Updates on the Arab Uprising in Bahrain, Syria, Yemen

By: Wednesday June 1, 2011 6:50 am

Let’s give an update on three of the most intense countries experiencing the Arab uprising: • Bahrain: The island nation lifted the state of emergency today and promised talks with the opposition aimed at political reforms. But the damage has been done – Shiite protesters murdered, detained, tortured, and their mosques and monuments destroyed. The [...]

Obama’s Middle East Speech Reflects Tension Between Words and Actions

By: Thursday May 19, 2011 9:59 am

Obama’s speech on the Arab uprising was delayed, apparently because of late rewrites. And I think that’s apparent in the text, which is a real tightrope. There’s a tension to fit all of the past and present actions of the United States in that part of the world under one coherent theme. The President spoke [...]

Ahead of Obama, Posthumous Bin Laden Tape Praises the Arab Uprising

By: Thursday May 19, 2011 7:30 am

Like Tupac upstaging a younger rapper with a release from the grave, Al Qaeda has released Osama bin Laden’s final message just hours before President Obama gives a speech on the importance of the Arab uprising. In it, bin Laden praises the Arab uprising: In the recording, first shared on Islamist websites, bin Laden praises [...]

US Floats Sanctions for Syria

By: Monday April 25, 2011 12:56 pm

In reaction to the tanks now overrunning Deraa in Syria, the White House has begun to talk about “targeted sanctions” against the Assad regime. The White House, deploring “brutal violence used by the government of Syria against its people,” said President Barack Obama’s administration was considering targeted sanctions to make clear that “this behavior is [...]

Protests Throughout the Arab World Today as Uprising Continues

By: Friday April 1, 2011 1:45 pm

The Arab protests have typically used Friday prayers as a rallying point, and today was no different in multiple hot spots. A sampling: • Yemen: Pro- and anti-government demonstrators held dueling protests in Sanaa. A week after it looked as if Ali Abdullah Saleh’s government would fall, the large protests on the pro-government side show [...]

Crackdown in Syria: Dozens Shot in Protests

By: Friday March 25, 2011 11:26 am

Faced with large protests across the country, Syrian security forces opened fire on protesters today in several cities. Soldiers shot at demonstrators in the restive southern city of Daraa after crowds set fire to a bronze statue of the country’s late president, Hafez Assad, a resident told The Associated Press. Heavy gunfire could be heard [...]

Saudi Arabia Abandons Yemen’s Saleh, Calls for Transition

By: Wednesday March 23, 2011 7:25 am

US media, which filters everything through US interests, has been writing a variation on the story that Ali Abdullah Saleh’s ouster in Yemen would cause national security problems. That may be true, but the possibilities it describes are already on display throughout the Arab world. Libya, where we did attack, could become a haven for [...]

Yemen and Bahrain Uprisings Appear to Be on Different Trajectories

By: Sunday March 20, 2011 3:19 pm

The Pentagon claimed at their press conference that the Arab League formally backed the actions of the UN coalition i Libya, after previously criticizing it. But I’ve seen no Arab League communiques on the situations in Yemen and Bahrain, which of course concern Arab League member states. So let’s look at those situations on their [...]

Interventionists Struggle to Reconcile Libyan Action with Repression Across Arab World

By: Sunday March 20, 2011 9:25 am

So I picked the wrong day to be stuck without Internet access, I guess. It was March 19, eight years to the day after the invasion of Iraq, the US lobbed Tomahawk missiles into Libya, attempting to take out air defenses in preparation for enforcing a no-fly zone. We’re on day two of this, still [...]

US Outfoxed By Saudis in Bahrain Fight

By: Wednesday March 16, 2011 1:02 pm

Siun has lots of eyewitness reports on the crackdown on Shiite protesters by foreign Sunni forces in Bahrain. I want to focus on the terrible politics of all this, especially coming just days after Robert Gates showed up in Bahrain, claiming to have reached agreement with the kingdom on political reforms. Mark Leon Goldberg writes: [...]

State of Emergency Declared in Bahrain

By: Tuesday March 15, 2011 9:05 am

You can’t tell the crises apart without a scorecard. So Bahrain has gotten lost in the shuffle a bit. But as we saw yesterday, Saudi troops have been dispatched to help put down a largely sectarian uprising, with an oppressed Shiite majority seeking greater rights and participation from the ruling Sunni minority. And now, the [...]

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