US Opinion and Commentary

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A Troubling Turn for U.S. Relations in the Muslim World

Posted July 25th, 2016 at 12:22 pm (UTC-4)
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When he launched his attempt to rebuild U.S. relations with the Muslim world seven years ago, Barack Obama started with Turkey and Egypt, vital allies that seemed to be on the cusp of change….the two countries have…transformed their political systems and relations with the U.S. — the result has been a disaster for U.S. interests.

Would a Mideast Marshall Plan Work?

Posted April 22nd, 2016 at 12:14 pm (UTC-4)
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“We face, as the Marshall Planners did not in their dealings with Western Europe, the challenge of intervening in countries in which ethnic strife is high, democratic traditions are few, and America’s presence is a source of suspicion…”

Will Israel Reach Age 100

Posted April 12th, 2016 at 4:18 pm (UTC-4)
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The region in which Israel lives is melting down at a rate no one would have anticipated….if there are any state disappearing acts, these may be on the Arab side….even with all of their problems, the region’s three non-Arab states –Israel, Turkey, and Iran — are probably the most highly functioning polities in the region.

Fight or Flight

Posted February 22nd, 2016 at 2:00 pm (UTC-4)
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If the next U.S. president is unwilling to commit to stepping up to stabilize the Middle East, the only real alternative is to step back from it…civil wars do not lend themselves to anything but the right strategy with the right resources, trying the wrong one means throwing U.S. resources away on a lost cause.

Israel’s Unprecedented Geopolitical Strength

Posted February 12th, 2016 at 1:18 pm (UTC-4)
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It may seem counterintuitive, or even downright strange, but Israel’s geopolitical position is probably stronger now than at any time in the country’s history. This is likely to continue at least in the short-to-medium term, but looming long-term challenges should give some pause to Israel’s current leaders.

Breaking the Silence on FGM in Egypt: One Activist’s Story

Posted February 11th, 2016 at 1:44 pm (UTC-4)
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US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell talks to Egyptian artist and FGM activist Nada Sabet

The Unsexy Truth About Why the Arab Spring Failed

Posted January 28th, 2016 at 10:01 am (UTC-4)
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The truth is that … the real story of the Arab Spring wasn’t one about individual people being heroic or wicked. Rather, it was a less cinematic — but far more important — story about the dangers of brittle dictatorships and weak state institutions.

Sisi’s War on Reporters

Posted December 1st, 2015 at 4:26 pm (UTC-4)
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According to the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, there are 62 media workers in Mr. Sisi’s jails. Try as it might to silence its critics, the regime must know that jailing journalists can muzzle criticism only for a time. In the end, such action only amplifies its desperation and fragility.

A Tale of Two Elections: Canada and Egypt

Posted October 21st, 2015 at 2:00 pm (UTC-4)
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By Barbara Slavin Canadians voted out a conservative prime minister on Monday in a record turnout of nearly 70 percent that underlined the legitimacy of the process. Egypt also held parliamentary elections this week. But the participation rate reflected an absence of legitimacy and the lack of any suspense about the results or their impact […]

Egypt has Become a “Republic of Fear”

Posted June 17th, 2015 at 4:25 pm (UTC-4)
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By Barbara Slavin The Middle East is facing no shortage of crises, but more attention should be paid to one that is getting comparatively little notice in the U.S.: the human rights catastrophe unfolding in the Arab world’s most populous nation. Political repression in Egypt under the leadership of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is now […]