Containing The Fire in Syria No Easy Task

By Ryan Crocker* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW HAVEN (IDN | Yale Global) – The awful conflict in Syria grinds on, with more than 100,000 dead and no end in sight. The calls to “do something” – anything – become louder: arm the rebels, enforce a no-fly zone, send in the Marines. Before the United States acts, Americans should reflect on the realities in Syria in a historical context. Here are some relevant dates and events.

Syria: A New Battlefield For Shias and Sunnis

By Manish Rai* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

NEW DELHI (IDN) – Islam as a religion was divided between Shias and Sunnis after the death of Prophet Mohammad in 632 A.D. Shia followed Ali Mohammad’s son-in-law and Sunni went behind Abu Bakr, Father of Prophet Mohammad wife Aisha. This political divide between the Muslims turned into bloody sectarian clashes which claimed millions of human lives over a long period of time. This battle is still continuing in various countries of Middle East like Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.

Egypt: Developments in Continuing Revolution, Not a Coup

By Ismail Serageldin* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

CAIRO (IDN) – Egypt is once more doing things its own unique way. After millions of people went into the streets and in 18 days that shook the world succeeded in toppling the regime of Hosny Mubarak after 30 years of rule, they came back again in their millions into the streets and squares of Egypt and toppled Mohamed Morsi after one year of rule.

Dr. Mohamed Morsi was Egypt’s first elected civilian president, in free and fair elections organized by the post-Mubarak military rulers after 18 months of transitional governance.  The people rejoiced in the election and the handover of power from the military to Dr. Morsi on July 1, 2012. They backed him in his bid to assert civilian leadership over the military.

Post-Morsi Egypt Fuel For Al-Qaeda Fires

By Eric Walberg* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

The removal of Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, by the army threatens to open a Pandora’s box. Al-Qaeda’s post-Bin Laden leader, (Egyptian) Ayman Zawahiri, has always been focused on combating local regimes and Arab rulers, these days, Assad in Syria. If Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is forced underground again, it is inevitable that terrorism will increase, as frustrated Islamists are forced to defend themselves and to resist the re-imposition of the western model, with al-Qaeda-types hovering in the background.

Bringing Gazan Goods To The World

By Eric Walberg* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

TORONTO (IDN) – The builders of Gaza’s Ark hope to bring Gazan goods to the world. The latest plan to try to break the illegal siege of Gaza, according to organizer Michael Coleman at June 9 press conference in the port of Gaza, is to refurbish their very second-hand fishing boat, fill it with Gazan products (date products, embroidery, craft items and more) and sail to another Mediterranean port, like any normal exporter.

Saudi Arabia Becoming Vulnerable

By Fahad Nazer* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

WASHINGTON (IDN | Yale Global) – Thanks to the bountiful oil under its desert sands and an equally plentiful supply of foreign labour – skilled and non-skilled – Saudi Arabia has enjoyed a booming economy. Prices of crude oil, nearly $100 a barrel for two years running, have largely spared Saudi Arabia the ill effects of the economic downturn that stalled many nations across the globe.

Thanks to the prosperity, the kingdom has also survived, relatively unscathed, the seismic events of the Arab Spring, spurred in large part by feelings of economic deprivation and political marginalization among Arab youths.

Report Censures Israel For Demolishing Palestinian and EU Property’

By Bernhard Schell | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BRUSSELS (IDN) – Hundreds of Palestinian homes and structures have been bulldozed and approvals for illegal settlements have increased despite the 27-nation European Union (EU) asking Israel to stop settlement expansion, forced displacement, and demolition of Palestinian property in an unprecedented statement one year ago, says a new report.

EU foreign ministers adopted on May 14, 2012 some of the most extensive and far-reaching recommendations on the issue of the Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT). In particular, the EU ministers approved specific recommendations for developing Area C which constitutes 60 percent of the West Bank and falls under full Israeli military and civil control. An estimated 150,000 Palestinians live there among 325,000 Israelis living in settlements that are illegal under international law.

Wading Through The Syrian Labyrinth

By Antonio C. S Rosa* | IDN-InDepth NewsReport

An international peace mission visited Damascus from May 1 to 11 wading through a labyrinth of multi-layered domestic and foreign political, economic and religious interests constituting the backbone of persistent half-truths about a rather intricate situation in Syria whose worst victims are ordinary and peace-loving people. Following are excerpts from an extensive report by the editor of peace journalism website TRANSCEND Media Service (TMS).

PORTO (IDN) – It was disconcerting coming into the country for the first time knowing what I thought I knew and seeing a calm, positive demeanour in people, which could well be misconstrued as apathy, yet exhibiting expectant, concerned, awaiting eyes and facial expressions.

Syrian Civil War Likens A Gordian Knot

By Eric Ruder* | IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

CHICAGO (IDN) – Israel carried out two major rounds of air strikes on Syria in the span of 48 hours in the opening days of May, raising the prospect of a wider war in the Middle East. The second and larger of the two attacks targeted a mountainside military complex that overlooks Damascus, turning the night skies into day, according to witnesses.

Syria: Enough Is Enough

By Jayantha Dhanapala* | IDN-InDepth NewsViewpoint

KANDY (IDN) – The two-year-old conflict in Syria rages on with the embattled dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad and his Ba’ath Party withstanding the attacks of a motley group of rebels supported by the West and by the money bag monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar with Israel not far behind. Dictatorships – whether unelected, elected or inherited – are of course unacceptable in this day and age when the palpable consent of a sovereign people is paramount for the governance of independent countries. However, no regime change by self-appointed guardians of democracy from abroad can replace a genuine movement for change by the people, of the people and for the people.

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