, and behind the glass windows standing quietly behind them, inside was completely empty. Shop-owners have already moved all their goods out. The air is quiet, the houses are quiet, the roads are quiet, the only thing not quiet are people's hearts.





Last night, the President gave a speech on TV: Ben Ali says that he will respect the country's constitution, and promised that he won't alter the constitution so that he can remain in power. Ben Ali also promised to immediately implement “full and absolute” press freedom for the country, and that any media or journalist, within professional boundaries, may now perform their duties freely. The government will meet the public's “legal demands” and immediately launch “full, absolute and pervasive” political and economic reforms. But at the same time, he emphasized that reforms require a stable environment and the cooperation of all layers of society. He promised that the government will take immediate steps to lower the costs of daily life goods and essential services, and increase government relief subsidies for impoverished families.

When people heard that, curfew or no curfew, they all came out and cheered.

The government's declaration was truly moving, and I don't know if this storm is over now, if beautiful Tunisia will be able to return to peaceful life.

“不堪一击”的突尼斯政坛 (2011-01-15 16:43:07)
January 15: Tunisian politics fell with just one blow


The unthinkable has happened, I really have no idea how to describe how I feel now. So many things happened today, things I think the vast majority of people could never have predicted or imagined.



The kind of injustice that has taken place here in Tunisia, in China, isn't really a big deal. And what caused all this are things that, for Chinese people are almost trivial. But for here, what that young Tunisian did was something very radical and resulted in a fire which now blazes all across Tunisia, which used to be so calm, and has changed the country's political sphere, as well as its course of history. This young man will forever be guaranteed a spot in Tunisia's history books.



Yet what's most unimaginable about all this is that although the government has mobilized the army, it's shocking how matter-of-fact soldiers are being about this. At one protest, someone went up and started shaking hands with soliders, and others have gone up and welcomed them with cheek kisses…….only to then go on their way, it's a completely positive mood.
……to be frank, these soldiers are too soft-hearted. If this was the Chinese government, they've have killed every last one of them at the get-go, never mind holding out for the president to flee. If this was China, whoever was holding the guns would be in charge… seems Tunisians could really stand to learn from China; China's history goes back thousands of years, but there hasn't been a single dynasty that was chased off by completely unorganized unarmed rioters.

We keep hearing the drone of helicopters on patrol, what will tomorrow bring for Tunisia?

突尼斯--危机四伏 (2011-01-16 03:49:52)
January 16: Tunis—danger on all sides


The President and part of his family have arrived in Saudi Arabia, Tunisian authorities began arresting his cronies. The Prime Minister was set to succeed the President today, but according to article 57 of the Tunisian constitution, the head of the National Assembly temporarily assumes the role of President. Having power transition to the second in command, just shows how unharmonious Tunisia's bodies of authority are, and this unharmoniousness has only exacerbated instability in the political situation and in social order. At the same time, now there's word that a fire broke out in a prison in the tourist city Monastir to the east, resulting in 42 deaths. Reasons for the fire are unclear. Also, a friend called me and said he heard that armed individuals whose of unknown origin opened fire on a crowd, and that Tunisia has even now become of interest to Al Qaeda's North African branch……all of Tunisia is in anarchy now, government offices are all closed, the international airport has been taken over by the military, and crimes such as supermarket and home robberies are happening all over. Here in the capital Tunis, some citizens have spontaneously organized and now carry sticks to protect the safety of their communities……

别怕,我有枪! (2011-01-17 00:53:14)
January 17: Don't worry, I have guns!



At lunch, those who went to the embassy meeting came back, and my husband and others went nervously back to work.

From the embassy I learned that last night people of unclear identity were firing machine guns into apartment buildings, and in the south of Tunisia two Chinese were accidentally injured. The embassy has warned us to refrain from going outdoors as much as possible and to keep safe. Here I thought the situation was about to clear up, I hadn't anticipated that that was merely a quiet pause in the storm. At this very minute, within my earshot are the constant sounds of consecutive gunshots, of military aircraft flying periodically overhead at low range, I have no idea what's going on outside around us. And just now a colleague rang me up saying that barriers have been set up all around them to prevent people from wandering in. And their landlord, a 60-something year-old guy, holding a knife in each hand, told them: don't be afraid, I have guns, when the time comes we can all work together.



