If any reader would have the time and kindness to scan and send me (issandr -AT - arabist.net) Christopher Hitchens' essay on Tunisia in the latest issue of Vanity Fair, I would be eternally grateful. The column was discussed briefly here:
Hitchens makes a case for the Tunisian dictatorship. The country is, after all, a relatively healthy place for women and an inhospitable place for Islamists. On a weak base, it features a relatively thriving economy. It has the great merit, Hitchens points out, of not being Algeria, let alone Libya. Points taken, if not being the rest of Africa is a compliment.It sounds outrageous, but I would like to see it before commenting myself.
I'm not competent to know all of what Hitchens fails to observe, but the following lines of his caught me up short: "you can say for Tunisia that people do not lower their voices or look over their shoulders (another thing that has made me nervous in my timne) before discussing" the dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.