Links for March 24 to April 3 2010
I have been lax in posting links, sorry. They're after the jump, but first I wanted to talk about one ElBaradei piece among the many written lately (see below as well as here) that irked me.
It's a completely baseless assertion in Ilan Berman's article on ElBaradei in Foreign Policy:
Politics can offer some strange second acts. Just ask Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel laureate turned would-be presidential candidate who is now flirting with joining Egypt's main Islamist party.
So it doesn't matter that ElBaradei keeps expressing secularist ideas and keeps insisting he won't join any party, suddenly he wants to join the Muslim Brothers?
The rest of the article deals with Ikhwan support for ElBaradei, which is at best — and it's really a stretch — partial, only because ElBaradei advocates certain reforms that the Brothers and virtually every other component of the Egyptian opposition agrees with. And the rest of the analysis is full of bromides and unsubstantiated assumptions, notably lending tremendous power to the Brothers, who have been pummeled into a retreat for the last few years. If he was so interested in the Brothers, why does he endorse secularist positions such as not putting religious restrictions on eligibility for public function? Just because he went to the mosque one Friday?
It's all terribly shoddy, esp. as Berman seems to be writing this purely from following the news wherever he's based. It's almost as bad as Bret Stephens' moronic idea that Lagy Gaga inspires Islamist terrorists, much ridiculed this week (see below).
Now for the links.
- China’s Historic Return to the Gulf | The Middle East Channel
A longer take on Chinese ships entering the Gulf.
- Lady Gaga vs. the Occupation - By Thomas Hegghammer | Foreign Policy
Another take on Bret Stephens' idiocy.
- PetroChina Plans $60 Billion of Overseas Expansion (Update3) - Bloomberg.com
Chinese will challenge majors over acquiring new fields.
- TelQuel : Le Maroc tel qu'il est
On Christian proseletysation in Morocco.
- When AIPAC said 'no' to Israel by Sasha Polakow-Suransky | The Middle East Channel
But make no mistake: AIPAC has always been bad for America.
- The Chinese navy is back in the Gulf, after a long absence
Last seen in region in the 1400s.
- Israel has secretly held journalist in leak case - Laura Rozen - POLITICO.com
Bizarre media freedom case.
- Petraeus wasn't the first by Mark Perry | The Middle East Channel
More Mark Perry goodness.
- tabsir.net » Blame it on Lady Gaga
Takedown of WSJ's resident idiot Bret Stephens.
- Cairo's 'Garbage Dreams' | The Middle East Channel
I really want to see this movie.
- Angry Arab Interviews Comrade Madawi Al-Rasheed
Discussion with Saudi specialist.
- AIPAC letter signed by Congresspeople
Remember the names of these lawmakers, and vote against them.
- Le retour de l’Empire : romance arabo-turque au “nouveau” Moyen-Orient | Culture et politique arabes
On Turkey's public diplomacy and soft power in the Arab world.
- Dry spell: Hashish prices skyrocket, users fret amid shortage | Al-Masry Al-Youm: Today's News from Egypt
- Egypt after Mubarak - latimes.com
- Mubarak’s failing health prompts talk of successor - The National Newspaper
- Israeli FM: Abbas wanted Hamas toppled in Gaza war
- Haifa Wehbe for kids - The Majlis
- The Professor of War | Politics | Vanity Fair
Petraeus profile - he's still the second coming.
- A Conversation with Amr Khaled Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)
- Syria Comment » Archives » Moshe Ya’alon, Israel’s Vice Premier, Explains How Netanyahu “Maneuvers” to Avoid Agreement
- Comment les amis d’El Himma ont pris le contrôle d’Al Jarida Al Oula - Comme une bouteille jetée à la mer!
On palace takeover of Morocco's free press.
- On The Media: Transcript of "Al Jazeera Now" (March 26, 2010)
Interview with AJ's Wadah Khanfar.
- Arab Reform Bulletin - Sudan’s Elections and Birth Pangs of the South
Good overview of Sudan's coming partition.
- Assad keeps Europe waiting | guardian.co.uk
On econ agreement. Bleeding money to Turkey may not help.
- The Heart of Allawi’s Win - At War Blog - NYTimes.com
Allawi's narrow win is a triumph of secularism? Ya'nni...
- Brian Whitaker's blog | Saudi prince's drugs arrest
Cokehead prince caught in Beirut.
- Op-Ed Columnist - Lo, the Mideast Moves - NYTimes.com
Roger Cohen points out the shifting debate on the Israel in the US. But I'm not sure a healthcare success means Obam will be tough in the Middle East.
- MPs call for review of arms exports after Israeli assault on Gaza | The Guardian
- The Globalist | Global Diplomacy -- Developing a Winning Strategy for the Middle East
There's good stuff in this piece by Vali Nasr, but he makes the mistake of equating businesspeople with automatic pro-democracy sentiment. Not the case in a lot of the Arab world.
- Is a serious Israel-EU crisis in the works?
Let's hope so.
- Israel allows clothes, shoes into blockaded Gaza for first time
Can't make this up - were they worried about dual use couture?
- Gaza bank 'held up' in broad daylight... by police (AFP)
Hamas seizes frozen funds from PA bank.
- BBC News - Muslim Brotherhood accuses Egypt police of harassment
MB accuses police of harassing women.
