2011-01-14 Tunisia: Ben Ali Out, Mohamed Ghannouchi Out

Today marked the end of a 23 year rule by Tunisian president Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia after police in the country killed at least 23 protesters. “What happened here is going to affect the whole Arab world,” said protester Zied Mhirsi. Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi announced his intention to serve as interim president, and protesters immediately refused to have him.

Fadhel Bel Taher, whose brother was one of dozens of people killed in protests, said: "Tomorrow we will be back on the streets, in Martyrs Square, to continue this civil disobedience until... the regime is gone.

"The street has spoken."

Protesters had gathered on Twitter under the hashtag #sidibouzid, named for the city where an unemployed college graduate, Mohamed Bouazizi, burned himself to death in frustration and anger at being ordered to buy a license to sell fruit. The Tunisian government attempted to shut down social media gathering by blocking access to Twitter accounts, bloggers and Facebook pages, but were circumvented and attacked by online activists world wide. Al Jazeera is also widely commended by protesters for getting their story told.

Tunisians adopt American tradition...


While Ben Alis thugs (the ones that wouldn't fit on the plane) roam the streets of Tunis and other cities raising havoc in one last orgy of violence, the Tunisian people have adopted a wholly American tradition:

The Regime Change Most Wanted... Deck of Cards!


(I found this link on Twitter written in عربي (Arabic) using the Firefox translation extension I mentioned above.)

Tunisian 'Riots'


Just a day after the Tunisian 'president' fled the country, looting and 'rioting' have spread through the country. In Tunis, the capital, the main train station burns. A prison burns killing many 'inmates'. Were these folks the political prisoners gathered up by 'security forces' in recent weeks? The Tunisian Army seems to be siding with the populous but there has been no clear statement from them.

What appears to be happening here is that the mid and low conspirators of Ben Alis regime (the ones who couldn't flee the country like their boss did) are causing as much mayhem as they can. There have been numerous cases of indiscriminate drive-by shootings in Tunis and other cities throughout the country. They must (rightly) feel that if power goes to the people then it will be a lynch mob for them in the short term or court and prison (if they're lucky) in the long term.

Note to mid and low level conspirators in governments and companies everywhere:

Learn from what is happening in Tunisia right now. When the shit hits the fan, your bosses will bail without a thought to any 'loyalty' you may have shown over the years. You will be worse than out of a job. You will the sheep thrown to the wolves, a blood sacrifice, in the hopes that the feeding frenzy will sate your victims hunger for revenge. Plan your escape route well... or better yet, gather what data you can and help turf the bastards before it's too late.

Note to high level conspirators:

Escaping to another country may not be a viable option in the near future. There will be no place to run.

Note to the Tunisian people:

Show restraint. Put these conspirators before your courts and share the lesson of their failure with the world. In this way you will show others a clear path to justice and freedom.

Tunisian Tweets:


If you would like to read Tunisian tweets in Arabic (or anything else in any language) let me recommend a Firefox extension:


Just 'Add to Firefox' and restart. When you need it click on the Tools menu from the menu bar, and select 'Translate Page'. It has many other useful features so read the extensions page for instructions.

It's in beta (I'm one of the testers) but is very stable. It is especially useful for translating Twitter pages with multiple languages on them. A great equalizer.

Google Dictionary and Translate...


Did I mention that this extension will translate any page, not just Twitter. I have been reading websites in dozens of languages with it. At this time, especially now, it has been an invaluable tool.

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