Category Archives: Internet Revolution

AFGHANISTAN ARAB AWAKENING ARAB-IRAN RIVALRY BISHARA ASSAD CHINA EGYPT EGYPTIAN ARMY GREAT POWER RELATIONS HASAN ROUHANI INDIA INTERNET REVOLUTION IRAN IRAQ ISLAM ISLAMIC REVOLUTION OF IRAN JIHADISTS MIDDLE EAST PAKISTAN RUSSIA STRATEGIC AFFAIRS OF SOUTH ASIA STRATEGIC AFFAIRS OF WEST ASIA UNITED STATES US GLOBAL LEADERSHIP

So Long, 2013; Welcome 2014…I Think!

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 2, 2014, No Comments

Happy new year to all my global friends and contacts! 2013 has been an okay year for the United States, in terms of its foreign policy in the Middle East and in the Asia-Pacific.  (more…)
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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…)
AFGHANISTAN CENTRAL ASIA CHINA EGYPT HOSNI MUBARAK INFORMATION REVOLUTION INTERNET REVOLUTION RUSSIA UNITED STATES

Crushing a Social Movement: Maybe in Your Dreams!

by Ehsan Ahrari on October 19, 2011, No Comments

China is not the only country that has been apprehensive about a possible eruption of the Arab Awakening-like social movement that could threaten its regime.  Russia and the Central Asian states – especially the latter – are even more afraid of the birth of such a movement.  They think that they can crush a social movement if or when it arises inside their respective borders, and they are taking a number of ostensibly proactive measures.  The Central Asian states are afraid because of the commonality of a number of variables between them and the Arab countries, where the Arab Awakening continues to look inexorable. (more…)
ARAB AWAKENING EGYPT HOSNI MUBARAK HOT GLOBAL ISSUES FROM OTHER SOURCES INTERNET REVOLUTION IRAN ISLAM ISLAMIC REVOLUTION OF IRAN MUAMMAR QADDAFI SYRIA UNITED STATES

The Arab Awakening and the Forces of Reaction

by Ehsan Ahrari on July 11, 2011, No Comments

David Gardner, in a thoughtful column in the Financial Times, writes that under old Arab order "despotism and Islamism fed on each other." Going through the mental tapes covering the confrontation between Islamism and despotism in a "fast overview" mode, that observation is an extremely valid one.  At the same time, when one observes that even in places where the Arab awakening has toppled two dictators–Zein el-Abideen Bin Ali and Hosni Mubarak–the status quo forces are still hovering around looking for ways to bring back the old order perhaps under new wrappers.  If they were to succeed, that will be the greatest tragedy that struck the Arab world in modern times. (more…)
ARAB AWAKENING ARAB EXCEPTIONALISM COUNTERTERRORISM HOSNI MUBARAK INDONESIA INTELLIGENCE INTERNET REVOLUTION ISLAM PEOPLE POWER ROBERT GATES UNITED STATES

Western Military Intervention as a Death-knell for the Arab Awakening

by Ehsan Ahrari on March 9, 2011, No Comments

The natural American interventionist impulse is surging once again.  This time the pretext is to save the Libyans from Muammar Qaddafi.  The United States and the U.K. are reportedly positioning their military assets to impose no-fly zones in Libya.  At least superficially, that sounds like a good measure, which would scare Qaddafi into submission.  But one has to be apprehensive about such "good measures."  Past American interventionism in the Muslim world has established that there is no such thing as intervention to improve the lot of the populace.  That did not happen in 1953, when the CIA and the British intelligence service colluded to bring Mohammad Reza Pahlevi to power.  The post-Saddam Iraq is tenuous at best.  Afghanistan continues to teeter at the brink of disaster.  The CIA-backed intervention that ousted Sukarno of Indonesia in 1965 brought to power a military dictator, Suharto, who ruled that country with an iron fist for several decades.  (more…)
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The Arab Awakening as the End of Arab “Exceptionalism”

by Ehsan Ahrari on February 27, 2011, No Comments

The best promise of the Arab awakening is that, if the ouster of dictators were to lead to democratic governance, the Arab world will be truly freed from all manifestations of the remnant of neo-imperialism.  Arab Exceptionalism, the concept that democratic rule was not meant for Arab regions, is proving itself to be wrong.  In reality, it was as wrong as it was racist.  The Arab autocrats promoted it, but the realpolitik of the West in its uncritical acceptance of it was also responsible for its sustenance throughout the post-World War II era. (more…)
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Why China Should Fear the Arab Awakening

by Ehsan Ahrari on February 23, 2011, No Comments

The Arab awakening is about the yearning of people to be free, to be able to enjoy a decent standard of living, and, above all, to be governed effectively by responsive leaders.  Of these, the Chinese people are deprived of two requirements.  Even regarding a decent standard of living, the evidence in China is mixed, at best.  If there is one lesson that the autocratic leader of the PRC should learn from the Arab awakening is to be highly proactive in fulfilling these requirements before they are expressed through another bloody uprising in Tiananmen Square.  But dictatorships are never known to be proactive or adaptable.  That is why their fall is so chaotic and bloody. (more…)
BRAVE NEW WORLD CHINA GREAT POWER RELATIONS HILLARY CLINTON HOSNI MUBARAK INTERNET REVOLUTION MIDDLE EAST NORTH AFRICA PEOPLE POWER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA STRATEGIC AFFAIRS OF WEST ASIA UNITED STATES

The Emerging Brave New World and Eroding American Hegemony: Lessons for China

by Ehsan Ahrari on February 20, 2011, No Comments

As much as China watches and learns from the patterns of the military preparedness, modernization, and foreign policy behavior of the United States, the past several weeks of the Arab "Awakening" and America's responses to it should be eye opening lessons for it.  The most important lesson is how to preserve political clout – if not dominance - under the newly emerging brave new Arab world. (more…)
CHINA HILLARY CLINTON HOSNI MUBARAK HOT GLOBAL ISSUES FROM OTHER SOURCES INFORMATION REVOLUTION INFORMATION WAR INTERNET REVOLUTION IRAN PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA UNITED STATES

The Sino-American Infowar And The New “Freedom Agenda”

by Ehsan Ahrari on February 17, 2011, No Comments

The idea of using social networks to bring about political change is the brainchild of the cyber freedom fighters of North Africa and Middle East. After watching its effectiveness, the United States has brazenly adopted it. It has opened up its own tweeting blogs to communicate with the Chinese, Iranian, and Arab masses. Hillary Clinton has been giving speeches on the issue of the Internet freedom. The Department of State has also set up twitter accounts in Arabic and Farsi to reach the Middle Eastern bloggers. America is peddling the new 'freedom agenda' through the use of the Internet and Tweeting. (more…)
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The Internet Revolution and The Status Quo Powers

by Ehsan Ahrari on February 16, 2011, No Comments

Everyone, including the Obama administration and leaders in Beijing, has been awe-struck by the rising tide of "people power," that is showing its enormous potential through the use of the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and social networks in a number of Middle Eastern and North African countries. Two Arab countries have experienced quick regime change, and many more are experiencing turbulence that promises further transformation of governments. (more…)