Will Tunisian revolution inspire actions in other nations? (Now following Egypt.) [ed. title]

Is this likely happen in Egypt or Saudi? Would those governments let it happen? Where else are people most likely to be inspired to similar actions?

Here’s some analysis from the L.A. Times on that:

So the authors seem to think not. FWIW

I never heard a thing about the Tunisian protests until today, and there has been precious little about it on TV news. I would like to believe that it would lead to an awakening of freedom and democracy in the Middle East, but given the way Islamic militants have of seizing power whenever a power vacuum occurs, I have to wonder if the result might be dangerous to US interests, and in fact to freedom and democracy in general.

Spoken like a true American patriot and a frequent newscast observer :rolleyes:

I think it’s a matter of time until a storyline emerges where a popular uprising is being hijacked by A.Q. affiliated fraction maladjusted to world affairs and attempts to take over whereupon an action is triggered and friendly to Western interests ruler is installed.

My memory is hazy from an article in New Yorker but there was a party with Islamic attributes (I guess because that is a religion practiced there but I may be wrong) and its leader is currently in exile in UK (just in case, eh?). According to someone I heard today on Democracy Now radio if the election is held today that party would win.

All indicators point to another showdown and, of course, an increased threat even though all the elements for assisted transition using center type of party are in place. At this point, it appears World needs another hotbed.

The feeling in the neighbours of Iraq is that overthrowing a dictator leads to chaos, limitless bloodshed, no electricity or clean water, danger of the country blowing apart etc. In western North Africa, this must be different. Algeria and Morocco are clearly impacted. Where Egypt stands in this, I have no idea. Our tour guide last winter was surprisingly open in expressing that Mubarak is not a democratic president. I would have thought that that was a dangerous thing to say.

In the long run the West clearly needs to let Islam in the politics of Arab countries. Keeping it out is not possible any more than keeping the religious right out of American politics. And we’ve seen that supporting governments who put electric wire in Islamists’ genitals just makes the movements more radical. So popular Islamic parties a la Turkey must be accepted, maybe even encouraged since they seem the movement most intrested in people and their values.

That must be a joke. I just cant take it seriously.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Therefore, a cite please?

Revolutions don’t always turn out well, you know. Look at France or at Russia.

Oh, ye of little memory. I was referring to theAlgerian Civil War in 1991. Particularly to this aspect of it:

Islamists are not friends of democracy, in case you are thinking that was the US State Department putting spin on the FIS, here’s a quote from Ali Behadj, the vice president of the FIS at the time:

I think under the circumstances it is reasonable to be concerned about power vacuums in Islamic societies, I mean, how well did that whole Iranian theocracy thing work out for us and the rest of the world? And Iran itself, come to think of it?

My comment about the newscasts was intended as criticism, not belittling the importance of the events in Tunisia. I do not think the American media served me well by focusing on every little bit of minutiae about the Tucson shooting while virtually ignoring events in Tunisia.

True. And in this region, secular leftist revolutions can, if outside influences screw thinks up in particular, go bad/fundamentalist very quickly. Like Iran. Hopefully we can get it right this time, and end up supporting democratization rather than creating an enemy.

Should we want it to happen? In many Islamic countries, if the current regime is overthrown, its successor is more likely to be an Islamist-Jihadist regime than anything else. In SA, the House of Saud’s main opposition comes from ultra-Wahhabists to whom the Sauds are not puritanical enough.

Seriously dude, who gives a fuck about the US on this subject ? Are you so far out that you cant view anything foreign without asking yourself whether if furthers US interests or not?
The revolts in Tunisia and Algeria are not being controled nor started by Islamists. You seem to confuse Islam and Islamists. Tunisia, by Arab standards is rather laic.
Even the current events in Algeria dont really compare to those of the early nineties.
As for the Iranian Revolution, if really the US was hurt by it, then they reaped the proverbial whirlwind.
For once we got a genuine popular movement in the Arab world that may lead to a far more democratic kind of regime, and may even set an example for the region.
Compare that to Iraq. But maybe Iraq furthered American interests. In your view.

It seems like one thing that isn’t really taken into account and that is the big demographic differences between the West and the Middle East/South Asia. The latter is so much younger that the people who were even sentient during, for example, the Iranian revolution, are outnumbered by younger people. So many of the people in countries with lots of Muslims are very young. They haven’t even fully formed their worldviews yet, so it is somewhat presumptuous of us to proclaim where they might fall on the Taliban - liberal secular Muslim continuum.

I’d love to see this kind of thing become more widespread over the next months and years but I wouldn’t bet on it. Although I never thought I’d see any Arab country revolt like this anytime soon so anything is possible. A few people have already set themselves on fire in Egypt and Algeria trying to kickstart a revolution there so you never know. You’d get an Islamist government if democratic elections were held in those countries, also a pro-Palestinian government in (majority Palestinian) Jordan if election were held there. Happy days.

As far as Tunisia goes Ben Ali only fled because the head of the army told him he’d no longer shoot demonstrators. We may yet see a military coup with this guy taking power himself although I think he’d face exactly the same kind of protests and it’d be hard for the west to back him although they’d love to. The current interim government is trying to exclude the Islamists and the nationalists from taking part in elections. That’s not going to work very well.

Based on experience if you start reading and watching lots of stories about an upsurge in violence, rioting, a “eweak government”, possible civil war and a threat from Islamists/AQ etc then expect a western-backed coup. But anything is possible right now, wait and see.

Interesting analysis from The Nation:

I disagree with that analysis of the Obama administration. My guess is that the administration would support a break against the Tunisian government if it knew the resulting government was not a fundamentalist one. Prematurely backing a moderate faction immediately turns them into “US lackeys”.

Upon further review, well, maybe:

Go Egypt!

Hmm. If there were free elections in Egypt, who would win? How strong are Islamists there?

It’s being said the United States convinced the Tunisian Army not to intervene during the Tunisian Revolution.
Doubt the States would do the same regarding Egypt.