Links Jan. 27-31 2010

✪ Special report: The rise of Islamic militia in Somalia | World news | The Observer | By Peter Beaumont, who is good on Somalia.
✪ Pashas: Traders and Travellers in the Islamic World by James Mather | Book review | Books | The Observer | Dalrymple reviews a book on the Levant Company.
✪ Why are there no arab democracies? [PDF] | Journal of Democracy article by Larry Diamond, who concludes it's mostly because of oil.
✪ Ambassador to Syria - Laura Rozen - POLITICO.com | Robert Ford, a high-level appointee, will be first since 2006.
✪ Egypt-Algeria: Who's afraid of Amr Adeeb? | Al-Masry Al-Youm | Amr Adeeb and Egyptian-Algerian football rivalry.
✪ Autocracy-lite in Jordan | Chris Phillips | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk | Not so sure about the 'lite'...
✪ Wonk Room » Looking Toward A Future Gulf Security Architecture | Big question: will US reconfigure its role?
✪ Daily News Egypt - Egypt Still Involved In Secret Detentions, Says Un Report | Along with US, Russia, China, Algeria, Sudan, Zimbabwe, India and Iran. Wonder if Morocco too.
✪ Waq al-Waq: The Myth of Undergoverned Spaces in Yemen | No such thing - rather, "alternately governed".
✪ Coptic Assembly of America | Activist site of Coptic emigrés.
✪ New MB leader slapped with travel ban | Al-Masry Al-Youm | As usual these days for senior Muslim Brothers.
✪ Brotherhood to Egypt: Don't squeeze out moderates | Reuters | Interview with new Murshid Mohamed Badie.
✪ A Duped President’s Wasted Foreign-Policy Year by William Pfaff -- Antiwar.com | Powerful op-ed by Pfaff (on antiwar.com!!!)
✪ Congress letter to Obama | Finally, congresspeople we can be proud off, here calling for an end to the Gaza blockade.
✪ Universities and Islam: Hearts, minds and Mecca | The Economist | "A forthcoming book by Steffen Hertog, a sociologist, will argue that terrorists include a high number of engineers—not because of their need for bomb-making skills, but perhaps because of a mindset that likes rigidity and binary choices."
✪ Holocaust remembrance is a boon for Israeli propaganda - Haaretz | On Netanyahu's distasteful use of Holocaust remembrance for anti-immigrant, anti-Iran rant.
✪ The Decline of the Israeli Left | Secrecy News | Full book by Israeli writers available for download.
✪ Goodbye to oil that: the excesses of today's quest for crude - The National Newspaper | Review of books on oil.
✪ Michael Mineo Testifies That Police Brutalized Him in Subway - NYTimes.com | NYPD Egyptian style?
✪ Arabic on the iPad - SaudiMac It works. Am still skeptical though, esp. as ebook reader, although it looks great for comic books.