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Monday, May 16, 2011

Some bright spots: Tunisia and Egypt

There is already talk among pundits that what is called the Arab Spring is turning wintry. But in Egypt and Tunisia there are some good signs.

Egypt is evidently prosecuting Mubarak and his wife as corrupt. Perhaps they will also prosecute them criminally for their long term threat to the freedom of the people. Yes it is an old fashioned, modern, political concept to mention in 2011. Still criminal charges beyond corruption would start the ball rolling towards grounding a free society. Add some new museums emphasizing the Tahrir square fight, some new school textbooks for the kids and it could be developed, no doubt uneasily alongside other cultural values in the country.

Tunisia is electing a national assembly to write a new constitution (the US never did that!). But here one must be more careful in prediction. Laws can be circumvented by clever and/or powerful people. So a new pretty constitution may not be enough. Identifying anti-freedom is more palpable for people. Unfortunately Ben Ali and his Marie Antoinette wife got away. Trials in effigy then?   

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