USA-Tunisia, an unnamed crisis

Can we consider what has happened in recent days between the United States and Tunisia as a real diplomatic crisis between the two countries? Absolutely not. These are only small skirmishes intended to amuse the gallery, to reassure, on the other side of the Atlantic, the American taxpayers about the fate of their money, and on the Tunisian side, to tickle the nationalist fiber to better divert the attention of the Tunisians from the hiccup of the referendum on the new republic’s constitution.

The statements of the future US ambassador, Joey. R. Hood before a commission of the US Congress or the Anthony Blinken commission, the US Secretary of State certainly constitutes a significant interference in the affairs of an independent and sovereign state. But it is not the first time that the Americans have allowed themselves to interfere in the affairs of other sovereign countries, including Tunisia. The existing world order, the geopolitical situation in Tunisia and the obvious imbalance in the relationship between our two countries make Tunisia a country dependent on American aid, which can only rarely and sparingly resist American interference. . It is not Bourguiba who wants to.

On the Tunisian side, the reactions, both official and civil society, were therefore expected, justified and explainable, even if they do not have the same motives and do not aim at the same goals.

Several Tunisian political parties and many associations and civil society organizations have, in individual or collective press releases, condemned US interference in our country’s internal affairs. Some even demonstrated in front of the US Embassy in Tunis, shouting anti-American slogans. But what most irked components of Tunisian civil society were the declarations of the incoming US ambassador about his desire to put pressure on the Tunisian authorities to normalize their relations with the State of Israel. The arrogant extravagance of these statements touched a particularly sensitive thread in the hearts of all Tunisians regarding the Palestinian issue and explains the virulent reaction of Tunisian civil society.

On the other hand, for President Kaïs Saïed and his government, the latest American statements are blessed bread and a gift from heaven at a time that could not be more appropriate. His declaration of the sovereignty of the Tunisian state and the summoning of the prosecution of the US Embassy in Tunis by the Tunisian foreign minister can be interpreted as strong signs of protest and a message of fusion between the leader Kaïs Saïed and his people. Unfortunately, they can also be interpreted as a maneuver to divert attention from the setbacks of the regime in place in relation to the referendum. Indeed, it is clear that the entire process of drafting the new constitution as well as the referendum process was marked by multiple and obvious irregularities. Now, in totalitarian regimes, in similar cases where the regime is confronted with its own internal contradictions, the magic formula is to create a danger or a foreign enemy. This makes it possible to weld the internal front around the leader and forget the time to defend the country’s sovereignty, the internal setbacks.

The only condition necessary to practice this policy of diversion is to have the funds for this policy. For the right reasons, both with Spain and more recently with France, the Algerian neighbor has successfully activated the nationalist lever. But even for the wrong reasons, the Saudi regime succeeded in forcing American and French leaders to embrace the bloodthirsty crown prince. In both cases, for good or bad reasons, we had to have the resources of Algeria or Saudi Arabia, not wait for American, European or other aid and an agreement against our interests with the IMF, for which we and future generations will pay a high price .

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