Articles and more

Just a quick note to link to two new articles by yours truly:

✩ A look at Muhammad ElBaradei's entrance in the Egyptian presidential succession crisis, over at the new issue of the Arab Reform Bulletin:

The advent of Mohammed ElBaradei as a potential presidential candidate has introduced an unpredictable new element into Egypt's slow-moving succession crisis. For the first time in recent memory, a prominent member of Egypt's establishment has spoken out against the Mubarak regime. Even if ElBaradei never attacked President Hosni Mubarak personally, his indictment of Egypt's current predicament is all the more devastating because it comes from a man who appears eminently more qualified for the presidency than the heir apparent, Gamal Mubarak.

✩ An expansion of my argument a few days ago against Marshallplanism, in this week's Review supplement of The National:

For reasons that go beyond mere nostalgia for a more noble age of American foreign policy, pundits and politicians alike have issued innumerable calls for “new Marshall Plans”. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the ills of the Middle East, real or imagined, have been the central target of what I call Marshallplanism – whose adherents are confident that the American policy that worked for Western Europe can be applied anywhere, and that American determination and dollars, properly applied, can bring economic and then political stability to any place on earth.

Some major technical changes to the site will take place over the next couple of days, and while I there won't be any interruption of service, do be patient. More to come soon...

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.