August 8, 2012 by Sudhanshu Tripathi
Is the Syrian civil war going to spiral into an all-out conflict? If the West decides to become involved beyond offering tertiary support as it is doing now, and if war envelopes Syria with the government on one side and Western backed rebels on the other, who will fill the vacuum? If the Assad government falls, will radical Islamists take centre-stage thereby worsening Syria’s predicament and forestalling democracy? Will the United States use the insuing vacuum to pressure the Iranians even further into making concessions on the nuclear program? What is unclear is how far the West is prepared to go to insure Assad’s downfall.
Many within the rebel movement are increasingly frustrated by what they see as a lack of resolve by the United States other than offering more than just words of encouragement. While the United States eventually pushed for and was successful in having a no-fly zone over Libya implemented months after that conflict started, the United States has been noticeably absent in the Syrian conflict. A spokesman with a Free Syrian Army battalion told the Washington Post, “America will pay a price for this,” Yasser Abu Ali said.
August 8, 2012 by Ramzy Baroud
Neoconservatives are back with a vengeance. While popular uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and other Arab countries had briefly rendered them irrelevant in the region, Western intervention in Libya signaled a new opportunity. Now Syria promises to usher a full return of neoconservatives into the Middle East fray.
August 8, 2012 by Mohamud Uluso
Since the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was created in Djibouti in 2008, the International Community (IC) has consistently tried to make political change in Somalia without a clear strategy and participation from the local population. In 2011, the IC created a “Roadmap” that repealed the Transitional Federal Charter and federal institutions.
In May 2012, without the consent of the Somali parliament, the IC took away the responsibility of the constitutional drafting from the Independent Federal Constitution Commission (IFCC) established by Somali parliamentary act and from the Committee of Experts (CoE). In July 2012, a pre-approved mandatory “Draft Provisional Constitution (DPC)” has been presented to the Somali people without the right to make amendments to the draft document or to reject it outright.
While the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) has overruled the proposals for amendments or postponement of DPC debate from the majority of the Somali leaders, a mysterious Technical Review Committee under the management of UN bodies and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) which implements the Italian funded project for “supporting the constitutional review process (CRP) in Somalia” has been exercising the discretionary power of re-writing the DPC. The UN-led Constitution-Making Process for Somalia could be described all but “legitimate, accountable, transparent, participatory, inclusive and most importantly Somali-led” as claimed by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG) and head of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS). Contrary to the baseless public statements of the representatives of the IC and the leaders of TFG, the post August government is another Transitional (Interim) Federal Government of four (4) years term.