“Sectarian violence in Syria raises fears,” screamed the headline of a Washington Post article on the murder Tuesday of 16 Syrians in the city of Homs, which lies 100 miles north of Damascus. Admitting that "confirming details" of what happened are hard to come by in a city under siege, the Post's Beirut-based correspondent Liz Sly nonetheless gives a dire reading of an impending civil war:Read more
Journalist and Arab media specialist Hussain Abdul Hussain links to a remarkable film about the Syrian uprising, Syria’s Youth Revolutionaries:Read more
It’s been five months since the revolution that ended the 30-year tenure of Hosni Mubarak, but the upheaval in Egypt is far from over. Large protests have become routine if not habitual in Egypt. In late June, 1,000 civilians criticizing the slow pace of reform were injured in clashes with riot police in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. More recently, on July 8 tens of thousands of Egyptians descended on the square in hopes of “sav[ing] the revolution.”Read more
Cairo—By the time I arrived at Tahrir the morning of July 8, the iconic square was already flooded with tens of thousands of activists for what the Egyptian media dubbed “Persistence Friday.” For the first time since the 18 days of protests earlier this year that brought down Hosni Mubarak, nearly every ideological and political group stood next to each other, putting their differences aside to voice their displeasure with the transitional government’s stalled progress on political reform.Read more
Syrian protestors greet US ambassador Robert Ford with roses as his car entered Hama this afternoon during the midst of more Friday protests against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Ford wished to show his solidarity with the opposition, but is he also signaling a change in American policy?Read more
For the last several months, Syrians have been loudly protesting their own government. The regime, led by strongman Bashar al-Assad, has responded by killing its own citizens, including women and children, and shutting off channels of communication that the protesters have been utilizing (such as the Internet). According to the Boston Globe, "the continuing crackdown that has killed more than 1,000 people, with hundreds more rounded up in mass arrests."Read more
It can’t give many Americans much lasting pleasure that the Israeli prime minister humbled our commander in chief this week on his home turf. To be sure, a president who seems to relish provoking public confrontations with an ally may have had it coming, but in the end Netanyahu’s speech before Congress won’t satisfy too many Israelis either—or for that matter many other Middle Easterners who have come to depend on American stewardship. The fact that an Israeli leader makes the case for American exceptionalism and U.S. power better than Barack Obama is a signal that Washington has forsaken its traditional role in theRead more
Paul Ryan defended America's role as the leading defender of freedom and liberty in a foreign policy address this evening. Speaking to the Alexander Hamilton Society, Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, laid out a vision that defended America's exceptional role as a world leader and drew sharp contrast to those who advocate for isolationism and withdrawal.Read more
In his speech at the State Department on May 19, President Obama called Egypt essential to the future of democratic reform in the Middle East and North Africa. As the largest and most influential Arab country, Egypt could in large part determine the course of the regional uprisings and the prospect of liberal democracy in the Islamic world. Yet violence against Copts, rising crime, and attacks on Israel’s Gaza border and its Cairo embassy are causing alarm about where “democracy” in Egypt is leading. And for good reason.Read more
Judging the likely trajectory of post-Mubarak Egypt requires assessing the depth of public support for Islamism, and usually this has meant assessing the strength and intentions of the Muslim Brotherhood. While the Brotherhood remains central, however, the country is also facing a frequently violent upsurge of Salafist versions of Islam.Read more
WEEKLY STANDARD contributing editor Reuel Marc Gerecht weighs in this morning with a piece in the Wall Street Journal on how "killing of Shiites in Iraq was Bin Laden's undoing in the eyes of many Muslims":Read more
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