There's a bit of the Tunisian in all of us; just as there was a bit of the Iranian in us who identified with those Iranians who protested against the rigged presidential election in Iran in 2009.
Whether we know the details of our own revolution to overthrow the tyranny of King George III, we at least know of the patriots who came together in July 1776 and signed the Declaration of Independence knowing as they did they would all hang for sedition if the rebellion they initiated ended in failure.
Few of us may actually be Tunisian Arab or Persian Iranian but there is a kinship with those who are ready to sacrifice themselves, uphold their dignity and self respect by rebelling against a governmental officials' humiliation and in open defiance against the states oppression. It is sad for the Iranian protestors the regime prevailed and crushed their resistance. That may be for the time being but (to this observer) that spirit of rebellion in the Iranians didn't get crushed and lives on to eventually succeed in another day.
In Tunisia, their rebellion and revolution has sent the dictator packing. The latest development occurred yesterday when General Rachid Ammar, the Tunisian army chief (the general who would not fire on his own people when ordered by then President Ben Ali and whose defiance had much to do with Ali fleeing the country) got on a bullhorn in front of a thousand protestors and announced, "Our revolution is your revolution" and the Tunisian "army will protect the revolution" insuring stability and a democratic outcome for the country until the interim government had elections. The general's announcement is surely a promising bit of good news for the Tunisians.
In other Arab countries, the ongoing developments in Tunisia continue to resonate. Particularly in Egypt where today opponents of the Mubarak regime have scheduled protests in that country around a national holiday, (where several protestors have emulated Mohammad Bouazizi, the Tunisian fruit seller whose self immolation in front of his government's offices touched off his country's revolution) a direct result of the revolution in Tunisia. It remains to be seen what Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's response will be to his peoples demonstrations today (previously outlawed in the country).
But needless to say the political landscape in the Arab world has changed. It is clearly more than Muslim radical fundamentalist jihadists and Osama bin laden inspired terrorism that resonates with the oppressed and disenfranchised majority of people living under Arab dictatorships.
Hopefully the events in Tunisia will help our American government reflect on its own imperialism and militarism and recognize its current folly in Iraq and Afghanistan can't bring democracy at the point of a gun; that our preemptive invasions, occupations and an endless war on terrorism is counter productive and acerbates the terrorism against us; that our support for Arab dictatorships and our one sided support of Israel's occupation of the Palestinians promotes instability and a festering hatred of us in the world.
Maybe little Tunisia can show a better way for the Arab world and for us as well.