Friday, January 14, 2011

Stratfor: North Africa After Tunisia

January 14, 2011 | 2031 GMT


The Tunisian government has fallen. The first collapse of an autocratic regime in the Arab world due to a popular uprising has implications for the wider region, where there is no shortage of states with similar vulnerabilities. Though a domino effect is unlikely given the unique conditions in each country, Egypt is the next one to watch.


Unprecedented public agitation in Tunisia has brought down the government of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, an event that may have repercussions far beyond the tiny North African state.

Though a small, closed, and isolated place, Tunisia is part of a significant region where other states — to varying degrees — also are vulnerable to mass uprisings. The social unrest in Tunisia over the past month suggests the decades-old style of governance in the Middle East and North Africa region increasingly is becoming untenable.

Since their establishment in the post-colonial period, regimes in the region have relied on a number of factors to maintain their power. These have included exploiting the Islamist threat to get the masses to accept an autocratic state as a defense against an “Islamic” one. They also have included a strong security and intelligence apparatus that has prevented social mobilization efforts. And they have been marked by an ability to maintain a decent level of economic development by gradually moving away from the command-style economy toward economic liberalization.

Each of these three core factors are no longer working the way they once used to.

For one thing, Islamists increasingly have fragmented into different strands, the majority of which want to pursue their political goals via democratic means. The jihadist threat has also subsided. And most important, a rising Turkey under the Islamist-rooted ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is seen by many people in the Arab world as a template for a system in which religious and secular segments of society could coexist. In essence, the old Islamist bogeyman these regimes would cite is no longer an argument capable of convincing the masses to tolerate a secular

For another thing, the security and intelligence apparatuses in the Arab world have struggled to thwart public mobilization in an age where communication technology has advanced tremendously. When these regimes came to power, people at best had one landline telephone and watched state radio and television — a situation that continued until the last few years. With the explosion of satellite television, the Internet and cellular phones, people have found it much easier to communicate and to mobilize, especially in countries where education levels have gone up rapidly as is the case with Tunisia.

Still another change has been the gradual move by the region’s autocratic regimes from command economies to more market-oriented ones. Some — such as Algeria, Libya, and to a lesser degree, Egypt — have managed the change on account of their petroleum wealth. Meanwhile, the forces unleashed by global financial downturn and economic recession have made it much more difficult for the regimes’ to maintain decent economic conditions in their respective countries. Some of the following countries can rely on energy wealth to address this problem, avoiding the kind of social unrest unleashed in Tunisia due to runaway unemployment; others will not:

Libya has a small population (6.5 million) relative to its size and wealth and is unlikely to see mass unrest. The Gadhafi regime over the years also skillfully has employed institutions to connect with the grass-roots in order to counter the threat of alienation from the government. Besides, in the case of Libya the issue is an intra-elite struggle between old guard and those calling for more reforms.
Algeria is also petro-rich but has a much larger population (35 million). It also has had the worst experience with Islamist insurgency, and given that the North African node of al Qaeda is based in country, many remain fearful that jihadists will exploit any mass rising against the government. There is also a fair degree of democracy in Algeria, with multiparty politics including Islamists in parliament. Each of these factors reduces the chances of a mass uprising.
Morocco is more vulnerable than Algeria given that it has more less the same size population (33 million) but without the energy resources. That it has a constitutional monarchy with multiparty parliamentary politics including an AKP-style Islamist party in the legislature provides it with a decent cushion, however. The society is also significantly torn between religious and secular classes.
Egypt is the most vulnerable in all of North Africa and the Middle East given it is already in a historic period of transition given that its elderly president, Hosni Mubarak, is ailing and his successors are divided over how to ensure regime stability and continuity of policies. Moreover, the opposition boycotted recent elections that it saw as unfair, and opposition parties are lack representation in the system. The country’s largest opposition force, the Muslim Brotherhood, has even said it is considering civil disobedience as a way forward in the wake of the recent electoral rigging. Regime-change in the region’s largest Arab state (80 million people) has huge implications for not just the Arab states but also Israel and U.S. interests.
The Arab masses (not just in North Africa but the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula) have watched the fall of the Tunisian regime blow by blow, creating the possibility that the public in many countries may find inspiration in the Tunisian experience. It is too early to say how things will unfold in the Middle East and North Africa, as each state has unique circumstances that will determine its trajectory. What is certain, however, is that a regional shift is under way, at least to the extent that governments can no longer continue with business as usual.

