For the United States and other Western countries, the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt (which threaten to spread to other countries, including Yemen and Algeria) are something of a nightmare. Just as the authorities in these countries are struggling — and failing — to cope with popular uprisings, so too the United States and other Western countries are rudderless when faced with an undefined enemy — and make no mistake about it, the people of foreign countries are the enemy when their revolts against dictatorship threaten Western interests.
After two decades in power, the Tunisian President stands down in the face of violent anti-Government unrest across the country.
Jonathan Rugman reports on the crisis, from Tunisia.
Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi has taken over from President Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali on an interim basis after violent rioting spread across Tunisia, protesting against high unemployment, high food prices, and the President’s leadership.
The country is now under a state of emergency, and a curfew, with threats that anyone who breaks the curfew could be shot.