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By Chris Abani

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Tag: Middle East


AP / Ben Curtis

What Corruption and Force Have Wrought in Egypt

Our failures in the Middle East have consequences. We are soaked with the stench of these regimes.

Posted on Jan 31, 2011 READ MORE


‘It Takes a Village to Unite the Most Divided People on Earth’

In the documentary “Budrus,” Palestinians of all stripes and Israelis work together to save a village from Israel’s security barrier.

Posted on Jan 25, 2011 READ MORE


The Lives of Dictators

Dictators do not usually die in bed. Successful retirement is always a problem for them, and few solve it.

Posted on Jan 18, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Thibault Camus

Tunisian Revolution Shakes, Inspires Middle East

Every state and movement in the Middle East is reading into the events in Tunisia its own anxieties and aspirations.

Posted on Jan 18, 2011 READ MORE


Israel’s Lieberman Says Peace Will Have to Wait

Avigdor Lieberman says it will be “at least a decade” before peace can be negotiated with the Palestinians. Israel’s extremist foreign minister calls for “less international involvement and over-doing and over-speaking” in this interview.

Posted on Jan 5, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Gerald Herbert

Wrong Again, Sen. Graham

Sen. Lindsey Graham has been wrong about almost everything in the Middle East for a decade and a half, so his harebrained proposal to build permanent bases in Afghanistan is hardly surprising.

Posted on Jan 4, 2011 READ MORE


Foreign Policy Review Suggests a Losing Effort

The great campaign to create a new Middle East and Central Asia, slay Islam’s violent extremists and build a radiant new world of democracy and capitalism is moving backward.

Posted on Dec 21, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Sebastian Scheiner

Obama’s 2010 Successes and Failures in the Middle East

As the decade draws to a close, it is clear that the bright hopes inspired by Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech have markedly faded, and the disappointments have outweighed achievements in the most important arena for contemporary American foreign policy.

Posted on Dec 21, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Vahid Salemi

Leaks Suggest Iran Is Now Winning in the Middle East

Iran is winning and Israel is losing. That is the startling conclusion we reach if we consider how things have changed in the Middle East in the two years since most of the WikiLeaks State Department cables about Iran’s regional difficulties were written.

Posted on Dec 7, 2010 READ MORE



seplan.am.gov.br

Brazil Recognizes Palestine

In a public letter addressed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday, outgoing and popular Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva formally recognized Palestine as an independent state within its 1967 borders.

Posted on Dec 5, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Gali Tibbon

Israel on a PR Campaign

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is on a kick to improve his country’s standing in Europe. His strategy? Develop a cadre of “allies” abroad who will serve as walking PR agents for Israeli policy.

Posted on Nov 28, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Rodrigo Abd

The World Is Safer Without a Republican House

A Republican victory has the potential to keep the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan, derail the beleaguered peace process and worsen U.S. security.

Posted on Nov 1, 2010 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

Labor Party Threatens to Walk Out of Israeli Government

Motivating by either a renewed hope for peace in the Middle East or a desire for political power, Israel’s Labor Party has threatened to walk out of the country’s coalition government unless serious negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis get under way in the coming weeks.

Posted on Oct 31, 2010 READ MORE



Three Myths Every President Should Avoid

Today on the list: PBS is as white as TV gets, the three myths that keep flummoxing America, and the Middle Easterners who conquered Europe with their magic potion—milk.

Posted on Oct 21, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Hussein Malla

Ahmadinejad Holds Rally at Lebanon-Israel Border

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made quite a provocative gesture by staging a pro-Hezbollah rally at a Lebanese border town near Israel on Thursday—a scene that was not lost on the Israeli military.

Posted on Oct 14, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Hussein Malla

Ahmadinejad and the Limits of American and Israeli Power

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Middle East’s populist answer to the American tea party, has stirred controversy with his trip to Lebanon, which will begin Wednesday.

Posted on Oct 11, 2010 READ MORE


The Bulldozer

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Posted on Oct 11, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / Steve Slep (CC-BY)

Ahmadinejaunt to the Israeli Border

Lebanese officials are expected to approve Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s trip to the country’s border with Israel. Once there, Ahmadinejad may, as reported, throw some stones over the fence. Or he may skip the whole thing, if security concerns prevail.

