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Archives: January 2011

Day of Wrath no. 7 in Egypt

50,000 protesters in Tahrir Square on 7th day of Wrath, as Muslim Brotherhood backs off Elbaradei endorsement. Army fires heavy artillery warning shots in air in Alexandria. A bad thing if it…

Kolin: How the US Became a Police State

Kolin: How the US Became a Police State

Andrew Kolin writes in a guest column for Informed Comment To understand how the U.S. government became a police state, look no further than how it freed itself from colonial rule. For…

Egypt’s Class Conflict

On Sunday morning there was some sign of the Egyptian military taking on some security duties. Soldiers started arresting suspected looters, rounding up 450 of them. The disappearance of the police from…

Zewail’s 4 point Plan for Egypt

Nobelist in chemistry, Dr. Ahmed Zewail of the California Institute of Technology, is an Egyptian-American who has sometimes been mentioned as a candidate for president of Egypt. He has served as a…

Mubarak Turns to Military for Support

After a dramatic day in which hundreds of thousands of Egyptians came out in all the major towns and cities of the country to challenge the police and the ruling party, President…

The US Corruption Game – Cole in Tomdispatch

My essay, “The Corruption Game: What the Tunisian Revolution and WikiLeaks Tell Us about American Support for Corrupt Dictatorships in the Muslim World is up at The Nation Institute’s Tomdispatch. Excerpt: In…

Continued Protests in Tunisia

Tunisian activists began focusing on Monday evening on Egypt, where they hoped a planned protest on Tuesday would show the continued impact of their own Jasmine Revolution among Arab neighbors. This, as…

Bradley Manning and Mohamed Bouazizi

Activists David House and Jane Hamsher tried to visit Pfc. Bradley Manning, who stands accused of leaking classified US government documents, at Quantico on Sunday. They allege that while still outside the…

Thousands Protest Interim Government in Tunis

Thousands Protest Interim Government in Tunis

Signs that the Tunisia story is by no means over emerged this weekend. Protests continued in Tunis and elsewhere against the interim prime minister, Mohamed Ghannouchi and the president, Fouad Mebazaa, on…

Olbermann Departs, as Media Consolidate Further

Olbermann Departs, as Media Consolidate Further

People are blaming the abrupt departure of Keith Olbermann from MSNBC on that company’s merger with Comcast and Olbermann’s loss of the protection and patronage of Jeff Zucker, the former head of…

Iranian-American Comedians on Daily Show

Jon Stewart of the Daily Show interviews two Iranian-American satirists, Saman Arbabi and his colleague Kambiz Husseini about their television show, Parazit. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p…

No News is Good News (for Them)

No News is Good News (for Them)

Does anyone doubt that if Tunisia’s president had been overthrown by an Islamic Revolution, there would have been 24/7 coverage of it in US media? Stories more important than almost everything on…

Tunisia between Democracy and Anarchy

Tunisians woke Saturday morning to delirious joy at the advent of political liberty, but many worried about the simultaneous advent of social anarchy. The fall of the government of dictator Zine al-Abedin…

The First Middle Eastern Revolution since 1979

The First Middle Eastern Revolution since 1979

Tunisian President Zine al-Abidin Bin Ali has fled the country before the advancing crowds pouring in to the capital’s center. A French eye-witness said of the masses thronging Bourguiba Avenue that “it…

Over 9,000 Murders by Gun in US; 39 in UK

Number of Murders, United States, 2009: 15,241 Number of Murders by Firearms, US, 2009: 9,146 Number of Murders, Britain, 2008*: 648 (Since Britain’s population is 1/5 that of US, this is equivalent…

Another US Quagmire? Lebanon Government Falls

Ironically, while Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri was meeting with President Obama on Wednesday, his government fell. As one Arab commentator observed, he went into the meeting a prime minister and came…

Random Shooting in Egypt or Sectarian Hatred?

