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When one mentions Tunisia, what comes to mind?

Fabulous beaches?  Decently quaffable local wines?

A rich history dating back well before the year dot?

How about The Punic Wars?

Carthage? In its day, the historically powerful city of Carthage on what is now the Tunisian coast was the largest, most prosperous, and aggressive of the Phoenician cities

Even those who did not study either Latin or the history of the First Punic War, please stay with me here.

Perhaps you recall a chap called Hannibal, a Phoenician?

The First War between the Carthaginians and the Romans lasted from 264-241 B.C.

The Second Punic War (218-201 B.C.) pitted the genius General Hannibal (with his elephants) against Rome, but in the end, Rome won, again.  Rome’s three year occupation of Carthage was savage.

Today’s visitor to Carthage is surrounded by the remains of what once was one of the most powerful cities on the planet.  The Romans saw to it that their conquest would be complete in every way.   Those Carthaginians who somehow managed to flee what was indeed a total massacre had nothing left to which to return.

All structures were destroyed.  To ensure no Carthaginian would ever successfully extract a living from the soil, the Romans spread salt, in depth, all over the lands to ensure nothing would ever bloom or or at least not for a very long time.

Next door one to Carthage today finds the delightful small town of Sidi bou Said which hugs the coastal cliffside and where every house is white and accented in blue trim.

[Typical Sidi bou Said houses]

Ever hear of El Djem, the Roman town out in the desert and which sports of one of the very finest Roman Ampitheatres one has ever run across?

Compared to the ones elsewhere, in Amman, for example, this one is wonderfully preserved.

The most dramatic part is that one drives a long, dead straight road with vast desert on either side.  Then, in the distance, something arises.  You swear it’s a mirage.  No, the closer you get, you’re conscious you breath has been taken away by such a wonder.

So, where do these various other Tunisian roads all lead?

If one reads Samuel P.  Huntington’s book The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, the seeds of doom for any society lie dormant, awaiting to be watered and cultivated by those whose agenda is one which, typically, shocks the conscience and precipitates decline, unrest, war or worse.

We’ve seen that the faux Arab Spring left Tunisia peddling back a few centuries into someone’s view of an Islamist Paradise; assuredly, a contradiction in terms.

According to The U. S. State Department, per a report compiled by the U.S. Embassy in the Tunisian capital, Tunis:

“Tunisia is a source, destination, and possible transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.

“Some Tunisian girls in domestic work in Tunis and other governorates are trafficking victims. In northwest Tunisia, a network of brokers and hiring agencies facilitates child domestic work and domestic servitude, sometimes via weekly markets.

“One study and information from an NGO indicate that 30 percent of the girls enter domestic work before the age of 14; some enter as early as ages 6 or 7.

“In 2010 and 2009, seven Tunisian females were rescued from forced prostitution in Lebanon and a female from Cote D’Ivoire [Ivory Coast] was forced into domestic servitude by a senior staff member of the African Development Bank in Tunis.

“In that same period, an online magazine alleged that dozens of children under 16 were victims of forced labor and prostitution for Libyan tourists.

“In 2008, two women were rescued from forced prostitution in Jordan and three men from forced labor in Italy.

“The Government of Tunisia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the last three consecutive years.”

Some U.S. readers may be surprised that the USA gives Tunisia well in excess of $300-Million each year.  It is not alone.

“The UK is giving £110-Mil ($176.4-Mil, €136.4-Mil, ¥13.83-Bil) over four years for political and economic development in North Africa and the Middle East.

“At the two-day G8 summit in France, the UK and US are pushing for other pledges of financial support.

“Mr Cameron said the summit should send a message to the countries of the Arab Spring that “we are on your side”.”

Forgive my cynicism, but does this look like ‘Spring’ to you?

What do you think of this latest rung on the Ladder to Paradise?

Molotov cocktail for kids: Tunisian children’s magazine publishes deadly recipe

A Tunisian children’s magazine Kaws Kouzah has recently published a detailed step-by-step instruction of how to make a Molotov cocktail. Now the periodical is facing a lawsuit for endangering kids lives.

­The Tunisian Ministry for Women and Family Affairs has expressed concern that the article’s content poses a threat to children’s lives, as it “encourages” the use of Molotov cocktails in acts of “vandalism or terrorism.”

The piece, published under the “knowledge corner” subsection, contained a detailed instruction on the assembly of the deadly mix.  The article, employing colorful illustrations, read a “Molotov cocktail – is a home-made incendiary weapon which consists of a glass bottle and a folded cloth dipped in a flammable liquid – oil, alcohol, petrol.”

The article also provided origin of the term.

“The name was coined by Finnish soldiers in World War II in honor of Vyacheslav Molotov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union during the Winter War, also known as the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940.”

But the most shocking section of the description found by the ministry read, “the unit should be ignited and thrown at the enemy. After the initial contact, the bottle breaks and penetrates the target.”

Last month thousands of enraged Muslim activists rallied around the American embassy in Tunisia until finally storming it, burning the American flag, looting property and setting buildings on fire.

Elsewhere in the Muslim world, demonstrators used Molotov cocktails as they expressed their anger over the kitsch movie Innocence of Muslims, mocking the Prophet Mohammed.

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For those of us reared in any variant of a Judaeo-Christian or other peaceable environment where the human spirit is celebrated, this is not merely child abuse.

This is 8th Century fanaticism on the part of a religion which claims equivalency to the most rational, refined and protective faiths known to mankind.

None of these boys will ever be encouraged to love a woman beyond himself. Forget his ever stepping forward, humbly, with sweaty palms and his heart-in-his-mouth presenting a girl or woman with a rose or any other token of affection.

After all, even if she becomes his wife, like a new iPhone, as she was with her father, she is and will always remain merely his chattel.

Can barbarism can be defeated?

How can any man-child suffer such a total eclipse of humanity, an eclipse of the heart, and live in or amongst a literal powder keg and remain human, much less humane?

(If this fails to play, my apologies.  Please click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af0p3K42NZw&feature=related )

Sadly, Tunisia’s opted to slam the door to visits by most Westerners.

The globe-trotting Carthaginians must be roiling in their graves.

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Late Breaking:

Sadly, it seems that a large swath of Tunisian boys are being recruited and brainwashed into becoming jihadis and, hence, martyrs for the faith (sic).

With chants of: Our leader Bin Laden is America’s worst nightmare,  with the power of faith and our weapon, the PK machine-gun. With the power of faith and our weapon, the PK machine-gun. If they call me a terrorist, I will consider it an honor. Our terror is blessed, a divine call.

One can watch the ugly spectacle here:  Tunisian boys jihadis in training MEMTRI-TV

Hat-Tips to:

http://rt.com/news/tunisia-children-magazine-molotov-cocktail-956/

Miss Bonnie Tyler.  Her website is here:Tyler, Bonnie websitel  She is featured on the latest Only Men Aloud album, Men Aloud: Live from Wales (Amazon Exclusive) ASIN: B003TML0SC.   Amazon USA:  Tyler Men Aloud Amazon USA  Twitter: @onlymenaloud

Amazon UK: Tyler Men Aloud Amazon UK

http://tunisia.usembassy.gov/rpt-trafficking-in-person-2011.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-13565532