339 posts tagged with MIDDLEEAST.
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Thumbs Up, USA!

Thumbs Up? Anal insult or USA A-Number 1? Via the Riddler. Defense Language Institute:
This gesture, expressing connotations of “I am winning,” historically is offensive to many Arabs. After the Gulf conflict, however, Middle Easterners of the Arabian Peninsula adopted this hand movement, along with the OK sign, as a symbol of cooperation toward freedom.
That's what you think, GI Joe.
posted by hairyeyeball on Apr 5, 2003 - 14 comments

Leaked U.S. to U.N. Members Memo

Friday Doublethink Fun. "An extraordinary communication from the United States to UN representatives around the world has been leaked to Greenpeace. In it, the U.S. warns that the simple act of support for a General Assembly meeting to discuss the war will be considered 'unhelpful and directed against the U.S.'"

But really now, do we actually expect the U.S. (which claims it fights to "democratize" the Middle East) to welcome discourse and listen to what the majority of the world may think?
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Apr 4, 2003 - 24 comments

Exclusive Middle East sources have tracked down top Iraqi leadership’s bolt-hole:

Exclusive Middle East sources have tracked down top Iraqi leadership’s bolt-hole: Now begin to badmouth me. Debka has a going rate that is some 2/3s on target and that makes this piece (headlines) worth considering. Too, they noted some time ago that WMD shipped to Syria. Recall in Gulf war I that they shipped planes to Iran for safe keeping and never got them back. Thus far, we have not found WMD and Iraq has not used any. Ergo....
posted by Postroad on Apr 3, 2003 - 32 comments

Mideast chaos is part of the plan

"Chaos in the Middle East is not the Bush hawks' nightmare scenario--it's their plan." This is a fascinating and disturbing article by Josh Marshall for next month's Washington Monthly, released early due to recent events. Of course, whether or not the war will destabalize the Mideast is open to debate.
posted by homunculus on Mar 27, 2003 - 68 comments

Reactions from the Arab world

Reactions from the Arab world Meanwhile Israel gets more financial aid from the US further angering Muslims and contributing to Zionist/US conspiracy theories. Sadly, Bush seems to have found how to pay for this war by not supporting the troops.
posted by skallas on Mar 21, 2003 - 34 comments

Bush to remake Middle East

WSJ says war in Iraq really first step in grand scheme to remake the Middle East. Rumsfeld and Fleischer can still be seen on TV news implying "we just want them to disarm". More on What Makes W. Tick from The Atlantic.
posted by dand on Mar 21, 2003 - 37 comments

Water War Iraq

Is the looming war with Iraq the first Water War? Should the signs really be saying No Blood for Water? From -Water Wars: a lecture by (Adel Darwish) "Oil has always been thought of as the traditional cause of conflict in the Middle East past and present. Since the first Gulf oil well gushed in Bahrain in 1932, countries have squabbled over borders in the hope that ownership of a patch of desert or a sand bank might give them access to new riches. No longer. Now, most borders have been set, oil fields mapped and reserves accurately estimated - unlike the water resources, which are still often unknown. WATER is taking over from oil as the likeliest cause of conflict in the Middle East."
posted by thedailygrowl on Mar 17, 2003 - 25 comments

Blowback: The Cost And Consequences of American Empire plus War And Conflict In The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11 Era

Chalmers Johnson is an provocative proponent of the American Empire theory, indeed. Here are excerpts from his Blow Back: The Cost And Consequences of American Empire

I heard Johnson interviewed on Episode II, War And Conflict In The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11 Era of The Whole Wide World

The Cold War and its central conflict - the physical and ideological battles between the United States, the Soviet Union and their proxy states - imposed a certain logic and consistency on the world. Take that away and add the bloody wars in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East in the ‘90s as well as the terror attacks and warnings of more recent times and you get a very confused picture of a world at war. Is this breaking storm in Iraq about oil, democracy, freedom, empire, culture, water, diamonds, modernizing Islam or nation building in the Middle East? Some, one or all of these things?

It was an excellent program and well worth your listen, either by RA now or mp3 later. (From listening to the radio)
posted by y2karl on Mar 13, 2003 - 15 comments

Newsfilter, I just couldn't help it.

