Feb. 11 marks two important anniversaries in the Middle East: the ouster of the Shah of Iran in 1979 and the overthrow of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011. But the question remains whether the U.S. has learned the right lessons from these events, writes Hillary Mann Leverett.
The Western media likes its stories neat and tidy, enough time for correspondents to parachute in, do some stand-up reports and depart as quickly as the public’s attention span shifts. But a true understanding of events as complex as the Arab Spring may take years or decades to develop, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
While paying lip service to a two-state solution, some Israeli officials bluntly acknowledge that their goal is to repress the Palestinians and eventually absorb most of the West Bank into a Greater Israel. This strategy anticipates the continued acquiescence of the U.S., says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Over the past two years of Arab unrest, only in Bahrain did a neighboring country (Saudi Arabia) invade militarily to put down a popular uprising – and did so without U.S. outrage because Bahrain is home to the Fifth Fleet. But the political injustice of Bahrain remains a regional sore point, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul…
Though U.S. observers tend to view Egypt’s politics through a secular-vs.-Islamist lens, a clearer way of seeing what’s happening in that important Arab country is to examine other issues, like the economy, that are motivating Egyptians, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Dissolution of Egypt’s parliament and doubts about the upcoming presidential election have undermined the country’s once-promising transition to democracy. Now the question is, can any likely outcome justify the hopes of last year’s Arab Spring, asks ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
In announcing the end of the Iraq War, President Obama ignored its horrors, so as not to further upset its still-powerful supporters. But his silence removed the context for Pvt. Bradley Manning’s moral decision to expose these crimes of war, writes Marjorie Cohn.
The West has long played a double game regarding democracy in the Middle East, replacing popular leaders who nationalized oil or caused “trouble” with autocrats – and then condemning Muslims as politically backward. Now that democracy is returning, the West again is uneasy, writes Adil E. Shamoo.
Like the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street, the French Revolution began as a rejection of an unjust system where the few were obscenely rich and the many had little money or power. Where it went off-track was in its embrace of violence, a lesson today’s revolutionaries must heed, says Gary G. Kohls.