First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations.
Diversity in our region creates certain dynamics that are simply too complex to be tackled through some facile generalizations. In this regard, and while Arabs across the region and the world seem to stand in solidarity with Hezbollah, the Bedouins in Israel seem to have a different opinion on this matter. Indeed, the Bedouins seem to “bitterly resent Hezbollah,” since of its Katyusha rockets tend to fall at them. Also, and contrary to how many Arabs feel with regard to the US, the Bedouins of Israel “don’t think the U.S. is engaged in a war against Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere. They think Arab anger around the world can be laid at the feet of dictators who spread misinformation to distract people from inept rule.” Continue reading →
First, I promise to return to the issue of Identity, Integration & Introspection and my talk on Capitol Hill very soon. But for now, I would like to address the current situation in Syria.
Indeed, the arrest of Michel Kilo did not come as a unique occurrence, but was immediately followed by aseriesof summonses to other activists who, not too long ago, had signed a petition calling on the Syrian regime to normalize its relations with Lebanon, including demarcating borders, establishing diplomatic relations and freeing all Lebanese political prisoners in Syria jails, and accounting for the missing. These summonses could, of course, easily turn into arrestsseeing that this is indeed what happened to Michel. Continue reading →
With the region on the verge of implosion, the US needs to learn the hard art of conflict management, because this is one conflict it can run away from, anymore. Indeed, there will be a huge price to pay for staying the distance, which includes staying in Iraq and not shying away from further involvement in other regional affairs, but the price for leaving will have negative ramifications for US interests far beyond the region. Continue reading →
The Jordanian authorities are still moving adamantly with their case against Hamas and the Syrian regime. The recent televised confessions of a Hamas suspect may seem like a page out of an old and worn out book, but it does betray a serious commitment to taking this matter to its logical conclusion: a confrontation with the Assad regime. When the Jordanian monarch warned against the rise of the Shia crescent, he was not mincing words or sound-bites. Rather, he was speaking as a true believer in the ultimate necessity of seeing this unholy crescent collapse and fall apart. He is a Hashemite after all. Continue reading →
Is the Syrian regime finally off the hook? Does the international community, headed by France and the US, seem to be backing down at this stage allowing Bashar & Co. to continue to rule Syria for a little while longer for fear of creating another failed state in the region at such inopportune times? If this is so, does this mean that Bashar’s strategy of wagging the Islamists worked, especially with the indirect aid of the Amman terrorist attacks? Moreover, is Syria planning to crackdown against PKK outposts in the northeastern parts of the country to curry favor with Turkey?
While mice were busy pretending they were lions in Damascus, Arabs and Kurds were at each other’s throats in Qamishly, and kidnappings of businessmen continued in Aleppo, where Islamists have made sure that alcohol is effectively banned.
Is there any doubt left that something is indeed boiling in the country? Continue reading →