The first President Bush has told his son that hopes of peace in the Middle East would be ruined if a war with Iraq were not backed by international unity. via fox news Times Online.
posted by elwoodwiles on Mar 10, 2003 - 41 comments

Thomas Friedman Lecture

The lecture Thomas Friedman gave at SAIS a few days ago. A longer form, very interesting and informative explanation of what he's learned post-Sept. 11th about the Middle East. Windows Media video and Real video and audio all available.
posted by turbodog on Mar 10, 2003 - 10 comments

The first of many wars?

The Pentagon's New Map is probably the frankest asssessment yet of why neo-cons want to go marching into Iraq - and, maybe, keep on marching. An instructor at the U.S. Naval Military College tells us why "military engagement with Saddam Hussein’s regime in Baghdad is not only necessary and inevitable, but good."
posted by kgasmart on Mar 6, 2003 - 79 comments

A cry for help from Kurdistan

From the faculty at Salahaddin University in Kurdistan: "We as academic staff for the region's biggest Universities attended by different nations including Kurds, Turkman, Assyrians, Chaldeans and Arabs condemn this terrible threat towards our achievements and legitimate rights and express our complete refusal to any Turkish military intervention into the region's territory and affairs."
posted by Artifice_Eternity on Mar 3, 2003 - 3 comments

unfinished business even as we're all fired up about starting trouble in other places

"The United States Congress has stepped in to find nearly $300m in humanitarian and reconstruction funds for Afghanistan after the Bush administration failed to request any money in this latest budget."

So much for rebuilding Afghanistan.
posted by artifex on Feb 13, 2003 - 52 comments

Palestine as metaphor.

Palestine as metaphor. Is "linkage" of the Palestine/Israel situation to a wider peace in the Middle East valid? Some say yes, some say no. But it seems clear that most (except the Palestinians and Israelis themselves) view the situation more as a metaphor for wider Arab/Western relations rather than as a conflict between two peoples. I approach this post with fear and trembling.
posted by mrmanley on Feb 10, 2003 - 18 comments

Terry Jones Monty Python Observer

Terry Jones of Monty Python fame attempts to apply the Bush administration policy to his own neighborhood.
posted by thedailygrowl on Feb 5, 2003 - 54 comments

Welcome your new (numerically challenged) liberal media overlords!

Media covers massive D.C. (and world) Anti-War protests, discounts numbers - Backflash: NPR and the NYT later issued apologies for their drastic undercounting of the Oct. 26 D.C. Anti-War protest - later admitted to be between 100,000 and 200,000 in size "...It was not as large as the organizers of the protest had predicted. They had said there would be 100,000 people here. I'd say there are fewer than 10,000"(NPR's Nancy Marshall) Last saturday's D.C. AntiWar protest received far more media coverage but a similar discounting of the numbers. IndyMedia (above link) provided numbers more in line with D.C. Police statements. Many media outlets ran the same AP news feed. [NYT, NPR , CNN, ABC, AP] and claimed..."Thousands" or "tens of thousands" of protesters. But in the words of those who witnessed it (as I did - 2.5 times size of Oct. 26 protest, from what I saw): 'D.C. police chief Charles Ramsey said, "It's one of the biggest ones we've had, certainly in recent times." U.S. Capitol Police chief Terrance Gainer said, "I know everyone is skittish about saying a number, but this was big. An impressive number." A C-SPAN cameraman I spoke to spent the entire protest on the roof of a cargo truck just to the side of the stage. He told me that he had covered dozens of protests in his time, and that the crowd on Saturday was the biggest he had ever seen.' (story) and organizers claimed 500,000 marched in DC meanwhile, a new poll shows support for a war on Iraq is slipping in the US and also dropping at the UN
posted by troutfishing on Jan 20, 2003 - 105 comments

Iranian blogger's meeting

15 months after the first waves, Blogging seems to prove so popular among young Iranian boys and girls that now the number of Persian (or Farsi) weblogs has jumped to more than 9,000. Almost half of them are using Blogger.com's free service and other half are using a similar but more Persian-friendly online application, created by Iranian programmers, called Persianblog.com. Tomorrow, they are gathering in a big conference hall in Tehran to meet other colleagues and bloggers and to share what they've experienced during their lovely days of a rare thing in Iranian history: absolute freedom of expression
posted by hoder on Dec 26, 2002 - 12 comments

