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In Depth

The Summer of Our Discontent: Sects and Citizens in Lebanon and Iraq

MAHA YAHYA for CARNEGIE — Lebanon’s and Iraq’s political systems are based on sectarian and ethnic power-sharing. In summer 2015, both countries faced popular protests demanding better governance. These protests began over poor service provision but escalated into opposition to the countries’ overarching power-sharing systems. These demonstrations were framed as nonsectarian, …

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Trump—Blundering into European Truths

by Graham E. Fuller * — President Trump’s ignorant, oafish and crude foreign policy style rivets our attention, arouses our indignation. But the drama of the diplomatic mayhem he wreaks while traveling abroad also distracts from recognizing more serious underlying problems of US policy— deep negative trends that predate Trump. Focusing on …

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Chinese Uyghur colonies in Syria a challenge for Beijing

By Christina Lin* — A reporter for Dubai-based Al Aan TV recently aired an undercover story on Idlib province – the Syrian “rebel” opposition stronghold that is supported by the US and other Western governments – and the site of the recent alleged chemical attack that prompted direct US missile strikes against the Syrian …

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Questions About Terrorism

Exclusive for THE LEVANT NEWS – By General(ret) Elias Farhat* —     Executive summary i-There is much talk about terrorism, but little action. Some of the measures taken have not been sufficient , while others either raise suspicions as to their real aims or are clearly supportive of terrorist …

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Destroying Turkey’s Promise

by Graham E. Fuller — Nearly all the indicators coming out of Turkey continue to be bad—for Turkey and for nearly everybody else. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to be the only one profiting from the ongoing dark course of events. Taking advantage of an unexplored and murky coup attempt …

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Balfour’s legacy: The destruction of Palestine

by Dr Salman Abu Sitta Author Salman Abu Sitta addressed the UK’s House of Lords on 28 March to discuss the Balfour Declaration and its consequences on the Palestinians. This year marks a century since the document was signed and the future of the State of Palestine was sealed. Below is …

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Islam, Orientalism, and Intellectual History

Islam, Orientalism, and Intellectual History: Modernity and the Politics of Exclusion since Ibn Khaldun By Mohammad R. Salama *** Reviewed by Ziad Hafez ———————————————– London, I.B.Tauris, 2011, 274 pages ISBN 978 1 84885 005 7 (US$99)   This is a major book to have in one’s library in general and …

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“American War”— An Apocalyptic Novel of Our Times

by Graham E. Fuller — It’s hard these days to avoid glimmers of an apocalyptic future, domestic and international, breaking into our daily consciousness. President Trump represents its most obvious face today, but its roots go back at least to a blinkered American triumphalism emerging from the fall of the …

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TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE U.S. ESCALATION IN SYRIA

  By Sobhi Ghandour — It is difficult to predict what the president of the world’s greatest nation will do when he has no previous political or governing experience and when he is known for his changing points of view and his reliance on the logic of business elites and deal-making …

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Asad vs Regime of Warring Jihadis

SANA SANA / REUTERSAssad during an interview with a Croatian newspaper. Damascus, Syria. April 6. by Graham E. Fuller — How should we understand U.S. President Donald Trump’s cruise missile barrage last week against a Syrian airbase? In one sense, it might be a tactical triumph for his administration: cruise missile attacks …

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How do we recognize the Arab Identity

By Sadek Jawad Sulaiman — The Arabs are defined by their culture, not by race; and their culture is defined by its essential twin constituents of Arabism and Islam. To most of the Arabs, Islam is their indigenous religion; to all of the Arabs, Islam is their indigenous civilization. The …

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The Arab Gulf states plan to ‘win’ the war in Yemen

By Peter Salisbury – The Levant News – The last thing the world needs is another Middle Eastern country torn to pieces and racked by sectarian violence, in which radical Islamist groups vie for control. After two years of fierce fighting, Yemen’s civil war, which pits northern Shia rebels and …

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Lebanese president provokes outcry with Hezbollah comment

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem – Appeared first in Al-monitor Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s description of Hezbollah’s weapons as complementary to those of the Lebanese army provoked strong reactions on the part of the United Nations, the March 14 coalition and the Future Movement, which is headed by Lebanese Prime Minister …

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Palestine in the Age of Trump

By Rashid Khalidi* for The New Yorker — With the advent in Washington of an Administration with radical new priorities regarding Israel, and a disdain for Palestinian rights, Palestine is facing a daunting reality. In recent years, ascendant political currents in America and Israel had already begun to merge. We …

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An inauguration—into what?

by Graham E. Fuller — With the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States, it’s hard to know where first to focus attention. Rage and righteous indignation on all sides are mounting. There is more than enough blame to go around for how the US …

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Obama Belatedly Says No to Israel

If President Obama had confronted Israel over its illegal settlements earlier, he might have really achieved something, but his U.N. abstention as he heads out the door is better than nothing, observes Marjorie Cohn. By Marjorie Cohn for Consortium — For the first time in his eight-year presidency, Barack Obama …

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Iran’s Revolutionary Guards position for power

By Babak Dehghanpisheh for Reuters | BEIRUT — Iran’s Revolutionary Guards look set to entrench their power and shift the country to more hardline, isolationist policies for years to come following the death of influential powerbroker Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Former president Rafsanjani long had a contentious relationship with the …

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Trump-Putin Frenzy

by Graham E. Fuller* — I cannot recall a period in which the US public debate across the media has reached such implacably partisan and toxic proportions. The issues are indeed important—particularly the specific case of Russian involvement in helping make public the activities of the Democratic National Committee—information that …

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The Never-Ending Extravaganza

by Graham E. Fuller*– It had been an exhausting, interminable 18-20 months of presidential campaigning during which much of the business of thoughtful American governance had to yield space to the riveting follies of politics. Yet most other countries in the world, not locked into dictators or kings for life, …

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Universality of Human Rights: Myth or Reality

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai* — “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Article 5, Universal Declaration of Human Rights The statement of Mr. Ban Ki-moon – UN Secretary General deserves an appreciation who wants to console people by saying: “On Human …

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RUMI’S UNTOLD STORY

by Shahram Shiva from near 30 years of research on Rumi http://www.rumi.net/about_rumi_main.htm Rumi is now one of the most widely read poets in America. I began translating Rumi in 1988, and performing his poetry in 1992. In all of these years I never thought that he would become so popular …

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The forgotten shipwreck

By Stephen Grey and Amina Ismail for REUTERS — NEW LIVES: Migrants wait on the dock in Augusta, Sicily, after being rescued. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello Millions of people, billions of dollars – and Europe’s struggle to cope The Migration Machine RESCUED: Italian police carry migrants to safety, leaving their leaky boat to drift. …

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The Simla Agreement: Help or Hindrance

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai* — The mass uprising of the people of Kashmir against Indian military occupation has evoked two reactions from the Government of India. One is extreme repression and the second is the threat of war. On September 24, 2016, Mr. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India …

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