Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Revolution In Our Time, continued

Continuing pressure from the Tunisian people has caused the transitional, so-called Unity Government, which consisted primarily of members of the former dictator Ben Ali's RCD Party in all the important posts, to collapse today, one day after being formed, when four members of the tepid opposition Ben Ali had permitted to exist in the country resigned from the government. Later, in an effort to quell ongoing protests, the new prime minister and president, both members of RCD, quit the party but have remained in their posts. Demonstrators are demanding the RCD be disbanded and that the government be opened up to all parties, including those that had been banned by Ben Ali, who fled the country on Friday. Meanwhile exiled dissident Moncef Marzouk returned to the country promising to run for president.

All over the Middle East things are in flux. The Shiite resistance in Lebanon, Hizzbolah, has forced the collapse of the government ahead of the release of indictments by the US/Israel backed witch hunt known as the Special Tribunal. In Israel Ehud Barak has left the Labor Party, splintering the party that has ruled Israel for most of its existence. Street demonstrations against oppressive regimes continue in Algeria, Egypt and elsewhere. A struggle is underway at the United Nations where the US is trying desperately to head off a Security Council resolution being pushed by the Palestinians, and supported by nearly everyone else, to condemn illegal Israeli settlements.

In Tunisia more is coming out about the disgraced former dictator Ben Ali. It is being reported that former president's family fled with 1.5 tons of gold. A gruesome picture is emerging of the former dictator, an ordinary thug who rose through police ranks, who was known for using his position to coerce sex from women, and if they did not submit voluntarily to simply rape them. When he had reached a high rank in the police, an underling informed him a beautiful woman had been arrested, so he had her brought to his office. Ben Ali, who was married, proposed releasing her if she would become his mistress. She did and had two children by him. That woman is now his wife, the much despised Leila Trabelsi, whose extended family has become wealthy off its ties to Ben Ali.

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