Links for 08.19.09 to 08.20.09

Saad Eddin Ibrahim: President Obama Maintains Status Quo with Egypt - WSJ.com | Saad Eddin Ibrahim on Obama. ✪ Quiet slicing of the West Bank makes abstract prayers for peace obscene | Slavoj Zizek | Comment is free | The Guardian | A good piece on Israel/Palestine by Zizek unfortunately ends weakly by talking about terrorism. As if the crimes of terrorists were comparable to the erasing of Palestine over 60 years. ✪ Hosni In The House Hosni In The House | Project on Middle East Democracy | Good collection of links on Mubarak's trip to Washington and the Egyptian predicament. ✪ FT.com / Comment / Analysis - Confusion over Cairo | Good long piece on Egypt on a range of issues. ✪ FT.com / Comment / Editorial - Mubarak’s return to Washington | What I like about the FT is that, unlike most, it's not afraid to call a spade a spade: "The national security regime, with its backbone in the army and its nervous system in the intelligence services, is incapable of adapting politically. Sincere attempts by successive governments to liberalise keep on hitting this wall of vested interests, reinforced by layers of businessmen operating under state patronage. Respectable economic growth has opened up huge wealth disparities, with food rioters and conspicuous consumers sitting cheek by scowling jowl in Egypt’s teeming cities. Behind it all lies the debris of ideological bankruptcy." ✪ Arabic explained (for Arabic speakers) - The National Newspaper | On mo3jam.com, the Arabic vernacular translator. ✪ Democracy In Egypt: Necessary Ingredient in a U.S.-Egyptian Partnership - Brookings Institution | Michele Dunne and Tamara Coffman-Wittes urge the Obama administration to make democracy an important issue in the Egypt-US relationship. Note that Coffman-Wittes was recently mentioned as a possible DAS for Middle Eastern democracy. ✪ Obama huddles with Egypt's Mubarak | The briefing Obama and Mubarak gave at the White House. Mubarak says reform issues were discussed and that he still had two years to implement his 2005 reformist program, and that on the peace process move should be straight to final status. Obama praises Mubarak in several respects, welcomes Israel's pseudo-freeze of settlements, says Arabs must now give something. Otherwise nothing interesting.
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