Tunisia is a perfect example of what happens when you take rights and freedoms from people and force them to live in a state of poverty and fear. The situation in Tunisia was, and still is, dire. The people, tired of living under the crushing weight of poverty and restricted access to information, rose up and took back their government. It is sad that it took a young man setting himself on fire to bring about this revolution, but desperate times require desperate measures. Imagine being in a place that your only recourse is to set yourself ablaze.
What makes the situation so volatile now is the danger of a military regime taking over the country. General Rachid Ammar released the following statement:
... he would uphold “the revolution” that brought down the government, and he promised that the military would guarantee stability until the interim government held elections, witnesses said.Don’t buy what this guy is selling. We have seen this movie before. The military will maintain peace and then continue maintaining that peace by taking over the government. The last thing Tunisia needs is military junta at the helm. The African continent has seen its fair share of military dictators. I don’t think they need another one.
Another reason that this is important is that it shows the rest of the world how bad it has to get before someone does something. How disenchanted with your government do you have to get before you take to the streets in protest? In most places that isn’t really a problem (i.e. the student protests in the UK, workers riots in France, etc) so this message is really directed at the American people.
Are we going to let it get this bad in the US before we take action? What is it going to take to get the populace off of their asses and out on the streets protesting issues like the continued war in Afghanistan, and continued occupation of Iraq, the billions spent on the military every year, and the lack of jobs all while the cost of living continues to rise, healthcare is becoming more and more unattainable for people who aren’t millionaires, jobs pay less if you can find one, and people continue to suffer in poverty? My guess is it is going to take something drastic to get people moving.
Americans have just become too soft. We are comfortable with our central air, our big screen TV, our fridge full of meat, and our counter full of donuts. We continue to drive gas-guzzling pollution machines almost in spite of the science of our deteriorating environment. Well, isn’t that the American way? Maybe when people are too poor to eat at McDonald's and gas is $13.00 per gallon people will wake the fuck up.
Our situation is nowhere near as bad as Tunisia, but why should we let it get that bad before we make real change?