Tunisian Nobel Peace Prize an Indictment of US Intervention in the Arab Spring

A group of peace negotiators has won the Nobel Peace Prize for its role in preserving the Tunisian Revolution. That 2011 event kicked off the wave of uprisings known as the Arab Spring. The Tunisian Revolution is widely seen as the one bright spot of the Arab Spring, which has otherwise brought war, tyranny, and chaos to … Continue reading “Tunisian Nobel Peace Prize an Indictment of US Intervention in the Arab Spring”

Tunisia Now Exporting ‘Jihadis’ to Syria

Tunisian families have begun to dread knocks on their doors, or late-night phone calls, fearing that the messenger will bear the news that their son has been smuggled out of the country to join the “jihad” in Syria. Families here told IPS that they have no way of contacting their sons once they leave — … Continue reading “Tunisia Now Exporting ‘Jihadis’ to Syria”

Democratization: Indigenous Beats Imported

Despite George W. Bush’s and Barack Obama’s efforts to topple foreign dictators and use military power to forcefully impose democracy from without, democracy usually works better if it bubbles up from below by popular desire. In Iraq, even before U.S. forces had withdrawn, Shi’ite President Nouri al-Maliki was taking the country back toward dictatorship. Now … Continue reading “Democratization: Indigenous Beats Imported”

Buying Friends Creates More Enemies

Last week Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and I had the opportunity to raise some of my concerns regarding U.S. foreign policy and the costs of our interventionism around the world. Many observers claim that the recent overthrow of governments in northern Africa and the Middle East will … Continue reading “Buying Friends Creates More Enemies”

A Surge of People Power in the Middle East

From his weekly perch at CNN, Fareed Zakaria speculated recently whether George Bush could take credit for the events that were unfolding in Tunisia, whether this was the late fruit of the neoconservative project to bring “democracy” to the Middle East. It is quite extraordinary watching Zakaria – a Muslim born and raised in India, … Continue reading “A Surge of People Power in the Middle East”

In Arab World, Obama Riding a Tiger

Suddenly faced with an unprecedented number of challenges across the Arab world, the administration of President Barack Obama is scrambling hard to keep up. The fate of President Hosni Mubarak, long regarded as Washington’s most powerful Arab ally, no doubt gets top billing as the crisis of the moment, as Egypt girds for what are … Continue reading “In Arab World, Obama Riding a Tiger”

American Policy on the Brink

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently took a four-day tour of the Middle East, at each stop telling various allies and enemies, in classic American fashion, what they must do. And yet as she spoke, events in Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria, and even Egypt seemed to spin ever more out of American control. Meanwhile, the regime … Continue reading “American Policy on the Brink”

Will Egypt Follow Tunisia’s Lead?

CAIRO – “Where can I find a Tunisian flag?” The question flooded Egyptian blogs, Twitter, and Facebook pages minutes after news that popular protests had forced out long-time Tunisian dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. Egypt is feeling the ripple effect from Tunisia already. Egypt’s 85 million people constitute a third of the Arab population. … Continue reading “Will Egypt Follow Tunisia’s Lead?”