Egypt’s ‘Democratic’ Coup

Egypt’s ‘Democratic’ Coup

Washington’s response in the aftermath, and the announcement that the United States would go ahead with the supply of F-16 aircraft to the military, suggest that Washington’s priority is to see “controlled change” in Egypt.

Iran, the Revolution and the Language of War

Iran, the Revolution and the Language of War

A few days ago, I revisited a lecture given by Fred Halliday, FBA, an intellectual giant among scholars of Middle East and Cold War history, at the London School of Economics in 2009. His topic was “The Islamic Republic of Iran After 30 Years.” For nearly a quarter century, Halliday was professor of International Relations […]

Spring in the Arabian Desert

Spring in the Arabian Desert

Since the outbreak of peaceful protests against President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia in December last year, popular rebellions against authoritarian rule have swept the Arab world. Extraordinary acts of courage and non-violent defiance in Algeria, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and elsewhere have been witnessed. Citizens have taken great risks, made […]

When War Came Home…

When War Came Home…

War came to Britain’s streets this past week in London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol and other urban centers. The country had seen protests against the Iraq war, cuts in pensions for local government employees and teachers, and against dramatic increases in student tuition fees. The events of recent days, however, signify the worst social unrest in […]

A Million Dollar Question

A Million Dollar Question

When the president of the United States makes a long-awaited statement about matters of war and peace, it is an important moment. President Barack Obama’s announcement on June 22 that he plans to bring 33,000 American troops home from Afghanistan in the next fifteen months is another milestone in a long war that is reminiscent […]

The Dynamic of Mission Creep in Libya

Some commentators and politicians are describing it as mission creep – a slide into deeper military involvement in Libya, going beyond the original goal, and inviting unpredictable consequences. In simple terms, it is the decision by Britain, France and Italy to send military officers to organize the flagging rebel campaign against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces. These […]