STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Tunisia Promotion Now Failing?
By Staff News & Analysis - January 26, 2011

Preparations got underway for the return of Rachid Ghannouchi (unrelated to the Prime Minister), a legendary leader of the Rennaissance Party (Ennahda) who was exiled in London. A Muslim (formerly of the Salafist tendency), he extols the compatibility between Islam and democracy and has been preparing a reconciliation with Democratic Progressive Party. In the case of a coalition government breakdown, this pro-US duo could offer an illusion of change. Contrary to what has been reported by the Western media, the insurrection is not yet over and the Revolution has not yet commenced. It is clear that Washington has channeled nothing at all, except for western journalists. Today, even more than last December, the situation is out of control. – Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network

Dominant Social Theme: The Muslims are coming. Duck.

Free-Market Analysis: A feedbacker was kind enough to send us a link to an absolutely extraordinary article by Thierry Meyssan, founder of the Voltaire Network. Astonishingly, the article solidifies most of our suspicions regarding Tunisia's crazy Jasmine revolution.

His main point: The revolution, manipulated by Western intelligence agencies, has begun to spiral out-of-control. It is turning into another disaster for Western intel. It is foundering just like global warming, the war on terror, central banking – the list goes on and on.

The point of our modest blog is to inform people about the power elite's dominant social themes and to bring attention to the war being waged between money power and the truth-telling of the Internet – a thesis initially laid out in the book High Alert. Those who read this journal/blog (a million viewers in 2010 and growing) are well aware of the elite's fear-based promotions. Some may accept the Bell's view that the elite is being challenged by the Internet.

We see this paradigm at work in Tunisia. In two articles we've expressed the hypothesis that Western intelligence agencies were in some sense shaping the revolution in order to create additional Muslim states to fuel the sputtering "war on terror" – and that they were, perhaps, having trouble doing so. In the first article, our perspective was mainly hypothetical. The next article (yesterday) filled in the details because it appeared our suspicions were correct. Now along comes Meyssan with a detailed back-story.

His perspective matches ours in numerous ways. His perception is that the Tunisian revolution has not yet begun; we agree with this. The Jasmine Revolution seemed somehow contrived to us, which is why we began writing about it. The protestors did not receive a great deal of push-back from the police; Strong-man Ben Ali may have been told to vacate the premises by the US; and the army itself kept the peace and refused to interfere with the "revolution."

Meyssan is most controversial figure for his views on 9/11 and his general outspokenness, and we have no idea if what he writes about the Tunisian revolution is accurate. But it is a long article, with footnotes. It is entitled "Washington facing the ire of the Tunisian people."

Meyssan's main point is that the Tunisian revolution was manipulated almost from the start by the CIA and other Western-affiliated entities. According to Meyssan, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was actually a CIA agent trained at the U.S. Army Intelligence School, Fort Holabird, Maryland, and when he took over the country several decades ago, he was allowed to do pretty much as he pleased. As a result, Ben Ali demanded 50 percent of profits from all the larger Tunisian businesses; but in 2009 when he tried to impose the same arrangement on American firms, his exit was likely assured.

With Ben Ali hiding in Saudi Arabia, various government figures (all of them acceptable to Western intel) have been trying to form a government. Meyssan's point is that this time – in this era – the Tunisian man-on-the-street is not falling for it. They want to form a legitimate Tunisian government without Western interference.

Meyssan also adds to our suspicion regarding Ennahda leader Rachid Ghannouchi (see the article excerpt at the beginning of this story). Yesterday, we wrote that Ghannouchi seemed to us to represent part of a larger pattern whereby Western elites install Muslim clerics in order to create the impression that radical Islam is on the rise. We made the following comment:

The patterns repeat. Over and over, one finds the CIA (and MI6 and the Mossad) involved in regime destabilization. At the same time, a militant leader who has received safe-haven in the West heads back to his country. It is not a new strategy – if that is what it is. Germany and France provided safe-harbor for Vladimir Ilyich Lenin before he returned to Russia.

These are age-old themes. But what we find even more interesting is Meyssan's perspective that the Jasmine revolution is beginning to run out of control. The 20th century proved an easy environment for this sort of manipulation; the 21st not so much.

Meyssan does not in this article argue what is clear to us: That the Internet itself and electronic communication generally is a difference-maker. The Tunisian people are informed about the "national unity" government and consider it to be Ben Ali's government without Ben Ali. We would argue that the new electronic communication has played a role in shaping this perspective.

The Western media, as Meyssan points out, has attempted to portray the Jasmine Revolution as a valid expression of a people's aspirations toward freedom. But the media has done so in order to claim a narrative of an orderly democratic protest that now ends with a "government of national unity." Meyssan's perspective is that this shall probably not prove the case.

There is a larger point to make here. The elite continues to struggle. With the advent of the Internet, the most precious commodity of all, the ability to fully shape a promotional message has been all but lost. We have written numerous articles about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, for instance, in which we have expressed skepticism that he is what he claims to be – an independent proponent of transparency in government. We think he and WikiLeaks may in fact be an elite promotion of sorts. Meyssan believes that the hacker "Anonymous" is a kind of psyops as well. We've pointed out this possibility, too.

We note that the mainstream media tried to draw a linkage between the Tunisian revolution and WikiLeaks – but this interpretation has not generated a consensus. In the 20th century, the powers-that-be would have had no problem establishing such a narrative (WikiLeaks supposedly exposed Ben Ali's corruption and sparked a revolution); in the 21st century they cannot.

Editor's Note: There are reports that that Gamal Mubarak, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's son and family have fled to London. The reports were posted on the Arabic website Akhbar al-Arab and claimed that Gamal, who was seen as Hosni Mubarak's successor, had departed with his family and 97 pieces of luggage from a western Cairo airport. The Muslim Brotherhood has not been featured in the protests so far, but it constitutes a major opposition movement; its leaders hope to install an Islamist government.

After Thoughts

Just as in Europe, civil disturbances seem to be spreading. In the 20th century such inconvenient outpourings could be either controlled or voided. In the 21st century, we believe the power elite will have a good deal more difficulty with them. And of course the fear is that they will expand not just in the Middle East, but also throughout the West.

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