I tried to tell you. “Tough transition in Tunisia after ‘Arab spring,'” by Karin Laub for the Associated Press, April 10:
TUNIS, Tunisia — In the new Tunisia, a store window in the capital displays books that were banned under the former regime. Protesters shout for jobs or justice almost daily on tree-lined streets. And after half a century of one-man rule, Tunisians can choose from more than 50 political parties.
Yet the freedom that is intoxicating Tunisia comes with a sense of fragility, a fear that it could spin out of control. So helmeted troops backed by armored vehicles stand guard along the central Avenue Bourguiba in Tunis, and some buildings are ringed with barbed wire. Police have sealed off a plaza where Tunisians held days-long sit-ins not so long ago, and have fired tear gas to prevent new rallies there.
The contradictions playing out in Tunisia’s streets show how this tiny country’s burst of freedom is marred by a growing anxiety over the future. With elections coming up, liberals worry that democracy will bring the Islamists, perhaps the best-organized political movement in post-revolt Tunisia, to power. Economists fear that continued turmoil will scare off investors and tourists. And activists who helped drive out dictator Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in January are concerned his die-hard supporters will try to regroup….