Tunisia: Media sources reported an agreement is imminent on a new national unity government for Tunisia to settle the political crisis following the murder of a prominent opposition politician last week. Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the Islamist Ennahda Movement, said that a new government is expected to be announced in two or three days.
Comment: Democracy should have come more easily to Tunisia than to almost all other Arab states because of its tradition of secular, cosmopolitan tolerance. The Islamists, even so-called moderates, have overreached here as in Egypt. Tunisian cities do not seem as unstable as Egyptian cities, but Islamist governments in both states have shown no ability to improve economic conditions.
ROBERT STEELE: Democracy is rooted in two POPULATION attributes: education of the whole not just the elite, and transparency or balance among ALL the major forces that represent society. The 21st Century intelligence model identifies these as academic, civil society including labor unions and religion, commerce, government at all levels, law enforcement, media, military, and non-gvoernment/non-profit. The problem faced by Tunesia as well as the USA is the same problem: uneducated population, fundamentalist religion, failed government, AND corrupt financial institutions. Neither the government of Tunesia nor the government of the USA can address the public interest coherently or adequately for so long as CORRUPTION — and particularly economic-financial corruption — is the order of the day. SECULAR CORRUPTION is a greater threat than fundamentalism, witness the failure of Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain — and the USA — to actually put bankers in jail and circle the sovereign powers around the welfare of the larger public. Government is about governance — governance is about BALANCE and LEGITIMACY. Neither of these can be achieved through violence, the threat of violence, or legalized white collar crime.