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Archives: March 2011

Torpey: Support the Libyans but Don’t Arm Them!

John Torpey writes in a guest column for Informed Comment: Looking After the Neighborhood in Libya John Torpey After much mischief and brutal behavior, the police have finally moved against a vicious…

Asad’s Speech Falls Flat in Syria

Asad’s Speech Falls Flat in Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Asad gave a major speech to the nation before his parliament on Wednesday, which largely disappointed the hopes of reformers . He declined to lift the state of emergency…

Answer to Glenn Greenwald

Answer for Glenn Greenwald, for whom I have enormous respect: Yes. Iraq was an illegal war, for no pressing national interest & with no UNSC authorization. The Libya intervention is legal and…

Cole/ Van den Heuvel on Libya: Nation Podcast

My conversation with Katrina van den Heuvel, the editor of the Nation, “Do we belong in Libya?” is available at the Nation’s web site. . They also kindly reprinted my open letter…

Debate on Libya:  Cole at Democracy Now!

Debate on Libya: Cole at Democracy Now!

My debate over intervention in Libya with my esteemed colleague Professor Vijay Prashad is available as a transcript and podcast at Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now!. Here is the embedded video: And here…

Women’s Rallies in Libya Protest Rape

Women’s Rallies in Libya Protest Rape

CNN reports that Libyan women in Benghazi staged a demonstration on Sunday to protest the alleged rape of Iman al-Obeidi by Libyan government officials in Tripoli. Al-Obeidi made headlines on Saturday by…

An Open Letter to the Left on Libya

As I expected, now that Qaddafi’s advantage in armor and heavy weapons is being neutralized by the UN allies’ air campaign, the liberation movement is regaining lost territory. Liberators took back Ajdabiya…

All Hell Breaks Loose in the Middle East

All Hell Breaks Loose in the Middle East

Friday saw major protests in Syria, Jordan and Yemen, along with continued fighting in Libya. The Arab Spring has not breathed its last gasp, but rather seems to be getting a second…

It’s the Popular Sovereignty, Stupid

It’s the Popular Sovereignty, Stupid

The logic of the Arab spring is about popular sovereignty. The people power being displayed in the streets, on twitter and Facebook, is intended to sweep away impediments to the expression of…

Top Ten Ways that Libya 2011 is Not Iraq 2003

Here are the differences between George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the current United Nations action in Libya: 1. The action in Libya was authorized by the United Nations…

How the No Fly Zone Can Succeed

The United Nations no-fly zone over Libya is risky but it can have a good outcome under certain conditions. Above all, it should look more like Kosovo than like Iraq. [I should…

UN Allies Bombard Libya to protect Protesters

UN Allies Bombard Libya to protect Protesters

United Nations allies France, Britain and the United States took the lead Saturday evening in imposing a no-fly zone on Libya. French and British fighter jets flew dangerous missions, given that the…

French Jets Defend Benghazi

Aljazeera English is reporting that French fighter jets have destroyed 4 tanks on the outskirts of Benghazi, the center of the provisional government opposing dictator Muammar Qaddafi. The tanks were involved in…

Qaddafi Bombards Rebel Cities, Defies UNO

Qaddafi Bombards Rebel Cities, Defies UNO

The government of Muammar Qaddafi is making a wideranging attempt to dominate as much of the country as possible before Western powers begin patrolling Libya’s skies with fighter jets, probably on Saturday…

Yemeni Troops Massacre 46, Wound Hundreds

Yemeni Troops Massacre 46, Wound Hundreds

Thousands of protesters in Yemen mounted a massive protest in the capital of Sanaa on Friday, but ran into a trap set by government forces, which fired on them from rooftops and…

Eissenstat: Libya and Turkey

Howard Eissenstat writes in a guest column for Informed Comment: Libya and Turkey: Ankara’s foreign policy goes off key For a while, at least, Turkey seemed to be riding high as a…

The UN to the Rescue in Libya: Is it too Late?

The United Nations Security Council has just authorized a no-fly zone over Libya and implicitly allowed the United States, France and Britain to bomb military forces and facilities loyal to Muammar Qadddafi.…

Stewart Skewers King on Islamophobia

Jon Stewart at the Daily Show lampoons Rep. Peter King (R-NY)’s witch hunt against Muslims in light of King’s own long and virulent support for the Irish Republican Army. The Daily Show…

What if? and the Meltdown Threat

What if? and the Meltdown Threat

If the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had been a bank of wind turbines, we wouldn’t all be on hanging on every item about radiation release. The talk would just be about rebuilding…

Sunni-Shiite Tension Boils in Iraq, Gulf over Bahrain

Sunni-Shiite Tension Boils in Iraq, Gulf over Bahrain

Reuters Arabic reports that the Saudi invasion of Bahrain on Monday has inflamed sectarian passions in Iraq. Likewise it has angered Iran, which openly condemned the move. Sectarian tensions are boiling throughout…

Anzalone: Building an Insurgent State in Somalia?

Christopher Anzalone writes in a guest column for Informed Comment: The Somali insurgent movement Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (Movement of Warrior-Youth) has controlled nearly all of southern and central Somalia since 2009 and…

Bahrain Demonstrators Repressed

Bahrain Demonstrators Repressed

Bahrain police abruptly broke up a peaceful demonstration in downtown Manama on Sunday, deploying tear gas and rubber bullets at close range. Despite warnings by US Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates…

Qaddafi on a Roll, Rebellion Could Collapse

Qaddafi on a Roll, Rebellion Could Collapse

In Libya, forces loyal to dictator Muammar Qaddafi made rapid advances against the rebels on Saturday and Sunday, pushing them out of Ra’s Lanuf, and then Uqaila, and finally claiming to take…

More on Arab League Call for a Libya No-Fly Zone

More on Arab League Call for a Libya No-Fly Zone

Aljazeera English reports on the Arab League’s call for the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone on Libya. Most sources are calling the resolution unanimous, but Xinhua says that Algeria…

Arab League Requests UNSC to Impose No-Fly Zone

The Arab League has indeed called for the United Nations Security Council to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. It is also moving to recognize the provisional government in Benghazi, and has…

King’s Nixonian Hearings against American Muslims

Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY)’s hearings on the alleged ‘radicalization’ of American Muslims are an affront to the brave Middle Eastern Muslims who have, during the past two months, thrown off American-backed…

It’s Official:  Tunisia Now Freer than the U.S.

It’s Official: Tunisia Now Freer than the U.S.

Tunisian Prime Minister Béji Caïd Essebsi announced on Monday the dissolution of the country’s secret police arm. This step toward democracy is the most important taken by any Arab country for decades.…

Ras Lanuf Falls to Rebels

Ras Lanuf Falls to Rebels

In a major push west, rebel forces in Libya are said by Reuters to have taken the major petroleum and refining town of Ras Lanuf on the Mediterranean coast east of the…

Egypt’s Unfinished Revolution: PM Shafiq Ousted

Egypt’s Unfinished Revolution: PM Shafiq Ousted

The threat of further massive protests today at Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo forced the resignation of Egyptian prime minister Ahmad Shafiq, a close associate of deposed president Hosni Mubarak and, like…

Qaddafi Son Incites Massacre of Protesters

Qaddafi Son Incites Massacre of Protesters

Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, son of the besieged dictator, has been caught on a smart phone video whipping up a crowd of ‘police’ and other supporters last Saturday to massacre protesters (he asks…