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

Diversity and Turmoil

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

Conflict Watch, July 27, 2006

 

First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations. 

Somalia

Countdown for another regional disaster is currently taking place. Both Ethiopia and the Somali Sharia militias are arming themselves and a showdown seems to be looming. Eritrea is playing its part in an attempted pay back at Ethiopia over their previous entanglements not too long ago. Continue reading

Of Cats and Guilt

First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations. 

The cat-and-mouse game between regular armies and “resistance” fighters has always had a heavy toll on the civilian population and the basic infrastructure of the countries involved. It has always served to undermine the potential for democracy as well. Still, a democracy did emerge out of the rubble in Germany and Japan following WWII, and one hopes that this may still be the case for Lebanon as well, albeit all indications point to the possibility that the wrong elements might end up running things in Lebanon, once the dust settles. The elements will lord over a virtual desolation, but they will be the lords. Continue reading

The Dead Weight of History

What’s one to do with the dead weight of history and demographics? No, I am not about to embark here on some elitist complaint against the “ignorant masses,” or the “mob,” I am merely referring to the all-too real problem related, in part, to the confusion surrounding issues of identity and belonging, and, in other part, to the sheer pressure that population explosion exerts on the basic social services that a state should provide in order to survive in this world (its survival being of major importance to the well-being of, at least, the majority of its inhabitants, if not all). Continue reading