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Monday, June 29, 2009

Michael Jackson effect on the Middle East

With respect to Western policy on the Middle East, the most significant events of the year may not be the Iranian election protests, or the US-Israel spat over settlements, or Palestinian unity or lack thereof. The most significant events may be the bankruptcy of General Motors, the world economic crisis, and the death of Michael Jackson. [more]

by Moderator @ 06:16 PM CST [Link]

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Where is Iran going?

Almost anything anyone writes about the Iranian unrest may be true or false, and any predictions are likely to be wrong. The Iranians are now admitting that 13 people were killed yesterday, but CNN and others put the toll at 19-150 (see videos posted there as well). Protests erupted in Shiraz, in Isfahan and elsewhere. Basij thugs seem to be killing people even if they are only onlookers or look like protesters. Tanks had reportedly entered Azzadi Square on Saturday. On Sunday it was reported that Feezah Rafsanjani, daughter of Ayatollah Rafsanjani, and four other family members had been arrested. Iran has also expelled BBC reporter Jon Leyne. We can expect that media reports will be even more circumspect in the future. [more]

by Moderator @ 05:11 PM CST [Link]

Monday, June 15, 2009

Handing Netanyahu a victory

Benjamin Netanyahu's speech (see Address by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Begin-Sadat Center should not be viewed in the context of a "peace process" or judged in terms of its relevance to peacemaking. None of the peace-related utterances of Israeli, Palestinian or the Arab or Muslim world are actually directed at making peace, because none of the parties believes in the possibility of peace at this point or has worked to develop, in its own constituency, a concept of peace that might be acceptable to the other side. [more]

by Moderator @ 06:20 PM CST [Link]

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Iranian elections: It could have been worse!

How, you may ask, could the Iranian election results be worse than they are? A virulent demagogue, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been 'elected' in a transparently fraudulent process in which the number of reported votes increased with d in a charming, orderly and improbable linear fashion as the count progressed. Voters found themselves locked out of polling places and protests were crushed with calm efficiency. [more]

by Moderator @ 10:12 PM CST [Link]

Friday, June 5, 2009

El Rais Obama?

Those looking for definitive policy statements in Barack Obama's Cairo speech will be mostly disappointed. Barack Obama's Middle East policy is still relatively unformulated or unannounced. If he has a detailed plan for foiling Al-Qaeda, for meeting the challenge posed by Iran and for bringing peace to the Israelis and Palestinians, he has not told us about it. [more]

by Moderator @ 12:32 AM CST [Link]


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