Images of Arab Revolt, from Technicolor to Gaddafi

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Tom Hall: Gaddafi has the scent of Saddam Hussein about him. He’s been a loyal but erratic servant of the oil bosses who dictate our middle-east policy.

Afghanistan Withdrawal Resolution Passes DNC

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Tom Hayden: The policy resolution demands a “swift withdrawal” of troops and contractors starting with a “significant and sizeable reduction [of troops] no later than July 2011.

The Arab World’s Leadership Deficit

Salah al-Din

Ibrahim Al-Marashi: President Hosni Mubarak was not a leader with the inherent charisma to galvanise the population. It is a problem that faces the entire region.

The New Geography: Today The Middle East, Tomorrow Zamunda

jaffee-joffer-wide

Jasmyne Cannick: It’s no secret that news out of Africa and about Africans is no daily consequence in most national newscasts and that when we do make the news, depending on the region — countries in Africa end up in this fictional continent known as The Middle East.

The Egyptian Middle Class Is Disgruntled. Again.

cairo

Guy Laron: Though protesters in Cairo are clamoring for democracy, the underlying cause of the demonstrations may be the economic plight of the Egyptian middle class, according to historian Guy Laron. In this essay, Laron traces the roots of that economic plight back to the 1952 coup that brought the current military regime to power.

Will Revolution Succeed in Egypt?

cairo protests

Steve Hochstadt: Little depends on what we in the U.S. do. Our best bet is to offer support to democratic institutions, no matter who the likely winner of a free vote might be.

Breathe a Sigh of Relief about Egypt

cairo celebrations

Jim Fuller: The nonsense spewers on Fox keep raving about the dangers of the Muslim Brotherhood coming to power. That is so unlikely that only Fox and some of the more extreme Republicans would take the proposition seriously at this point.

Mubarak Resigns: YAH-YA MISR – “Long Live Egypt”

H. Scott Prosterman: While various imperial occupiers have held sway in Egypt over the centuries, the culture of corruption has pervaded through all aspect of the economy, military and civil service. Much of the service economy is driven by the system of baksheesh (gratuity); so is the civilian and military economy. This is why Camp David was a qualified failure.

Leaked Cables: Egyptian Government Stokes Fears of Muslim Brotherhood

cairo riots

Marian Wang: The Muslim Brotherhood, a key opposition group in Egypt’s anti-Mubarak protests, has long argued that the Egyptian government exaggerates the Muslim Brotherhood’s positions and its likelihood of attaining power in democratic elections. As it turns out, American diplomats agree.

The End of America’s Middle East Empire

middle east empire

As we’ve watched the dramatic events in the Middle East, you would hardly know that we had a thing to do with them.  Oh yes, in the name of its War on Terror, Washington had for years backed most of the thuggish governments now under siege or anxious that they may be next in line [...]

State Department Approved Export of U.S.-Made Tear Gas to Egyptian Gov’t

tear gas

Marian Wang: The American-made tear gas used to disperse pro-democracy protestors in Egypt earlier this week was sold to the country after government review.

U.S. Aid to Egypt: Where Does the Money Go—And Who Decides How It’s Spent?

egypt

Marian Wang: U.S. foreign assistance to Egypt has averaged just over $2 billion every year since 1979, when Egypt struck a peace treaty with Israel [3] following the Camp David Peace Accords.

“Ripples of Hope” in Egypt

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Joseph Palermo: It took decades of inaction, repression, and neglect to produce the mass demonstrations we’re seeing in Egypt. The only real surprise is that something on this scale didn’t happen years earlier.

Arab Unrest Hopping from Country to Country

Tunisia Unrest

Jim Fuller: It’s a tossup at this moment as to whether the Jordanian and Saudi governments will be thrown out, I think. But what about Yemen and Algeria? No one can say at this point.

The International Movement That Would Bring Peace to the Mideast

Yonatan Shapira

David A. Love: Ultimately, Israel must find security through some other means outside of militarism, say these two human rights fighters. “Israel has a right to self-defense, and therefore the first thing for defending ourselves is to stop torturing and killing Palestinians.”

