Month
Category

Archives: July 2012

Can You Pass the Hezbollah Quiz? (Rudolph)

CAN YOU PASS THE HEZBOLLAH QUIZ? By Jeffrey Rudolph Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia Islamic organization, has evolved over the last three decades from a guerilla movement to the most influential political and…
Romney on Jerusalem: A World of Hurt for America

Romney on Jerusalem: A World of Hurt for America

As expected, Mitt Romney in Israel tried his hardest to make casino mogul and Likud Party stalwart Sheldon Adelson happy. Adelson has pledged $100 million to Romney's presidential campaign. Romney put all…
“Dubai World III” (Gursky Photograph)

“Dubai World III” (Gursky Photograph)

Andreas Gursky, "Dubai World III," Photograph, 2008. Gursky (b. Leipzig, 1955) studied at the Dusseldorf Art Academy and is known for his large scale prints and interest in world tourist sites. This…

Diary from Damascus (John Wreford)

John Wreford writes at Yourmiddleeast.com Photographer John Wreford has lived in Syria for many years and still remains in his house in Damascus’ Old City. Here, he gives a very personal account…

The Olympics and the Muslims

The Olympic Games are rooted in an ancient Greek custom, but they were revived in the 1890s very much in the framework of the emergence of a world of nation-states. Athletes are…
“The Bride” by Sughra Rababi (Painting)

“The Bride” by Sughra Rababi (Painting)

Sughra Rababi, The Bride, 1986 Sughra Rababi (1922-1994) is a major modern Pakistani painter. She studied in Karachi and at Rabindranath Tagore's Shantiniketan Fine Arts University in Bengal.

Defections mount as Syrian Regime invests Aleppo

The Baath regime of President Bashar al-Assad is preparing for a major military operation to crush the uprising in Aleppo on Friday afternoon, according to rebel and Western sources. Even as the…
Tripoli, Libya: Martyr’s Square (Photo)

Tripoli, Libya: Martyr’s Square (Photo)

Martyr's Square, Tripoli, Libya on a Friday afternoon. This is the area of the former "Green Square" where Qaddafi gave his hours-long crackpot speeches. It now has a carnival atmosphere on the…

Top Ten Reasons Fracking won’t Last Long

Proponents of natural gas fracturing and oil drilling are delirious with joy over the ability to recover shale gas, which has brought down world gas prices and made the US a major…
Zorah in a Yellow Robe (Matisse Painting)

Zorah in a Yellow Robe (Matisse Painting)

. Henri Matisse, Zorah: La Robe Jaune. Oil on Canvass. Morocco, 1912. Collection Cowles it has been argued that Matisse stepped back, on his first trip in Morocco, from painting "wild, Fauvist…

Could Michelle Bachmann cost Romney the Presidency?

Michele Bachmann is flailing around accusing all the US government officials of Muslim heritage of being connected to the Muslim Brotherhood (which in turn she misunderstands as a radical group). Not only…
Free Syrian Army Controls Border Areas

Free Syrian Army Controls Border Areas

Free Syria exists along Syria's borders with Turkey and Iraq. The Free Syrian Army, somewhat to my surprise, is beginning to take and hold territory, acting more like a conventional army than…

Top Ten Implications of the Damascus Bombing

The bombing of the Security Headquarters of the Baath government of Syria on Wednesday killed the Minister of Defense, the deputy Minister of Defense, and the Assistant to the vice-president and head…
Marionette 2 (Painting by Syrian Modernist Marwan)

Marionette 2 (Painting by Syrian Modernist Marwan)

Marwan, Marionette 2 (2007), gouache on paper, 21 x 30.2 cm 2011,6020.2. Mirrored from [pdf] the British Museum Modern Syrian Art Collection. Marwan (Kassab Bachi), born in Damascus, Syria, in 1934, did…

Is Michele Bachmann an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood?

It has become increasingly apparent that politics and business often attract psychopaths, because of the opportunities they offer for the gratification of narcissism, grandiosity, sadism and other severe pathologies. For psychopaths, really…
The Moroccans (Matisse Painting)

The Moroccans (Matisse Painting)

The Moroccans Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954) Issy-les-Moulineaux, late 1915 and fall 1916. Oil on canvas, 71 3/8" x 9' 2" (181.3 x 279.4 cm). Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel A. Marx.…
The Tanks that did not Defeat Misrata (Photo)

The Tanks that did not Defeat Misrata (Photo)

Photograph by Juan Cole, May 2012 Line of tanks that Mu'tasim Qaddafi deployed against the civilians of the city of Misrata, Libya, March-August 2011-- destroyed and kept as a memorial outside the…
Matisse:  “Algerian Woman” (Painting)

Matisse: “Algerian Woman” (Painting)

Henri Matisse. The Algerian Woman. 1909. Oil on canvas. Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France The depiction of the Middle East has, since Edward Said's Orientalism, often been approached…

Morsi Reaffirms Israel Peace Treaty to Clinton

The establishment press in Egypt, al-Ahram ("The Pyramids"), reported cautiously on the meeting between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi (from the Muslim Brotherhood party). 1. It noted…
Kairouan, Tunisia

Kairouan, Tunisia

Kairouan, Tunisia, May 2012, from a rooftop. Photo by Juan Cole For more on this UNESCO Heritage City, see this link.

Syria: You know you’re in Trouble When…

Some observations for the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad: You know you're in trouble when you can only rule over people if you massacre them: Opposition sources said that a major massacre…
Obamas Scramble for Africa (Turse)

Obamas Scramble for Africa (Turse)

Nick Turse writes at Tomdispatch.com Obama’s Scramble for Africa Secret Wars, Secret Bases, and the Pentagon’s “New Spice Route” in Africa By Nick Turse They call it the New Spice Route, an…

Did Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood just Blink?

Some members of the Egyptian parliament met briefly on Tuesday, in defiance of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and in accordance with the call of President Muhammad Morsi to…

Top Ten Surprises on Libya’s Election Day

Most Western reporting on Libya is colored by what is in my view a combination of extreme pessimism and sensationalism. It has been suggested that because most reporters don't stay there for…
Romney Praised Individual Mandate in 2010

Romney Praised Individual Mandate in 2010

Andrew Kaczynski points out at Buzzfeed that in a 2010 interview, Mitt Romney compared his Massachusetts universal health insurance plan to that of President Obama, listing positive similarities and negative differences. He…

Ghoul’s Glossary

Offshore account: Something that a gentleman creates, puts in his wife's name, and carefully hides when he goes into politics because good breeding forbids him to utter obscenities in public. Frerrorist: (on…

The Arab World’s Fourths of July

Young Americans followed the events of 2011 in the Arab world with great interest and remarkable sympathy, such that a real difference now shows up in polls between younger and older Americans…

Syria Spirals down

The news out of Syria is bad and worse. The regime is being accused of widespread torture, and it is having to fight the rebels on the doorstep of the capital. Human…

Aphorisms: Outrage

When you see some politicians reacting with outrage to a new law, ask yourself which firms face a loss of profits from it.

Top Five Things Morsi has to Do if Egypt is to Succeed

For understandable reasons, analysis of the political changes in Egypt has focused on personalities (new president Muhammad Morsi is not charismatic); on ideology (how far can he depart from his sectarian commitments…