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Larry Gambone said...

That's two down - Iceland and Tunisia. Wonder which country is next? In crisis is inexorably making its way...

The Sentinel said...


This was to do with food prices and unemployment - nothing else.

If these two elements had remained within reason, the people would have allowed the status quo to remain.

It is not an indication of any political revolution or indeed any political undercurrent at all.

The same applies to Iceland, with the situation with the banks being the prime motivator there.

The more salient comparison here is that compared to the natural hand dealt to Iceland, Tunisia should be far in advance of that barren volcanic island.

Tunisia has 17.05% arable land and 13.08% permanent crop use compared with Iceland’s 0.07% arable land and 0% permanent crops whilst Tunisia is rich in lucrative natural resources such petroleum, iron ore, lead, zinc, salt and phosphate, Iceland has only fish and diatomite.

Yet still Iceland has a GDP per capita (PPP) of $38,400, an unemployment rate of 8.6% with no people below the poverty line, along with an infant mortality rate of 3.21 per 100 live births, a life expectancy of 80.79 years and a literacy rate of 99% compared to Tunisia’s GDP per capita (PPP) of $9,500, , an unemployment rate of 14% with 3.8% below the poverty line, along with an infant mortality rate of 21.75 per 100 live births, a life expectancy of 75.99 years and a literacy rate of 74.3% - just 65.3% for women.

Tunisia’s problems with food production are all self-inflicted and include ineffective toxic and hazardous waste; water pollution from raw sewage; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion and desertification from poor agricultural practice whilst Iceland manages to harvest its natural resources in a clean, powerful and lucrative fashion and is not only self-sufficient in gas, heat and electricity but is also exporting these clean and renewable energy forms – it is also able to produce a bewildering variety of crops due to their ingenious use of clean geothermal energy.

So, seeing as you decided to lump the two together, the real question is given the massive advantage it has over Iceland, why is Tunisia a declining backwater ranked at 81 in the 2010 UN HDI whilst Iceland still has one the most prosperous and highest living standards in the world and is ranked at 17 in the 2010 UN HDI, down from 3 in 2009?

What unseen element does Iceland have that Tunisia doesn’t?

Frank Partisan said...

Larry G: There has been some movement against food prices in Algeria and Jordan. Interesting Ben Ali fled to the Saudis, who are I'm sure looking over there shoulders.

Sentinel: I don't think Larry G is making a direct comparison between Iceland and Tunisia.

What both countries have in common is reactions to the world capitalist crisis. Apparently the weakest links are the first to feel the effects.

Stratfor is saying long term, all of this can have an impact even in a country like Egypt.

Most of Tunisian industries, are from outside exploiting the cheap labor.

SecondComingOfBast said...

That child mortality rate doe Tunisia is through the rood. Almost unbelievable. To be fair, while their literacy rate is also pretty bad, its probably not a lot worse than the actual literacy rate in the US. There's more to being literate than just knowing the basics of reading and writing. Reading comprehension is another matter.

Anyway, where this can make a big difference is in the society. Tunisia is more apt to turn topsy turvy than Iceland. I doubt there will be a socialist revolution. More than likely, the potential vacuum could pave the way for yet another Islamist movement. Tunisia is rife with Islamists anyway, just itching to make their moves. That's true of North Africa in general, especially Algeria.

sonia said...

The worst crisis is in Algeria and Tunesia, where the food prices have exploded for no apparent reason. In neighboring Morocco, food prices remain very low.

Like its neighbors, Morocco has its share of problems - high unemployment (especially among the educated), a huge drop in tourism (due to the crisis) and, like Tunesia, it doesn't have oil revenues to cushion the blow.

But Morocco is arguably the most capitalistic place on Earth. Trade is in their blood. As anybody who has ever visited a souk in Fes can tell you, this will be the last place on Earth where socialism will ever be implemented. America will embrace it years before Morocco.

Tunesia and Algeria, on the other hand, have been ruled by socialists since the early 1960's. Tunesians and Algerians couldn't sell a single warm blanket to a Eskimo tourist, because he would have spend all his money in a souk in Marrakesh buying dozens of refrigirators.

