Thursday, January 13, 2011

The End Draws Near

It won't be long now:
"The police on Thursday all but abandoned this exclusive Mediterranean beach town — haven to the capital’s rich and powerful — as rioters calling for the ouster of Tunisia’s authoritarian president swarmed the streets, torched bank offices and ransacked a mansion belonging to one of his relatives...

"In a possible sign of divisions in the government, the Tunisian military withdrew from the capital later Thursday and interior security forces took their place in the streets. Tunisian news organizations reported that the president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, would deliver a televised address on Thursday evening...

"The riots in Hammamet, a town roughly equivalent to Tunisia’s East Hampton, were announced this morning on an Arabic Facebook page called 'The People of Tunisia are setting themselves on fire, Mr. President.' The name is a reference to the Dec. 17 event that sparked the protests, the self-immolation of an college graduate who sold vegetables on the street of a small town in the provinces. And on Thursday morning the page called on patriotic Tunisians to prepare to shed their blood in protest in the town of Hammamet."

I'm following Ben Ali's speech on Twitter, in which he is promising to step down in 2014, lead a campaign against corruption, end censorship, and stop shooting people. These acts of desperation will only serve to convince the protesters that they have the regime on the run.



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