The Heretic & the Cause!

I never really had high expectations for the American venture in Iraq, because I have always known that the challenges of modernization and democratization are too enormous to be handled in such manner. Indeed, I do not believe in quick fixes and shortcuts when it comes to such major social transformations. There is no way around the mountain (or the abyss) for us in order to get to the other side, albeit it’s quite understandable that we should hope and pray for one. For the alternative is to do what others have done: go through hell in order to get what we want, what we think we deserve and are entitled to.  Continue reading

Blood & Circumstance!

The attacks on Syrian refugees in Iraq are increasing by the day, scores have been killed so far, and dozens have been rendered homeless or under arrest as terrorists. The campaign is being justified by the Maliki government as a crackdown on terrorists, but these refugees have been in Iraq for decades having been driven out from Syria by their ideological and personal differences with the Assads. As such they have no reason whatsoever to collaborate with the Assads to bring about any instability in Iraq. Indeed many of them are organized opposition members. Some are in fact affiliated with the National Salvation Front. Continue reading

It’s not always good to talk

guardian.co.uk

Recommendations to engage with Syria and Iran are a testament to how cut off the Western powers have become from the realities on the ground.

Despite frequent claims to the contrary, the fundamental problem in the Middle East is not intervention by the West. On the contrary, the real problem is that, for all their dabbling, the Western powers seem capable of neither war nor dialogue. This leaves everyone in the region at the mercy of the Middle East’s oppressive regimes and proliferating terrorists. Continue reading

The Death of Moderation!

What can be said about the current developments in Lebanon except that we might be seeing the prelude to a civil war?What could really be more telling than this?

But yes, I can praise the March 14 forces for showing so much restraint and from refraining to challenge the current show of force by Hezbollah and supporters, the pro-Syria demonstrators, by mounting an equally impressive show of their own. But this will be adding more fuel to the fire, and already several agents provocateurs, some of which reportedly Syrian, have been involved in trying to steer the crowds into doing something stupid such as storming the Serail. The restraint shown by the March 14 forces is indeed wise and commendable. Continue reading

Should The United States Engage Syria? A Saban Center Policy Forum Debate

The Saban Center for Middle East Policy hosted a debate on October 23, 2006 between Joshua Landis, assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma, and Ammar Abdulhamid, a Saban Center Nonresident Fellow, on whether the United States should engage with Syria. Martin S. Indyk, Director of the Saban Center, formerly Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs and twice U.S. Ambassador to Israel, and Tamara Cofman Wittes, Saban Center Research Fellow and Director of the Arab Democracy and Development Program, chaired the event. Continue reading