Tunisia’s President Zine al Abidine Ben Ali fled his country on Friday amid rioting. Ben Ali is described as a ruthless dictator who has exercised authority over the Tunisian people for the past 23 years. The riots were apparently sparked last month when the government seized a vegetable cart from a vender who set himself on fire in the middle of the street in protest.
It is reported that Tunisia’s work force has been expanding as the jobs available there have been disappearing. This coupled with out of control food prices has apparently pushed the Tunisian people beyond their limits. A state of emergency and curfew have been declared and a makeshift government led by the ineffectual prime minister, Mohammed Ghannouchi, is calling for an expedited process in holding elections in order to form a new government.
It seems every week another country is experiencing riots resulting from the actions of overzealous governments, Ireland, Great Britain and Greece to name a few. The reports in the mainstream media in reference to predicted food shortages would seem to be an indication that the violence that began in Europe may very well spread around the world.
The Congress of the United States will be going back into session next week and among the items on the table are raising the debt ceiling and budget cuts. This is in essence the equivalency of the austerity measures taken in Europe that has led to the rioting there. Whenever budget cuts are brought up in the United States Social Security, Medicare, and entitlements in general always top the list.
When the citizenry is supposedly polled the majority say they want spending cuts. Then in another poll they say they do not want spending cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and entitlements indicating that the citizenry is acting like a spoiled child who doesn’t know what it wants. Not so, says I. The problem is they are just not asking the right question in their polls because they know they will not like the answer.
And what is that question? “Would you support ending the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Yemen and cutting monies being spent on those wars from the budget?”
The fact is the revenues being wasted on these senseless wars might just be enough to save us before it is too late. You never know, we might even be able to feed our people for another year or two on what is being wasted. But that is not going to happen as feeding poor people has never made a rich man richer.
I have to admire the Tunisian people for finally standing up to their dictator and saying, “No more.” May they be so lucky as to find among them a few with the wisdom possessed by our forefathers who will at last deliver freedom and liberty unto them. God bless the people of Tunisia.