Topic: Middle East

Once unshakable, Syria rocked by protests

The unprecedented wave of protests in Syria have violently continued and spread across the country for a second week.
Syria’s importance to the Middle East is vital. They are supporters of Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, all condemned by the United States. They are still openly at war with Israel, although conflict has not been seen…

Yemen political chaos continues, U.S. remains cautious in making decision on what to do

As the epidemic of revolution spreads across the Arab world, Yemen finds itself the next victim.
Political turmoil and disputes between radicals and non-radicals alike are splintering the Arab nation.
Much of the initial and primary focus has been centered on President Abdullah Saleh.
In office since 1978, President Saleh has found himself a victim…

On road to democracy, not all Egyptian voices are heard

After Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was forced to resign on Feb. 11, the military suspended the constitution and appointed a legal committee headed by top legal adviser and judge, Tarkek El-Bishri, with the task of amending the constitution.
After 10 days of deliberation, the eight member committee announced the proposed changes that will set the…

Libyan rebels aided by no-fly zone

Ever since coalition bombs starting falling on forces loyal to Muammar Gadhafi, the loyalists have been retreating.
The U.S.-supported rebels, who had been pushed right up to their capital of Benghazi, seized the opportunity and swiftly advanced westward. Such was the initial effect of the U.S., Britain and France-led offensive on Gadhafi troops in Libya.…

World Wide Web: Taking the high road to hell

I don’t blame Americans for supporting U.S. military intervention in Libya. After all, when cloaked in the guise of multilateralism and the moral superiority of a humanitarian cause, intervention in Libya sounds like a responsible use of military power.
However, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Obama’s “limited” commitment to protect civilians…

World Wide Web: Hey Obama, stay the heck out of Libya

“We don’t want and we won’t accept any foreign intervention on our soil. We started this revolution, and we will finish it.”
Those are the words of Abdul Hafidh Gogha, the spokesman of the provisional government recently set up by the pro-democracy rebels in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.
The situation in Libya is…

Gadhafi cracks down hard on protesters

As Egypt continued to take significant steps earlier this week toward a new government, its neighbor, Libya, continued to erupt with protests and the violent response of Col. Moammar Gadhafi and his security forces in an effort to shut them down.
Gadhafi, the leader of the oil-rich North African country for the past 40 years,…

World Wide Web: Did Bush bring democracy to the Middle East?

It’s hardly been eight years since the United States invaded Iraq, toppled Saddam Hussein and installed a democratic regime in a region where authoritarian rule is the norm. And now the entire Middle East, from Algeria to Yemen, is being rocked by anti-government protesters demanding that their leaders step aside and make way for democracy.…

World Wide Web: Has social media revolutionized revolutions?

Both the Tunisian and Egyptian Revolutions may not have been possible without Mark Zuckerberg.
Anti-government protestors used Facebook to organize huge demonstrations in the streets of Tunis and Cairo. Then when Ben Ali and Mubarak began cracking down on media outlets, protestors used hashtags on Twitter to let the world know what was going on.…

World Wide Web: Jimmy Carter’s revolution

How important is the promotion of democracy to U.S. foreign policy?
To many Americans, this nation’s main mission is to promote freedom and democracy throughout the world. And as revolution takes hold in Egypt, and protests continue to plague Jordan, Americans have been annoyingly reminded that the United States is thoroughly enmeshed in the business…

Islamic world ready for change

In December 2010, protests broke out in Tunisia, eventually paving the way for the ousting of longtime President Ben Ali by the end of January 2011.
His ousting then sparked a revolution in Egypt against the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak, as well as anti-government demonstrations in Algeria, Yemen and Jordan.
Cases of self-immolation…

Egypt following in Tunisia’s footsteps

Egypt President Hosni Mubarak is a man with an incredible knack for survival. In his 30-year rule of the country, Mubarak has faced five assassination attempts and lived through all of them. But this time, it is not an ambush of his motorcade or a sniper’s bullets that are coming at him. It is the…

