✪ Israeli Asks Abbas Not to Step Down - NYTimes.com | What a weird headline: the Israeli in question is the president of Israel, Shimon Peres (aka Skeletor, Evil Lord of Destruction). Not that knowing this makes the whole thing any less weird, although it is telling to see how much the Israelis like Abbas.
✪ Fatah al-Islam Connected to Israeli Elements- Lebanese Security Source Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English) | Really: Fatah al-Islam, connected to the Palestinians, the Syrians, the Americans, the Saudis and now the Israelis. I am beginning to wonder whether it even exists.
✪ The Dark Side of the Bright Side -- In These Times | I love Barbara Ehrenreich's books.
✪ The Associated Press: Islamic critics blast Beyonce on eve of Egypt show | Muslim Brothers attack "nudity concert".
✪ 23 CIA Officers Convicted in Italy, in Abstentia | For extraordinary rendition of Egyptian man.
✪ Middle East Bloggers: The Street Leads Online - Reports - Committee to Protect Journalists | CPJ report on bloggers in MENA, especially the rising use of emprisonment against them: "Individual bloggers face enormous threats; the medium as a whole faces significant challenges. Increasingly, governments are creating new laws to regulate the Internet and amending old ones to encompass online expression. Already authorities are exploiting the isolated nature of bloggers and the lack of institutional protections for online journalists. As the Iranian regime exhibited this year, governments are willing to take severe measures when they perceive a threat to their power."
✪ Holiday sales could launch e-book readers as mass-market must-haves | If you're interested in ebooks, this is a pretty good piece on the state of the industry. Has anyone tried Kindle downloading in Egypt? Is it restricted?
✪ Japanese contractors owed billions by Dubai firms - The National Newspaper | Dubai is a bad debtor.
✪ Waq al-Waq: The Big Question for Saudi Arabia | Who runs Saudi Arabia's Yemen policy?
✪ Obama's Failure in the Middle East | Stephen M. Walt | KA-POW: "I never thought I'd write the following words, but is it possible that Obama's handling of the I-P peace process might actually end up being worse than George Bush's?"
✪ Berman’s Response to Goldstone on House Gaza War-Crimes Resolution « The Washington Independent | The assholes who run Congress reply to Goldstone.
✪ Report: Mossad hacked Syrian computer to uncover nuke site - Haaretz - Israel News | Basic snooping software found super-classified info? Either this is not true or the Syrians are mega-stupid. But since the allegation is that Syria had a secret nuclear research facility, I'll lean towards the former - this was all bullshit from the beginning.
✪ ATTACKERMAN » Somewhere, Khaled Meshal Is Laughing | Obama messed up doubly with Goldstone as well as backing down on settlements. What's a Palestinian leader (any of them outside Hamas) to do?
(AFP) | Cabinet crisis over?
✪ Clinton has 'productive meeting' with Egypt on Mideast peace process - washingtonpost.com | Hosni Mubarak loves nothing more than being made to feel important. Clinton's entire trip to Cairo is about this: "Clinton attributed the apparent softening in Egypt's position as a response to her personal diplomacy, conducted over visits to four capitals in the region over the past five days. "I thought it was a very productive meeting," she told reporters traveling with her after the news conference, adding that it "shows the value of consultation and listening and sharing ideas and hearing the other side and putting forward your views and explaining.""
A few day's worth...
✪ Orientalism’s Wake: The Ongoing Politics of a Polemic | Very nice collection of essays on Edward Said's "Orientalism" from a variety of supporters, critics, academics including Daniel Varisco, Robert Irwin, Roger Owen, etc.
✪ The Sources of Islamic Revolutionary Conduct | I have not read in detail this small book by a US Air Force analyst, but scanning through it I see rather odd choices. For instance there are long chapters comparing Christianity and modern secularism to the Islamist outlook, except that it's never quite clear whether the latter means the outlook of engaged Islamist activists or ordinary Muslims. There is also copious quoting from Sayyid Qutb's "Milestones" as if it was representative of all Islamic thinking. Someone should give this a detailed look (and I'd be happy to post the result.) [PDF]
✪ Al-Ahram Weekly | Egypt | A clean break | On Cairo's garbage collection crisis.
✪ Irving Kristol, Godfather of Conservatism, Dies - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com | Leaving behind a disastrous intellectual, social, economic and political legacy: alleged liberalism on social issues that shirks from real change, supply-side economics, and of course an imperial war doctrine.
✪ Are Morocco And Algeria Gearing Up For Arms Race? « A Moroccan About the world around him
✪ Big mouth - The National Newspaper | Bernard Heykal on how the strength of al-Qaeda is impossible. Which makes sense, at least if you try to do it from the Bin Laden tapes as all the silly pseudo-analysis of last week showed.
✪ Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website | Very much like the new look of the Muslim Brothers' English website, which I hadn't checked in a while. They have a very useful "today's news" feature that can also be used for archives by date.
✪ Al-Ahram Weekly | Economy | Depleting Egypt's reserves | A good article with details on the Egypt-Israel gas deal and why it may be a bad idea in terms of resource management, never mind political and financial sense.
