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Monday, April 21, 2008

Arab World: Who's the leader of the club?

Remember Rami Khouri's tribute to the nonviolent dear hearts and gentle people who live in the Middle East? I expressed some skepticism about that, but maybe Rami is right. All us Middle East folks mind our own business. We read the good book from Fri 'till Monday, as the old song says - that's how the weekend goes, right, Rami? [more]

by Moderator @ 12:11 PM CST [Link]

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Human Rights and Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter made his presidency synonymous with the struggle for human rights. Who can forget his call to boycott the Olympic games in Moscow because of Soviet rights violations in Afghanistan? Around the world, Carter tried to pressure US supported regimes into respecting human rights, sometimes taking extreme measures. When Iranian generals wanted to suppress the Khomeini uprising, Carter administration officials were sent to warn them to respect human rights. [more]

by Moderator @ 11:05 AM CST [Link]

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The self image of the Middle East - Terrorists or just plain folks?

Image disparity is one of the greatest barriers to communication between groups and individuals. What you think of me probably has no relation to what I think of myself, and what your country thinks of my country or my people may have little relation to how we view ourselves. [more]

by Moderator @ 01:17 AM CST [Link]

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Descending to a Summit: Understanding the New Arab Cold War

As Arab summits go, the recent one in Damascus surely rates as the lowest ever. In fact, despite the attendance of a few leaders from the Gulf States and the Maghreb, it could barely be dignified by the elevated term "summit," given that the key figures in Arab affairs--President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, President Massoud Barzani of the Kurdistan regional government in Iraq, and even the prime minister of what the Syrians condescendingly call "sisterly Lebanon"--made their absence conspicuously obvious. (External meddling has created the sad limbo in which there is no president of Lebanon at the present--which is precisely the reason why the host, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, is in the doghouse as far as the Saudis and the Egyptians are concerned.) [more]

by Moderator @ 07:36 PM CST [Link]

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Why is there no Israeli-Palestinian peace?

Jailed Palestinian Marwan Barghouti has sent a message to an Israeli Peace Now demonstration. It reads in part:

"I, Marwan Barghouti, am telling you that I and the majority of the Palestinian people are ready for a historic agreement based on international decisions that will allow a Palestinian and Israeli state to coexist, side by side, in peace and stability,"

Nobody should assume however, that peace is about to break out between Israel and the Palestinians. [more]

by Moderator @ 09:15 PM CST [Link]

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Playing with fire: United States attack on Iran canard

Periodically, we are victimized by headlines that insist that the United States is about to attack Iran. The attack has been in preparation for a long time. Here's Seymour Hersh predicting the attack in 2005. Seymour Hersh reported again that it was about to go down in the New Yorker on April 17, 2006. There's another such story here from February 2007. Here's a story from March 29, 2007, that insists that an attack is imminent. And here's another, closer to he source of the "information" - Russian intelligence. The indefatigable Hersh was at it again in October of 2007, with the same arguments and rumors. And the Russians are back at it again too. Now, almost a year to the day after the last Russian-inspired Iran attack fiction, they have once again published "intelligence" about U.S. military moves that are supposedly preparatory to an attack on Iran. [more]

by Moderator @ 05:06 PM CST [Link]


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