Fight Terrorism through Democratization, Lessons from Tunisia

An act that could take a significant wind out of the terrorism’s sails is the democratization of the Middle East. The U.S. have supported and assisted undemocratic government in the Middle East for far too long. This had lead to large portion of the population being alienated. Some of these people who have a grim outlook of the future are turning to extremism and terrorism.  To win the “war on terror”, we can’t continue to rely solely on bombing that continue to results in civilian’s death. Giving people in the region a voice, by giving them a real democracy, would alleviate this feeling of hopelessness. It would turn them away from terrorism and become an active participants in a democratic system.

Following Tunisia’s revolt, leaders in the Arab world are casting a wary eye on development in Tunisia (nytimes). Meanwhile in Egypt, people are following the act that triggers the Tunisian revolution – protest by self immolation. This has caused Egypt stock exchanged to plunged. It remains to be seen whether Tunisia’s transitional government will call a democratic election soon. Will they try to preserve their hold on power by appointing the opposition to minor positions? Among those appointed is Tunisian Pirate Party member and free speech activist Slim Amamou, who was jailed during the crackdown earlier. Guardian is reporting that four of the recently appointed ministers have quit. The success so far of Tunisia’s revolution could be credited to two things: a large population of educated youth, and revolution spurred on by internet through Wikileak and social networking. This had allowed them to bypass government’s censorship. The internet have become an important counterbalance to the declining objectivity in the mainstream media. We must ensure that this new medium remains free from interference and censorship. Net neutrality, at home and abroad,  is crucial for the preservation and advancement of democracy in the information age.

Other related news:

The Wikileak that sparked the Tunisian Crisis (The Business Insider)

Tunisia: New government leaders quit ruling party (BBC News)

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