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Memo to Tunis: Beware Untimely Propaganda

Tunisian politician ponders whether his nation can be an island of stability in the Mideast and North Africa. We're going with no.

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Direct from the Department of Unfortunate Timing comes a press release Thursday, touting U.S. speeches next week by the leader of Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda Party. In Washington and New York, Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi will touch on Tunisia’s work toward building a democratic government in the nation that is widely considered the birthplace of the Arab Spring protests that roiled the Middle East and North Africa in late 2010 and 2011.

It is fair to note that Tunis has had its ups and down in terms of progress since then, and the country is no longer ruled by a dictator.

Still, we cringed a bit — and are pretty sure patrons of the National Bardo Museum in Tunis would have as well — when we saw that one of Ghannouchi’s speeches is titled: “Can Tunisia Be an Island of Stability and Democracy in the MENA Region?”

We’re going to go with no. At least for right now.

FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images

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