✪ Al-Qaradawi's Fatwa Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English) | The alleged liberal paid by intolerant Islamists in Riyadh attacks the alleged moderate Islamist paid by Doha:
A news item reported in the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper revealed that Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi had issued a fatwa prohibiting Iraqis from acquiring US citizenship on the grounds that this is the nationality of an occupier nation. However this fatwa has nothing to do with the reality on the ground, and contains more political absurdity then it does religious guidance. Sheikh al-Qaradawi himself is an Egyptian who possesses Qatari nationality, which was given to him after he opposed the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel. However when an Israeli office was opened in Doha, al-Qaradawi did not renounce his Qatari nationality.
| "His brother Uday told Reuters: "Thanks be to God that Muntazer has seen the light of day. I wish Bush could see our happiness. When President Bush looks back and turns the pages of his life, he will see the shoes of Muntazer al-Zaidi on every page.""
✪ BAE to axe 1,100 jobs and close site | Business | guardian.co.uk | So Tony Blair quashed the Yamama inquiry to save jobs (or so he says) but BAe still carries out layoffs?
✪ Seinfeld, Sacha Baron Cohen and Natalie Portman slam Toronto Film Festival protest - Haaretz - Israel News| Some stars come to Israel's side in the tiff over TIFF.
✪ GDC | Economist Conferences| Economist infographic shows public debt around the world.
✪ FT.com / Middle East / Politics & Society - Investors seek to revive faded glory of Cairo | On investment in Downtown Cairo properties and plans for gentrification. Look out for another article on this soon.
✪ No concrete proof that Iran has or has had nuclear programme – UN atomic watchdog | Just a reminder that the press reports have spinned things wrongly - this comes straight from the UN: "17 September 2009 – Refuting a recent media report, the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today reiterated that the body has no concrete proof that Iran has or has ever had a nuclear weapons programme."
✪ Egypt Islamic Authority Says Women Can Wear Trousers - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News - FOXNews.com | The world is going to hell -- what next, capris?
✪ BBC NEWS | Middle East | 'Many killed' in Yemen air raid | Serious turn in Yemen's trouble -- bombing a refugee camp!?
A confluence of looming challenges—economic ruin, an emerging water shortage, violent extremism, and a growing secessionist movement—threaten to overwhelm the Yemeni government, provide a breeding ground for terrorists, and destabilize the region. Yemen has survived past crises but the current risks are unprecedented.Chris highlights political problems (poor governance, the regrouping of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, etc.) as well as socio-economic-geographic ones, such as water scarcity, Qat cash-crop agriculture, the fall in oil income to give a bird's eye view of a complicated, dangerous yet largely ignored situation in Yemen. The Economist this week highlighted the situation there, headlining its article "The World's Next Failed State?". Also worth following on Yemen are Brian Whitaker's blog (he is the author of a book on Yemen), Waq al-Waq, a blog by Yemen hands Gregory Johnsen and Brian O'Neill (O'Neill also has this piece in the current ARB), the Yemen page of The Empty Quarter. blog and the personal blog of Yemeni journalist Nasser al-Arrabyee.
- Critical writer jailed in Tunisia - On Monday, police in Sfax, Tunisia's second largest city, detained Slim Boukhdhir, a well-known blogger and contributor to the London-based Al-Quds Al Arabi.
- 'Aqoul: Hirsi Ali: Ideological Chameleon - Holy CRAP! Hirsi Ali's rightward shift
- tabsir.net Â» Al Qaeda?s generational split - Yemeni tactics for splitting jihadist groups
- Talking Points | National Security Network - Website of reality-based security types
- Le Monde.fr : Une vidÃ©o-amateur contredit la version de la police sur l'accident de Villiers-le-Bel - Amateur video indicates initial shock of police car against motorbike not very violent, car was damaged with metal bars afterwards and police is lying about it
- WHO'S WHO OF PREZ CAMPAIGN SECURITY ADVISERS - New list of security / FP advisors to US presidential candidates, surprisingly does not include the more well-known rabid neocons in Rudy's list
- Hillary Clinton's advisers too gung-ho on Iraq war, critics say - Is Hillary Clinton the hawk masquerading as the dove?
- 'Not very good' Saddam spy gets 4 years - Yahoo! News - More examples of the terrible threat to the US that Saddam represented. Hmm, let me think, what other Middle Eastern country successfully infiltrated spies in critical national security institutions?
- Police say Paris rioters are armed as clashes escalate - Officials in Paris last night warned that rioters in the suburb of Villiers-le-Bel were armed with hunting rifles and air rifles as clashes with police continued to escalate.
- Boom fuels new Saudi spending spree | Business | The Guardian - Annual revenues of $165bn are funding six new cities to create jobs - but can it last?
- Cairo International Film Festival - Home Page - Schedules, events, etc. (apparently Morocco is focus of festival)
- In Annapolis, Conflict by Other Means by Robert Blecher and Mouin Rabbani - "As for the Annapolis meeting itself, it is being greeted with indifference, with few believing it will lead to either meaningful change in their daily lives or substantive progress toward the end of an Israeli occupation now in its fifth decade."