Next revolt will be in Algeria. Good riddance to their socialist regime.

The Sentinel said...

Renegade Eye:

I don’t think the reactions of the peoples of these two countries can even remotely be held as comparable either, and as for the food prices rising – this isn’t really a ‘capitalist’ problem but more one of nature: Food prices are rising all over the world because major production centres have been hit by inclement weather such as floods etc and Tunisia has its own unique self-inflicted set of problems in producing food, as I listed above.

Still, it would be interesting if Larry could answer the question posed in my first comment, or indeed anyone else.

Frank Partisan said...

Sonia: Algeria has had protest. Today students demonstrated in Yemen. Stratfor sees Egypt as exploding election time.

There is no socialist country in North Africa. Nationalized economies are easier to transition to socialism. Without democracy and in the planning and government, your not talking about socialism.

The third world was full of coups by generals etc. The model was Mao's China, not Lenin's model.

Pagan: As of now, Islamists don't hold power in Tunisia.

Sentinel: I don't know.

One reason food prices is rising, is because of ethanol. Another reason is hoarding and speculation.

sonia said...


There is no socialist country in North Africa.

I don't care about symantics. Call it what you want. I use "socialist" as meaning that the government is in charge of the economy, instead of the free market. But that definition, the only North African country that isn't socialist is Morocco. It's also the only country where food prices have stayed low despite ethanol, floods and all those other alleged reasons.

The point is that countries like Morocco have a very different economic system from most of the other North African countries. In Morocco, people know they have to rely on themselves. In Tunesia and Algeria and Libya and Egypt, they are always looking to government for help. At least in Libya, the government has always been there (so far). But in Tunesia, it failed spectacularly and those are the consequences.

Another reason food prices are rising is hoarding and speculation.

You are confusing causes and consequences. Hoarding and speculation are inevitable consequences of incompetent government intervention causing shortages of a product.

Strange how nobody is hoarding any food in Morocco.... It's always in Venezuela or some other socialist "paradise"..

Ducky's here said...

Iceland doesn't have the population of a modest city so it really isn't much of a comparison to Tunisia.

Doesn't have to import much energy unlike Tunisia.

Now just where Iceland will be going as fish stocks decline is a question.

Meanwhile, meet the new boss, same as the old boss. The "new" government of Tunisia is a subset of the same old crew, one that Wikileaks showed the U.S. to be quite cozy with.

Poor Tunisia, there in that tough neighborhood that we just love to death for the energy, unlike Iceland that can get along unmolested until the over fishing takes its toll.

Frank Partisan said...

Ducky: It comes down again to the main problem in most struggles. The problem is a lack of conscious revolutionary leadership. Masses don't study revolution from books, so they are doomed to make mistakes.

Sonia: A Bonapartist regime, even leftist can't be socialist.

Venezuela has the same percentage of nationalized to private property as before Chavez took over. That is explained by the growth of the private sector.

Now we're going through a world food cost hike. In Russia there was drought. In Algeria sugar and cooking oil price rose.

Morocco's government was almost overthrown after Israel invaded Gaza.

The Sentinel said...


Actually having far less people working with virtually no natural resources would be a compelling reason for them to produce far less PPP then Tunisia, not far more.

As for importing energy, that too is entirely anomalous as, for instance, Tunisia has proven oil reserves of 425 million bbl and proven gas reserves of 65.13 billion cu m compared to Iceland’s reserves of 0.

It is only down to sheer ingenuity that the Icelandic’s have galvanised, rather then succumbed to their unique and hostile environment and pioneered the way in geothermal and hydro power that puts them in the position they are in.

Fish too, whilst important as a source of export money, still only employs 7% of the Icelandic workforce and only 12% of its GDP – so it can easily survive without it.

So none of these factors answers why Iceland towers over Tunisia, and indeed most of the rest of the world – despite having one of the worst natural hands dealt to any country on the planet.

Anyone else?

Frank Partisan said...

What's the answer?

SecondComingOfBast said...

There aren't any divisions in their country holding them back, for one, for another, its relatively isolated compared to almost every other country, thus there are no great security concerns. I think the US and Britain helps them in some regards, though investments in infrastructure, as does the EU in a more general sense. Then there is tourism. Who the fuck wouldn't want to go to Iceland. It's a beautiful place. Finally, I wouldn't be so quick to minimize the importance of a highly developed energy infrastructure based on hydro-electric and geothermal. They have no energy worries. I wouldn't minimize the importance of fishing either.

