Women and War: G8 makes rape a crime – wasn’t it already?

The G8 declares rape a war crime and vows to punish all perpetrators – will they start with themselves? At a recent summit in which representatives met to discuss various ongoing and possible conflicts,  the G8 announced that it has officially declared rape a crime against humanity and a breach of the Geneva Convention.  The[…]

Play it again, Sam

Maybe sanctions will work this time, unlike all of those other times… At the recent SISMEC sponsored symposium “10 Years Later: Lessons from Iraq,”  Dr. Joseph Sassoon discussed the legacy of violence created by the practices of Saddam Hussein’s regime.  Drawing on the extensive research found in his book Saddam Hussein’s Ba`ath Party: Inside an[…]

SISMEC to host event “10 Years Later: Lessons from Iraq”–W February 27th

The Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts (SISMEC), in conjunction with the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies (MENAS), the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona, will host an event entitled “10 Years Later:  Lessons from Iraq” on[…]

Western “heroics” and one-eyed villains…the drama continues

Money & Ideology: the one or the other? The UN Security Council voted in December to support a 3,300-strong African Union (AU) force to be deployed to Mali in January of 2013; the AU force was mandated by the UN to assist in the restabilization of the country following the March 2012 coup. In the[…]

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Will al-Thani of Jordan be the First to Go?

In the third wave of the Arab Spring monarchies are on their heels King Abdullah al-Thani’s attempts to placate Jordan is going up in flames, to the Arab Spring chant “the people want the downfall of the regime” seen from Sidi Bouzid to Deraa. After closing roads with flaming car chassis, protesters tried to storm[…]

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And to the Victor Goes the Ruins

The next phase of the Syrian Civil War As the Syrian conflict has dragged on, growing in intensity with no sign of resolution or international intervention, the regime may seem incredibly resilient: they have been able to push the rebels out of Damascus, to protect the majority-Alawite territories, to hold Aleppo, and to keep pressure[…]

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The Lion’s Advocate

Working through misconceptions in the Syrian uprising While one would never know it from the news, the reform process in Syria is actually going smoother than it is in Egypt. If this might sound crazy to the everyday headline reader, think of it this way:  Syria has a popularly approved new constitution, a democratically elected[…]

“Battleship 2012” – more than a game, more than a movie

Persian Gulf: US and Iranian naval activity could be the blockbuster of the summer Recent history has seen US military forces focused on the ground, but the summer has brought an old battleground to the forefront: the sea.  Specifically, the Persian Gulf in which merchant ships, national navies, and pirate forces consistently vie for an[…]

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A Shift in Islamist Discourses, A Prelude to the Arab Spring?

Recent events in the Arab World have brought the Islamists back to the fore after many Western scholars had declared the dawn of a post-Islamists era.[1] This premature declaration emerged in parallel with great shifts in Islamist discourses in late 1990s. These shifts manifested in these movements’ rejection of violence and in their desire to[…]

And the beat goes on…

Violence continues as the political process stagnates A recent wave of bombing attacks has made June 2012 one of the deadliest months since the height of the American invasion in Iraq.  In both coordinated and seemingly isolated attacks, approximately 200 people were killed this month with hundreds more wounded.  The violence occurred throughout Iraq, although[…]

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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[…]

Iranian Sanctions: Greatest Hits of the 90’s

The West hits replay on its 90’s Iraq strategy: Lessons Learned & Forgotten? The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reported that Iranian oil production is down by 12% and is expected to fall even further due to continuing international sanctions. With the final phase of the European Union ban scheduled to begin on[…]

Dispatches from the Kurdish Spring

Non-Arab Nowruz On February 20th the headquarters of NRT, Kurdistan’s first independent TV station, was burned to the ground in Erbil, the region’s capital only three days after it began operations. This act of violence coincided with NRT airing video footage of the shootings of the protesters on the first day of the protests, where[…]

Don’t forget about it

Iraqi protesters send back the latest order of Freedom Fries

 It’s hard to believe now that that the 2008 Democratic primary election was largely decided based upon the Iraq War voting record of two candidates.  Since then US involvement in the Land of Two Rivers has largely faded from American public discourse.  With revolutionary change[…]