Carrots Likely Better Than Sticks in Iran Dealings

The Bomb

Ivan Eland: Threatening more sanctions, however, will likely be an unproductive approach to getting Iran to end its nuclear program. When assessing human psychology, experts say that negative reinforcement is scarring.

Istanbul: Ancient City, Throbbing Metropolis

istanbul street

Steven Hill: Muslims, Christians, and Jews live in relative harmony here, yet it’s as if its too-jumbled history pulses within the walls, the monuments, the winding streets, indeed within each individual Turk now inhabiting this ground zero zone.

The Company We Keep

karzai and obama

Stanley Kutler: Once again, we have bet the mortgage on one leader, no matter how inept and corrupt he might be. Karzai is playing off various sides, eagerly accepting the largesse and patronage of at least two governments, each with its own interests.

Continued Foibles in Iraq and Afghanistan

hunting taliban

Ivan Eland: In both Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has been blinded by desired TV images of having the locals sport blue thumbs—emphasizing democratic elections versus an increased appreciation for individual rights.

A Big Fool Says to Push On

pete seeger

Ann Wright: On the eve of the beginning of the tenth year (October 7) of the U.S war in Afghanistan, Bob Woodward’s new book “Obama’s War” about presidential decision making on the war in Afghanistan is pretty scary reading. It sounds to me like folk singer Peter Seeger’s song about the Vietnam war “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy,” describes the U.S. war in Afghanistan.

The Taliban: Forced Into Negotiation While Winning?

taliban fighters

Ivan Eland: Although David Petraeus, the top American commander in Afghanistan, recently peddled the notion that senior Taliban chieftains had made contact with senior Afghan government officials about the possibility of starting reconciliation talks, such talk of peace in our time is likely to be hype.

End Illegal War: Support Bradley Manning

collateral damage

Ann Wright: Just as Daniel Ellsberg blew the whistle on the lies of the US leaders of the Vietnam War, Manning is accused of blowing the whistle on the illegality of today’s wars. What will our response to the information Manning is charged with releasing be? Can we make today’s Pentagon Papers lead to an end to illegal and wasteful wars abroad and the return of our troops home?

Los Angeles Launches Nation’s First Israel Divestment Campaign

Jonathan Ben Artzi

Linda Milazzo: Many Americans, myself included, feel a sense of guilt at being unwitting pawns in Israel’s forty-year occupation and systematic torture, deprivation, and dare I say, ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Many Americans are further incensed that our legislators have voted annually to award Israel, a wealthy and thriving nation, 3 billion of our tax dollars which go directly into its military.

Assessing the Iraq War

iraq war amputee

Ivan Eland: The Iraq War was not only disastrous, it was one of the worst strategic blunders in the history of U.S. foreign policy. President Obama should not renegotiate the status of forces agreement with any government in Iraq.

Middle East Peace Process – Reality or Charade?

Mustafa Barghouti

In the questionable likelihood that the Jerusalem settlement issue can be finessed, the “negotiations” could continue over the year President Obama has allotted for a settlement but without a firm commitment to end the occupation, no “peace process” is going anywhere.

On the Art of Exit: Iraq and Afghanistan

John Peeler: Obama appears determined that the wars not overwhelm his domestic agenda, even as, pragmatically, he cannot walk away from either without exposing himself to withering political attacks. If Bush saw himself as a war president, Obama wants to be a reformer with two wars to manage.

An Unsanitized Look at the Origins of the Iraq War

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Joseph Palermo: Saddam’s human rights record was not an adequate justification to go to war and the Bush Administration did not seriously try to make it one, until long after the war began and all the other plausible justifications had been proven false.

US Combat Ends in Iraq, But Covert Operations Begin

Iraq

Tom Hayden: While the Obama administration struggles to keep its pledge to end the Iraq war, a behind-the-scenes plan is developing in which the Baghdad regime “invites” the American military to stay.

Main Effect of the WikiLeaks Documents Is Political

Ivan Eland: So the only thing the WikiLeaks documents reveal is how persistent the post-9/11 war and nation-building fever continues to be among the foreign policy elite—even in the face of the dismal results on the ground for almost a decade and a majority opinion in America that the war is not worth fighting.

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