The situation is becoming increasingly muddled, the ex-president's supporters are using armed force to protect areas where they still have control, and new forces are relying arms to defend their own power too; most frightening are those deliberately creating trouble to take advantage of the situation and stock up their own arsenal, while the innocent public are haplessly left stuck in the middle most probably to end up smashed like eggs!

Tomorrow I go back to work! Beautiful, warm Tunis, peace will return soon, inshallah!

Libya: Gaddafi Wages War on the Internet as Trouble Brews at Home

Written by Amira Al Hussaini

Libyan leader Muammar Al Gaddafi managed to offend both Tunisians and netizens from across the world wide web in his address to the Tunisian people, following the fall of the Zine El Abidine Ben Ali regime. With trouble brewing at home and Libyans taking to the Internet to vent off, could Gaddafi be foreseeing his doom as a “victim of Facebook and YouTube”?

In a televised address, he regretted the end of Ben Ali's 23-year rule, saying that he had hoped the Tunisian dictator would continue to run Tunisia “for life.”

Gaddafi, who has headed Libya since 1970, also brushed off cyber-activism as “lies” fabricated by drunkards and netizens high on drugs, describing the Internet as a “vacuum cleaner,” that had the capacity suck everything.

The Internet, he added, was a tool created by “them” - to ridicule “us.”

In his address he said:

حتى أنتم إخواني التوانسة ، ربما أنكم تقرؤون في الكلينكس هذا ، والكلام الفارغ في الإنترنت . وهذا الإنترنت ، الذي أي واحد أهبل ؛ يسكر ويحط فيه أي كلام ، هل تصدقه !. الإنترنت هذا مثل الكناسة التي ترمي فيها أي حاجة ، فأي واحد تافه ؛ أي واحد كذاب ؛ أي واحد سكران ؛ أي واحد مخمور ؛ واحد شارب الأفيون ؛ يقدر يقول أي كلام في الإنترنت ، وأنتم تقرؤونه وتصدقونه .. هذا كلام بدون فلوس.. هل نصبح نحن ضحية لـ «فيسبوك» وضحية «الكلينكس « وضحية «يوتيوب»!، نصبح ضحية الأدوات التي صنعوها هم لكي يضحكوا بأمزجتنا !..
Even you, my Tunisian brothers. You may be reading this Kleenex and empty talk on the Internet.
This Internet, which any demented person, any drunk can get drunk and write in, do you believe it? The Internet is like a vacuum cleaner, it can suck anything. Any useless person; any liar; any drunkard; anyone under the influence; anyone high on drugs; can talk on the Internet, and you read what he writes and you believe it. This is talk which is for free. Shall we become the victims of “Facebook” and “Kleenex”* and “YouTube”! Shall we become victims to tools they created so that they can laugh at our moods?
*Kleenex is Gaddafi's reference to Wikileaks

Writing from Boston, Jillian C York notes:

So, while Qaddafi may not be taken seriously, any overtures he makes toward the Internet’s dangers could be well-taken by regional leaders. As we’ve seen with Tunisia (and Iran), this matters…and it doesn’t. Tunisians were operating under a strictly censored Internet, and yet still managed to disseminate information across a variety of social networks. On the other hand, any stakes a government can drive through its net-enabled civil society, it will.

She continues:

Qaddafi sees Tunisian Internet usage during the uprising as an American conspiracy (which I would state very strongly, it is not – such a suggestion is offensive to the large and longstanding Tunisian blogging and social media community).

On Twitter, the mood is that Gaddafi spoke out of turn, catapulting Libya to the forefront of online discussions, especially since Libyan netizens are starting to vent off about troubles of their own online - using the very same tools their leader predicted would make victims out of them.

Libyan Ghazi Gheblawi observes:

Speaking to many Libyan intellectuals, activists and bloggers, all are upset of 's speech about , most r disgusted

Libyana Americana notes:

#Gaddafi is so sad about “Zine” being gone…he misses his friend…

Egyptian columnist Mona Eltahawy weighs in:

Gotta hand it to though - no other dictator is mad enough to give a speech about revolution.

And she adds:

told that “not a normal person”, which explains why Gaddafi told in speech Saturday that BenAli best leader.

