By Ernest Corea*
WASHINGTON DC (IDN) - As the January 23 deadline for the inauguration of Egypt’s first post-Mubarak People’s Assembly (parliament) approaches, the thoughts of politically conscious Egyptians must inevitably turn to the conundrums that lie beyond the recently concluded elections. Prominent among these is the role of the military as the country continues – or attempts to continue – its transition from oligarchic military rule to a nascent democracy.
By Johannes Ramphal
BERLIN (IDN) - A military attack on Iran would damage crucial Western interests, says a new report analysing the shape of things to come in the freshly baked 2012. It also cautions against Washington's "anti-Iranian" campaign and tacit support of Sunni-Islamist blocs in the Middle East and South Asia.
By Ernest Corea*
WASHINGTON DC (IDN) - Christmas has receded. Wishes and gifts have been exchanged, groaning boards have been emptied. Those who associate Christmas not only with “happy holidays” but with their faith have attended church services where prayers were said, sermons were delivered, and some of the most galvanizing choral music composed in the West, would have been heard.
By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN (IDN) - If the year 2011 appeared to be a beacon of hope for freedom and democracy in the Middle East and North Africa, indications are that 2012 will be marked by rough battles to protect the fruits of valiant revolts across Europe's Mediterranean frontiers.
In fact, the conflict brewing over the Strait of Hormuz bodes ill for peace – the spinal cord of freedom and democracy – in the region and beyond, unless it is prevented from turning violent and gory.
By Ernest Corea
WASHINGTON DC (IDN) – "This first round (of post-Mubarak elections in Egypt) was truly great. No violence, good participation, many candidates. Orderly queues, waiting hours if need be….It is a most promising start for a new future. The people are participating in very large numbers in an orderly, free and fair election and that is the most important thing…
By Jaya Ramachandran
GENEVA (IDN) - Some two months after the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas transmitted Palestine's application for membership to the United Nations to the Secretary-General, high-ranking UN officials have reiterated the need for a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine, which also ensures the rights of Palestinian Bedouin people.
By Patrycja Sasnal*
IDN-InDepth News Viewpoint**
MONTPELLIER (IDN) - Most sober Middle East analysts have already put the Muslim Brotherhood in the 'losers' basket. Part of this has been in response to the exaggerated threat of 'radicalism' purported by the mainstream media.
But based on the Polish experience of religion's role in political transition, one cannot help thinking that we have not seen the last of the Muslim Brotherhood yet. Quite the contrary: if it acts cautiously, the movement can win more hearts and minds in the short run before it starts losing credibility among a brand new generation of Egyptians. Here's why.
By R. S. Kalha*
President Barrack Obama has very skilfully reaped the political benefits of ordering a 'technical' withdrawal of troops from Iraq and ending the U.S. mission there, while retaining the substance of the U.S. posture and presence and, in fact, immeasurably strengthening it. The U.S. cannot be accused of 'occupying' an Arab country and yet at the same time with oil pipelines from Iraq fully protected, the ultimate prize, the oil riches of Iraq, appears to be safe.
By Baher Kamal*
CAIRO (IDN) - The four-decade-long bid to free the Middle East from all weapons of mass destruction (WMD) starting with nukes, will move next year to Helsinki as Finland surprisingly decided to host an international conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone liberated from all kinds of arms that bring about complete destruction.
By Nirode Masson
LONDON (IDN) - A new study has pointed to lack of political stability and security as Libya's main hurdles on the road to post-conflict reconstruction and economic recovery. Though officially declared as "liberated", Libya is considered an "extreme risk" country.
By Ernest Corea*
WASHINGTON DC (IDN) - How quickly the tide of international opinion changes course. In took less than a week for the hurrahs directed at Libya's success in ending the Gaddafi dictatorship to turn into criticism of how that success was achieved; specifically, of how the country's late leader was felled.
Even as "bullets of joy" were fired into the air, and other sounds and sights of triumph at the conquest of tyranny erupted over most of Libya, and were captured on phones and film for the rest of the world to witness, segments of the international community were stridently demanding "clarity" on the details of Gaddafi's last moments.