Arab Spring & Middle East Analysis

Spotlight on Iran: Keep the Pressure On!

While this past week saw substantial progress for the pro-diplomacy and antiwar movements in the US, the high-stakes fight over Washington's negotiations with Iran is far from over.

To help sort through the complex and changing political landscape, War Times has put together a collection of links and articles that cover this past week's events .

Beginning in Washington, Jim Lobe takes a closer look at how AIPAC's efforts...

AP

Egypt events show off our vile racist trolls

by Jan Adams

There is something about the military coup in Egypt and the ongoing travails of that country that brings out whatever racist and Islamophobic filth lurks in the recesses of what passes for minds among United States right-wingers. 

Here's the Wall Street Journal:

Egyptians would be lucky if their new ruling generals turn out to be in the mold of Chile’s Augusto Pinochet...

Mural on Mohammed Mahmoud Street of Khaled Said, a young man who died in 2010 after being arrested by police in Alexandria. Photo: Scott Kimball.

Eyewitness Cairo: "This should not be our fight alone"

by Sarah Lazare

As the U.S. pledges $250 million more in aid to Mohamad Morsi’s military-run Egyptian government, journalist and anti-war/anti-militarist organizer Sarah Lazare returns to Tahrir Square to learn about the revolution still underway, witness the challenges and obstacles organizers face, and have conversations about building international solidarity at a difficult moment.

The first time my partner Scott and I went to...

Stand With Yemen: Enough War!

Since March 26, Yemenis have endured a U.S./Saudi air war and siege, in a conflict that has so far killed at least 1,500 people and displaced 300,000 civilians. We are asking people to send a message of solidarity to Yemen - ON THURSDAY, MAY 14TH - as part of the independent, Yemeni-led campaign Kefaya War ("Enough" War in Arabic). To learn more about the campaign go here or here...

Obama's argument is deeply flawed...op-ed from China Daily USA

by Gary Hicks Chen Weihua, the author, is the Editor of China Daily USA. We can take it for granted that his op ed piece, below, is representative of the consensual views of the present Chinese leadership, via its Foreign Ministry. Aside from official opinion, it's a short, sweet, to-point summation of what much of the diplomatic world, especially East and South, feel about the current state and actions of US foreign policy, following on the speech given at...
Courtey of Muftah.org

Arab Spring: Revolution in Progress or Movements Co-opted?

by Greg Hom

Greg Hom looks at two differing in-depth views of the current conditions and historical lead-up to the “Arab Spring”. He also looks at the reflections of a Bay Area activist on her recent experiences in Tunisia, and highlights an article with the Yemeni journalist and activist Farea Al-Muslimi who recently spoke to Congress about drone attacks and how they are only recruiting people against the United States.

The past two weeks had me...

Diplomacy with Iran Essential For Regional Demilitarization

by Rebecca Tumposky

Rebecca Tumposky reports on the high stakes battle in Washington over the Iran negotiations as the P5+1-Iran interim agreement takes effect, stressing that further diplomatic progress is crucial for de-escalating conflict throughout the Middle East and dealing a blow to the Israel Lobby's constant promotion of war, occupation and Islamophobia. 

Diplomacy between the P5+1 powers (the U.S., Russia, China, United Kingdom, France and...

Caption: "Leave". On 30 June 2013, millions of Egyptians took the streets to demand the removal of president Morsi, and the term "Irhal" (leave) with a red card was used indicating that it is time for Morsi to go. Image originally posted to Flicker by Kamal Sedra

Egyptians Say They're Not Going Home; Palestinian Bedouins Organize To Stay Home

by Greg Hom

In Greg's blog posts, he comments on recent reporting on, or in-depth analysis of, the "Middle East" you may be interested in.

In my previous posts on Egypt, I've tried to show the nebulous state of the the revolution there. A democratic vote was held to bring in Morsi, while the military retained a central role in the state apparatus as it did under Mubarak. In the last few weeks we've seen strong protests against the Morsi...