Tunisian Haykel Azak reminds us:

It's always a pleasure listening to speak because you never know what shit will come flying out of that mouth

And Kuwait-based Aya Kabbara asks:

@ are the rumors true? Are producers working on a documentary in anticipation of his fall?

Egyptian Ayman Shweky remarks:

ليبيا بالعالم العربى كدولة البانيا البدائية بقلب اوربا لا دستور لا قانون لا برلمان لا اعلام مفيش فير الاخ القائد
Libya in the Arab world is like primitive Albania in the heart of Europe - no constitution, no law, no parliament, no media. There is nothing there other than the Comrade Commander

Yazeed, from Saudi Arabia, jokes:

القذافي يعلن اقفال جميع محلات الخضار في ليبيا
وينصح المواطنين بشراء الخضروات المعلبة
خوفاً من ظهور شبيه للبوعزيزي .

Urgent: Gaddafi orders the closure of all grocery stores in Libya and advises citizens to buy canned vegetables out of fear of the appearance of a copycat Bouazizi

And Razan Saffour, from London, UK, notes:

goodness, I can't believe is a president. He is an actual JOKE.

From the UAE, Mishaal Al Gergawi observes:

Looks like that Gaddafi speech wasn't that effective after all.

And Jordanian Tololy concludes:

Ah so it WAS Gaddafi who inadvertently sparked the protests in through a speech! (Arabic)

Meanwhile, information is seeping slowly out of Libya about unrest. Just like it was in neighbouring Tunisia, the war is on on the Internet in Libya, with news of websites being hacked.

On Al Bab, Brian Whitaker remarks:

Just two days after the overthrow of President Ben Ali in Tunisia, videos are circulating of disturbances in neighbouring Libya. Needless to say, this is causing a good deal of excitement on Twitter.

He continues:

Almanara, a Libyan opposition website which appears to have Islamist leanings, has posted three videos of protesters in the city of al-Bayda. There are also a few more on YouTube and al-Jazeera has a report in Arabic.
The facts are still rather unclear, but Almanara says the demonstrators clashed with security forces, threw stones at a government building and set fire to one of its offices. The protesters were demanding “decent housing and dignified life”, according to the website. Provision of housing appears to be the main issue and there are reports of people taking over apartments and squatting in them.

Today, Whitaker brings us more news. He writes:

Yesterday, I noted that a Libyan opposition website, Almanara, had posted videos showing disturbances in Libya during the last few days. After that, something odd happened: the website disappeared. Trying to access Almanara this morning, I simply got an error message.
Conceivably this could be just a technical glitch, but I suspect not. A YouTube video of the protests, which I linked to at the same time, has also disappeared and there are claims on Twitter that access to social networking websites inside Libya is being blocked. Another Libyan website, Libya Almostakbal, reports that it has been attacked twice since Friday.
Several copies of the videos, which I didn't link to yesterday, are still available on the internet. I won't provide links to them all, but here is one of them – just to see what happens to it.
The protests themselves have not been reported in the official Libyan media, apart from a statement from the Revolutionary Committee condemning them.
Meanwhile, the cause of the trouble is becoming clearer. It's about delays in providing subsidised housing, and since Thursday activists in several towns have taken over hundreds of empty properties.

Stay tuned for more coverage from Libya.



> Comment le pays peut-il se remettre d'un tel chaos ?

« C'est une catastrophe pour le tourisme, qui fait vivre 50 % de la population. Franchement, je ne vois pas comment on pourrait organiser des élections d'ici deux mois. ce sera long, très long pour surmonter un tel traumatisme. »

> Pourquoi les événements ne se sont-ils pas calmés ?

« Tout simplement parce que le vice-président qui a remplacé Ben Ali est apparu à la télévision flanqué d'un proche qui avait du sang sur les mains, une véritable ordure. Le peuple a vu rouge. »


Momo Dridi : « La Tunisie vit un effroyable chaos » - Actualité Boulogne | - 20110117

Confusion, fear and horror in Tunisia as old regime's militia carries on the fight | World news | The 20110116

Tunisian capital witnesses violent clashes between armed forces and those loyal to former president Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali

January 16 2011

France: Our Embarrassing Ex Friend, Monsieur Ben Ali

Written by Claire Ulrich

It has finally dawned. After decades of state amitié (friendship) with the Zeinabidine Ben Ali regime and indifference from French politicians and mainstream media, French bloggers and twitterers are now aware that France has been living in a prolonged state of denial.  The resounding silence of the French government and long complicity with the Ben Ali regime are now questioned at last.

