The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

With Nidaa in disarray, now is a golden moment to break the parallel state in Tunisia; it will take hard power along w/ Tunisian democrats… opening won’t last for long

One recent comment I received from my earlier post on Tunisia:

“…on balance, we believe that increasing U.S. aid to Tunisia is more likely to open the door for additional measures that could be constructive, while recognizing the need for continual engagement/pressure on the administration in that regard…”

I firmly disagree with this. More cash and weapons will not get more leverage; in fact it will help dissipate leverage at a critical moment…. on balance the support by external actors for propping up the failed system will lead to more failure I think.

My crucial point, however, is that Tunisia is different. These tradeoffs are exceptionally limited and tough in Egypt, africa at large, iraq, lebanon, etc etc etc. The point is that knocking heads in Tunisia is going to be (relatively speaking) easier and much more successful if done the correct way. This sort of golden opportunity to build a stable, non-corrupt democracy in MENA that can also protect itself from ISIS et al. does not obtain in the rest of MENA, not least because the parallel state structures in Tunisia are so weak, timid and bereft of good ways to hit back.

There is a chance right now to break this cancerous matrix; but only some hard power backing up Tunisian democrats will do the trick. Nidaa’s dissolution (or possible dissolution) is but one opening among many. This will not last for long though I fear.

Should Nahda become the majority party in the coming days, external actors should work closely with them and whichever other parties want to govern in a manner that puts the focus back on the cancer within (the parallel state of the cops-some business elites-mafia) rather than the fear and terror that is both exaggerated for narrow political gain and also very real at the same time.


Written by nickbiddlenoe

November 3, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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