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Sep 16, 2012 / 2 notes
Feb 29, 2012 / 2 notes
Oct 14, 2011 / 7 notes
Oct 14, 2011 / 7 notes
Aug 23, 2011

Libya Inspires the Arabs

by Marc Lynch

The scenes of the joyous reception for Libyan “Freedom Fighters” entering Tripoli with little resistance yesterday sent an electric shock through the Arab public.

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Aug 22, 2011

In Libya’s Wake: Pressure Builds on Assad

Was Syrian President Bashar al-Assad one of the millions around the world who watched Libyan revolutionaries triumphantly stream into their capital Tripoli on Sunday night? Did the sudden collapse of most of the Libyan regime’s defenses in and around Tripoli cause Assad to feel a heightened sense of anxiety? It’s impossible to tell but the Twittersphere certainly drew parallels between the two regimes, with many jubilant commentators predicting that the young Syrian president would be the next Arab leader toppled by his people.

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Aug 15, 2011

Why Turkey Holds the Key to the Regional Power Game on Syria

by Tony Karon

As the Assad regime on Sunday escalated its brutal crackdown by sending gunboats to shell the coastal city of Latakia, yet the rebellion shows no sign of abating despite at least 1,700 deaths so far, Syria’s fate may come to rest less in the hands of its own people, than in the corridors of power in neighboring and more distant capitals.

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Aug 11, 2011 / 1 note

A Revolutionary Ramadan

by Foreign Policy

A great slideshow summarizing where the uprisings in the Arab world stand today.

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Aug 5, 2011 / 3 notes

Egyptians See Signs of a Reckoning in Mubarak Trial

by Anthony Shadid

MIT KENANA, Egypt — In this town of unfinished brick buildings, along parcels of corn and rice watered by the Nile, the elation, suspicion and introspection of a country played out along one street a day after residents witnessed the unthinkable: former President Hosni Mubarak put on trial.

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Aug 3, 2011 / 1 note

The New Hama Rules

by Thomas Friedman

What a difference three decades make. In April 1982, I was assigned to be the Beirut correspondent for The Times. Before I arrived, word had filtered back to Lebanon about an uprising in February in the Syrian town of Hama — famed for its water wheels on the Orontes River. Rumor had it that then President Hafez al-Assad had put down a Sunni Muslim rebellion in Hama by shelling the neighborhoods where the revolt was centered, then dynamiting buildings, some with residents still inside, and then steamrolling them flat, like a parking lot. It was hard to believe and even harder to check. No one had cellphones back then, and foreign media were not allowed access.

That May I got a visa to Syria, just as Hama had been reopened. It was said that the Syrian regime was “encouraging” Syrians to drive through the town, see the crushed neighborhoods and contemplate the silence. So I just hired a cab in Damascus and went. It was, and remains, one of the most chilling things I’ve ever seen: Whole neighborhoods, the size of four football fields, looked as though a tornado had swept back and forth over them for a week — but this was not the work of Mother Nature.

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Jul 31, 2011

Robert Fisk: The Arab world’s dictators cling on, but for how long?

by Robert Fisk

Egyptian ex-president Hosni Mubarak is going on trial next Wednesday

Ever a weathervane of passing fortunes, Walid Jumblatt has begun to make some very pessimistic comments about Syria.

Druze leader, head of the Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party, “warlord”, he it was who suggested that the international UN tribunal into the 2005 assassination of ex-prime minister Rafiq Hariri might be set aside in the interests of “stability before justice”. Howls of rage from Saad Hariri, the ex-premier’s son, currently perambulating around the world to stay out of Lebanon – understandably, because of his own fears of being murdered – while Sister Syria sits silently to the east. Now Jumblatt is saying that some in Syria are impeding reform.

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Jul 21, 2011

Sure, ‘Gaddafi Must Go’, But What Else Did U.S. Officials Tell the Libyan Leader’s Envoys?

by Tony Karon

Washington insists that the U.S. officials who met with representatives of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Tunisia last week were not negotiating; they simply went to deliver one message: “Gaddafi must go.” There’s no reason to doubt that this demand was the center-piece of what the Americans told Gaddafi’s emissaries, since Obama Administration concurs with all the NATO powers — and even those skeptical of the Western alliance’s war effort, such as Russia and the African Union — that the key to a political solution to the conflict is for the self-styled “Brother Leader” to relinquish power. But that message has been delivered repeatedly through the metaphorical megaphone of the media throughout the five-month civil war. Presumably the reason it was communicated discreetly by diplomats behind closed doors last weekend is that it was accompanied by some ideas on just how Gaddafi might “go”, and what would follow if he does.  

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Jul 21, 2011 / 1 note

Blunt Anthem Tells Syrian Leader It’s Time to Go

by Anthony Shadid

HAMA, Syria — As anthems go, this one is fittingly blunt. “Come on Bashar, leave,” it declares to President Bashar al-Assad. And in the weeks since it was heard in protests in this city, the song has become a symbol of the power of the protesters’ message, the confusion in their ranks and the violence of the government in stopping their dissent.

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Jul 20, 2011

Will Egypt’s Military Hijack its Revolution?

by Tony Karon

Turkey, with its pluralistic democracy and booming economy under the stewardship of a moderate Islamist party, is hailed as the model for post-Mubarak Egypt by many leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. But the latest initiatives by the 25-man military junta that has ruled since February’s ouster of President Hosni Mubarak suggests that the generals are guided by their own Turkish model, of an earlier era — a military autonomous of civilian political control, claiming veto power over the democratic process and intervening at will as self-appointed guardian of secularism and the national interest.

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Jul 19, 2011 / 1 note

Why the Arab Spring Never Came to the U.A.E.

by Angela Shah

To understand why the Arab Spring has largely passed by the United Arab Emirates, take a moment to listen to Naser Al Hammadi. “What more do we need?” says the 30-year-old electrical engineer. “Here, everything is taken care of. Our education. Our health care. We have free housing.”

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