Middle Eastern Realities! (1)

Every new conflict in the region becomes inextricably linked to the ongoing Arab-Israeli Conflict as well as western imperialism in the discourse and tactics employed by the various regional actors invovled, who are often more interested in prolonging the said conflict. Festering old wounds are always a good distraction from developing new ones. However, the real panacea here does not lie in treating the causes of one set of wounds at the expense of another, as so many experts end up recommending, but in tackling the real issues involved: the development and democracy gaps. Any realism that attempts a song-and-dance around these issues represent nothing more than a cop-out mechanism, a running away from the real challenges ahead, and will only make the problems worse in the not-too-distant future. For things are moving at a much faster pace than they used to, and any problem that gets neglected today will haunt us all in the near morrow.

A Tragicomedy of Errors!

Voices are being raised on a daily basis tying progress in resolving the current situation in Iraq and the standoff with Iran to a peaceful conclusion of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. The most recent such call came from none other than Graham Fuller writing in the Winter issue of the Washington Quarterly (not available on the Internet). But, and while Fuller makes many excellent arguments with regard to the current dynamics in the region, his perspective, albeit far more nuanced and inclusive than most, is still too narrow. Continue reading

Democratize but Stabilize

First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations. 

No one can any longer deny that there is a real and serious need for a concerted well-coordinated multilateral approach to the processes of development, modernization and democratization in the Broader Middle Eat and North Africa Region. Quick fixes are indeed impossible, but a need to shake the status quo is, nonetheless, quite urgent. If the UNDP reports of 2002-4 have served to elucidate anything, it is the necessity of drastic changes in policies in the region, but few of the existing leaders seem willing and/or capable of this. National interest considerations are not at stake here for them, it is their parochial interests, and, in typical cynical human fashion, they tend to override all other considerations.  Continue reading

Developing the East!

In my post at Creative Syria, I highlighted the huge gap in development between the eastern and western parts of Syria. For, despite the fact that most of the wealth of the country tends to be derived from the eastern parts, both in terms of agricultural goods and the petroleum industry, the western parts, where Damascus, Aleppo and Lattakia are located, continues to be far more developed and rich, relatively speaking of course, than the eastern parts. Continue reading

The Lionators of Syria!

No, this is not some fancy conspiracy theory that I am about to outline here, it is the reality we have been facing for many years now under the rule of this reform-minded president and his clique of brothers, cousins and in-laws. The Damascus Community School (DCS), popularly referred to as the American School, is currently being squeezed out of existence, or at least, its Syrian students are, so as to fill the empty seats in the Shoeifat School owned by, who else?, the President cousin, Rami Makhlouf, AKA, the Raminator of Modern Syria. Continue reading