The world should celebrate the peaceful overthrow of the mafia family, headed by dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, that ran Tunisia this week. Peaceful on one end, anyway. Many Tunisian protesters were shot by their government's security forces.
At the end (of course) only France stood by the dictator.
Before Ben Ali fled the country on Jan. 14, French Foreign Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie made statements about “the savoir-faire, recognized throughout the world, of [French] security forces able to settle security situations of this type.” This week, Socialist parliamentarians called for her resignation. (A cargo cache of riot gear for the Tunisian dictator was halted at Charles de Gaulle airport last Friday.)
Mr. Sarkozy had thwarted talk of despotism in Tunisia, saying Ben Ali was developing “openness and tolerance.” Mr. Mitterrand said that to describe the former Tunisian president as a dictator was “completely exaggerated.”
Of course America isn't covered in glory from this. Despite what Hillary Clinon says, we've long supported Ben Ali as a proxy against an imaginary Al Qaeda opposition. It will take a many more revolutions to put an end to the never-stated, implicit notion of western elites that only non-Slavic white people long for freedom from tyranny, but this is a good step.
Here's to Tunisia: Now the really hard part begins.