The past turbulent weekend was rife with aggressive expressions of civic discontent in numerous cities throughout Egypt, not only in response to the recent court verdict on the 2012 Port Said football massacre, but against current president Mohammad Morsey. Protests rocked the cities of Cairo, Ismailia, Port Said, Alexandria, and Suez, resulting in hundreds of … Read more
I was asked by a friend to provide some commentary on the Palestine UN bid for the Washington Monthly blog. Check out the site, but in the meantime, here is what I wrote: Despite the supposed significance of this week’s UNGA vote that led to the admittance of Palestine to the UN (observer status), there … Read more
That Israel would use construction of settlement homes as punishment for the PA pursuing a two state strategy (and it certainly was punishment as Israeli officials warned, after the vote, that there would be swift consequences) demonstrates without a doubt that Israel has no desire to make peace with a Palestinian state. Interestingly, if the Palestinian Authority actually had a peace partner that truly supported a two state solution, this week’s vote would have been significant. Unfortunately, though, the only significant factor was a demonstration of just how dead two states are.
Norman Finkelstein released his newest book approximately a week ago and eagerly I ordered it and began reading it. I have been interested in Norman Finkelstein for about five years when I first became involved in the Israel-Palestine conflict and his books have been a beneficial tool in deciphering the conflict. Even at one point … Read more
2012 will mark the 50th anniversary of Algerian independence. Both Paris and Algiers are having a hard time sincerely confronting the colonial era and the war, while the politicized cultures of remembrance prevent reconciliation. Fifty years have passed since the Algerian independence from France, and the old wounds haven’t healed – on the contrary. Both … Read more
However, of Drezner’s two viable options, negotiation with the Syrian government is a far better option. Though negotiations would undoubtedly be complicated by the rhetoric of the west in the last few months, it would end the killing quicker – which, I suppose, is what Syrians really want – and would avoid all of the many complications that would arise from a rash policy.
This is exactly where we find the fault line between political motives and humanitarian motives: to remove Assad or to stop the killing. It is an impossible situation, to be sure.
Undoubtedly, Russia and China would also block UN authorization of such an intervention while the geographical scope of the country would make Syria far more dangerous than Libya. The complex demographics, on the other hand, would make a post-Assad Syria better resemble a post-Saddam Iraq than a post-Qaddafi Libya. Yet the discussion continues.
There are a number of very understandable reasons why Russia refused to agree to the UN resolution. Yet, the most interesting argument being made is that Russia is rejecting the international consensus on Syria because of how the intervention in Libya evolved into a regime change operation.
At least that is what Marc Lynch imagines Syria could become now that the Chinese and Russian UN vetoes have all but eliminated the peaceful transition option. While the resolution explicitly ruled out military intervention (due to fears of another Libya-esque regime change operation) the Russian and China vetoes, according to Lynch, are likely to … Read more