Was it sectarian hatred or a policeman’s random meltdown? The answer is not clear, though many press accounts are rushing to judgment. One thing that seems clear is that people who have…

Death Penalty for Blasphemy Rare in Muslim World

Pakistani campaigners against the country’s blasphemy laws are pointing out that out of 54 Muslim-majority countries in the world, at most 5 permit capital punishment for blasphemy. They are Pakistan, Saudi Arabia,…

24 Dead in Tunisia Clashes; US Ambassador Called In

24 Dead in Tunisia Clashes; US Ambassador Called In

Some 24 persons have been killed in clashes between protesters and government security forces in Tunisia. The government has closed schools and universities “indefinitely” as a way of demobilizing youthful protesters. The…

Sarah Never Does Anything Wrong

Sarah Never Does Anything Wrong

Sarah Palin’s aides are claiming that the crosshairs marking the targeted Democratic candidates (including Gabrielle Giffords) on her infamous poster (scroll down) were not crosshairs but a ‘surveyor’s symbol.’ But Palin called…

Death of Pakistani Secularism Much Exaggerated

There has been a lot of hand-wringing about religious extremism in Pakistan in the wake of the assassination of Punjab governor Salman Taseer. On Sunday the fundamentalist religious parties held a rally…

White Terrorism

White Terrorism

Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged assassin of Federal judge John M. Roll and five others and attempted assassin of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), was clearly mentally unstable. But the political themes of…

Today in Apartheid

Today in Apartheid

Israeli troops made an incursion into the Palestinian city of al-Khalil (which the Israelis call Hebron) and killed the wrong man, invading his apartment and riddling him with bullets. They then went…

Wikileaks: US Offered to Block anti-Whaling Protesters

Wikileaks: US Offered to Block anti-Whaling Protesters

Some environmentalists are arguing that whales and dolphins are so intelligent, social and self-aware that they deserve a special status, of non-human individuals with basic human rights. Some cultures are still dedicated…

Iran’s Oily Revenge on US Drivers, US Troops

They’re baaaack. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is being chaired by Iran at the moment. And Iran thinks the run-up of the price of crude to over $90 a barrel…

Sadr Returns Triumphantly to Najaf

Sadr Returns Triumphantly to Najaf

Al-Zaman (The Times of Baghdad) writes in Arabic that Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the Sadr Movement, returned on Wednesday to Najaf after 4 years in Iran. An aide issued a communique…

Calls for Peace, Tolerance in Cairo

Hundreds of Christians peacefully marched on Tuesday evening to a cathedral in Cairo, protesting the New Year’s Day bombing of the Church of Two Saints in Alexandria. Pope Shenouda III , head…

Death of Pakistani Progressivism?

Death of Pakistani Progressivism?

Salman Tasir, the governor of Punjab Province in Pakistan, was assassinated by one of his own guards Tuesday, allegedly for his desire to repeal Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which has been increasingly misused…

Wrong Again, Sen. Graham: Cole in Truthdig

My column is just out in Truthdig, entitled “Wrong Again, Sen. Graham,” on the South Carolina senator’s modest proposal to keep two big American air bases in Afghanistan “permanently.” Graham says the…

Women enlist as Fighters in Gaza

CNN reports on a handful of militant women in Gaza who have joined the radical al-Nasir Salahuddin Brigades and gained training as guerrillas. The women explicitly mentioned the model of women in…

5000 Birds fall out of Sky in Arkansas

An environmental mystery: The blogosphere is abuzz about the mystery of thousands of birds falling out of the sky in Arkansas. Such things happen sometimes because of atmospheric events, lightning storms, etc.…

Christian Crowds Protest Violently in Egypt

Christian Crowds Protest Violently in Egypt

Crowds of Christian youth protested in the hundreds in Alexandria and Cairo on Sunday. The protesters in Alexandria were prevented by riot police from reaching the Saints Cathedral that had been bombed…

Wikileaks: Israel Plans Total War on Lebanon, Gaza

The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has summarized an Israeli military briefing by Israeli Chief of Staff Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi of a US congressional delegation a little over a year ago and concludes that…

Top Ten Middle East Challenges for U.S. Policy, 2011

10. The new Republican majority in the House of Representatives will attempt to stampede Obama into keeping troops in Iraq, delaying any withdrawals from Afghanistan, and launching a military strike on Iran.…