Monday, January 17, 2011

As for the Tunisia Thing

I haven't been following it much, for there is always the undercurrent in these things that tells us what we see -- or are allowed to see -- is only a superficial gloss on something much more deep-seated. I would not take anyone's word for anything about the "Revolution" in Tunisia.

What I find interesting, though, is the attempt to inject WikiLeaks into the action, on the basis of some cables that came from somewhere, which purport to show that the US State Department knew that Tunisia was ruled by a kleptocracy and that things would have to change.

Nobody knows exactly where the cables came from, whether they are authentic, or anything about them, but there they were being touted by all sorts of mainstream media (Business Week, Foreign Policy, and... of course... Andrew Sullivan at the Atlantic) and you've just got to wonder.

I've never thought that things are what they seem to be with WikiLeaks, but at the same time, it's all so slippery and slimy, I don't know how anyone can untangle it. It is certainly convenient to think that Revolutions can be triggered by the revelations in the WikiLeaks docs, but the problem with that notion is that at this time, WikiLeaks isn't releasing the State Department docs until after they have been vetted and scrubbed by its Media Partners and the State Department. In other words, the State Department doc dump is being performed strictly by the Rules of the Game, and nothing that makes it into the public domain is anything except what the Powers That Be want.

Furthermore, back in December, Julian gave an interview to ABC News -- which he overly dramatically flounced out of after being questioned about the Sex Crimes allegations in Sweden, at the very end of a long interview (ed note: obviously a set up) -- in which he stated that by golly, WikiLeaks was working with a number of smaller news organizations to get the State Department docs out more quickly. Then, in January, he repeated this claim. There's been no evidence of it, however. What there has been, at least according to some reports, is the acquisition of WikiLeaks leaks, in whole or in part, by (apparently) unauthorized media outlets. What they do with them remains to be seen.

Meanwhile back in Tunisia, it seems obvious, to the extent anything is "obvious" about what's going on there, that the People have known full well of the corruption and self-dealing at the top, and the issue for them has always been about the obscene levels of exploitation and oppression they have been under. There is no sign yet that that's going to change. This appears to be yet another Neo-Liberal coup, not a Revolution at all, which will have the effect of tightening the screws.

How convenient.

And have you heard? Baby Doc has returned to Haiti from his luxury-exile in Paris. I wonder if Bill or Hillary gave him a call...


  1. Oh Che,

    Re: Baby Doc

    I nearly fell off my chair when I opened the paper this morning and saw that. Why? Why? No good can come from this.

  2. It's more nuts-making, isn't it? I saw some comments by Haitians at the BBC news site in which it was suggested Baby Doc was back in Port-au-Prince because he's run out of money, having had to give half or more of his ill-gotten gains to his now-divorced wife.

    So he wants some of that "aid" money, don'tchaknow.

    Of course the timing is transparent. The OAS has apparently made a negative declaration on the elections just held, and of course, having a potential dictator on hand when the Haitians erupt over that is always convenient.

    I asked some folks I know whether they thought he had been "summoned" by outside interests, since there has apparently been graffiti welcoming him plastered around town for weeks. The answer I got was "No." He did it on his own, out of his own selfish desire to profit from Haitian misery.

    Of course if Aristide came back, there would be joy among the people and much mayhem by his enemies.

    It's a mess.