Ducky's here said...

Well Sentinel, if you attempt to build an economy on a single natural resource like oil, doesn't work out too well.

The vultures circle, the corruption moves in and that income flows to other nations and Swiss accounts.

There's always plenty of military aid to ensure the supply. We don't have clean hands in the matter.

Unlike Iceland where foreign investment in the energy sector for aluminum production and other industries the money isn't going to be invested in development. Of course recently Iceland did the capitalist thing and started producing money ... didn't work out any better there.

The Sentinel said...

Renegade Eye:

That’s what I have asked – if you want to find the answer, you have to ask what are the fundamental differences, and then why?

One thing that is different in both, for a start, is the literacy rates (99% for Iceland) and they differ internally in Tunisia too. Whilst overall literacy is at a poor 74.3% - men have 83.4% literacy but women have just 65.3%.

That is, I would suggest one fundamental difference to start with: You then have to ask why…


Why are they no real divisions in the country?

It does have legitimate security concerns though, not so much for who they are but for where they are. They would almost certainly be attacked in the event of east to west conflict with the US due to their strategic location (which is why the US has bases there) – indeed during WW2 it was the British who invaded to pre-empt the Germans, such was the importance of the location.

Tunisia is a hugely popular tourist spot for Europeans (till last week) because of its climate and low prices – and it draws a huge amount of income from this.

Iceland is beautiful but extremely expensive – I have been to both and can say that you could get around 8 weeks all inclusive in Tunisia for about 5 days room only in Iceland.

Of course Iceland’s energy infrastructure is important – so much so that will be exporting energy to the US soon – but again we arrive at the point that Iceland has no conventional energy reserves whereas Tunisia has abundance. It was sheer ingenuity that took Iceland to the stage it was at now.

And of course fish is important to Iceland – it is currently 40% of its exports – but still over 90% of its work force are employed elsewhere and its only a little over 10% of its GDP.


Iceland pretty much founded its economy on fish – and that worked very well for them.

Despite dropping from 3rd in the 2009 UN HDI due to its economic misfortune, it is still a very respectable 17th in the 2010 UN HDI and is set to climb back up. Absolutely remarkable for a sparsely populated, barren, isolate, crop-less volcanic island with virtually no natural resources.

Conversely, Tunisia are relatively late-comers to the oil business, and have had iron ore, lead, zinc, salt and phosphate as fiscal resources as well as olives, olive oil, grain, tomatoes, citrus fruit, sugar beets, dates, almonds; beef, and dairy products as agricultural fiscal resources and its main exports are clothing, semi-finished goods and textiles, agricultural products, mechanical goods, phosphates and chemicals, hydrocarbons, and electrical equipment

Even today the majority of the work force is not even in industry (31.9% for all industry, a lot of mining will be found in this figure as well textile and non-textile manufacturing) but agriculture (18.3%) and services (49.8%) – and a lot of them will be in tourist services.

Of course Tunisia is corrupt – which country in the region isn’t – but again that is a state of being and not a reason for getting there.


So again, none of these factors really tally – nor do they explain why Iceland towers over Tunisia, and indeed most of the rest of the world – despite having one of the worst natural hands dealt to any country on the planet.

SecondComingOfBast said...

I forgot to mention, the fact that the island has such a small population might also be a factor that is in its favor. Not that much competition for those limited resources, and in the case of the fishing industry, that could be vitally important. A heavier population would drain the island and make it extremely difficult for anyone to make more than a subsistence living. It would not take too great an increase in the birth rate in a small place to become dangerously overpopulated.

As for Tunisia, you have a situation where the people who control the wealth, and the resources, probably amount to about the number of people in Iceland. The average person there doesn't have much of a chance to rise above his fairly shitty station in life, and in fact, probably does not allow himself any realistic hopes of doing so.

Frank Partisan said...

Ghadaffy came down straight on the side of the Tunisian dictatorship.

More about Tunisia here

The Sentinel said...


As I said, having far less people working with virtually no natural resources would be a compelling reason for them to produce far less PPP then Tunisia with lots of resources - not far more.

And when we say virtually no resources, we mean none inland. Just fish. Whereas Tunisia has a diverse abundance of resources and subsequent exports.