Posted on Oct 6, 2010 READ MORE


The Belts

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Posted on Oct 1, 2010 READ MORE


Mental State of Their Own

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Posted on Sep 27, 2010 READ MORE    



AP / Eyal Warshavsky

Wisdom of the Terrorist’s Son

Whether Gen. David Petraeus or the bearded villains wearing suicide belts, killers perpetuate new cycles of revenge and murder like bad karma. One son of a terrorist is breaking the cycle.

Posted on Sep 19, 2010 READ MORE


Chris Hedges on Tensions Between the West and the Muslim World

With Islamophobia sweeping the states in all its stupidity and ignorance, it’s refreshing to hear this assembly of thinkers, including Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, bring some intellect to bear on the subject.

Posted on Sep 19, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Jason Reed, Pool

Mideast Peace Within a Year?

The mood in Washington on Thursday, the first day of revived peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, was decidedly optimistic, with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ...

Posted on Sep 2, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Senior Airman Perry Aston

The Ambiguity of War’s End

Now that the Iraq war is over—for U.S. combat troops, at least—only one thing is clear about the outcome: We didn’t win.

Posted on Aug 31, 2010 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: U.S. Troops Leave Iraq; ‘Mosque’-troversy

This week’s edition of “Left, Right & Center” offers some new twists, including producer Sarah Spitz moderating for returning regulars Robert Scheer and Tony Blankley. This week’s menu of topics ripped from the headlines includes ... (continued)

Posted on Aug 20, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Emilio Morenatti

Formalizing Israel’s Land Grab

Desperate Israeli politicians, watching opposition to their apartheid state mount, have proposed a perverted form of what they term “the one-state solution.”

Posted on Aug 16, 2010 READ MORE


Afghanistan
Flickr / U.S. Army

Afghans Plan for Security Takeover By 2014

It’s been a long while since Afghans have had anything resembling autonomy when it comes to protecting their own interests, not to mention their own people. Well, it’s going to be a while longer, too, but on Tuesday ... (continued)

Posted on Jul 20, 2010 READ MORE


Turkish flag
AP / Nasser Shiyoukhi

Turkey Ratchets Up Tensions With Israel Over Gaza Flotilla Incident

Israel’s raid on a flotilla headed for Gaza happened over a month ago, but Turkish officials haven’t forgotten the divisive incident; in fact, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu threw down the diplomatic gauntlet on Monday ... (continued)

Posted on Jul 5, 2010 READ MORE


Blair
AP / Paul White

Good Luck With the Whole Gaza List Thing, Tony Blair

Hey, it’s Tony Blair! Remember him? The former British PM now bears the somewhat unlikely title of special peace envoy to the Middle East, and he’s getting down to business on a project having to do with lists, supplies and Israeli-Palestinian relations.

Posted on Jul 1, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / MichalFoto (CC-BY-ND)

Stealth Superpower: How Turkey Is Chasing China in Bid to Become the Next Big Thing

Turkey has ambitions beyond the Middle East and the means to get there.

Posted on Jun 13, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / marjoleincc (CC-BY-SA)

Israel’s Gift to Iran’s Hard-Liners

Juan Cole, who offers the single best available running commentary on the Middle East, considers the ways in which, on the first anniversary of the fraudulent Iranian elections and the rise of the Green Movement, the policy moves of both the U.S. and Israel continued to backfire in Iran.

Posted on Jun 10, 2010 READ MORE


Could Be Worse

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Posted on Jun 2, 2010 READ MORE


nuclear glove box
Wikimedia Commons

Israel: No to Middle East Nuke Talks

Israel has declared it will not participate in a month-long Middle East nuclear nonproliferation meeting, calling a document about the talks “deeply flawed” and “hypocritical” after it singled out Israel for not signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Posted on May 29, 2010 READ MORE



DoD photo / SSG Lorie Jewell, U.S. Army

Secret U.S. Plans for Clandestine Mideast Military Activity Brought to Light

The New York Times is calling it a “secret directive,” but it’s not so secret anymore, it would appear: Back in September, Gen. David Petraeus signed an order to expand “clandestine military activity” around the Middle East.

Posted on May 24, 2010 READ MORE


Said
Wikimedia Commons / Justin McIntosh

Said What?

Sound the alarm: The Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition exam taken by high school students across the U.S. uses a quotation from the late Palestinian-American scholar and activist Edward Said. Some Jewish students are complaining that use of the Said material politicizes the test.

Posted on May 14, 2010 READ MORE


The Dictatorship That Cried Wolf

Egypt has officially been in a state of emergency since 1981, allowing the government extraordinary powers such as the ability to arrest and detain someone forever for no reason. The Egyptian government has just extended the emergency powers for two years, using Guantanamo and the Patriot Act as political cover.

