Tunisian Youth Demand Reform

Tunisia is a small nation of 10,000,000 that was ruled by France for over a hundred years and many of its leaders were educated to believe in French values of freedom, but intoxication of freedom led to the all too familiar story of one party government. President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has been running things for a few decades and during that time has made clear the only voice of importance is his own. During the past few weeks, thousands of students poured into the streets demanding reforms that would jump start at moribund economy and finally allow opposition leaders a shot at being elected in a fair election. Current protests were sparked in December when a college student set himself on fire in frustration at not being able to secure work. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted, ‘we are worried, in general, about the unrest and the instability, and what seems to bge the underlying concerns of people who are protesting.” Naturally, President Ben Ali has blamed terrorists and al-Qaeda for the problems although there is no evidence of their hand in the demonstrations.

The government has fired the Minister of Interior and promised to investigate beating up of students. Ben Ali has promised to create 300,000 jobs within two years. He has also promised to enter into dialogue with students and opposition leaders. Now, if he can create 300,000 jobs in a nation of ten million within two years, could he be hired by President Obama to do a similar thing for America?

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