… And they all fall down
By Chan Akya
Jan 20, 2011
Ring a-ring o’ roses,
A pocketful of posies.
We all fall down.
Nursery rhyme (or is it?)
A new year begins now in earnest, with the dotards who run the crumbling monarchies of the Middle East all quaking in their Gucci shoes as one of their brethren gets the ritual, abrupt boot that has been a hallmark of regime change in the region for over three generations.
Not entirely without logic, the geriatric rulers looking at Tunisia recall the first steps of the downfall of the communist regimes that began in 1989 with an epochal tearing down of the Berlin Wall
One man set himself alight close to the parliament in Egypt, where there have been protests in solidarity with Tunisians. In Nouakchott, the Mauritanian capital, a man set himself on fire, in front of the presidential palace on Monday, police officials said, in another echo of the action by Mr Bouazizi, the Tunisian vegetable seller, whose death is seen as a trigger of last week’s revolt.
Richer people in the rest of the Middle East, buffered from the effects of the global financial crisis by the rising price of oil, probably have empathy with the demands of the Tunisians and now the Egyptians and Algerians but are far too comfortable in their air-conditioned apartments being waited on by quasi-slave labor imported from South Asia to actually get off their expanded posteriors to secure meaningful reforms at home, let alone regime change.