Nicolas Sarkozy and Zinedine Ben Ali during a state visit, on the Tunis tarmac, 2008 (Screen capture of official video)

[All links points to FR sites, unless otherwise mentioned] Late on January 14th, when news broke that ousted president Ben Ali and his family were fleeing Tunisia after massive demonstrations in the capital, Tunis, and a month of bloody repression, the French government issued a statement saying it “acknowledged” this “transition” change and sat back in a silence that has been its strategy for weeks. The French public understood that the Elysée  Palace was facing deep embarrassment. News surfaced first on Twitter that some of Ben Ali's relatives had landed earlier that day in France.

rosselin #mickeys #pathetique RT @mathieuge: une partie de la famille Ben Ali refugiée à Disneyland 

rosselin#Mickeys #pathetic RT @mathieuge : relatives of the Ben Ali family hidden at Disneyland

Ben Ali was then expected to seek asylum in France. It was later revealed that he had indeed tried to seek refuge in France, but was sent on his way (to Saudi Arabia) by his ex friends on account of the “unrest in the Tunisian diaspora” his presence here would cause. A single tweetappeared on the Elysée Palace Twitter account during that night - a sign of deep embarrassment and total diplomatic chaos:

elysee : La France répondra à toutes les demandes des autorités tunisiennes sur les avoirs tunisiens en France

elysee: France will answer any inquiry from Tunisian authorities on Tunisian investments in France.

The Ben Ali plane's route: From La vie en rose on Facebook, via Albab blog

Louis Calveroon Le post now stresses the disastrous management” of the “Tunisian crisis” by French authorities:

On connait l’arrogance de la France, toujours prompte à expliquer l’Amérique à Obama, l’Europe à Barroso, et la vie à n’importe qui. Pourtant là, alors que Washington convoquait l’ambassadeur tunisien et que le monde clamait son inquiétude, Paris se taisait.

We are familiar with France arrogance, always eager to explain what America is to Obama, what Europe is to Barroso, and what life is about to anyone else. In this instance, Washington summoned the Tunisian ambassador in the United States, the world shouted its concern, while Paris just kept silent.

There is worse. As the Tunisian protests  intensified,  French ministers and former ministers, continued to support Ben Ali and his achievements. The French diplomacy made with a hideous statement on January 11th, that will not be forgotten by Tunisians, and which finally shook the French public to pay attention to their government's attitude.

Michèle Alliot-Marie, French foreign minister, Photo Wikimedia

In this video, Michèle Alliot-Marie, Minister of Foreign Affairs, is speaking officially at the National Assembly, stating that France was ready to “offer technical support” and ” the know how of French police to the Tunisian police” .

L'arabe, French blogger of Tunisian origin writing on C'est la gêne, rounded it perfectly the following day:

En gros, vouloir prêter main forte au régime de Ben Ali, c’est comme de dire qu’on va aller filer un coup de main, comme ça, entre voisins, à un tueur en train de dépecer sa victime dans une allée, en bas de l’immeuble.

In short, offering to help the Ben Ali regime is like saying that we are going  to lend a helping hand, as friendly neighbours, to a murderer while he is slaughtering his prey in an alley in front of the building.

Hundreds of outraged comments have cropped since, like this one, on the blog of radio talk show host Jean-Marc Morandini :

Quelle déconnexion inouïe avec la réalité du terrain, à moins que cela ne soit de l’expression d’une incompétence coupable. Ou d’un cynisme incommensurable.

What an incredible lack of perception of reality on ground.Unless it's the expression of an unforgivable  incompetency.Or of an unmeasurable cynicism.

In what is “the day after” the fall of Ben Ali, things are pacing up. French twitterers are now directly challenging \ the Twitter accounts of the Elysee Palace and of  the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which have both  gone silent on Tunisia.

