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Archives: August 2011

What the UN Can and Cannot do for Libya

China and some others have been pushing for a strong United Nations role in Libya, presumably in an attempt to forestall a continuation of the NATO mission in that country or the…

Fall of Tripoli Echoes Loudly in Damascus

Fall of Tripoli Echoes Loudly in Damascus

Protesters in Syria have cheered on the revolutionaries in Libya, and the fall of Tripoli to a popular uprising last Saturday and Sunday gave new heart to the Syrian reform movement. So…

Hurricanes and Global Warming

With the approach of Hurricane Irene, climate activists are reminding us that more intensive hurricanes are produced by warmer water, so that global warming over time will increase the severity and frequency…

Iraq Adopts Iran’s Backing of Assad

Interview with me, mirrored from The United States Institute of Peace Iran Primer. Q. What impact will the call by the United States and major European powers for Syrian President Bashar Assad…

How to Avoid Bush’s Iraq Mistakes in Libya

The illegal American invasion of Iraq and subsequent occupation was so epochal a catastrophe that it spawned a negative phrase in Arabic, “to Iraqize” or `arqana. Tonight I heard an Alarabiya anchor…

TV, Twitter, Facebook and the Libyan Revolution

The USG Open Source Center summarizes what is known about television and social media penetration in Libya (see below). Television is light years more important than the internet. Almost everyone has access…

Qaddafi’s Complex Falls to Revolutionaries

Libyan revolutionaries have captured the Bab al-Aziziya compound of deposed dictator Muammar Gaddafi. CNN’s Sara Sidner reported it live and on site (video here). The revolutionaries delieriously fired their weapons in the…

Top Ten Myths about the Libya War

The Libyan Revolution has largely succeeded, and this is a moment of celebration, not only for Libyans but for a youth generation in the Arab world that has pursued a political opening…

The Great Tripoli Uprising

The Great Tripoli Uprising

As dawn broke Sunday in Libya, revolutionaries were telling Aljazeera Arabic that much of the capital was being taken over by supporters of the February 17 Youth revolt. Some areas, such as…

Obama demands Regime Change in Syria

Obama demands Regime Change in Syria

President Obama, along with the European Union, called on Thursday for Syrian President Bashar al-Asad to step down. At the same time, the US announced severe economic and financial sanctions against Syria,…

Is Qaddafi Really going to Flee to Tunisia?

NBC News is reporting that US intelligence officials are telling it that Muammar Qaddafi is considering fleeing into exile in neighboring Tunisia. This in the wake of the dramatic advances made by…

Historical Question for Governor Perry

Dear Rick Perry: I am a historian and if you will indulge me, I’d just like to ask you a question about historical parallels. So if we were living in Germany’s Weimar…

Tripoli Surrounded, Cut Off

Aljazeera Arabic is reporting directly from Zawiya (to the west of Tripoli along the Mediterranean), where Free Libya forces have liberated some 80 percent of the city, all but the eastern areas…

President Bachmann as Mideast Prophet: Cole/ Truthdig

My column in Truthdig is now out, “President Bachmann: Another Mideast Messiah” Excerpt: “Bachmann recently alleged that Iran had been “delivered a nuclear warhead” (this assertion, like many of Bachmann’s bromides, is…

Rick Perry and the Hucksterism of the Rich

Rick Perry’s announcement of his presidential ambitions marks the triumph of fantasy over reality in American politics. Among our more pressing problems are global climate change caused by human production of greenhouse…

Iraq declines to Cut Syria Off

As Syria passed another bloody Friday of protests, Arab journalists and now the New York Times are noting that the Iraqi government of PM Nouri al-Maliki has declined to withdraw its ambassador…

Paul, Santorum and the Sixth War (on Iran)

One of the places foreign policy emerged in the GOP Iowa debate last night was an exchange between Ron Paul and Rick Santorum on Iran, as right wing analyst Thomas R. Eddlem…

Obama may Call for al-Asad to step down

Obama may Call for al-Asad to step down

President Barack Obama is seriously considering calling publicly for Syrian President Bashar al-Asad to step down, according to press reports. He is said to be awaiting a briefing by Turkish Foreign Minister…

Jordan Plans Green Star Trek Theme Park

Jordan Plans Green Star Trek Theme Park

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has big plans to renovate the port of Aqaba, and among them is the building of a $1.5 billion Star Trek theme park powered by green energy.…

Syria Cracks down on Hama Again

Syria Cracks down on Hama Again

Tens of thousands of Syrians demonstrated on August 5, the first Friday of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, amid regime crackdowns that were especially harsh in Hama, with some 13 killed…

Rebels claim Leader of Feared Khamis Brigade Dead

Free Libya forces are making unconfirmed allegations that Gen. Khamis Qaddafi has been killed in a NATO airstrike on a military outpost at Zlitan near Misrata. Khamis leads the feared Khamis Brigades,…

Mubarak on Trial but W. Is Not

The July 8 protests spearheaded by young Egyptian leftists to demand accountability and transparency were rewarded Wednesday by publicly broadcast trial proceedings against former president Hosni Mubarak, his two sons, and several…

Syrian Massacre in Hama Sparks More EU Sanctions

Syrian Massacre in Hama Sparks More EU Sanctions

Syria’s concerted military intervention against peacefully protesting crowds at the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan has resulted in dozens of deaths, especially in the city of Hama, with about 100…

Gingrich Accused of Twitter Fraud

Newt Gingrich has ten times as many Twitter followers as Mitt Romney, but it is being alleged that most of them are dummy accounts or are actually paid for. In bizarro Gingrich-world,…

Zakaria: Tea Party Tactics Immoral, Dictatorial

Vice President Joe Biden may or may not have concurred with some disgruntled Democratic politicians that in the negotiations over the debt ceiling, the Tea Party Republicans acted like “terrorists.” But what…

Eissenstat: Turkey’s Generals Resign

Howard Eissenstat writes in a guest column for Informed Comment Turkey’s Generals Resign: Thoughts on a New Chapter in Turkish Politics For most of my professional life I have argued that one…

Cheek: We have no Liberty without Energy Freedom

Martin Cheek, co-author of Clean Energy Nation: Freeing America from the Tyranny of Fossil Fuels, writes in a guest column for Informed Comment: Americans Must Lead the World to Energy Freedom OPEC…