Larison collects his thoughts:
Ben Ali and his family are now out of power, and publicly the U.S. had no hand in any of it. That could well be the best outcome for Tunisia and the U.S. In any case, the Tunisian protesters have evidently succeeded in forcing Ben Ali out without U.S. support, which can only help make their success appear more legitimate in the eyes of Arab publics elsewhere. There was no reason for the U.S. to insert itself publicly into the dispute, and more important the Tunisian protesters apparently did not need the U.S. to become publicly involved. Tunisians attended to their own affairs, and successfully deposed an autocrat. Instead of dwelling on our failure to meddle publicly, let’s take some satisfaction that Tunisians didn’t need Americans to “speak out” or “take a stand.”
Lets also remember that Ben Ali was close ally of the US.