A new  and fast growing Facebook  French group, Ben Ali Wall of Shame , has been created, dedicated to all the French  politicians and personalities who supported Ben Ali, inviting members to post proof (pictures, videos, quotes).  A video of Nicolas Sarkozy's speech during a 2008 state visit in Tunisia can be viewed, while he received honorary citizenship of the capital Tunis:

“Il m'arrive de penser que certains sont bien sévères pour la Tunisie

I sometimes think that some people are too harsh towards Tunisia

Dominique Strauss Kahn, current head of the IMF and a possible candidate to the 2012 French presidential elections, can be heard raving about the glowing economical progress of Tunisia during an interview with Tunisian state TV, in this video cross-posted by Rue89 : posted on YouTube a video of Président Sarkozy's inaugural speech, echoing: 

To all the oppressed people of the world, we will stand beside you…”.

Hazem Berrabah, on his Facebook account, posted his own video collage entitled ” We will never forget that France supported Ben Ali right to the last minute“,  where president Sarkozy declares:

I will not support any dictator in the world

Satyrical blog Backchich, an early whistle blower on the Ben Ali's rapacious family, had listed French political or media moguls who backed or free-lanced for the Ben Ali regime and published a book on “Our friend Ben Ali.”  Another early supporter of Tunisian bloggers, Fabrice Epelboin, editor of ReadWriteWeb France rounded up the French tech crowd with his  open letter to French Minister of Culture, Frédéric Mitterrand, who defined earlier in January  the Tunisian regime as “not a dictatorship, strictly speaking”.

French television channels are now interviewing Catherine Graciet to update scant  archives on Franco-Tunisian relations. She is the co-author of a previously little known book on Ben Ali's wife, The Regent of Carthage,  portrayed in 2009 the ransacking of the Tunisian economy by  her relatives [see excerpts in French here], later confirmed on Wikileaks by the secret cable of the American ambassador in Tunisia. [video in arabic]

Cartoonists  Maesterbd and Lindingre are having a field day.

And on Daily Motion, a video featuring Ben Ali and Sarkozy dancing and embracing to the sound of “Endless love” has been posted:

Sarkozy et Ben Ali " The Endless Love ! "
envoyé par unknown003. - Regardez d'autres vidéos de musique.

While the Jasmine Revolution tag  is fast becoming popular on French MSM,  Olivier reminds editors and columnists  in a comment that it was coined  by Ben Ali when he seized power in 1987. Luc Rosenzweig, on Causeur, also advises French political columnists to calm down with their new catch phrase, “Ceaucescu of the sands” (Ben Ali), after years of silence, in  his post “How sweet it is to trample a defeated man“.

Meanwhile, a number of Tunisian bloggers  living in France wrote moving posts, using for the first time their real names, like Chaker Nouri, in The Carthage Ceaucescu has finally gone . Such was their fear that criticism expressed on the French web could cause problems for their family in Tunisia. Chaker is proud, relieved, but not happy:

Ma joie n’est pas totale. Ce qui me frappe c’est le contraste entre la réaction de la diaspora tunisienne et les Tunisiens du pays. Les premiers célèbrent le départ du despote et les seconds craignent le désordre ambiant.

My joy is not complete. What strikes me is the contrast between the reactions of the Tunisian diaspora (in France) and those in Tunisia. The first celebrate the flight of the despot, while the others fear the ongoing troubles.

Far away in another part of the former French colonial empire, in West Africa, an African blogger engages in wishful thinking:

Bonne nouvelle! On peut rêver la même chose pour notre pauvre pays le congo-B livré au clan de mpila comme l'était le clan ben ali-trabelsi.Bien sûr, c'est gartuit de rêver!
Pourtant le bilan de ben ali est largement superieur à celui de Sassou et son clan!

Wonderful news! We can dream of the same for our pour country, Congo Brazzaville, looted by  the Mpila clan, like the Ben Ali Trabelsi clan did. Of course, dreaming is free! While in fact, the Ben Ali track record is far better than what Sassou and his clan [did for Congo], the independent Tunisian  information site founded in 2004 by dissidents, has had the number of its followers spike from 4000 to 12 000 in just over a week and remains the hot line Tunisians and French bloggers now trust for verified and contextualized updates on the Tunisian situation in French, Arabic, English.

