I think a lot of the differences and confusion around this (including my own! as I supported this nonsense Arab Sting until it came to Libya, and then the truth suddenly dawned on me that this was just an old neo-colonial colour revolution job) is to do with the challenges and situation of the global struggle against neo-colonialism, esp in relation to our Global South countries.
Let's be clear from the outset: Russia and China not only did not supporting the Arab Sting from the start, but opposed it. And, in hindsight, they were more right, and many of us were/are more wrong on the issue. Russia and China saw it from the outset as a western backed and oriented operation to weaken the countries, regions and their relations with Russia, China and BRICS and allied forces more generally.
While Ben Ali and Muburak were hardly our cup of mint tea, I think we have to start our analysis in a completely different starting point and place: what was the strategic aims of imperialism in relation to the countries impacted? I think the following was the case, and they did the following on the premise that the 'west' knew very well that the people in Tunisia and Egypt had no capacity at all to overthrow their leadership, build a new country in the face of wars of aggression against imperialism, hence they knew that all the mass protests was just instability creating movements which will only benefit the hemegon, ie., the neo-colonialists:
1 - weaken and divide Africa and the 'near East'
2 - unleash and deepen all societal tensions be it on ethnic, gender, class, regionalist, tribal lines
3 - unleash sectarian forces, especially the Ikhwan who are the stalking horses for AlQaeda and Isis type neo-colonial death squads
4 - unleash a neo-colonial terrorism project across Africa and Asia through the Arab Sting
5 - Push out Russia and Chinese influence and relations with the countries impacted by the Arab Sting
6 - Annul ANY functional relations with the anti-imperialist camp that Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria has/had
7 - destroy these countries in so doing all the above so as to stop the BRICS and allies from having any functional relation with them (this has totally failed in Egypt btw, thanks to the Egyptians giving a mass mandate to Sisi to chop the Ikhwan, which he has done thoroughly)
Apart from Egypt and now the current Egyptian-Tunisian push back against this neo-colonial strategy, the neo-colonialists have been very effective and we generally were very stupid (me included!).
We time and time again start from some fantasy of anti-imperialism like we are back in the 1960s, we are not.
No one can name ONE peoples movement and uprising of the last 20 years that has resulted in the overthrow of a state and instituted some anti-imperialist new state. It hasnt happened because GENERALLY (there are always exceptions) we are in a new era whereby a united anti-imperialist front is required everywhere to, in unity with the BRICS and allies, push back and push down the neo-colonialists in this last period of struggle against imperialism until it is no more.
"And Nidaa restored ties with Syria purely for security reasons, to track individuals and cells working with terrorism in Syria and Tunisia, just as Australia recently began doing."
This reflects perfectly the conflation and ideological mess we are in. We are conflating a global south country - Tunisia's - moves against the neo-colonial death squads with a neo-colonial power such as australia? It is being stated that Tunisia's cooperation with Syria is the same as australia's?
No, what is incumbent in ALL Global South countries that we build anti-imperialist united fronts with as many forces and classes as possible to maintain independence and peace, and that we prepare the masses and armed forces for defensive wars of liberation against neo-colonial/nato wars of aggression, and that we develop South-South relations to develop the economic, military and political united capacity to defeat the 'west' in this crucial next two decades. We are living through the MOST important period ever known to Humanity, we are living through the challenge of either defeating ALL colonial oppression, or colonial oppression defeating all of us.
The lessons of the Arab Sting therefore are crucial to the lessons and challenges facing the current global revolution against neo-colonialism.
- Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm