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Thursday 03. May 2012

The anarchy factor in Syria

The compelling moral case for a humanitarian intervention is increasingly being reinforced by sound raisons d’état. Furthermore, military or semi-military intervention is not the only option on the table. As the sanctions imposed on Iran outside the Security Council clearly show, effective action can be taken to tilt the balance and end the deadly stalemate in Syria. The current preference for inaction, while perhaps understandable, threatens to lead to precisely the outcomes that its advocates want to avoid.

Category: Press
Tuesday 10. April 2012

The Muslim Brotherhood's Mendacious Charm Campaign

Yet the Brotherhood came to Washington with an agenda of its own: selling itself as a “moderate” organization to a highly skeptical American public. And it did so using one of the oldest sales tricks: It completely misrepresented itself.

Category: Press
Friday 23. March 2012

Time to Stop Incitement to Murder -- Again

This week, after a young rabbi and three children were shot to death at a Jewish school in France, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas cabled condolences to French president Nicolas Sarkozy. In that brief cable, according to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, Abbas claimed that he always absolutely opposed any killing of civilians. And yet, just a few weeks ago, Abbas held a meeting in Turkey to honor the Palestinian prisoner, released by Israel as part of the Gilad Shalit deal, who had used the internet to lure an Israeli high school boy to his terrorist murderers last year.

Category: Press
Wednesday 21. March 2012

Syria: Armed Opposition Groups Committing Abuses

Armed opposition elements have carried out serious human rights abuses, Human Rights Watch said today in a public letter to the Syrian National Council (SNC) and other leading Syrian opposition groups. Abuses include kidnapping, detention, and torture of security force members, government supporters, and people identified as members of pro-government militias, called shabeeha. Human Rights Watch has also received reports of executions by armed opposition groups of security force members and civilians.

Category: Press
Monday 12. March 2012

Beyond the Gaza headlines

So the numbers tell nothing like the full story. But the numbers – and the Gaza funeral scenes — are flashed around the world as the apparent barometer of proportionality, or rather disproportionality. And Israel finds itself on the defensive, accused of exaggerated use of force, even as it strives to keep its populace safe. As so often in the past, what’s required to fairly assess the reasons behind the current Israel-Gaza flare-up is a smidgen of intellectual honesty, a glance beyond the headlines and the numbers.

Category: Press
Wednesday 07. March 2012

Janus-faced Turkey's Syria Challenge

Niklas Anzinger: Turkey’s success story of combining moderate Islam and democracy is being challenged by the ruling AK Party’s power grab. In this game, the struggle for power trumps ideology, but the religious resurgence remains an element of unpredictability in foreign policy. Regarding Syria, reality mugged the ill-guided Middle Eastern adventures of Turkey.

Category: Press
Tuesday 28. February 2012

Josef Joffe: Why Nobody Will Help the Syrian People

Libya was no precedent for Syria. Remember the rule: We bomb only where the campaign promises to be short, cheap and decisive. And where the target—like Qaddafi—has no allies. Assad does: Russia, China, and Iran.

Category: Press
Saturday 11. February 2012

New Video: Amr Bargisi (Cairo) about Egypt after the elections

Category: Press
Tuesday 31. January 2012

David Pollock: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and its record of double talk

Of course, it would be a welcome surprise if the Brotherhood does change into a more truthful and trustworthy interlocutor. In the meantime, however, we should pay no attention to anything the Brotherhood says in English and little attention to any private “assurances” it offers. And given the group’s record of double-dealing, observers should take everything the Brotherhood says in Arabic with due doubt.

Category: Press
Thursday 19. January 2012

It's Time to Think Seriously About Intervening in Syria

Syria has become a place where violence, colonial legacies, the mistakes of the recent past, and the hopes for a better Middle East have collided to create layers of complications and unsettling trade-offs for policymakers and outside observers. Yet wrapping oneself in the false comfort that Assad cannot hang on for long seems like the worst possible way to proceed. Washington and the rest of the international community must come to grips with the idea of intervention in Syria or get used to the idea that Bashar al-Assad could stick around far longer than anyone expects.

Category: Press
Thursday 29. December 2011

Is model Turkey sliding into authoritarianism?

Critics say that such cases are evidence that Turkey is sliding toward authoritarianism, even as it is lauded by Western governments as a role model for the Middle East – particularly in the wake of this year's Arab uprisings. "Everyone is so dazzled by Turkey's regional role at the moment that there is almost total silence over this great situation of injustice unfolding at home," says Emma Sinclair-Webb, Turkey researcher for Human Rights Watch. Since 9/11, Turkey has convicted nearly 13,000 people of terrorism offenses, more than any of 66 countries – including China – examined in an Associated Press investigation published in September.

Category: Press
Thursday 15. December 2011

Dec. 18: New video online: Three questions for... Richard Landes

Category: News
Wednesday 14. December 2011

Aliaa's nudity: A different form of protest

More now than ever before, Egyptians from all walks of life are talking about liberty. The chants for freedom have united the revolting masses beyond — and regardless of — ideological affiliation. But why has the call for a freer society limited itself to the political sphere: liberties stated in the constitution, parliamentary elections, management of state institutions and — to a lesser extent — media freedoms? Can one espouse democracy as a political system without extending its logic to gender relations, sexuality and issues of personal privacy?

Category: Press