10 Years After the Invasion of Iraq: Hard to Remember, Harder to Forget

by Francesca Fiorentini

It has been 10 years since the invasion and occupation of Iraq, a war that by now most know was a war for oil. Though difficult to look back on this decade, it is the ease at which we forget that condems suffering veterans to the shadows, Iraqis to a country in shambles, and leaves the American people vulnerable to future seductions of war-making.

I remember everything so well: where I was when bombs...

Civil War in Syria: Some Valuable Resources

by Lynn Koh

The War Times collective, like the rest of the peace movement, unequivocally opposes military intervention against Syria.  Below is a list of articles, interviews, and essays to help folks understand the crisis.

Opposing airstrikes against Syria:  a range of voices and reasons.

Phyllis Bennis and David Wildman say an airstrike against Syria would be illegal, reckless, and 'would make the dire situation in Syria...

Image modified based upon a Creative Commons License of work at http://www.flickr.com/photos/aidan_jones/

Whither(ing) negotiations?

by Greg Hom

Christopher Bridwell's recent opinion piece in Al-Jazeera "Iran is negotiating with the wrong US officials" is useful in understanding some serious issues with the Iran/P5+1 negotiations.

In particular, the piece points out how the sanctions relief that the Obama administration is possibly calling for will still have to contend with the many laws enforcing sanctions on Iran passed by the U.S. Congress. The Obama administration just...

Blood on Israel’s Hands from Palestine to the Mayan Highlands

by Greg Hom

For this post, Greg Hom discusses Israel’s role outside of the Middle East region, and a win for the BDS movement.

What does the sentencing of former dictator Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt have to do with the politics of the Middle East?  Israel armed the government of Montt, making it possible for the army to commit genocide against the Ixil people, and gave military training as well, based on Israel’s experience of “...

3 Reasons Why U.S. Strikes on Iraq (Again) Are a Terrible Idea

by Felicia Gustin

The U.S. war machine is on the move. Oh, the tragic irony – the George H.W. Bush warship moves into the Persian Gulf, poised to take military action as the situation in Iraq deteriorates.

Calls for U.S. intervention grow louder. On one side we have the voices from the right, those who favor militarism and war over diplomacy (and who got us into this mess in the first place). Then there are those individuals, some liberals and...

No 'Slam Dunk' in Syria For Obama Administration

by Greg Hom

The Associated Press decided to not join the rest of the media in being excited about seeing American bombs explode in Syria. Rather, they decided to show that the Obama administration claims that Assad was responsible for a recent gas attack are being refuted by other U.S. officials.

As the article says: “U.S. officials used the phrase "not a slam dunk" to describe the...

U.S. Pandering in Israel, Realpolitik in Egypt

by Greg Hom

Greg Hom looks at a recent review of the last two year's events in Egypt and President Obama's trip to Palestine/Israel

President Obama's visit to Israel and occupied Palestine has been designed to not take too strong a stand on U.S.-involvement in any kind of "peace" process, though of course it will be mentioned. Rather the trip has been mostly designed to drive home the point that the U.S. is a friend to Israel....

Young Syrian refugees in a camp in northern Lebanon. Picture: Sam Tarling, Caritas (Keystone)

HORROR OF WAR IN SYRIA; HOPE FOR PEACE WITH IRAN

by Rami El-Amine

Rami El-Amine takes stock of the Arab revolutions three years on, arguing that counter-revolution has rolled back most of the gains made and created a level of instability and sectarianism that threatens all-out regional war. At the same time, in one of the bitterest ironies of this humanitarian catastrophe, this very instability may improve prospects for a nuclear agreement with Iran that could start a new dynamic toward peace in the region...

Cockburn on the Arab Spring

Patrick Cockburn is one of the most discerning observers of the politics of the Middle East.  As a journalist for the Financial Times and the Independent, Cockburn, has spent decades observing and analyzing the daily politics of empire and resistance.  Here he assesses the Arab Spring - now three years old - and if harsh, his analysis deserves our attention.  "The uprisings of the Arab Spring," he writes "have so far produced anarchy in...

