Saturday, January 15, 2011

Profound Reversal of US policy on Tunisia?

Pundit Push goes to Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and Chair of Mid-Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco for his article. This article gives a good backround of the relationship between Tunisia and the US.  U.S. Backs Tunisian Dictatorship in Face of Pro-Democracy Uprising


In a welcome reversal from the Secretary of States “wait and see”, albeit after the fact of seeing, the US President backs free and fair elections for an allied Arab state. After a day where Tunisia saw three presidents in twenty-four hours it has come to light that the state has a Constitution to deal with the fallout. The Tunisian Constitution stipulates, according to the Constitutional Council, that the Speaker of Parliament will assume power as President and elections must be held within 45-60 days. 

Two Cents;

Bravo, to the US President, on the free and fair portion. The Tunisian Constitutional Court made no mention of these elements.
This is an opportunity to give Democracy a chance in Arabia away from some of the more profound national interest issues of the Persian Gulf. The upcoming elections will undoubtedly effect US national interests in very broad and, problematically, unpredictable ways. The world is watching and a successful
 transfer of power from a few to many more and eventually all (Article 57 Tunisian Constitution strength elections and weaknesses appointed candidates) with relatively little blood shed could open the world up and heal hearts. Positive US leadership, following the quiet nervousness and behind the scenes maneuvering before the elections, after the elections will be of great significance.
If a way is found to make elections more inclusive (if only tolken in this one than the next) we are likely to see a less experienced participation in governance. The US could, if it plays smart, make real friends out of the Tunisian people by helping protect there young fledgling parties and participants from some of the more aggressive political beasts (including political parties, foreign governments, and corporations). This is an opportunity to be and to be seen the good guys in an Arab land, quite a transition. With help from and a leash on allies, corporations, and our vast intellectual resources (IE; economists, sociologists, lawyers, education institutions, etc) the US could profoundly step up it's game and stature.
 It can’t be stated any more clearly than this. If this fails the Arab mindset will be further disenfranchised from hope and the trouble that brings can be seen everywhere.

Best wishes to the working group!!!