100 Questions and Answers About Arab Americans.

100 Questions and Answers About Arab Americans. While researching the Middle East conflict, I happened upon this journalist's guide from the Detroit Free Press containing background on Arab-American culture, language, and religion. Many of the questions are simplistic (some might even say moronic) and the answers obvious, but I found I learned a thing or two.
posted by VelvetHellvis on Nov 12, 2002 - 21 comments

Have you grown weary of the tiny, grayscale maps of Iraq and the Middle East accompanying most newspaper stories on the region? TomPaine.com went in search of better geographic tools, and found them at the University of Texas' Online Library, with links to dozens of maps—political, topographical, historical—of a region many Americans have never scrutinized geographically. More inside... [via TomPaine.com]
posted by silusGROK on Oct 22, 2002 - 7 comments

The carnage continues

The carnage continues
Israel killed 14 Palestinians and wounded some 80 others when a missile was fired into a crowd of civilians in Gaza City. And please, spare us your lectures.
posted by mapalm on Oct 7, 2002 - 31 comments

The Push For War (by Anatol Lieven).

The Push For War (by Anatol Lieven). "The most surprising thing about the Bush Administration's plan to invade Iraq is not that it is destructive of international order; or wicked, when we consider the role the US (and Britain) have played, and continue to play, in the Middle East; or opposed by the great majority of the international community; or seemingly contrary to some of the basic needs of the war against terrorism. It is all of these things, but they are of no great concern to the hardline nationalists in the Administration....The most surprising thing about the push for war is that it is so profoundly reckless....What we see now is the tragedy of a great country, with noble impulses, successful institutions, magnificent historical achievements and immense energies, which has become a menace to itself and to mankind."

Excecutive summary: Lord Acton foretold all fruit of "military superiority".
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Oct 4, 2002 - 44 comments

An Open Letter to Congress

An Open Letter to Congress from the editors of The Nation. All the makings of a final plea.
posted by mooseindian on Sep 26, 2002 - 91 comments

Hamas is losing. Good news from the Mideast

Hamas is losing. Good news from the Mideast To all those who insist terror wars can't be won, some evidence you are pessimists.
posted by ParisParamus on Sep 9, 2002 - 47 comments

Could We Become What We Abhor

Could We Become What We Abhor and compromise the very ideals that we hold dear. Here, Jimmy Carter traces some of the fundamental changes that are taking place in the historical policies of the United States with regard to human rights, our role in the community of nations and the Middle East peace process -- largely without definitive debates.
posted by karlcleveland on Sep 5, 2002 - 48 comments

Chinese checkmate ?

Chinese checkmate ? "Those who love to quote Sun Tzu might consider his nationality', says James Webb, as he offers still more cogent reasons why a 30 year "MacArthurian regency in Baghdad" is probably not in America's national interest. Why are the military men the ones who have to keep pointing out the unwisdom of an invasion of Iraq? Quoth Secretary Webb: "The issue before us is not simply whether the United States should end the regime of Saddam Hussein, but whether we as a nation are prepared to physically occupy territory in the Middle East for the next 30 to 50 years."
posted by rdone on Sep 4, 2002 - 18 comments

Official confirms that Syria allowing Qaida to operate in Lebanon

Official confirms that Syria allowing Qaida to operate in Lebanon Ok Israeli intelligence so I assume some will dismiss this as propaganda, though clearly US knows of this and works along with Israeli intelligence. And Syria occupies Lebanon with thousands of troops and thus runs the country. Meanwhile, we will (or will not) busy ourselves with Iraq.
posted by Postroad on Sep 2, 2002 - 17 comments

A wargame carried out by the US military was rigged

A wargame carried out by the US military was rigged to ensure the success of the American side against unspecified Middle East opponents, according to the retired General commanding the Middle East forces. Most amusingly, he managed to sink most of the American navy, and the game had to be stopped so the ships could be "refloated". I have to wonder, does this wargame indicate that America could be biting off more than it can chew, if it decides to invade Iraq by itself, or was this $200million down the drain?
posted by salmacis on Aug 21, 2002 - 45 comments

Abu Nidal is Dead. The Bin Laden of the 70s and 80s. Having read his biography years ago he makes Kyzer Soze childsplay...possible suicide.. yeah, suicide Israeli style. The War On Terror heats up one more terrorist scum dead.
posted by stbalbach on Aug 19, 2002 - 12 comments

The Axis of Medieval.