And again, the corruption and hierarchy of Tunisia is a state of being, not a reason for getting there.

SecondComingOfBast said...


The reason for getting there is Islam. I know its not an Islamic government, but that's beside the point. The people are Islamic, with an Islamic mindset. Icelanders are free-minded and independent of thought. It's cultural. Some Tunisians might make money and achieve some degree of success, but they will still face huge obstacles, due to the culture. And there is no longer a Soviet Union that will finance a socialist movement or government.

Without such outside assistance, there is no socialist movement that will gain much traction against such an ingrained religious culture. When the dust settles in Tunisia, it will either be an Islamic "republic" or a reshuffling of the present deck chairs. Any democratic movement, socialist or otherwise, will as usual be installed at the point of a foreign gun. It will have to be done that way, or not at all.

I don't think I made it clear when I said how Iceland's small population was positive in their case. A small population means there are more resources available to the people that are there. A person that might become a millionaire in the fishing industry might well be just a subsistence fisherman in Britain, due to the greater population. There's just not enough to spread around.

Think of two wealthy family patriarchs, both with heirs to leave their fortunes to. One family has ten children, the other only has two. The two children from the one family get to divide twenty million dollars. The family with ten children get to divide one hundred million dollars. The two children from the "poorer" family will inherit as much as the wealthier one.

Frank Partisan said...

The discussion is only slightly better than Beakerkin comparing modern Spain's GDP to Cuba's.

The Sentinel said...


Sure - culture must be part of it, surely? A large part of it, too.

And how does culture come about, ultimately? What is it?

Renegade Eye:


Because you haven’t really bother to discuss this at all.

You asked what the answer was - I told you it has to lie in what fundamental differences there are between the two states. Obviously. That much is clear and logical.

But you went strangely silent when I pointed a glaring one out: “One thing that is different in both, for a start, is the literacy rates (99% for Iceland) and they differ internally in Tunisia too. Whilst overall literacy is at a poor 74.3% - men have 83.4% literacy but women have just 65.3%”

So rather then condescend, why not substance instead?

SecondComingOfBast said...

I think to a large extent, culture in forged by environment. Man's interactions with his environment will lead to how man cooperates with each other in meeting the challenges of nature, and others from there. The culture will develop from there.

The Sentinel said...


If culture were just a product of environment – then, just for example, would the full Burqa emerge and become prevalent in some of the hottest countries in the world, whilst short skirts and skimpy clothing is the norm in some of the coldest.

Renegade Eye:

Have had any ideas at all on this?

It is kind of important really, considering you think all the worlds problems come down to class.

SecondComingOfBast said...


You happened to pick two of the greatest possible examples of cultural opposites. The burqa is a symbol of domination and slavery. The skimpy clothing is a symbol of freedom, of casting off bondage. Why do you think radical Islamists go so bat shit insane at the sight of a woman's bare legs, or a mere partial view of her breasts, or even her hair and her face. It's because they are enraged not so much at what they see as loose displays of immorality, but as a brazen display of western woman's independence. That's something they can't deal with, because they simply don't have the capacity to embrace that kind of appreciation and respect for individual, personal freedom.

Both cultures set out on their current paths a long time ago. Weather and the environment weren't the only factors that pointed them towards the choices they made, but they may have been the first and most important factors.

The Sentinel said...


Well I’d say you have hit the nail on the head again in respect of the reasons behind those differences.

But again, the very deliberate choice between despotic oppression or libertarian freedom for those generally weaker then men has no input from the environment at all.

Nor does the torturous and brutal punishments that we now consider a horrific relic of the past, looking back on them with a shudder as ‘the dark ages’.

Norr of course the prohibition of usury and the whole approach to finance and banking - which is another prime example of another fundamental difference.

The environment has no bearing whatsoever in any of these essential differences.

SecondComingOfBast said...

You've got to take it back to the beginning to what extent that is possible, you can't just see things through the prism of the present. But okay, look at it this way. You have two different situations that happen to be similar in some respects. You have two different peoples, both surrounded by hostile environments. In order to cope with these environments, it required a large degree of cooperation, and to some extent self-sacrifice.

