Protests Articles

Syrian Workers in Lebanon — and the Future of the Arab World

4:35 PM, Mar 31, 2011


For the last several days, Syrian workers have gathered in front of their embassy here to demonstrate on behalf of the embattled regime in Damascus. Pity those poor wage laborers who have no choice but to wave the flag, lest they lose the privilege that entitles them to piece together a measly living in a country where they’re largely condemned.

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Arab Spring — and Renewed Attacks on Israel

2:01 PM, Mar 30, 2011

Lee Smith writes at Tablet

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Bashar Al-Assad's Last Stand?

And how Lebanon is reacting.
11:00 AM, Mar 30, 2011


The Lebanese seem to be keeping mum after Bashar al-Assad’s speech this afternoon. Sure, there are no doubt plenty of opinions to go around, but why bring unnecessary attention to Lebanon’s own problems?

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Syrian Cabinet Members Resign

9:05 AM, Mar 29, 2011

According to Al Jazeera, "Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, has accepted the resignation of the country's government, following two weeks of anti-government protests that have gripped Syria."

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Syria's Assad Deploys Army

12:54 PM, Mar 28, 2011

Reuters reports that Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad has deployed his army to subdue protesters: 


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Will Syria be Next?

11:30 AM, Mar 26, 2011

Elliott Abrams, writing in the Washington Post, argues that the Syrian regime will be the next one to fall in the region:

While the monarchies of the Middle East have a fighting chance to reform and survive, the region’s fake republics have been falling like dominoes — and Syria is next.

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More Protests Across Syria

7:26 AM, Mar 25, 2011

Al Jazeera reports:

Protesters calling for freedom gathered in Damascus and other areas around Syria as security forces ordered journalists to leave a southern city where a brutal weeklong siege on demonstrations killed dozens of people.

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Time for Saleh To Go?

Yemen heats up.
8:00 AM, Mar 23, 2011

Nowhere has the Obama administration been more reluctant to embrace the revolutions sweeping through the Middle East than in Yemen. This is, in part, understandable.

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Arab Fear or Arab Freedom?

11:37 AM, Mar 21, 2011

Where the political shockwave inspired by Tunisia's democratic rebellion will lead we don't yet know. We do know what set Tunisia's revolt in motion: the end of Arab fear. When an oppressed people snap fear's psychological bonds, they shatter the tyrant's most potent weapon.

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Protesters Detained in Syria as Clashes Breakout

10:09 AM, Mar 17, 2011


Here's a YouTube video of protests outside the Syrian embassy in Cairo today, presumably conducted in sympathy with Syrian demonstrators who have taken to the streets of Damascus and other cities throughout Syria:

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Security Forces Shoot Man at Point-Blank Range in Bahrain

1:14 PM, Mar 16, 2011

This YouTube video shows a protester in Bahrain being shot multiple times at point-blank range by security forces. Warning: this video is extremely graphic. 

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Protests Heat Up in Lebanon

1:00 PM, Mar 16, 2011


If the Saudis and other Gulf Cooperation Council members thought that sending more than a 1,000 additional troops to quell the uprising in Bahrain would prevent it from influencing the rest of the region, they miscalculated. The repercussions are already being felt here in Lebanon.

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A Different Kind of Arab Uprising in Lebanon

10:58 AM, Mar 16, 2011

After two months of Arabs spontaneously taking to the streets to protest against their regimes, there's another kind of uprising going on here in Lebanon. The setting isn’t even an Arab street, but rather Beirut's Rafiq Hariri International Airport; and the occasion isn’t a protest, but rather a “flash mob” executing a traditional Lebanese song and dance routine, “Dabke.”

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Protests in Syria

Will Syria be next?
10:01 AM, Mar 16, 2011

On February 7, I published a piece in the Guardian that answered the question, Will Syria be next? That is, would Syria be the next Arab country to witness a popular uprising after Tunisia and Egypt?

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More from the Arab Uprising: Protests Today in Damascus

10:20 AM, Mar 15, 2011

It's hard to tell how many protesters are in the streets of the Syrian capital, but it's hardly surprising that, after Egypt and Libya, the regime in Damascus might be next in line. Bashar al-Assad and his security chiefs guessed as much, which is why the last few weeks they warned the foreign and Arab press corps not to cover the protests scheduled for today and the only record we have so far is from YouTube.