- Egyptian civil society at risk | The Middle East Channel
My piece on a potential new NGO law.
- What kind of choice? | Al-Masry Al-Youm
Fatemah Farag on the abortion for the poor fiasco.
- Even the Arabic language oppresses women | Al-Masry Al-Youm: Today's News from Egypt
Arabic students will like this.
- The origins of a holy book - The Boston Globe
The Corpus Coranicus project.
- Libya and EU patch up Schengen visa dispute | Reuters
- Imagining an Israeli Strike on Iran - NYTimes.com
David Sanger assists an Israel strike on Iran wargame. Terrifying.
- Online Exclusive: The Bomb for Beginners
DIY guide to a nuclear weapons program.
- Dan Morrison | FiveBooks
Author of "The Black Nile" on books about the Nile.
- Paul Berman's outraged attack on Ayaan Hirsi Ali's attackers. - By Ron Rosenbaum - Slate Magazine
Berman seems more outraged by intellectuals who don't like Ali then by the people who threaten her. #navelgazing
- Total Politics - The Magazine
Interview with BNP's Nick Griffin, who thinks gang rape is condoned by the Quran and asked Qadhafi for money.
- Interview with ElBaradei's wife Aida el-Kashf | Al-Masry Al-Youm: Today's News from Egypt
Softball, but great politics.
- FT.com / Middle East - Abu Dhabi fund chief missing after air crash
Probably dead in glider accident in Morocco.
- Israeli tanks in Gaza in worst clash in year - Yahoo! News
I've heard this was an attempt to kidnap another Israeli soldier, but from this report that doesn't seem the case.
- Egypt arrests 22 in Gaza smuggling crackdown
Part of a new "major crackdown".
- Obama solidly with Israel in U.N. Rights Council
No surprise here.
- Egypt's Mubarak 'ready to return' (BBC News)
- Former Nuclear Official Makes First Public Appearance After Return - NYTimes.com
ElBaradei goes to Friday prayers. Good move.
- Editorial - Mr. Obama and Israel - NYTimes.com
NYT begrudgingly agrees Israel needs to be pressured, but says Arabs too - typical. Keep this one between the Israelis and Palestinians, please.
- Arab women's rights: Some say they don't want them | The Economist
- A wall of suspicion
Good overview on Bibi-Obama meeting.
- Listen to the Arabs - NYTimes.com
I'm not sure Parag Khanna has much Middle East experience if he thinks the Arab League summit in Syrte could be a "turning point." But he makes some valid points about Gulf security.
- Where have all the anti-Semites gone? - Haaretz - Israel News
They've become supporters of Israel.
- Arabs to raise $500 million for Jerusalem: Mussa (AFP)
But will they ever deliver?
- U.N. panel asks to quiz Hezbollah on Hariri murder (Reuters)
The meandering investigation continues.
- Israel says it will still build in Jerusalem (Reuters)
Let's see some punishment.
- QATAR-IRAN: Ties deepen with border and defence deals
- CIA prepared birthday cake for double agent who bombed Afghan base
- Arab Reform Bulletin - Towards a Third Palestinian Intifada?
- PostPartisan - Obama and Netanyahu: pointless poison
Bullshit, brought to you by Jackson Diehl.
- Not much blog for your buck | Brian Whitaker
Whitaker ridicules recent UK govt commissioned report on "Islamic blogs".
- Netanyahu leaves U.S. disgraced, isolated and weaker - Haaretz
Aluf Benn's take.
- نائب المرشد: اعتقال 32 ألف إخوانى خلال عشر سنوات - بوابة الشروق
Over 32,000 arrests of Muslim Brothers over past decade.
- Daily News Egypt - Qatar Ministry Removes El-Qaradwi From Al-Balagh Board
The IslamOnline saga continues.
- TUNISIA: Authorities give human rights group a taste of government repression | Babylon & Beyond | Los Angeles Times
HRW hassled in Tunisia.
- How can so many Israelis back the construction freeze? - Haaretz - Israel News
Poll indicates Israelis split on Jerusalem.
- « Contrary to common perception, the prospects for genuine democratisation in Morocco have not improved in recent years « Ibn Kafka's obiter dicta – divagations d'un juriste marocain en liberté surveillée
Good post by Ibn Kafka on recent scholarship on Morocco.
- FT.com | Dubai detains former finance centre chief
"his arrest was linked to allegedly irregular annual bonuses totalling £9m."
- "friday-lunch-club": Booz-Allen: "Iran's Regime Hoarding Gasoline, Reducing Consumption in Anticipation of US Sanctions"
Relating to possible fuel sanctions.
- FT.com - Iran fights for its saffron status
Ineresting story, features Spanish investment in Iranian saffron... hmm paella.
- FT.com / Middle East / Politics & Society - Saudi security forces arrest 113 militants
Accused of targeting oil installations.
- Gaddafi's Nigerian gaffe | Cameron Duodu | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
Qadhafi suggested partitioning Nigeria along religious lines.
- Libya Releases 214 Islamic Militants Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)
LIFG release program continues.
- Estimating network size and tracking information dissemination amongst Islamic blogs
Bizarre UK govt. study thinks Angry Arab is "Islamic" and seems informed by LGF right-wing community.