Of Foreign Intervention

A Note published on my Facebook Public Page:

I hate foreign intervention. It always comes at a high cost. I know that because we’re already paying it. We’ve been paying for centuries now, centuries. For we live in the Middle East, not on some deserted island, “foreign” intervention has always been one of the historical constants shaping our lives and destinies. Today, it is a fact of our daily life. Stopping foreign intervention has never been the real challenge confronting us. Our challenge has always been one of management. We simply have to find ways to influence the intervention process so that our interests can be served and our goals achieved:  freedom, justice, dignity, development. Continue reading

The New World Mayhem

First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations. 

The main hallmark of the emerging World Order is the utter universal lack of capable and inspiring leaders and visions. The complex task of managing a hard yet necessary transitional period in the history of humanity, a coming to terms with our global unity and interdependence and their implications, is left in the hand of mediocre leaders who have neither the prerequisite abilities nor vision nor plans to shape the current unfolding of events and developments. For this, we are bound to continue to stumble on from one seemingly manageable crisis to another and from one all too avoidable war to another until things get completely out of hand and we find ourselves immersed in a global conflict whose tragic consequences are bound to shape our collective memories for millennia to come.

Change is in the Air!

First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations. 

If the region spirals into warfare again, there will be enough blame to go around of course. But someone in the region should bear in mind that, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the region did have 15 years to reinvent itself in accordance with the new realities all around it, but failed to do so. Stability and constancy are not values always to be cherished, and change no matter how onerous a task it might pose is not an existential threat. It becomes so when people try to avoid it at all costs, just as the peoples and government of the region did. But change is coming nonetheless, and violence will play a role in it, regardless of our best intentions. We are better off planning to manage it rather than resist in that nihilistic fashion to which many of our leaders seem accustomed.

Identity, Integration & Introspection!

A few days ago I posted a few lines on the concept of Immigration, Integration and Identity, the subject of a conference on Capitol Hill that I took part in. The few lines I posted, which represented my initial take on the matter, generated quite an interesting debate, I thought. So much so I promised to return to the topic again after the end of the conference. For I seldom read prepared statements in conferences as I prefer to extemporize, this allows me the flexibility to study my audience a little, not to mention, in some cases, the other participants as well, before I embark on my “mission.” Continue reading

Secularists & Islamists – The Promise & the Dread

This is the paper that I have prepared during my second stint as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution (October 2005-March 2006). It, too, was too whimsical for publication as a Brookings policy paper. So, here it is.  Continue reading

Syria and the Fallacies of the China Model

Published in my short-lived blog: Tharwalizations – Making Sense & Wealth of Difference 

Witnessing the reintroduction of the China Model into the scene of the political discouse surrounding Syria’s future comes as quite an alarming development. The Model was first introduced into the country’s political discourse in early 2000 by some Baath and other leftwing ideologues, but now it is being reintroduced by American right- and leftwing commentators seeking to further their anti-neocon diatribe, or avert blame over the worsening situation in Iraq – after all, it is never too early to begin campaigning for the next elections on behalf of your favorite party. Continue reading