Three years ago, Mohammed Bouazizi launched the Arab Spring with his fiery protest against corruption and governmental indifference. His death was not in vain. Through a succession of relatively bloodless revolutions, Tunisia announced this weekend it had chosen a secular government over an Islamic government.
What set Tunisia apart from Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria is that unlike American banks to big to fail mantra, Tunisia was too small to care. With the abdication of disgraced American puppet President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the world moved to other issues and Tunisia was left to determine its own future.
The fact the major arms suppliers - U.S., China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Europe, and Russia - did not flood the country with weapons limited bloodshed and forced a political DISCUSSION, not always intellectual, but constant and vibrant. For a while the Islamists had control, but as a country modeled after the European - French democracy, the appeal of Sharia and strict Islamic subrogation did not appeal to the majority of Tunisians even though the country is predominantly Muslim (98% according to the CIA Factbook).
While Ataturk's experiment in Turkey to create a modern Muslim nation subject to secular law is eroding under the pressure of Islamists, the Tunisian turn to secular law gives an example and hope that modern Muslims can practice Islam in a secular environment as part of the world community and not within a Caliphate as Osama bin Laden, Wahhabis or Salafis, and al Qaeda demand.
The lesson learned is that disarmament may be the more practical approach to the burgeoning terrorist movements throughout the world through a concerted effort by the UN to sanction the world's arms suppliers from exporting arms and by seizing control of arms caches in toppled regimes to deny exploitation. Such a policy would expose the false claims made by governments that they supported the Syrian resistance solely with humanitarian aid when they provided weapons to the al-Qaeda resistance, which lead directly to the loss of more than 100,000 lives and spillover violence in Turkey and Iraq.
Perhaps too small to care would be a more reasoned approach to allow people to determine their own futures without the intervention of the outside world. But unlike the Palestinians in Gaza, where the people chose Hamas, it is not our role to force them to choose what WE believe is best for them. As with the Tunisian experiment, maybe the most viable exercise in democracy, as the American experiment demonstrated with the move from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution, is not just revolution, it is evolution.
Watch San Diego 6 News segment: http://www.sandiego6.com/story/kimberly-dvorak-afghan-security-pact-20140105
More Afghanistan stories: http://www.examiner.com/article/us-intelligence-report-predicts-failure-afghanistan
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak
© Copyright 2014 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
Colonel William O'Brien contributed for this report