Bashar’s Gang-Bangers

Syria has slipped below the headlines of a new, hot Cold War in Crimea. The New York Times’ international page on March 4, for example, features no stories from the conflict celebrates its third bloody birthday with chemical weapons “foot dragging” and two Los Angeles “gang bangers” joining Bashar Al-Assad’s entrenched government troops. “Frontline, homie. Read more about Bashar’s Gang-Bangers[…]

The Bulldozer is Dead, Long Live the Lion: Eulogies of Sharon

Arik Sharon is dead. Reviled and celebrated as a nation-builder and war-criminal, he was born Ariel Scheinerman to Georgian emigres in February 27, 1928 in the then hotly contested Sharon plain, now one of Israel’s most densely populated areas. He claimed to have defended his village with a knife as a 13-year-old and joined the Read more about The Bulldozer is Dead, Long Live the Lion: Eulogies of Sharon[…]

SISMEC Presents Jonathan Randal: Journalism, War and History

    Veteran war correspondent Jonathan Randal speaks to SISMEC Research Associate ST McNeil about reporting in the Middle East, minorities, the value of history to journalists, the 1982 Siege of Beirut, his many books and the evolution of American foreign news gathering since 1945.

Smoldering ‘Dimocracy’

Name-calling amidst the protests The “Marxist” plot to break Tunisia’s first democratically-elected government after six decades of successive dictators will fail, said Rached Ghannouchi, head of the moderate Islamists currently in power. The Tunisian leader also expressed concern over the pattern of events unfolding in Egypt. “The revolutions of the Arab Spring are today facing Read more about Smoldering ‘Dimocracy’[…]

Double the assassination, double the revolution?

Ennahdha: Too Legit to Quit Tens of thousands of protesters over the past eight nights have occupied parks and streets across Tunisia, burned government buildings and battled police, chanting anti-Islamist slogans and demanding an immediate dissolution of the current government. The largest rally is in the capital of Tunis next to the National Constituent Assembly Read more about Double the assassination, double the revolution?[…]

Shock Doctrine Tunisia

Lost, ideological, and imported extremities As Tunisia’s post-dictatorship constitution is being forged through a democratic and messy process in a former palace of the Ottoman bey, the local Al-Qaeda affiliate might be planting explosive mines near the Algerian border—and the press is aflame with coverage of culture clashes between extremists of stringy beards and perky Read more about Shock Doctrine Tunisia[…]

Burning Jasmine for the Revolution’s Ghosts

Adel Khedhri climbed the white marble steps of the Municipal Theater in downtown Tunis covered in gasoline. Blaming an economy wracked by the legacies of neoliberal authoritarianism and post-revolutionary instability, the 27-year-old fruit vendor came to follow the fiery example of Mohamed Bouazizi. “This is a young man who sells cigarettes because of unemployment—this is Read more about Burning Jasmine for the Revolution’s Ghosts[…]

Jordan’s Big Tent

Hejazis, Palestinians, Iraqis, Chechens…and now Syrians Sometime in the morning of June 21, Syrian pilot Colonel Hassam Merei al-Hamade walked across the tarmac of the al-Dumair military airport and climbed into the cockpit of a Russian-made MiG-21 fighter jet, determined to desert. The colonel took off rapidly to avoid radar detectors and flew 110 miles Read more about Jordan’s Big Tent[…]

The Ants of God

Clashes, Curfews, and Art in Tunisia Yasmine Hamdan and Badiaa Bouhrizi’s opening songs will herald the beginning of the Carthage Alternative Music Festival today in the ritzy suburb atop Byrsa Hill in Tunis. But this showcase of Tunisia’s kaleidoscopic nationality and secular-Western cultural ties, rolls on warily, under a shadow of furious anti-secular riots sparked Read more about The Ants of God[…]

Waltz with Bashar

R2P and Deterrence in Damascus: When Superpowers Collide Thousands of pro-Assad supporters praised Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and foreign intelligence chief Mikhail Fradkov as they visited Damascus on Wednesday. At the same time, about a 100 miles away, Syrian military forces indiscriminately bombed the city of Homs. The Russian envoy’s presence was perceived as Read more about Waltz with Bashar[…]

Brand “Justice and Development”

Just call them a success Beneath all the din of an Islamist Trojan Horse following the despots’ downfall is simple, savvy electoral strategy: promise jobs, preach broad cultural values, and call for justice and development. While Al-Jazeera spread Mohammed Bouazizi’s revolutionary flame to Cairo and beyond, another pattern is emerging from the ashes of Ben Read more about Brand “Justice and Development”[…]

The Transcontinental Election Everyone is Kind of Looking At

On this Sunday, Oct. 23, Tunisians will vote for the first time, for real, ever. Ten months after their revolution which sparked the Arab Awakening, les Tunisienes will cast ballots for the Constituent Assembly – the 217 women and men charged with forging a new constitution. Many will read in this election’s coffee grinds regional implications. How Read more about The Transcontinental Election Everyone is Kind of Looking At[…]

Not Another @Twitter Revolution

The Jasmine Revolution and the January 25 Revolution are not Twitter revolutions…sorry, but sometimes you just need to beat a dead horse. Only 131,204 Egyptians used Twitter as hundreds of thousands massed in Cairo earlier this year. Just 35,746 Tunisians tweeted along Avenue Habib Bourguiba and Le Kef during the days of rage and tear Read more about Not Another @Twitter Revolution[…]