Theater of Arab spring 2.0 in Tunisia? Western obsession with Iran
Washington’s intervention in the region to promote western styled democracy destabilised Iraq, Syria, Libya. To them, the success of Tunisia is very important so that the Arab Spring could be applauded by the western media houses and could represent it as a model that everybody should emulate and see that not all Western interventions were a failure. –Irfan Ansari*
Location: Middle East
The memories are haunting the entire the Middle East with the memories of the Arab springs where the demonstrations were carried out from every section of the society for the change in the regime.
2018 started with the global headlines of the Iranian protest due to demand for economic reforms under the present government. However, another part of the Middle East besides the shores of Mediterranean also witnessed the similar upsurge from the masses, which was not carried away by the west as it was with the #IranProtests where western media and leaders immediately reacted to the Iranian upsurge, US President Donald Trump tweeted calling for the support in the regime change
Such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
But given the similarities triggering the protests in both the Middle Eastern nations, why has the Western media and leadership kept comparatively quiet about the upsurge in Tunisia? According to Said Sadek, professor of political sociology at the American University in Cairo,
“It may have something to do with the fact that Tunisia, unlike other countries, didn’t descend into bloody chaos after the events of the Arab Spring”
American intervention in the region to promote western styled democracy destabilised Iraq, Syria, Libya. To them, the success of Tunisia is very important so that the Arab Spring could be applauded by the western media houses and could represent it as a model that everybody should emulate and see that not all Western interventions were a failure.
Professor Sadek in an interview to RT said
“In the case of Iran, they are very happy to look at any small detail that happens, or any small protest to inflate it in the media, to look as if this is the end of the regime and what will happen after the rule of Ayatollah Khomeini.
One of the reasons that could be observed is Washington’s geopolitical rivalry with Iran since the days of the Iranian revolution. When it comes to Iran, White house relate the economic upsurge to failed Iranian policy and their regional intervention in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon.
It could signal their willingness to portray the protests in Iran as a result of Iranian foreign policy intervention in the Middle East. They stress on the point about the change in the existing policy which will .improve the economic situations within Iran.
One could observe the western media houses efforts as inflating some of the protesters’ slogans regarding ending financial aid to Syria, to Hezbollah, to others. Whereas this is not the case in Tunisia.”
Apart from the changed policy with the regime, one of the main causes of the Tunisian economic crisis could be the downfall of their tourism industry which is a key part of the Tunisian economy, and has been badly affected by the terrorist attack in Sousse back in June 2015, when a man armed with an assault rifle murdered 38 people, most of them British tourists, at a beachside hotel.
Since the toppling of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, Tunisia has been relatively stable compared to its neighbour, Libya, despite occasional unrest and terrorist attacks. But successive governments have failed to get a grip on the economic situation.
However, Unlike the western leaders and media houses, French policy sounded on the different track as it was since its establishment of 5th Republic. French president Emanuel Macron ignores the western version of
#Iranprotests and lay the blames for Iranian unrest on the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia, who in the geopolitical terms counted as the French allies all France’s allies. Western critique termed this as a changing french policy of appeasement which is defying the western interests and moving towards its estranged trade partner Iran.
*This story is narrated by the Irfan Ansari from The Kootneeti Middle East Monitor. Irfan with interest in the Middle Eastern politics comments in the national dailies. Irfan holds a research on the Arab Spring
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team