Category Archives: North Africa

ARAB AWAKENING IRAN ISRAEL LEVANT MIDDLE EAST MUAMMAR QADDAFI NORTH AFRICA PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

Who is Ready for the Coming Anarchy in the Arab World? … Not the US!

by Ehsan Ahrari on November 4, 2012, No Comments

No matter who becomes the next president of the United States, the post-Arab Awakening Middle East is in the process of creating new rules affecting the lone superpower and other great powers. From the US perspective, the changing political order in Egypt has seriously eroded its power and influence in the region. The most important concern affecting Egypt–its continued commitment to the Camp David peace agreement–faces a questionable future. Tunisia–though it did not figure prominently in the past political maneuvers of the United States–has become an important place. Washington is very much hoping that Islamic moderation still prevails in that country. The post-Qaddafi Libya gave a lot of hope to the US policymakers as a country where they could reestablish America's presence and influence. However, the murder of the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans, not only shocked the administration of Barack Obama, but also became a forceful point of
ABBOTTABAD AFGHANISTAN ARAB AWAKENING ISLAM MUAMMAR QADDAFI NORTH AFRICA PAKISTAN PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SOUTH ASIA STRATEGIC AFFAIRS OF SOUTH ASIA UNITED STATES USAMA BIN LADEN

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…)
ARAB AWAKENING ARAB-IRAN RIVALRY IRAN IRAQ ISLAM ISLAMIC REVOLUTION OF IRAN ISRAEL LEBANON NORTH AFRICA SYRIA UNITED STATES

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…)
ARAB AWAKENING ARAB EXCEPTIONALISM CHINA HOSNI MUBARAK MIDDLE EAST MUAMMAR QADDAFI NORTH AFRICA PEOPLE POWER PLA TIANENMAN SQUARE

Why the Rise and Outcome of a Chinese Awakening are Hard to Predict?

by Ehsan Ahrari on March 13, 2011, No Comments

If the Chinese leaders read Francis Fukuyama's latest essay, "Is China Next?," they should come away with ample mixed feelings.  As much as he relied on a variety of well-chosen variables to develop a highly rational analysis about why China may not be the next country to experience the Chinese version of the Arab awakening (and this part of his argument should please the rulers of China), Fukuyama's most persuasive argument in his essay was the following: "All social revolutions are driven by intense anger over injured dignity, an anger that is sometimes crystallized by a single incident or image that mobilizes previously disorganized individuals and binds them into a community. We can quote statistics on education or job growth, or dig into our knowledge of a society's history and culture, and yet completely miss the way that social consciousness is swiftly evolving through a myriad of text messages, shared videos or simple conversations."  This observation should make them lose a
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…)
HOT GLOBAL ISSUES FROM OTHER SOURCES ISLAM ISLAMIC REVOLUTION OF IRAN NORTH AFRICA PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

Can the ‘Jasmine Revolution’ of Tunisia be a Trend-setter for the Arab World?

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 18, 2011, No Comments

The enormous significance of regime change in Tunisia is that it was the first such occurrence that was brought about not by invading Western military forces, but by the citizens of that country.  That, indeed, has been one of the most incredible developments in the new year 2011.  However, to think that it would be a trend-setter for similar ousters of dictators and autocrats of the Arab world might be simply wishful thinking.  One has to wait and see what happens to Tunisia in the coming years.  If it were to become a democracy of some sort, only then can one extrapolate that democratic political change might be repeated in other Arab countries.  On the contrary, if it becomes a place where Islamist forces emerge as powerful actors, then a repeat of the Jasmine Revolution elsewhere in the Arab world will turn out to be a pipedream.  The leading obstacle in the way of the repeat of the Jasmine Revolution will be the United States, the chief hegemon of the Arab world, and a count
AFGHANISTAN IRAQ ISLAM ISRAEL LEBANON NORTH AFRICA NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION PAKISTAN UNITED STATES

Iran: The Next Crisis

by Ehsan Ahrari on March 18, 2010, 2 Comments

The United States has become well accustomed to imposing economic sanctions against any state that defies it. Such actions are taken without regard to how badly they affect the quality of life of the people in the sanctioned country. The cruel rationale in Washington is that, if people suffered the terrible consequences emanating from those sanctions, they would overthrow the existing government. When that did not happen, as in Iraq for instance, the administration of George W. Bush decided to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein through a military invasion. (more…)
AFGHANISTAN CENTRAL ASIA ISRAEL NORTH AFRICA PAKISTAN UNITED STATES

Another Season of Silliness Is on Again

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 20, 2010, No Comments

The United States went through a near-miss terrorist attack during the Christmas holidays. A Muslim, this time a Nigerian Muslim, was involved. Consequently, the country is going through another silly season whereby a number of "experts" with diarrhea of the mouth are eagerly expressing their idiotic views. At the government level, there is an outcry for finding who (which bureaucrat or which bureaucracy) was sleeping on the job, or who failed to "connect the dots." The process of condemning Muslims is on with a vengeance. One suggestion is that the United States should abandon the attitude of political correctness and racially profile every Muslim traveler. After all, they say, Israel is doing that as a matter of course. However, no one stopped to think that Israel is an island, a small and insignificant nation, compared to the lone superpower, which claims not to be at war with Islam and Muslims. Sarah Palin, who desperately tries to sound intelligent and coherent in order to