The Axis of Medieval. Claims of support for women and women's rights in the current regime are nothing more than hot air according to Mr. Kristof. He says their record and the facts tell a different story. The details are shocking. Kowtowing to religious fundamentalists in the US causes devastating results abroad. Would programs like these qualify for using some of the wealthiest persons dollars instead of a tax cut?
posted by nofundy on Aug 16, 2002 - 46 comments

Demograhics weighed.

Demograhics weighed. More flavor into the melting pot, or more strife as another ethnicity to claim the turf for themselves?
posted by semmi on Aug 15, 2002 - 3 comments

Depths of depravity.

Depths of depravity. No, it's not a new adults only activity or a grunge band. It's the Palestinians. Is it just me or are US spokespeople having a tougher time forming accurate and coherent sentences.
posted by shagoth on Aug 1, 2002 - 38 comments

Americans for a Third Way in the Middle East - Daily Links to Voices of Moderation. A soldier's blog which had fallen silent resumes. Rantburg salutes the Palestinian Resistance. Research Guide to the Palestinian - Israeli Conflict. You must read all 3719 research links before peace negotiations can resume.
posted by sheauga on Jul 18, 2002 - 9 comments

Pariah dogs of the Middle East

Pariah dogs of the Middle East No, not these two jokers, but the real thing: Canaan dogs. Like the more refined Saluki, Sloughi, Azawakh, Afghan Hound and "barkless" Basenji (among many others), Canaan dogs have been known for thousands of years. They guard herds for modern Bedouins like they did for ancient Israelites. During the 1930s, when traditional "war dogs" were having trouble adapting to Palestine, Zionists carefully redomesticated the semi-wild animals, turning them into seeing eye dogs and guards for isolated settlements. Canaan dogs became one of the first breeds trained to detect mines effectively, although their use for bomb-sniffing remains a touchy subject [LAT, reg'n]. You also might enjoy pondering the provocative question raised by this detailed essay: Why have all three major monotheistic religions considered dogs "a threat to the authority of the clergy"?
posted by mediareport on Jul 15, 2002 - 8 comments

With friends like the Saudis, who needs enemies?

With friends like the Saudis, who needs enemies? "There is, then, no real need for us to be frightened by the loss of the kingdom's oil friendship. But we should be concerned by the evidence of its strategic enmity. It may be true that the Saudis are neither Iraqis nor Iranians nor Libyans; but it is quite dangerous enough that they are Saudis."
posted by homunculus on Jul 9, 2002 - 24 comments

Bush's speech today

Bush's speech today revealed the basis of what the current administration believes is the roadmap to peace in the Mideast. After looking at the major points of the plan, I feel it's about as good of a deal as the Palestinians are ever going to get and pretty much the only way out for the Israeli's also. What do you think?
posted by RevGreg on Jun 24, 2002 - 58 comments

Israeli backlash

Israeli backlash to Ted Turner's comments prompts CNN offer a series of pieces focusing on the toll Palestinian terror has taken. "Ted Turner apologized, CNN's executives were quick to disassociate themselves from him and to announce he has no influence over the content of the broadcasts, and Eason Jordan, news director for the network, hurried to fly over to Israel and offer 'compensation' - a series of reports on the victims of terrorism.". Indeed, a visit to CNN's website this morning uncovers a series of focus items reporting on Israeli casualties and victims. Is this a case of journalism caving to political and commercial interests, or is Israel effectively combating the liberal bias of Western media?
posted by astirling on Jun 24, 2002 - 15 comments

Interviews of failed suicide bombers,

Interviews of failed suicide bombers, by Israeli defense minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer. Both Ben-Eliezer and two Palestinians, who (1) failed to and (2) opted not to detonate their bombs, talk about the motivations behind the current wave of attacks. Should prove interesting no matter which side of the Isreali-Palestinian conflict you stand on.
posted by astirling on Jun 21, 2002 - 24 comments

You might think Arafat and Sharon are bitter enemies...

