The policy makers, commentators and analysts are speculating how far this revolutionary current will go in the Arab world, which was triggered by the tragic suicide of a young Tunisian graduate, Mohammed BouAzizi. It is painful to imagine what this young man was going through moments before he took his life. The cruel irony is he was punished by the police for trying to make an honest living; after failing to gain employment, he committed the ‘crime’ of selling vegetables in the market without a permit.
The Arab world as a whole is not poor. Many in Tunisia and Egypt are suffering from poverty, but their neighbour, Libya, is soaking in oil-money and Algeria is relatively wealthy. Across the Red Sea, Yemen, Syria, Palestine and Jordan are poor, however Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Abu-Dhabi, and Kuwait are drenched in oil-money. This division between the rich and poor nations is not entirely natural, because the borders were drawn after the First World War by the colonial nations; by that time, oil was discovered which was essential for the armed forces and the navy. Therefore, colonial Britain and France ensured the lands were divided to suit their interests and the US continued to endorse the same policy, because the division of Arab lands also helps to provide Israel with greater security; one of the reasons for the massive military intervention in 1991 to maintain the Kuwaiti borders. For Israeli’s security, the continuous funding of the various Arab-Zionist regimes like Mubarak becomes a necessity for the US. After the decades of funding, naturally the US is reluctant to support the call for his removal.