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Archives: February 2011

The World Oil Politics of the Libyan Revolt

The World Oil Politics of the Libyan Revolt

The question of what comes after Qaddafi became more complicated on Sunday, as rival claims to forming a provisional liberated government emerged. Former Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil had announced on Saturday from…

Rudolph: Can You Pass The Saudi Arabia Quiz?

Jeffrey Rudolph writes in a guest column for Informed Comment Saudi Arabia, an Islamic absolute monarchy, has enjoyed extremely close relations with the United States, a constitutional republic. This relationship highlights the…

Top Pieces of Unfinished Business in the Mideast

1. Some 6000 protesters marched in Jordan on Friday. They said they wanted to transform the Jordanian monarchy into a European-style, constitutional monarchy and to return to an unamended 1952 constitution. 2.…

90% of Libya in Rebel Hands

90% of Libya in Rebel Hands

The LAT reports that the rebellion against Muammar Qaddafi’s 41-year dictatorship in Libya headed toward an end-game on Wednesday, as Misurata, the country’s third-largest city (pop. 600,000), fell to the opposition. Significantly,…

30% of Libya in Hands of Youth Movement

30% of Libya in Hands of Youth Movement

If we begin at the eastern border of Libya with Egypt this morning and move west, we find the country is now divided in two, with the east largely in the hands…

Qaddafi’s Bombardments Recall Mussolini’s

Qaddafi’s Bombardments Recall Mussolini’s

The strafing and bombardment in Tripoli of civilian demonstrators by Muammar Qaddafi’s fighter jets on Monday powerfully recalled the tactics of some decades ago of Benito Mussolini, who spoke of imposing a…

The Gates of Hell Have Opened in Tripoli

The Gates of Hell Have Opened in Tripoli

I am watching Aljazeera Arabic, which is calling people in Tripoli on the telephone and asking them what is going on in the capital. The replies are poignant in their raw emotion,…

Revolutionary Situation in Libya

Revolutionary Situation in Libya

After the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi fell to the protest movement on Sunday, clashes broke out in the Libyan capital of Tripoli late that afternoon, the first time that city saw…

Top Five Myths about the Middle East Protests

Top Five Myths about the Middle East Protests

5. Dear right wing blogosphere and also Bill Maher: You can’t generalize about women’s position in Muslim countries based on a reprehensible mob attack on CBS reporter Lara Logan. Generalizing about a…

Days of Rage in Libya, Yemen and Bahrain

Days of Rage in Libya, Yemen and Bahrain

ITN has video on Friday’s dramatic protests in Libya, Yemen and Bahrain (for the latter scroll down). Some 80 protesters have been killed in the past three days in Libya, and 35…

The Great Arab Revolt: Cole in the Nation

My essay is out in The Nation, entitled “The Great Arab Revolt”. ‘These governments took steps in recent decades toward neoliberal policies of privatization and a smaller public sector under pressure from…

Egypt Situation Still Explosive

Egypt Situation Still Explosive

The military government of Gen. Mohammad Hussein Tantawi, the minister of defense, has taken important steps toward mollifying the Jan. 25 protest movement, but it is not clear that these measures can…

Bahrain: US Naval Base or Iranian Asset?

Bahrain: US Naval Base or Iranian Asset?

What is at stake for Americans in the Bahrain unrest? 1. Bahrain is a major center for the refining of crude petroleum, refining some 270,000 barrels a day. This amount is not…

Pressman: “Coup with a mass(ive) twist”

Jeremy Pressman writes in a guest column for Informed Comment: Since Mubarak’s departure, I have followed several discussions among academics and analysts about what just happened. Some contend it was a military…

Top 5 Effects of Egyptian Revolution

Top 5 Effects of Egyptian Revolution

5. Thousands of protesters marched Sunday on the presidential palace of Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Salih, who has ruled since 1978. The United States has increasingly forged a relationship with the Yemeni military…

Amr: Memo from Egypt: We Shall Not Be Moved

Ahmed Amr writes from Cairo in a guest column for Informed Comment Memo from Egypt: We Shall Not Be Moved With every passing day, the Egyptian uprising gathers strength as more citizens…

Egyptian Protests Swell in Response to Ghonim

The crowds in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo were again very large on Tuesday, and new networks of people joined in them, showing that the protest movement is expanding. Many newcomers appear…

Anzalone: The Muslim Brotherhood Myth

Christopher Anzalone writes in a guest column for Informed Comment: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood & the Demonstrations: Fact vs. Fiction Since the start of mass popular protests by Egyptians against their country’s autocratic…

Cole on Egypt at Virtually Speaking

Cole on Egypt at Virtually Speaking

Here is part of an interview I did Monday evening with Susie Madrak via Virtually Speaking’s Blogtalk Radio: The full interview is here: Listen to internet radio with Jay Ackroyd on Blog…

Egypt’s Google Gandhi Released, Interviewed

Egypt’s Google Gandhi Released, Interviewed

The Egyptian military government, which is still running the country in accordance with martial law “emergency rules,” on Monday released from custody Wael Ghonim, the young Google executive who played a role…

Foreseeing Egypt’s Unrest

I noticed a lot of television commentators wondering why no one predicted the unrest in Egypt. I’d just like to draw attention to the number 1 item in my New Year’s list…

Egypt: I ask Myself Why

I ask myself why. Why would authorities in a European county like Switzerland entertain the idea of trying George W. Bush for torture if he came to give a talk in that…

5 Year Old Child Heads Demo in Alexandria Egypt

5 Year Old Child Heads Demo in Alexandria Egypt

5 Year Old Child Heads Million Strong Demo in Alexandria Egypt He is chanting about freedom, the nation, the need for the regime of Hosni Mubarak to fall, and complaining about “American…

Top Ten Accomplishments of Egypt Demonstrators

Top Ten Accomplishments of Egypt Demonstrators

The protest movement in Egypt scored several victories on Friday, but did not actually succeed in getting President Hosni Mubarak to step down. Their accomplishments include: 1. The hundreds of thousands (the…

Cunningham: Every Uprising is Different

Philip J Cunningham writes in a guest column for Informed Comment Every uprising is different. But given shared human strengths and weaknesses, the dynamics of crowd behavior, crowd control, and crowd chaos…

Mubarak’s Basij

Mubarak’s Basij

On Wednesday, the Mubarak regime showed its fangs, mounting a massive and violent repressive attack on the peaceful crowds in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. People worrying about Egypt becoming like Iran…

Why Egypt 2011 is not Iran 1979

Why Egypt 2011 is not Iran 1979

Alarms have been raised by those observing the popular uprising in Egypt that, while it is not itself a Muslim fundamentalist movement, the Muslim fundamentalists could take it over as it unfolds.…

Saad’s Revolution: Cole at Truthdig

My tribute to Saad Eddin Ibrahim, with whom I studied, is out at Truthdig. Excerpt: ‘ Saad Eddin Ibrahim has spoken out forcefully on human rights and democracy for decades, and he…

Million-Person Marches and the Army Backs Off

Despite efforts of the regime of Hosni Mubarak to forestall it by canceling trains to Cairo and throwing up checkpoints, masses of Egyptians poured into Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, as well…