Tunisia: Fears of Insecurity Overshadow the Joys of Freedom

Written by Hisham

On January 14, 2011, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali abruptly fled the country he ruthlessly ruled for more than two decades. The people of Tunisia took to the streets to celebrate the dawn of a new independence. The euphoria rapidly gave way to fear about the security situation. News spread about vandals rampaging across major cities, looting shops and homes and setting fire to properties and buildings. The sound of gun bursts echoed in the deserted streets of the capital city, while the Army deployed its troops around key areas in the capital, Tunis. The mood among citizens remained joyful. They formed vigilante groups to defend their families and properties. Some of those have been sharing their thoughts on their blogs.

Picture courtesy

As the night falls and the curfew is imposed, a few venture outside their homes. Unlike this man, whose joy of freedom has made him brave his fears to chant: “Long live Tunisia! Ben Ali has fled! Don't be afraid! We are free!” (video [Ar] posted on Youtube by Nawaat):

The blogger Winds of Tunisia writes:

Un peu partout en Tunisie et de plus en plus à Tunis les sbires de Ben Ali organisés en bandes armées sement la terreur chez les citoyens.

Soit c’est leur dernière cartouche afin de créer le chaos dans la population pour un éventuel retour de Zinochet, soit c’est la politique de la terre brulée.

Ils tentent de s’introduire dans les habitations tout en ravageant les commerces.

Mais les citoyens s’organisent pour défendre leurs biens.

Soyez vigilants tous ensembles,éloigner les enfants, protéger les accès de vos habitations, le tout sans panique!

Everywhere in Tunisia and increasingly in Tunis, henchmen loyal to Ben Ali, organized in armed gangs, are spreading terror among the citizens.

Either this is their last card to create chaos in the population in preparation for a possible return of Zinochet [Zine El Abidin Ben Ali compared to Chilean dictator Pinochet], or it is a scorched earth policy.

They try to break into homes while others are ravaging businesses.

But citizens are organizing to defend their property.

Be vigilant all together, keep children away, protect access to your homes, all without panic!

Blogger Khannouf calls on people to band together and organize [Fr]:

[H]ier au soir dans la ville de Bizerte, des citoyens ont arrêté une camionnette banalisée dans la quelle des policiers armés [responsables] de pillage et terrorisaient les gens. La milice du RCD, les responsables du ministère de l’intérieur sont les seuls qui ont les moyens aujourd’hui de faire ce qui est entrain d’être fait. Il ne faudrait pas que la révolution soit trahi, soyons responsable ! Alors dressons nos listes, placardons des photos dans les rues, organisons en comité de quartier pour protéger non seulement nos vies, nos biens, mais aussi nos dispensaires, nos hôpitaux, nos lycées et tous les autres locaux de notre administration qui renferment encore des archives utiles pour savoir qui a fait quoi. Notre mémoire, toute notre mémoire même les traces des malversations sont dans ces archives et il est logique qu’il y ait qui voudrait les faire disparaitre.

Yesterday evening in the city of Bizerte, citizens stopped a van in which they arrested armed policemen responsible for looting and terrorizing people. RCD [the former President's party] militias, and officials of the Ministry of Interior are the only ones who can afford to do that. We shouldn't allow anyone to betray the revolution. Let's be responsible! So let's prepare our lists, display our posters in the streets, organize in neighborhood committees to protect not only our lives, our possessions, but also our clinics, our hospitals, our schools and all the buildings of our administration which still contain useful archives, that would help us know who did what. This is our memory. Traces of wrongdoing are in the archives and it is logical that some people would want them to disappear.

Blogger and Global Voices contributor, Lina Ben Mhenni, went this morning to Kabbaria in the suburbs of Tunis to investigate the news about an attack perpetrated against the neighborhood. She describes the situation there:

I had to stop in many roadblocks . Indeed, the kabbaria's inhabitants were watching their families, houses and properties as several criminal groups have been attacking different cities in Tunisia after the collapse of Ben Ali's regime. I knew that early in the morning a young man from the Kabbaria was killed by 3 men in an ambulance belonging to Aziza Othmana hospital […] The inhabitants said that they arrested one of the gangsters who were in the ambulance . They discovered that they belong to the presidential guard. In fact, they found the identity card of one of them.