World Wide Web: Egypt & the glory days

For decades, Egypt was the juggernaut of the Arab world. As the most populous and powerful Arabic country, it was Israel’s primary military foe. And its leader, the legendary Gamal Abdul Nasser, united Arabs and gave hope to the people of Palestine.
But  in a peace treaty brokered by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, Egypt…

World Wide Web: The Middle East is burning

It was embarrassment that drove Mohamed Bouzazi to douse himself in paint thinner and light himself on fire. After the apples that he sold to support his family were confiscated by government workers; after he was slapped in the face and publicly beaten by them – twice; after one of them insulted his dead father;…

Revolution in Tunisia ‘rocks the Casbah’

Tunisians took to the streets in late December to protest against high food prices, limited political and social freedom, unemployment and government corruption. That quartet of factors had been as much a part of their lives as the 23-year rule of former President Zain Al Abidine Ben Ali.
Initially, their aim was to see their…

Threatening peace talks, Israel refuses to extend ban on settlements

Recently renewed yet fragile peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine became even more fragile Sunday when a 10-month building ban on Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank ended at midnight. 
Despite flak from his coalition of right-wing parties, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pressured by the U.S., agreed to the building ban last November. …

Arab League endorses indirect peace talks

After indirect peace discussions between Israel and Palestine stalled in March with Israel’s controversial decision to construct 1,600 homes in East Jerusalem, the Arab League has voted to resume indirect peace proximity talks.
These talks, which the United States is set to mediate, are scheduled to resume this week. The announcement to expand Israeli control…

With votes cast, Iraqis await results

With 325 seats in the Iraqi Parliament up for election, approximately 59 to 62 percent of eligible citizens turned out to vote. This figure, although notably less than the 75 percent of people who voted in 2005, represents those who cast their votes despite several violent attacks or threats, including one that claimed the lives…

Hariri vows to support Hezbollah

After years of turmoil, the tension between Israel and Lebanon has once again heightened with the announcement by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri that his government will support Hezbollah – a Lebanese political organization which both Israel and the United States consider a terrorist group –  should violence transpire. 
This declaration came days before the…

Iran moving in the wrong direction

Iran has begun enriching uranium to 20 percent – the level considered to be “highly enriched” and the threshold for setting off a nuclear reaction. Iranian Press-TV reported that the country formally informed the United Nations nuclear-watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, of its intentions on Monday.
This announcement comes on the heels of the…

Yemen: a country on the brink

Yemen, a Middle Eastern nation bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia, is perhaps one of the oldest civilizations still in existence today.  However, with its long existence comes a history of turmoil and strife that has led to present day ramifications.
The northern and southern regions formed the Republic of Yemen in 1990 following the fall…

World Wide Web: The Middle East arms race

In Obama’s speech to the Muslim World in Egypt this past summer, he spoke about how a nuclear Iran could trigger “a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that could lead this region and the world down a hugely dangerous path.”
But here’s the unfortunate truth: the Middle East nuclear arms race has already…

World Wide Web: The military option

The discovery of Iran’s secret nuclear facility, with its small size and hidden location, suggests that Iran is, indeed, pursuing nuclear weapons. This makes the “military option” of bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities a much more viable alternative. But an attack on Iran could potentially ignite a regional war in the Middle East. The key factor…

Tensions high as nuclear talks begin

A little over a week ago, the international community was shocked to learn that Iran has been building a small underground nuclear facility that they have kept secret for years.
President Barack Obama disclosed this information standing next to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a speech at the G-20…

World Wide Web: Counter-intervention policy

There is a power vacuum in the Arab Middle East. The region effectively has no leader that the people are proud of and can look up to. With the exception of the newly democratic yet unstable Iraq, the rulers of Arab countries are either authoritarian dictators – like Mubarak of Egypt or Assad of Syria…