Thanks to the New York Times, I’ve been able to engage deeply with what’s happening on the ground in Tunisia for the past month. Just kidding. The Times only just covered the story (I think the Style section had a piece about Ben Ali’s bespoke suits and impeccably manicured eyebrows) – while Al Jazeera has been doing an extraordinary job covering the biggest story in the Arab world and Africa.
I wonder, what’s behind the lack of coverage?
The Arab world changed today. Now we know how easy it is to depose the malignancies in our midst. My apologies to the American president and secretary of state, but their war of terror will have to stagger on without the dearly departed Ben Ali. No, he’s not dead; he’s just on a plane to Malta.
Protests have taken place in Algeria and Jordan – and it’s my sincere hope that the Panda King (it’s a fact that Abdallah looks like a panda) goes next. I’m in Cairo at the moment and things are calm here. The street housing the Tunisian embassy was bookended by checkpoints earlier in the day and Mubarak’s mukhabarat were stopping cars and checking IDs. Is there fear? Is Mubarak’s mouth dry with it?
I wonder if Barack Obama can physically feel his diminished relevance. I wonder whether Ms. Rice just doubled over with the pain of vicarious birth pangs. And I wonder if all the Arab dictators use the same brand hair dye.
Is it made in America?