Tunisia presents President Obama with the opportunity to show that, unlike Bush and his other predecessors, he will put the long-term interests of Arab people ahead of the short-term interests of Arab governments.

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Media reports over the last hour indicate that Tunisian President Zein Al-Abdine Ben Ali has fled the country (see this story from the NYT). The Prime Minister went on national TV a short time ago to announce that he is taking power. This all comes a few hours after Ben Ali dissolved the government in the face of rising unrest.

More thoughts on all this shortly.