Caravan Blogs

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Interviews with SCAF will increase

Proof that public opinion matters, even in nondemocratic systems and that the regime is sensitive. The legitimacy of a dictatorship rests in part on popularity.

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The Impossible Choice, Redux

As we looked at Hosni Mubarak’s face behind the metal bars of his cage the familiar question was asked again, what’s happening in Egypt now?

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The Praetorian Problem

Because the democratic activists who scheduled the January 25th protests did not expect that it would lead to the ousting of Mubarak, they did not feel the need to draft reform plans, these were not revolutionaries, mores simply idealists. Since the mass uprising the reform movement has been running blindly into the transitional period and is at least partially responsible for the confrontation with the now ruling military council, the Praetorian guards.

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Syria denies "mass grave" claims:

"Villagers say they have found 13 bodies buried on farmland near Deraa - but government says claim is 'totally false'."


The international community has no reason to believe that the Syrian government didn't do this. We know from the small amount of news coming out of Syria that they are certainly using deadly force. Then consider, if nothing else, the documented massacre at Hama in 1982.
If Bashar al-Asad and his cronys want to play dumb then fine but the rest of us should assume that its true until journalists are free to report. Al Jazeera's Dorothy Parvaz (who has American, Canadian, and Iranian passports) was recently abducted while working in Syria and taken to Iran (though Iran is still denying this). Update - Dorothy was freed from Iran on May18th.

 

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Egypt Falling Asleep Again? :

In Cairo, Kamelia Shehata was on TV Saturday night to let the world know that she did not convert to Islam as was the rumor around Egypt. She's even managed to stay married to her loving husband who is a Coptic priest.

I say did not in the first sentence because she might soon given how rationale fundamentalist Muslims are behaving.

The actual rumor was that Shehata left her husband and converted to Islam but was then kidnapped by agents of the Coptic Church who were relentlessly moisturizing the zabiba that may or may not have formed. For a few months this story has been fueling protests by Muslim groups who were calling for her release.

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US Considers Violating Embargo to Arm Rebels :

President Obama and the anti-Qaddafi coalition are mulling over the idea of sending weapons to the Libyan rebels. What's the hold up? An Arms Embargo firmly entrenched in the same law that authorized the No Fly Zone (NFZ). They'd rather not violate the embargo but the rebels may be about to get beaten.

In London, Secretary Clinton said that the United Nations resolution on Libya allow for the ''legitimate transfer of arms'' to rebels, adding ''Our interpretation of [UN Security Council Resolution]1973 amended is that it overrode the absolute prohibition of arms to anyone in Libya … so there could be legitimate transfer of arms if a country chose to do that."

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Reforming Egypt's Media:

The republican state depends on an independent and active press to keep those functionaries of government acting on our behalf and in our interests accountable to the principles that we lay down as their mandate. The press is the vanguard of liberated people, uncensored journalism a bulwark against the worst in ourselves. Without it we are vulnerable.

Egypt's revolutionary moment could slip by without having affected much if journalists aren't allowed unfettered access to view and record the proceedings of the regime. The military in particular needs to be meticulously monitored during this transitional period. To understand more about what young Egyptians want we took to the streets of Cairo to speak with them.

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Manhattan view from Battery Park
Sunday, August 28th, 2011
My husband and I moved to NYC four weeks ago, leaving our hometowns in Lebanon and Egypt behind and naively thinking we've escaped the Middle Eastern drama.

Unfortunately, we caught Mother Nature in a very bad mood, first came the earthquake last week and now the hurricane.

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