You might think Arafat and Sharon are bitter enemies... but you're wrong. Dead wrong. They are best friends, as this gallery of (photoshopped) images prove. If only someone could send this to the Middle East...who knows - maybe it would strike up some old memories.
posted by hidely on Jun 18, 2002 - 10 comments

Poll: majority of Palestinians want Israel eliminated

Poll: majority of Palestinians want Israel eliminated What does this tell us about the chances of a peace accord?
posted by Postroad on Jun 11, 2002 - 13 comments

Syria takes over Security Council rotating presidency

Syria takes over Security Council rotating presidency Now at long last we can get some good moral leadership. This is the same international organization of Truth, Peace, Justice that does not allow Israel a chance to join the rotating chair. Go ahead, flail me with posts, but kind of an organization is this?
posted by Postroad on Jun 1, 2002 - 11 comments

"Blow up for nothing?

"Blow up for nothing? What is this - trading in the blood of martyrs only so that my handlers can say that they executed the operation?" Tawriya Hamamra, a young Palestinian woman, who had barely an hour's training in preparation for a suicide bombing recounts her change of heart. Just how much religion, politics, or personal problems motivates a suicide?
posted by semmi on May 31, 2002 - 10 comments

Our enemies the Saudis.

Our enemies the Saudis. In a must-read editorial, Michael Barone makes a scathing attack on U.S. support of Saudi Arabia. Does anyone else cringe when they hear G.W. Bush speak on how much he wants to protect freedom and fight totalitarianism?
posted by bobo123 on May 27, 2002 - 12 comments

Red Cross attacks exile of Palestinians

Red Cross attacks exile of Palestinians Mr Fisk (in occupied Lebanon) notes that the Red Cross believes it cruel to separate known terrorists from their families. Neglects to note that all international law opposes the targeting of civilians no matter what the reason or rationalization used. Perhaps a lawsuit for "cruel and unusual" punishment might allow the terrorists to have family reunions and be compensated for emotional damages and deprivation of marital privileges.
posted by Postroad on May 24, 2002 - 11 comments

Voices, Explosions, Silence: The Middle East Turmoil On (And Off) The Air.

Voices, Explosions, Silence: The Middle East Turmoil On (And Off) The Air. "We apologize for the discontinuation of the transmission of the Voice of Love and Peace. The offices, studios and transmission equipment were destroyed totally by Israeli forces in their last invasion of Ramallah." (from Radio Nederlands, more...)
posted by tpoh.org on May 20, 2002 - 6 comments

The transcript of the forum on the press coverage of the current Middle East fighting was presented by a panel of veteran newsmen hosted by Harvard University and the Brookings Institution on April 24. The session, "Tinder Box: How the Press Covers the Middle East," featured former CBS correspondent Marvin Kalb, Glenn Frankel of the Washington Post, Robin Wright of the Los Angeles Times, David Shipler of The New York Times, and Todd Purdum, the Chief Diplomatic Correspondent of the New York Times.
posted by semmi on May 16, 2002 - 1 comment

Powell Announces Mideast Conference

Powell Announces Mideast Conference Could this, a world-wide conference, finally resolve the mess in ;the Middle East?
posted by Postroad on May 2, 2002 - 14 comments

(.) (.)

(.) (.) The United Nations: Non partisan independant arbiter of international matters or hyper-politicized arena? You make the call
posted by BentPenguin on May 1, 2002 - 20 comments

In re: the middle-east conflicts, you can't believe everything you read, if only because so much that is rather obviously important and relevant seems to be never-the-less falling off the map, so-to-speak. Want proof? Perhaps someone can give me a rationale explanation as to why this story is not to be found in any major news outlet.
posted by BentPenguin on Apr 29, 2002 - 25 comments

"a blot that will forever live on the history of the state of Israel"

"a blot that will forever live on the history of the state of Israel"
posted by specialk420 on Apr 25, 2002 - 54 comments

America Can Persuade Israel to Make a Just Peace

America Can Persuade Israel to Make a Just Peace An op-ed piece by former president Jimmy Carter that is going to get a lot of play in the media. Unfortunately, Mr. Carter seems to suggest a rather easy solution: give back the Palestinian lands and have the Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist. Put the pressure on Israel by withhold financial aid till they do as we bid. Problem: Palestinians being subsidized by Iraq, Iran, EU and Syria. What about pressure on them? And: Palelstinian issues still in need of resolving: capital and Right of Return....with this left out, we are still not going to get peace. Does Carter simplify or is he on target? reg reqd.
posted by Postroad on Apr 21, 2002 - 33 comments

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