I know I have been silent on recent events in Tunisia and Egypt, partly because I have been preoccupied but mainly because there are plenty of people out there who can analyse the state affairs much better than I ever could.
The turn on events has come as a huge surprise to me. Who would have thought that the self immolation of a street vendor not much more than a month ago could have precipitated all of this? I don’t believe that this has been orchestrated by the West regardless of the Telegraph’s revelation . Nor do I believe that they are an Islamist front.
The protests appear to be the release of a hell of a lot of pent up anger, be it unemployment, spiralling food prices, anger with corrupt and repressive leaderships/Sometimes all it takes is a single spark to light the fires of anger. Mohamed Bouazizi seems to have ben just that spark (apologies if the metaphor is inappropriate given his form of protest).
Where will this end up? Who knows. I hope to hell that it leads to better things for millions of people who people who deserve so much.
There is a serious risk that fundamentalists like the Muslim Brotherhood could hijack the protests. That is something that will be, to say the least, unwelcome (a huge understatement!). But this by no means inevitable.
We can only see what happens. This is for the people of Tunisia and Egypt (and, and, and) to sort. Here's hoping that it leads to better things for them.