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Hard to Believe: The New York Times on Wisconsin

2:30 PM, Mar 14, 2011

Sometimes the New York Times is hard to believe--on March 12, for instance.

That day, the newspaper published extraordinary stories from Japan and Libya – gripping, detailed accounts of tragedy, brutality and, occasionally, triumph. Unfortunately, the paper also covered Wisconsin.

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America’s Interests in Libya

9:38 AM, Mar 14, 2011

Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton writes in the Daily that “President Obama’s indecisiveness has unquestionably limited American options, making almost any potential intervention riskier and less likely to succeed.”

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Special Report Panel on Protests in Saudi Arabia

11:55 AM, Mar 11, 2011

Steve Hayes, with Pete Wehner and Karen Tumulty, last night on Fox News:

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Will the Obama Administration Do Something for the Libyans?

11:19 AM, Mar 09, 2011

The Washington Post reports today that "The United States and its European allies are considering the use of naval assets to deliver humanitarian aid to Libya and to block arms shipments to the government of Moammar Gaddafi..."

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Two Weeks Later, America Has a Plan: Do Nothing on Libya

12:00 AM, Mar 08, 2011

On February 22, several days into the Libyan regime’s campaign of terror, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was asked whether the U.S. was going to stand by while Moammar Qaddafi and his military slaughtered their fellow countrymen.

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Another Intelligence Failure?

What did the CIA know and when did it know it?
Feb 28, 2011

President Obama’s apparent frustration that he and his senior policymakers were taken by surprise with recent events in Tunisia and Egypt, reminds us of Yogi Berra’s famous line, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” Some momentous event occurs on the world scene—whether it’s the Soviets putting nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba, the shah of Iran’s ouster, Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait, or the fall of the Berlin Wall—and the American president wants to know why his intelligence community did not give him a timely heads up.

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Chicago Teachers Union Organizes for Wisconsin Protest

12:15 AM, Feb 21, 2011

On Sunday, Mary Bell, president of the Wisconsin Educational Association Council, instructed the teachers in her union to return to the classroom after many of them skipped school for three days last week. The unexpected move energized Republicans in Wisconsin, who took it as a sign that negative public reaction to the “sick-out” is making a difference.

Or perhaps they don’t need the numbers because the unions are bringing in additional reinforcements. Madison, one of the most liberal cities in the United States, is a town always in search of a cause.

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Uprising in Libya; Qaddafi Out?

7:10 PM, Feb 20, 2011


Among other unconfirmed reports out of Libya right now, one is that Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi has left the country for exile in Venezuela. Another is that Qaddafi's sons, Muatassem and Saif al-Islam, fought each other, with the former shooting the latter. It's hard to know much right now, since media coverage out of Libya has gone virtually black.

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Mourners Under Fire in Bahrain

1:48 PM, Feb 18, 2011

Government security forces in Bahrain fired on mourners today in Pearl Square. The New York Times reports:

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Dem Legislators Flee Wisconsin Capitol in Attempt to Scuttle Vote on Budget & Unions

1:53 PM, Feb 17, 2011

Madison, Wisconsin has become quite the mob scene with protests by union members opposed to Republican governor Scott Walker's legislation that would require most public sector union employees, including teachers, to pay 12 percent of their health care premiums--up from the current average of 6 percent--and 6 percent of their pension, for which state employees pay almost nothing.

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Crackdown in Bahrain

12:02 PM, Feb 17, 2011

The Bahrain military and police cracked down on protesters early this morning in Pearl Square. The New York Times reports:

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The Middle Way

10:10 AM, Feb 17, 2011

One frequent criticism of the war in Iraq has been that it is impossible to impose democracy from above. The revolution in Egypt represents an attempt to achieve democracy from below, as it were. The jury is out on both nations--and on both paths.

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Unrest in Iran

12:01 PM, Feb 14, 2011

Following the fall of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, protesters in Iran seem to be getting a second-wind:

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Mubarak Chooses Chaos—and Gets the Boot (UPDATED)

8:43 AM, Feb 11, 2011

UPDATEOn Friday the Army made its decision. Mubarak was forced out. His Thursday speech was a disaster and it seems to have helped persuade the generals that they had, at last, to choose between Mubarak and the people. They made the right choice.


Who rules Egypt, and who will rule it tomorrow? After 30 years the Hosni Mubarak period is coming to a close, but how the period ends—in violence and turmoil, or on a stable path to democracy—remains unclear.

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