I have a friend who lives in Marseilles, France that I chat with on occasion about international issues. I've always found it fascinating to talk with folks from other countries about their perspectives on American and international politics. I think the last conversation we had dealt with the movie "Wild Reeds" and Algeria's historical relationship with France. So when I heard about the upheavals in both Tunisia and Egypt, I thought that it might be a good time to converse with him again, because I am sure that the European press is covering the events there much more thoroughly than the American press.
The fact that I am only vaguely aware of some of the potential issues that have sparked these demonstrations and revolts shows, to me anyway, that I am too often focused only on issues dealing with my country's internal politics. Tunisia and Egypt are in the midst of real political tumult. How will that affect our relationships with those countries? How will American interests shift as the dust settles? Are the underlying circumstances in these countries similar to those that sparked Iran?
Being too insular is never a good thing.