Annan’s Plan for Syria has Limited Horizons for a Country Snared in Distrust

April 1, 2012 by

The conflict in Syria has often assumed the ominous characteristic of being insoluble or endless. The government and its various opponents have shown little interest in compromise. The Assad regime’s increasingly ferocious efforts have so far failed to suppress the activities of the resistance movements, who, in turn, have been unable to strike a serious blow against the regime. As soon as one part of the country has been subdued by ruthless force, protests have broken out in another.

The Syrian Crisis Needs a Political Solution

March 31, 2012 by

More than a year after the onset of anti-regime protests, the Syrian uprising increasingly resembles a bloody marathon with no finish line on the horizon. With more than 7,000 people killed and ongoing deadly clashes between security forces and the armed opposition, the international community —splintered along geo-strategic lines — is still struggling to craft and establish a clear “road map” for Syria.

Compliance and the Counter-Revolutionary State: The Case of the United States

March 14, 2012 by

Many adversarial relationships exist in politics. On the domestic level, political parties frequently compete with each other to gain control of coveted offices. A contest, which transpires on the international level during periods of international revolution, is counter-revolutionary and revolutionary states spreading opposing doctrines.

Grasping the Syrian Quagmire

March 7, 2012 by

One of the most significant and enduring consequences of the Arab Spring has been the bloody uprising in Syria. For almost a year cities across the Levant have been defying the iron grip of the Assad regime and challenging the police state of the Ba’ath party. Of all the countries engulfed by the revolutionary fever encompassing the Arab World, Syria, a country of 23 million, epitomizes the toughest case.

The Post-WWI Years and the 21st Century

February 24, 2012 by

The world today and the world immediately before the Second World War are strikingly similar. The military and foreign policy of the United States today is comparable to the close-minded introversion of isolationism. European countries are teetering on the brink of economic collapse. The German industrial juggernaut has reignited. The announced rearmament of Russia resembles that of the former Soviet Union, during and immediately after the First World War.

When is an ‘NGO’ not an NGO? Twists and Turns Beneath the Cairo Skies

February 15, 2012 by

A confusing controversy between the United States and Egypt is unfolding. It has already raised tensions in the relationship between the two countries to a level that has not existed for decades. It results from moves by the military government in Cairo to go forward with the criminal prosecution of 43 foreigners, including 19 Americans, for unlawfully carrying on the work of unlicensed public interest organizations that improperly, according to Egyptian law, depend for their budget on foreign funding.

International Redistribution of Wealth

February 8, 2012 by

The past year of stops and starts by the United States on the international stage highlights that the Obama Administration has yet to establish a comprehensive foreign policy. The administration has seemingly decided how to handle matters abroad like a shortstop fielding ground balls: single-gloving them one time, two handed catching another, and letting the ball into the outfield yet another. There is no consistency nor rhyme or reason.

Islamic feminism in the Middle East

February 2, 2012 by

As Islamist political groups continue to make gains in Middle East elections, women activists are evaluating their strategy to improve their roles to help form new governments and to strive for equality. The minefield facing Muslim women is whether to embrace a secular or Islamic feminist approach to achieve their goals and to gain a foothold in Arab politics. Observing from the sidelines are women in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Bahrain hoping for answers to forge their own feminist path.

Tunisia and Egypt One Year On

January 27, 2012 by

January 25 marked the one-year anniversary of the inception of Egypt’s revolution against the dictatorship of the Mubarak regime, eleven days after the success of the Tunisian revolution, when its former president Ben Ali fled the country. Within weeks of the brisk success of these two revolutions (28 days for Tunisia and 18 days in the case of Egypt), the Arab peoples across the region launched their own simultaneous revolts to rid themselves of their decades-long dictatorships, especially in Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Bahrain.

A review of Foreign Policy Association’s ‘After the Arab Spring’

January 12, 2012 by

I had the opportunity to watch, “After the Arab Spring”, a joint project between Foreign Policy Association and PBS, before it airs next month on PBS stations. It’s available on YouTube if you get the opportunity to watch it. “After the Arab Spring” begins with a perfunctory introduction of how the status quo in Arab and North African states was “upended” by the largely peaceful Arab Spring, which has stagnated among promises of elections and reforms.

Can Political Islam Co-exist with Modernity?

January 4, 2012 by

Thanks in no small part to the Arab Spring, now commonly referred to as the Arab Winter – observers and politicians in the liberal leaning west and elsewhere are wary as parties with an Islamic ideological bent ascend to the political pulpits throughout the Middle East and North Africa. From an empirical perceptive, their suspicions are justified. Firstly, little is known of Islamists’ capacities as seasoned, mature, responsible, and effective leaders. Secondly, their discourse, at least in the last two or three decades, has been non-pluralistic in tenor and outlook at best, and inimical to liberalism and democracy at worst.

Hamas and the Brotherhood: Reanimating History

January 4, 2012 by

There was an unmistakable hint of triumph in the comments made by Ismail Haniyeh, Prime Minister of the elected Hamas government in Gaza when he was hosted by Mohammed Badie, Supreme Guide of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.

“Arab Spring” Dominated TV Foreign News in 2011

January 3, 2012 by

The so-called “Arab Spring” led U.S. network television evening news coverage during 2011, comprising a total of about 10 percent of all the news coverage provided by the three major commercial networks during 2011, according to the latest annual review by the authoritative Tyndall Report.

The ABC of Egypt and Western Hegemony

December 21, 2011 by

Since the popular uprising of 25 January, 2011, protestors have not just challenged the figureheads of the old regime, but the very fundamental power structure upon which Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorship had been built. For thirty years the army, bureaucrats and capitalists collectively formed an oppressive alliance against any kind of social justice, economic equality and political freedom for ordinary people.

Islamic Parties Win 75 Per Cent of Seats in Egyptian Elections

December 9, 2011 by

Ever since the fall of deposed president Hosni Mubarak last Feb. 11, the unity the Egyptian people had displayed during the previous 18 days has been slowly eroding. This fracture began to emerge during the nationwide referendum on March 19. Shortly after assuming power, the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) formed a committee of constitutional scholars to propose a roadmap towards the transition to democracy.

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