The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
by  
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
 Entire ArchiveArab Spring Items

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
The Arab Spring reported and misreported
I was sceptical from an early stage about the Arab Spring uprisings leading to the replacement of authoritarian regimes by secular democracies. Optimistic forecasts I was hearing in the first heady months of 2011 sounded suspiciously similar to what I had heard in Kabul after the fall of the Taliban in 2001 and in Baghdad... Read More
MidoSemsem / Shutterstock.com
Arab Spring was always a misleading phrase, suggesting that what we were seeing was a peaceful transition from authoritarianism to democracy similar to that from communism in Eastern Europe. The misnomer implied an over-simplified view of the political ingredients that produced the protests and uprisings of 2011 and over-optimistic expectations about their outcome. Five years... Read More
Freedom and safety are scarce five years after the Arab Spring
I was planning to visit Baghdad last summer and stay with my friend Ammar al-Shahbander, who ran the local office of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I had stayed with him for 10 days in June 2014, just after Isis forces had captured Mosul and Tikrit and were advancing with alarming speed on... Read More
When it comes to pure ineptness, it’s been quite a performance -- and I’m sure you’ve already guessed that I’m referring to our secretary of state’s recent jaunt to the Middle East. You remember the old quip about jokes and timing. (It’s all in the...) In this case, John Kerry turned the first stop on... Read More
Credit: Ramy Raoof, Wikimedia Commons
Three Ways the Youth Rebellions Are Still Shaping the Middle East
Three and a half years ago, the world was riveted by the massive crowds of youths mobilizing in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to demand an end to Egypt’s dreary police state. We stared in horror as, at one point, the Interior Ministry mobilized camel drivers to attack the demonstrators. We watched transfixed as the protests spread... Read More
The Arab Spring model of protest, symbolised by Tahrir Square, is now destabilising democratically elected leaders
In the spring of 2011 I was in Benghazi, standing in a crowd of anti-Gaddafi demonstrators protesting outside the hotel of a visiting delegation. Most of the protesters were waving banners with slogans written in English in front of the cameras of foreign television companies, but, when I talked to them, many spoke only Arabic.... Read More
shutterstock_49156579
With No End in Sight
Pessimist alert: the situation in what began as the Arab Spring is moving from bad -- Egypt's Mubarak, Syria's Assad, Iraq's Saddam -- to worse: Egypt's ever stricter military dictatorship, Syria's three year-old civil war, Iraq's renewed chaos. A downward spiral with no end in sight. Two unrelated books, the first just out, the second... Read More
What a contrast between the optimism of the Arab Spring and the dark mood of today's Middle East
It was a year of decisions in the Middle East but what was being decided was mostly that conflicts would grow worse. What a contrast there is between the dark mood in the Arab world today and the optimism of three years ago when protesters appeared to be bowling over long-established police states from Bahrain... Read More
The sacking of journalists is seen as a way of keeping newsrooms timid and self-censored
A foreign journalist was driving on a road near the rebel-held city of Raqqa in north-east Syria confident that he was safe because he was travelling with a commander in the Free Syrian Army and militiamen. They were stopped at a checkpoint manned by al-Qa’ida-linked fighters who promptly kidnapped both the journalist and his FSA... Read More
The killing of the US ambassador to Libya and angry demonstrations across the Muslim world over a tacky anti-Islamic hate video have produced the usual flood of wrong-headed commentary from our media and politicians. Across the land comes the familiar cry, “why do they hate us?” That any Americans can in this day and age... Read More
A Year Later
A year ago the popular anger that grew into the Arab Spring was first ignited by an impoverished Tunisian fruit and vegetable seller, Mohamed Bouazizi, who set fire to himself after his cart, his sole means of feeding his family, was confiscated by police. Within days, pictures of protests in his home town sparked by... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Threaten the stability of Saudi Arabia, as the Shi’a upsurges are now doing in Qatif, and al-Awamiyah in the country’s oil-rich Eastern Province and you’re brandishing a dagger over the very heart of long-term U.S. policy in the Middle East for over half a century. In 1945 the chief of the State Department’s Division of... Read More
Autumn in the Middle East hasn’t the melancholy connotations you attach to it in the North. For you, this is the season of dying; maple leaves turn purple and geese fly south. For us, this is the jolly season of awakening after stupefying summer heat; grass hatches again on the burned-to-reddish-brown lawns and trees are... Read More
FROM THE PREFACE: The popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia have overthrown the public face of the imperial-backed dictatorships in the region, and inspired supporters of popular democracy worldwide. As the Arab revolt spreads from North Africa to the Gulf and deepens its demands to include socio-economic as well as political demands, the Empire is... Read More
Now the Counter-Attacks
Is a counter-revolutionary tide beginning to favour the "strongmen" of the Arab world, whose regimes appeared a couple of months ago to be faltering under the impact of the Arab Awakening? From Libya to Bahrain and Syria to Yemen, leaders are clinging on to power despite intense pressure from pro-democracy protesters. And the counter-revolution has... Read More
Most accounts of the Arab revolts from Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Yemen, Jordan, Bahrain, Iraq and elsewhere have focused on the most immediate causes: political dictatorships, unemployment, repression and the wounding and killing of protestors. They have given most attention to the “middle class”, young, educated activists, their communication via the internet, (Los Angeles Times,... Read More
Author's introduction A bottom-up democratic revolution in Egypt has brought down what had seemed until very recently to be the unshakable rule of Hosni Mubarak. It was an amazing accomplishment of the people's power — something that is often sloganized about but rarely realized. The fact that the revolution succeeded with little violence on the... Read More
Usually reliable intelligence sources are reporting that the situation for a couple of Arab rulers is getting desperate. Moammar Ghaddafi actually used artillery against crowds of demonstrators in Benghazi this morning, killing hundreds, and is calling up his tribal supporters and telling them to prepare for civil war...also Saudi troops have crossed the causeway and... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton rushed to contrast the repressive brutality of the Iranian authorities with what they now seek to present as the bloodless, US-managed triumph of pro-democracy forces in Egypt. By any measure this was brazen impudence, starting with the fact that across the past few weeks the 300 dead, slaughtered... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
We need good news. When was the last time we had some, here in this country? The Seattle riots against the WTO? That was back in 1999. Around the world? Hard to remember – it’s been a long dry spell. It reminds me of the old Jacobin shivering in the chill night of Bourbon restoration,... Read More
Sacrificing Dictators to Save the State
Introduction: To understand the Obama regime’s policy toward Egypt, the Mubarak dictatorship and the popular uprising it is essential to locate it in an historical context. The essential point is that Washington, after several decades of being deeply embedded in the state structures of the Arab dictatorships, from Tunisia through Morocco, Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon, Saudi... Read More
When I wrote my latest book on how America rules its Mideast empire, I chose the title, “American Raj,” because this imperium so closely resembled the way Great Britain ruled India. As I predicted in the book, and in a column here last April, America’s Mideast Raj is now on fire. Are we looking at... Read More
No Items Found
PastClassics
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?