Posted on May 11, 2010 READ MORE


Obama on the phone
Flickr / The White House

Obama Urges Abbas to Negotiate With Israel

On Tuesday, the third day of new peace talks between Palestinian and Israeli leaders, President Barack Obama had a phone chat (so retro!) with Palestinian Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in which he voiced his support for the two-state solution ... (continued)

Posted on May 11, 2010 READ MORE


construction
AP / Sebastian Scheiner

New Mideast Peace Talks Already on the Rocks

One step forward ... well, you know the rest. Although a new round of peace talks signaled a much-needed, if tentative, show of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, those negotiations have already hit a big bump over Israel’s construction activities in East Jerusalem. 

Posted on May 10, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / dweekly

PLO Opens Way for Negotiations

The Palestinian Liberation Organization has approved indirect talks with Israel, opening the door for the first peace negotiations in a year and a half. One may remember the “proximity talks” that fizzled in March when Israel unexpectedly announced an expansion of illegal settlement plans in East Jerusalem.

Posted on May 8, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / World Economic Forum (CC-BY-SA)

Builder Bibi Won’t Budge on East Jerusalem

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again rejected calls to stop construction of Jewish housing in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians hope to make their capital.

Posted on Apr 19, 2010 READ MORE


SATC 2
youtube.com

Dubai Says No to ‘Sex’

Maybe Dubai is onto something. Sarah Jessica Parker had hoped to give “Sex and the City 2” a different kind of cosmopolitan twist by setting the girlie gabfest in the Middle Eastern metropolis, but despite months of concerted effort the Arab emirate wasn’t, as they say, having it.

Posted on Apr 19, 2010 READ MORE


Maliki
Wikimedia Commons

Iran Casts a Vote in Iraq

Shiite-dominated Iran has shifted its stance toward neighboring Iraq, backing Sunni inclusion in a new government in Baghdad and likely putting a damper on current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s attempts to shape the new government.

Posted on Apr 11, 2010 READ MORE



"The Plague of Darkness" by Gustave Doré

A Plague in Time for Passover

Haaretz’s Akiva Eldar has seized upon the holiday to suggest a biblical metaphor: “For 43 years, the Israeli public—schoolchildren, TV viewers, Knesset members and Supreme Court judges—have been living in the darkness of the occupation.”

Posted on Mar 28, 2010 READ MORE


Netanyahu and Obama
whitehouse.gov/blog

Rifts Persist Between Israel, U.S. After Netanyahu Visit

Their closed-door discussion was “honest and straightforward,” according to White House press chief Robert Gibbs, but alas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama weren’t able to fully iron out their differences during Tuesday’s tête-à-tête.

Posted on Mar 24, 2010 READ MORE


Clinton
bbc.co.uk

Clinton to AIPAC: ‘Status Quo Is Unsustainable’ in Middle East

In a speech before members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that the Netanyahu government’s plan to construct new settlements in East Jerusalem “undermines mutual trust” between Israel and the U.S.

Posted on Mar 22, 2010 READ MORE


sniffing dog
Flickr / mikebaird

Study Says Fido’s Family Tree Has Arabian Roots

A research team out of UCLA thinks it may have traced the pedigree of domesticated dogs back to their earliest origins, and the paw prints apparently lead to the general vicinity of the Middle East, instead of the East Asian region they’d previously targeted.

Posted on Mar 18, 2010 READ MORE


Peace Talks

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Posted on Mar 17, 2010 READ MORE


The Truth About American and Israeli Interests Comes Out

The relationship between the United States and Israel has always rested on a number of pretensions, politically useful to politicians on both sides, but because they are untrue, certain eventually to prove destructive to both countries.

Posted on Mar 17, 2010 READ MORE


Said
Wikimedia Commons / Justin McIntosh

Getting a Read on the Middle East

The greatest problem of writing historically about the Middle East is that the story has not ended. The war goes on. And both “sides”—actually, there are rather a lot of sides—produce conflicting narratives.

Posted on Mar 12, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Nasser Shiyoukhi

Diplomacy by Proxy

A new round of “proximity talks” between Israel and the Palestinians may be announced as early as Monday, with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden expected to arrive in Israel on a mission to get indirect negotiations going between the two sides.

Posted on Mar 7, 2010 READ MORE


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