March 26, 1986 |
Confrontation with Libyan strongman Col. Moammar Khadafy has been at the top of President Reagan's foreign policy agenda since he took office, and eliminating or crippling the Libyan leader is one of the jobs he wants to finish before he leaves. Americans may well wonder if Reagan has gone too far this time, however. In an attempt to make his world safer for democracy, there is real danger that he may leave the American people a legacy of enmity with the peoples of the Middle East that may last well into the 21st century.
October 21, 2011 |
CAIRO - Images of Moammar Gadhafi's bloodied body flashed on TV screens across the world may send shivers down the spines of Syria's Bashar al-Assad and Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh, two leaders clinging to power amid Arab Spring uprisings. For the millions of Arabs yearning for freedom, democracy, and new leadership, the death of one of the region's most brutal dictators will likely inspire and invigorate the movement for change. Gadhafi's death sent ripples across the Arab world and set the Internet's social networks abuzz with comments, mostly celebrating the demise of a leader whose bizarre behavior over the years defined the woes of an Arab world mostly ruled by autocratic or despotic leaders.
March 23, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - President Obama urged Israelis on Thursday to move decisively in a spirit of self-preservation and empathy to secure a lasting peace, but he delivered an even sharper ultimatum to Palestinians to drop conditions that have held up a new round of negotiations. His evening address at the Jerusalem International Convention Center signaled a shift away from the balance he has sought to maintain between Israeli and Palestinian leaders since taking office - and toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom he has had a stormy relationship, at least until this trip.
January 20, 1991 |
When the shooting stops in the Middle East, Saddam Hussein may be dead or overthrown. A pan-Arab or United Nations peace-keeping force may end up presiding over the shattered remains of Iraq. But the United States could be forced to keep tens of thousands of troops in the region, a potentially dangerous and destabilizing presence. That uneasy vision of the fruits of victory emerged from interviews last week with a dozen veterans of the Pentagon, the National Security Agency, the CIA, the National Security Council and the State Department.
February 3, 2009 |
More than ever, the music of the Arab world is with us, right here in the good ol' U.S.A. The relatively unfamiliar quarter-tones and microtonal quavers of pan-Arabic music may still suggest something exotic to Western ears. But, as the sublime Sunday afternoon performance of New York-based Palestinian maestro Simon Shaheen and ensemble at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater demonstrated, it thrives in this country. Whether imported via immigration or foreign entanglements, the culture it springs from is increasingly embedded in our own. The 53-year-old Shaheen is a virtuoso on both the violin and the oud - the pear-shaped, lutelike forerunner of the guitar - and a celebrated genre-exploring composer as well as a torch-carrying interpreter of Arabic standards.
March 29, 2001 |
Still squabbling over the 1991 Persian Gulf war, 22 Arab countries wrapped up their summit yesterday without any agreement about lifting the crippling economic sanctions against Iraq. Kuwait objected to proposed language in a resolution that would have urged the Arab countries to unilaterally lift the sanctions. As a result, the rambling resolution issued from the summit barely mentioned Iraq, and an appendix called the Amman Communiqu? contained only vague language urging the end to sanctions.
December 15, 2003 |
Saddam Hussein may be under lock and key, but experts warn that the anger at the United States that he came to symbolize in the Arab world and Iran is far from contained. It still seethes in every capital from Rabat to Tehran, in the streets if not always in government. "To some extent, Saddam was a measure of the depth of the region's alienation from the West," said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute in Washington. "He symbolized the anger; he symbolized the divide.
January 13, 1993 |
He claims good conversation, good coffee - up to 60 small cups of Turkish coffee daily - and making new friends in his new city are what life is all about. "God only gives us this for a short time," says Issam Masri, 52, gesturing at the larger world outside the window of his small book shop. "We should enjoy it while we are here. " On the surface, the Lebanese immigrant seems more a laid-back philosopher than wheeler-dealer. After all, how much money can you make selling books to the area's 14,000 Arabic speakers?
April 14, 2011 |
Few of the revolts shaking the Arab world look likely to produce democratic governments in the near term. But even those states with the best chance of improving politically are facing a daunting economic challenge: Can new Arab democracies deliver the economic goods - in time? Most of the Arab rebellions - in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Bahrain - have deteriorated into civil war, or regime-led violence. But the two countries with the best shot at democracy - Tunisia and Egypt - are paying a steep economic price for their upheavals.
March 16, 2015 |
Those who criticize President Obama's weak foreign policy (as I have done often) have been looking for smarter ideas from prospective candidates for 2016. Judging by Lettergate - the bizarre tale of the missive sent by Sen. Tom Cotton and 46 Republican colleagues to Iran's ayatollahs - the Republicans aren't ready for prime time. Take a look at the broader implications of the letter and you'll see why. What was most disturbing about the letter was the carelessness with which it was dispatched.