Blogger Unlucky Luke explains that despite fears, the mood is still high [Fr]:

Aujourd'hui, malgré l'anarchie et le chaos, on respire, on est mieux, je vois des gens sourire dans la rue, malgré le fait que personne n'est content de la tournure, plus de sécurité, pénurie des aliments essentiels, mais ça valait la peine et le Dictateur est parti. Plus de Ben Ali, plus de Trabelsi, plus de corruption ( malgré qu'il reste quelques brebis gâleuses dans les administrations), plus de pression…. Libre, comme l'air qu'on respire, comme l'eau du fleuve qui accoure vers la mer…Libre

Today, despite the anarchy and chaos, we breathe, we are better off, I see People smile in the street. Despite the fact not everybody is happy with the turn of events, with the lack of security, the shortage of essential commodities, a lot think it is worth it. The Dictator is gone. No more Ben Ali, no more Trabelsi (the dominant family of former President's wife), no more corruption (despite the fact there are still some bad apples in government), no more pressure… We are as free as the air we breathe, the water that flows into the river… Free.

Ismail El Hamrouni calls for unity and caution [Ar]:

- كونوا يدا واحدة و لاتخافوا كنا رجال في وقت الشدائد وكذلك سنكمل ماتخافوش ولموا رواحكم لجان شعبيّة تتكون من ابناء وشباب قراكم و مدنكم لنتصدى لكل الخونة و الرعاع .
- لا تصدقوا الإشاعات ولاتساهموا بنشرها وخاصة على الشبكات الاجتماعية لانها وان صدق بعضها فإنها تروع الناس .
- Please be hand in hand and don't be afraid. We were brave in adversity before and we will continue to be so. Form popular committees made up of the youth of your cities and villages to confront all the traitors and mobs.
- Do not believe rumors and do not disseminate them, especially on social networks because, even if they are true, they only terrorize the population.

But things are improving as blogger Kiffe Grave notes:

[N]otre quartier a recommencé à vivre. Des voisins qui ne se connaissaient pas il y a de ça quelques jours, se sont unis pour se protéger mutuellement.

[N]os nuit depuis 3 jours sont les mêmes: ça tirait de quelques endroits bien précis, on entendait des cris au loin, les hélicoptère survolaient les alentours,… mais El Hamdou l’Ellahy tout va bien.

A la peur des premières nuits à rapidement pris le dessus une farouche envie de se battre et de se protéger. Les barrières sont tombé et tout le monde la main dans la main sans aucunes arrières pensées avons pris les choses en main.

Nous avons érigé des barricades aux différents points d’accès de la cité. Des groupes de 20 personnes s’y trouvant armés de pierres, de massues, de haches,… et de gsm car nous sommes tous reliés entre-nous et nous faisons passer l’information. Nous avons posté des sentinelles sur les toits avec des jumelles,… Bref notre cité est hermétique.

Notre but est simple nous défendre et apporter assistances aux forces de l’odre.

Ce soir, retour aux barricades! Fier de notre pays, fier de nous tous.

Life has returned to our neighborhood again. Neighbors, who didn't not know each other before, have united to protect each other.

Our nights for the last 3 days are the same: gun shots heard in the distance, you could hear screams in the distance s well, the sound of the helicopter flying around, but … El Hamdou Ellahy [praise be to God] all is well.

The fear of the first nights is quickly being taken over by a fierce desire to fight and protect ourselves. The psychological barriers between people are now gone and everyone works hand in hand with his neighbor to take matters into their own hands.

We have erected barricades at various entry points of the city. Groups of 20 persons are posted, armed with stones, clubs, axes, and … GSM. Yes, because we are all connected to each other and we pass the information along to each other. We posted sentries on the rooftops with binoculars … Our city is sealed.

Our goal is simply to defend ourselves and bring assistance to the troops.

Tonight we return to the barricades! Proud of our country, proud of us all.


Libya's Gaddaffi pained by Tunisian revolt, blames WikiLeaks - Monsters and Critics

WikiLeaks message: twitter permalink

Tagged entries on oanth of all kind of
informations concerning the Tunisian protests:
starting from 14th Jan 2011 - here:


Tagged entries on oanth of all kind of
informations concerning the Tunisian protests:
starting from 14th Jan 2011 - here:

oanth -- muc -- 20110116
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