Now these two people had a choice. They could gain the cooperation they needed primarily by coercion or force, or they could get it by establishing a system based more on meritocracy. In reality, both cultures had probably had a degree of both in the beginning, but in one case it might have been slanted more toward the more positive approach, in the other the more negative.

As years went by, then decades and centuries, the culture was established. By the way, I'm not too clear on when the Arab peoples veered more towards the more coercive approach. It might have come with the predominance of Islam, or well before that. I suspect it kicked in with the establishment of Islam, but I'm not sure.

I do know that there were myriad of Arab tribes, and each one seemed to have their own particular religion, culture, etc. They each had their place at the Quaba, a shrine to their gods, and their goddesses. It doesn't seem to have been that tyrannical a situation until Mohamed came alone and "cleansed" the Quaba of the "false idols" and forced adherence to the cult of Allah, who was at one time just one god among many.

At any rate, its a lot more complicated than just assuming that its all a matter of dna. It might well be that way now, because its been ingrained over the centuries, and constantly reinforced, and even inherited. But there still was a path that had to be taken to get to that point.

The Sentinel said...


Of course environments play some part in cultures, but predominantly a culture is an expression of its origin at source. That is to say a culture is a product of its people.

It is extremely easy to take the comparative examples of Tunisia and Iceland, their relative resources and natural hand and their subsequent development and success and perform this exercise with virtually any two states on this planet at polar ends of development.

Such an exercise does have two constants: North European (or states of North European descent) are at the highest states of development, and the environments of these countries are just as varied as any other at significantly lower states of development.

Just as Australia is as vast, hostile and barren as it gets on this earth but yet is still a first world country ranked 2nd in the 2010 UN HDI, so Brazil is vast, lush, fertile and yet is at best a second world nation and ranks 73rd.

The comparison – much further in depth and scope - could be continued across the board, and it would clearly demonstrate that with equal - or in most cases worse - natural hands, the North European states still tower over the rest regardless of the environment they are in.

That is the irrefutable truth. That is the reality.

So instead we have some unworldly, convoluted anti-reality piffle to try and alter perceptions away from that reality, purely in pursuit of political dogma: The environmental theory is just another in that long list of anti-reality devices.

As much as the anti-reality so-called ‘left’ want to brush over scientific realities and still tell us that we are all one the same – the very anti-thesis of true diversity - the simple truth is that we are not. From the DNA research carried out so far, scientists have discovered 12% CNV difference between the races and the SNP difference between the races is 30%.

We also know that there is significant differences in core enzymes, genotypes and hormones that produce development and behavioural expressions such as cerebral convolutions, ACTN3, MAO-O, DAB1, testosterone to name a few – but the variation in allele frequencies between populations for virtually every known polymorphic gene is significant.

If environment is not a fundamental factor in development and success – and demonstrably it isn’t – then most certainly the very essence of whom we are and how we express that difference, is.

SecondComingOfBast said...


The point I was making is not that DNA and racial differences are not significant. They very well might be. I don't know one way or another, not do I claim to know. My point is, man's relationship to the earth, to his natural world and his environment, and how they related and cooperated with each other in coping with not only the environment, but with other challenges, is what set the pace. The dna divergences would have come later, at a time when different tribes were more isolated, and insulated. This would insure that there would be differences in each ones genetic makeup, because everyone is different to a degree to begin with.

You start adding bottlenecks and the resultant in-breeding into the equation, and the differences will in effect be even more pronounced.

But those differences are an effect, not an original cause.

The Sentinel said...


I understand where you are coming from, but the problem is that environment hasn’t played any significant part in a countries comparative development and success.

North European states and states of North European descent have excelled in every region and climate from tundra to desert to jungle – and the simple fact is that they have thrived within a very short space of time in environments that were alien to them, way over and beyond either the natives or the closest indigenous groups.

Australia for instance, became a first world country in its own right within around a hundred years of its very inception, and the US managed it not too long after either.

The one constant is the people, not the environment.

The OOA theory is discredited more and more each day, with discoveries of homo and archaic fossils and skulls far older then the OOA theory permits, just as the late ‘80s 147 sample study on the mitochondrial genome as a plank for OOA has been discredited by Nuclear DNA mitochondrial and Y chromosome studies.

The truth is, if genuine independent scientists weren’t so terrified of this PC tyranny, much more research would have already been done in this area and the results and implications of more studies already undertaken would have been released.