The Gulf Today, June 24, 2012
Some observers considered the runoff opposing Mohammed Mursi to Ahmed Shafiq, as actually opposing two institutions that have been fighting each other for most of the period covering three presidential eras: i.e. Nasser, Sadat, and Mubarak. JB Alterman pointed in “Foreign Affairs” (June 5) to “the most hierarchical institutions in Egypt,” meaning the Muslim Brotherhood and the military, which in their recent struggle, resorted to mobilising their “traditional bases” instead of “finding creative ways to attract the centre.” But why should the Muslim Brotherhood or the military seek to attract the centre that is not necessarily attracted to them anyway? How would they coax liberal minded, educated, and Westernised Egyptians, if neither Abdul Moneim Abou Al Fatouh nor Hamdeen Sabahi has been able to weigh in the balance? Not to mention Al Baradei. Continue reading Scenarios for Egypt
The Gulf Today, June 17, 2012
The Syrian situation is heading towards a full-scale conflict, with partisans and allies on each side. On Thursday last week, former US ambassador to the UN Bill Richardson said the US would have no choice but to start arming Syria’s rebels if indeed Russia is sending attack helicopters to President Assad’s forces.
Several members of the Congress – including Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), and Joe Lieberman (I-CT), as well as Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) – had already shown support to the idea of arming the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Continue reading The ‘Kosovo Road’ to Syria
The Gulf Today, June 10, 2012
What makes the Israelis think that the Palestinians would admit unilateral steps that the Israelis themselves did not admit from them? As the “give and take” approach seemed sinking along with the peace process, Defence Minister Ehud Barak is reportedly (New York Times, May 30) considering to impose the borders of a future Palestinian state!
However, it is not clear how he intends to “impose” those borders on the Palestinians. Is Israel going at last to recognise a Palestinian state, though within borders of its own choice, not necessarily agreed on them in negotiations? Is Israel going to evacuate its forces and people from the territories thus designated as “Palestinian state”? Continue reading How about bi-nationalism?
For decades the Arab world limped through life maimed by the brutality of regimes driven only by greed. The previous generation lost hope in a better future, and the new one had none, but overnight and without any substantial signs a storm took over the region, uprooting the most ancient of dictators. Hurricane Arab Uprising has hit and as we watched it swoop through in utter shock and disbelief we knew our world was never going to be the same again. Continue reading Free media: an oxymoron
The Gulf Today, June 03, 2012
The post-revolution trial of the former head of the Egyptian state is not supposed to be the opportunity to seek revenge and proclaim the right to vendetta live on TV. It is really painful and sad to see people giving way to such violent emotions and asking for blood, besides the fact it is against the very spirit of the revolution. Why did the peoples of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Syria revolt? Was it not because they sought justice, honesty, and the rule of law, which would guarantee them respect, freedom and dignity? Well, this has nothing to do with revenge.
Continue reading President to prisoner
The Gulf Today
May 27, 2012
The dramatic events in Northern Lebanon, last week, obviously related to the Syrian crisis, elevated a little more the level of insecurity and provoked anxious questions about the plans of Assad and his allies in Lebanon. The extension of the conflict to the fragile neighbour is not a mere philosophic speculation. Syria has always been an influential and much feared actor in Lebanon. When they remember the civil war, the Lebanese link it systematically to the occult role of the Syrian Mukhabarat. Continue reading Syria, USA and Israel
The Gulf Today
May 20, 2012
In 2007, on his arrival at the Elysee Palace, Nicolas Sarkozy granted himself a salary increase of 170 per cent. To justify that unbelievable gesture, the secretary general of the Elysee, then Claude Gueant, declared to the press that “even revised upwards, the salary of our president is lower than others in Germany, Ireland, the USA and the UK.” Then as he realised the silliness of his justification, whereas the country was plagued by unemployment and millions of people were condemned to live with just an SMIC (i.e. national minimum salary) if they wanted to keep their jobs, he added after an indescribable jabber about retirement pensions of previous presidents, to the surprise of the journalists, another jewel of the intelligence: “This is not an increase in the revenues of the president,” he said, “it is a decrease of about 15 to 20 per cent!” Continue reading The Return of the Socialists
The Gulf Today
May 13, 2012
Anyway and whatever the opinion one bears about Egyptian politics and Egyptian electoral candidates in the post-Mubarak era, many Arabs — not only Egyptian citizens — were happy with the first ever presidential televised debate organised in Cairo, between Amr Musa, former foreign policy minister and Secretary General of the Arab League, and Abdul Moneim Abol Fotouh, former militant of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Indeed, after watching this debate, those who are still sceptical regarding the scope and the authenticity of change in Egypt, know today that something really important is happening in this country. Continue reading Debate: the art of waffling