Confrontational U.S. policy that tried to create a “New Middle East,” but ignored the realities of the region has instead exacerbated existing conflicts and created new problems.
Confrontational U.S. policy that tried to create a “New Middle East,” but ignored the realities of the region has instead exacerbated existing conflicts and created new problems. To restore its credibility and promote positive transformation, the United States needs to abandon the illusion that it can reshape the region to suit its interests.
The growing influence of Sunni Islamists in Lebanon is fueled by rising anti-American and sectarian sentiments resulting from the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, Lebanon’s ongoing political stalemate, the assassination of former prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri, and the summer 2006 war in which Israel devastated large parts of Lebanon.
Contemporary discourse on democratic transformation in the Arab world often lacks a critical assessment of the kind of progress that is taking place on the ground. Marina Ottaway and Julia Choucair-Vizoso launched their new book Beyond the Façade: Political Reform in the Arab World, a critical assessment of political reform in the Arab world based on ten case studies.
In the wake of the Annapolis meeting, the United States and Russia should consider putting together a diplomatic initiative to push parties in the country and the region to overcome the Lebanese presidential hurdle.
Lebanon is threatening to come undone in the coming days. The international community, and particularly the United States, need to focus urgently on Lebanon. The crisis in Lebanon deserves the most urgent and intense attention at the highest international political levels
A series of unusual scenes on the streets of the Middle East nurtured an inspiring story line of an emerging “Arab spring” that mimicked the earlier triumph of democracy from the Philippines to Prague: mass demonstrations in Lebanon; joint rallies of Egyptian Islamists and liberals against the Mubarak regime; and elections in Iraq, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Egypt and even Saudi Arabia.
Interview with Amal Saad-Ghorayeb on the status of Hezbollah.
At a time when Islamist movements across the Arab world have chosen to participate in official political processes, grave concerns have arisen over the nature and repercussions of this participation and over whether the Islamists are equipped to rule should they rise to power through democratic means.
The decision by the United Nations Security Council to establish a Special Tribunal to try suspects in the assassination of Rafiq Hariri and others under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter has dramatically raised tensions in Lebanon.