Tag Archives | Arabs

Free speech distinguishes the West from the rest

In Crowds and Power, the late Elias Canetti, a wonderfully gifted writer and Nobel laureate, brought a unique perspective in examining the human condition and history under the stress of mobs in politics. When individuals gathered together turn into a crowd and then erupt into a mob, the transition from one into another is the […]

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Middle East Mayhem: Congrats Obama,You Built That

Remember back in the beginning of 2011 when Obama told us about the freedom lovers in Egypt and Libya living under the oppression of dictators and needing our immediate help to establish democracy in their fair lands? You do? So do I. How weird. We should become best friends. Facebook me. Anyway … it turns […]

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Arab Spring now a Christian nightmare

In the 1990s, western democracies stepped forward to stop ethnic cleansing in former Yugoslavia by dispatching NATO forces in support of UN peacekeeping operations in the Balkans. The disintegration of Yugoslavia precipitated ethnic strife, and like all such struggles anywhere in the world, the Balkan conflict was complex and layered with history of grievances, identity […]

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Assad: The devil we know.

We do not understand the Arab world. We think we do, we like to think we do, but we don’t. It’s far more complex and nuanced than we give it credit for, and few parts of it are as multifaceted and layered as Syria. The struggles of the Middle East are seldom about good and […]

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Empty church discloses a harsh reality

  ALGIERS, ALGERIA  – Notre Dame d’Afrique sits on top of a cliff overlooking Algiers. It was completed in 1872 and since then has been one of the landmarks of the Algerian capital, its neo-Byzantine style architecture with an impressive dome standing imperially over a city that still reflects, despite its present shabbiness, the legacy of […]

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The military’s shrewd gambit in Egypt

JIZEL, Algeria — The landscape around Jizel, east of Algeria’s capital Algiers on the Barbary Coast, appears like an artist’s hidden paradise in some remote corner of the world. The view of the Mediterranean framed by the mountains is spectacular, and it tells me why the French fought so long and hard to remain here. […]

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Women stand to lose most in Arab Spring

The monthly journal Foreign Policy recently published an essay by Mona Eltahawy titled “Why Do They Hate Us?” Eltahawy is an American of Egyptian origin, a graduate from the American University in Cairo with a master’s degree in journalism, who publishes views on politics and culture inside the Arab world. In the large amount of […]

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Prosperous Israel in perilous times

As Israelis mark the 64th independence day of their country, Jews in Israel and outside also watch with apprehension the increasingly volatile situation in the region. Jews as a people are instinctively cognizant of history. Indeed of Jews, it might be said, they are a nation which has survived through history bearing witness to the […]

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Lesson from Iraq for Syria

In a recent Wall Street Journal column, Fouad Ajami laments America’s abdication of Syria as the country slides ever deeper into the morass of a bloody civil war. Ajami is the pre-eminent Arab-American academic and public intellectual writing about the contemporary Middle East. His realism, honesty, insight of the Arab world and elegant style, make […]

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“Arab Spring a mask for ruthless men”

The Biblical story of Jonah in the belly of a whale is a fascinating allegory of moral instruction taught by God to man, or of man’s struggle for redemption in a sinful world. It might also be read as a metaphor indicating only those individuals, or people, know best the nature of any beast if […]

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covered Muslim women

Libya poised for return of tribal savagery

As I noted in my column last week, the end of Moammar Gadhafi is the opening act of a new cycle of vendetta, power play and authoritarian rule in Libya, just like those Arab countries where other despots have been removed. The bestial treatment meted out to Gadhafi in the last moments of his life […]

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Charles Krauthammer: Why Did Abbas Go To The U.N.? For Land Without Peace.

Charles Krauthammer nails down some facts in his weekly column this week (September 30 2011).  This is from the … And [Palestinian leader Abbas] has repeatedly declared, as recently as last week in New York: “We shall not recognize a Jewish state.” … The Palestinians are quite prepared to sign interim agreements, like Oslo. […]

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South Sudan arrives with bang, whimper

The news surrounding the independence of a new state in Africa, South Sudan, has been undeservingly drowned out in the cascading news from other fronts of political upheavals and terrorism. This newest member of the African Union and the UN, with a population under 10 million and an immense burden of violence borne by its […]

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Arab world rich with unearned wealth

As the Arab world implodes under the weight of its brutal dictators, we are witnessing the uncertainties surrounding the eventual making of a new regional balance. The situation is explosive given the intractable nature of conflicts among tribes holding power and tribes denied their share of the loot. This is as old as Arab and […]

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Obama’s Israel issue

Frankly, President Obama has had a bit, though not a lot, of a raw deal. Concerning his speech about the Middle East, that is. All he really did was to reiterate, albeit more explicitly and loudly, the policy of the last four presidents of the United States. He didn’t demand that Israel withdraw to its […]

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