Image courtey of UNHCR website

Syria a Stalemate Much Longer? And the other "Middle East Peace" that isn't going anywhere

by Greg Hom

The last month has shown Syria's war to be spreading across the border with Lebanon and beyond as Hezbollah openly sided with the Assad government. And as Patrick Cockburn wrote in the London Review of Books, “[t]here is virtually no state in the region that hasn’t got some stake in the conflict.” (Is it the end of Sykes-Picot? June 6,2013). Not shying away from that complicated view, Cockburn goes on to enlighten us in this way:

“...

Raise Your Voice: U.S. Should Condemn Israeli Assault on Gaza and Call for an Immediate Cease-Fire

by Max Elbaum

"In Gaza last night, while Israeli army forces launched military attacks by sea, air and via artillery shells, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children were unable to sleep inside their roof-tinned homes, clinging to their parents, crying, and terrified. The shelling last night was earth shattering, and went through the entirety of the Gaza strip - at least 100 attacks have already taken place. In Gaza, we do not have bomb...

AFP/Kaster

Hard Road to the Promised Land

by Francesca Fiorentini

“I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.”

–Martin Luther King Jr., speaking at a Memphis garbage workers strike the night before he was assassinated

In part two of this special two-part Month in Review marking this column's 100th installment, Francesca Fiorentini...

Artist: Sulafa Hijazi

Amidst Geopolitical Concerns Don't Forget: Syrians Have a Stake in their Future, Too

by Greg Hom

I know I am not alone when I say that I am disheartened by the violence in Syria.  While news out of Egypt is not necessarily rosy- authorities this list week detained journalists and other leaders- it still seems like there is hope and energy there to move past the history of the Mubarak dictatorship.  Tunisia just hosted the World Social Forum!

Meanwhile in Syria, the violence seems crazy and people are flooding...

Spotlight On Iran: Act Now!

by Max Elbaum

According to the latest count from MoveOn, pro-war senators are just eight co-sponsors shy of having enough votes to override a promised presidential veto of their dangerous new Iran sanctions legislation. If that bill becomes law – perhaps even if it passes Congress without enough votes to over-ride a veto – it will torpedo the delicate negotiations between the U.S. and Iran.

Because of overwhelming public sentiment...

Image courtey of ipetitions.com

AFRICOM Sowing Seeds of Terrorist Reaction

by Greg Hom

In Greg's blog posts, he comments on recent reporting on, or in-depth analysis of, the "Middle East" you may be interested in.

Post 9/11, when Afghanistan became “one of the countries that even Americans know where it is”, there was then the question if Afghanistan was in the “Middle East” or not. Americans were used to “terrorism” and “Muslim” being associated with the Arab countries of the Middle East, but Afghanistan is kind of in...

What Kind of Ancestors Will We Be?

by Felicia Gustin

I think about the children in Gaza, the children coming across the Mexico - U.S. border, the children without water in Detroit, the children living with violence in Oakland.

I think about what kind of future our children face and what is our responsibility, as adults, to all children, to rid this planet of war and militarism, hatred and inequity. To save this planet.

I think about this poem by Guatemalan revolutionary Otto Rene...

Girl in protest in Amman to allow Syrian refugees into Jordan

Top 5 Reasons To Oppose the Strikes on Syria

by Rami El-Amine 1. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE

The Obama administration has said it will take military action against Syria in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack that it has yet to present any evidence of, let alone who carried it out. Some in the administration were even saying that the alleged attack may not have been ordered by Syrian President Bashar Al Assad but a rogue element in the regime. The Al Qaeda affiliated groups in the Syrian opposition...

Courtesy of Amine Ghrabi

Snapshots from Tunis

by Sarah Lazare

The 13th World Social Forum concluded last Saturday with a massive Land Day march, marking the anniversary of the deadly 1976 Palestinian protests against Israeli plans to displace Palestinians in the Galilee region. Tens of thousands marched through Tunis’s streets, boisterously closing this global gathering that boasts over 4,500 participating organizations from five continents.

Held in the seat of the so-called Arab Spring that...