Category Archives: Arab Awakening

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The Emerging Global Realignments

by Ehsan Ahrari on December 27, 2011, No Comments

For the students of international affairs, the notion of power realignment is an old one.[1]  When it really happens, the erstwhile great powers, or even the superpowers, are likely to encounter pleasant or unpleasant surprises.  The year 1991 was one such occasion, when the communist superpower imploded, thereby freeing a number of nations of Eastern/Central Europe and Eurasia, triggering a series of rounds of NATO "enlargement," and, most importantly, creating a "unipolar moment."  The United States remained the only superpower.  The period between 2008 and 2011 is both unique and somewhat similar to that of 1991.  It is similar in the sense that it is also bringing about the decline of the United States.  It is unique in the sense that, unlike the rather quick implosion of the Soviet Union, America's decline is a long and drawn out process and potentially reversible. (more…)
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Pakistan and the United States: A Permanent Parting of the Ways?

by Ehsan Ahrari on December 26, 2011, No Comments

The deteriorating U.S.-Pakistan ties do not seem to have a stable new nadir since the assassination of Usama Bin-Laden by the U.S. Special Forces last May.  It seems to be finding new low points each week.  Pakistan's foremost journalist, Ahmed Rashid, states that the Army of his native land has issued orders to "treat the U.S. as an enemy and attack any planes intruding into its territory…"  The killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers as a result of an "errant" NATO attack has not helped matters.  Pakistan wants an apology from President Barack Obama, which is not expected to be issued, for now.  In the meantime, rumors of a planned coup for the ouster of the highly inept Zardari government are hot inside Pakistan, despite the denials of General Pervez Kayani.   (more…)
ARAB AWAKENING MUAMMAR QADDAFI

Qaddafi: Brutal End of a Brute

by Ehsan Ahrari on October 22, 2011, No Comments

The bloody execution of Muammar Qaddafi remains clouded in conflicting stories at the time of this writing, but it was to be expected.  The gruesome nature of his death might have been watched with great fear by Bishara Assad of Syria, the remaining brutal dictator, and by Ali Bin Saleh, whose regimes are increasingly looking like that of Qaddafi's in turning on its killing machine on the protestors.  For forty two years, Qaddafi ruled Libya like a tyrant.  No one really knows how many people he had killed in that duration, hundreds or even thousands.  But the beginning of his era in 1969 was somewhat promising. (more…)
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The Alleged Iran “Plot”: This Story Sounds Familiar

by Ehsan Ahrari on October 14, 2011, No Comments

As George Santayana reported to have said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to fulfill it."  Reading about the recent allegations of the Obama administration that Iran was allegedly behind a plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, one has to be perplexed and suspicious.  It is perplexing, because it makes absolutely no sense.  What does Iran have to gain by assassinating the Saudi ambassador, who is pretty much a non-entity when one considers the larger geopolitical games between Iran and Saudi Arabia?  The allegations sound suspicious because the United States has had a discreditable record of making up a story of the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before invading that country.  In that sense, one has to hope that the Obama administration remembers the past shenanigans of the Bush administration prior to invading Iraq.  Then again, why should the Obama administration not repeat the mistakes of the Bush administration on
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The Transforming Arab World to the US: We’ll Genuflect No More!

by Ehsan Ahrari on September 21, 2011, No Comments

The diffidence shown by the autocratic rulers to the unabashedly pro-Israeli American policy is becoming history in the Middle East, as the dictators are falling and the emirs and kings of that region are counting their last days in power.  The recent bastion of America's one-sided policy in that conflict has been the U.S. Congress.  It is interesting to watch how the Republican's brazen assertiveness shows in their criticism of the Obama administration regarding the Palestinian resolve to gain the approval of the United Nations for their statehood.  One of the Republican presidential candidates, Rick Perry, criticized President Obama's alleged policy of "appeasement" of the Palestinians.  Of course, Perry ought to know.  He is a long-time "expert" on U.S. affairs in the Middle East.  If he were handed a blank map of the world, I wonder whether he would be able find the region called the Middle East.  Yet, he has discovered a deep love of Israel now that he is begging for Jewi
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Israel in Need of Its Own Version of the “Awakening”

by Ehsan Ahrari on September 18, 2011, No Comments

Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, is going to the U.N. Security Council next Friday to seek independent statehood for Palestine.  The United States has done all it could to talk Abbas out of it.  Now, it is going to use its infamous veto to deny statehood for Palestine.  That will be a shame for a country that always wants to be seen as the world's leading champion of liberty and freedom.  The Obama administration's expected veto is all about winning Barack Obama's second term.  The Jewish voters are already upset with President Obama for not blindly siding with the Jewish state as all American presidents have done.  And the Arabs are not exactly happy with him for caving in to Israel's pushback of his original demands about freezing the Jewish settlements in occupied Palestine. (more…)
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Are Muslims Still Angry at America?

by Ehsan Ahrari on September 7, 2011, No Comments

In America, there is a season for everything.  There is a season to be thankful, to be good to your loved ones, to be jolly, or to feel contemplative, and so on.  Now is the season for taking a close look at the Muslims at large, who, in the minds of a majority of Americans, are still linked with the terrorist attacks of 9/11.  That link is more symbolic in nature, but its power is being felt as this country approaches September 11, 2011.  I accentuate the notion of symbolism related to this issue because very few Americans bothered to study its nuances.  Even though writing about Islam and Muslims' attitudes and feelings has become a cottage industry in the post-9/11-era inside the United States and in other countries, quite a few of those projects contain nonsensical explanations by the authors who have little knowledge of Islam and Muslims, or who have barely travelled to any Muslim country, much less lived in any of those countries for a long period of time.  Steven Kull's es
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Why Al-Qaida Never Was an Enduring Organization or a Movement

by Ehsan Ahrari on September 2, 2011, No Comments

Two themes that emerge from the material that the US Special Forces captured when they killed Usama Bin Laden (UBL) in Abbottabad, Pakistan, are worth considering.  First, we are told that the al-Qaida (AQ) leader was obsessed about carrying out another major attack on the United States.  He might have concluded that that might be the only way his organization could regain its rapidly dwindling popularity among Muslims.  Second, it seems that UBL also came to the conclusion that AQ's goal of establishing an Islamic Caliphate was too idealistic and impractical, even under the best of circumstances, for its continued operation.  He might have also concluded that, because of the sudden and awesome popularity of the Arab Awakening in bringing an end to two of the oldest dictatorships of the Arab world, his organization also faced a bleak future in the context of regaining popularity or gaining relevance among Muslims.  (more…)
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What About a ‘Drone War’ as a Regime Change Strategy in Syria?

by Ehsan Ahrari on August 27, 2011, 2 Comments

As much as I oppose America's intervention in the Arab world, it might not be a bad strategy to use American drones to attack Syrian troops who are massacring the unarmed civilian protestors in that country.  Such a strategy will also complement President Barack Obama's strategy of "leading from behind." (more…)
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The Aging Revolutionaries Must Make Room for the New Ones

by Ehsan Ahrari on August 11, 2011, 1 Comment

Every revolution brings to the global limelight new ideas, and a new corps of leaders, who, by becoming successful in carrying out that revolution, prove to the world that the ideas and the regimes that they replaced were anachronistic and irrelevant.  The Arab awakening is one such revolutionary movement.  It is focused on ousting the aging (and not so aging) dictators and establishing democracy.  In the process, it is proving, among other things, that Hezbollah of Lebanon – a revolutionary movement of the 1980s – has become anachronistic. (more…)