There were unconfirmed reports, late on 12 January 2011, that Tunisian president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali has been toppled in a military coup, and replaced by General Rachid Ammar, a friend of NATO.
These reports would appear to be premature.
(Military coup in Tunisia?. / Tunisia: Whisperings of Coup Just Rumor · Global Voices)
There have been unconfirmed reports that the military has been preparing a coup. (Curfew ordered in Tunisian capital)
"According to Tunisian opposition sources, army chief General Rashid Ammar was removed for failing to carry out orders, and was replaced by Ahmad Shabir, head of the Tunisian secret service." (Curfew ordered in Tunisian capital)
"Prime Minister Ben Ali made no public appearances on 12 January 2011, increasing speculation that his 23-year-old regime may be nearing its end.
"The Egyptian newspaper El Wafd has reported that his wife and children have already fled for the United Arab Emirates, and the New York Times reports that other Ben Ali relatives have also hastily departed." (Curfew ordered in Tunisian capital)
How might a CIA-NATO coup be organised:
Get the IMF to cause economic discontent.
Hide the fact that Tunisia has been a relative success; and emphasise corruption.
Arrange some protests.
Get the police to shoot some protestors
Bring in the army to take control.
Enter Soros and McDonalds and the US military.
Tunisia's President Bin Ali has done a lot to build a sound economy.
Living standards are as high as in oil-rich states such as Libya.
"Special funds for micro-credits and employment did wonders in poverty alleviation and job creation in the 1990s and beyond." (Bin Ali - Al Jazeera English)
A comment at the Guardian web site (Tunisia's single-president politics.) sums it up:
"Most Tunisians could not care less who rules them, so long as the eceonomy keeps growing (which it does), the Islamists are kept quiet (which they are), the poverty rate remains very low (4 percent - compared to about 15 percent in the UK and US), the education system provides their kids with a decent education (the best in the Arab world), that they have access to a first-rate health system (free of charge), and that the government does not invade their private lives (prostitution is legal and regulated, for instance; CCTV cameras do not follow your every movement)..."
But, the USA and its friends want a Tunisian regime that will allow in lots of American companies, and that will follow the dictates of Washington and Tel Aviv.
And, the USA and Israel like their Arab friends to be backward, feudal and easy to control.
Yesterday Iran, Indonesia, Iraq...
Tomorrow Saudi Arabia?