NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (L) shakes hands with Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara April 4, 2011. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
In this Tuesday, April 5, 2011 photo provided by the Turkish military, 14 wounded Libyans and 13 family members evacuated with a military plane from Benghazi, Libya, seen at the Etimesgut military airport outside Ankara, Turkey. Hundreds of Libyans hurt during fierce fighting arrived Tuesday in Turkey, where medics wheeled the wounded out in stretchers for emergency care at a hastily assembled portside hospital. Passengers waved the flags of Turkey and of the Libyan opposition and cheered ‘Turkey! Turkey!’ from the deck as the ferry-turned-hospital brought wounded residents from the besieged Libyan city of Misrata and the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. (AP Photo/Turkish Military, HO)
By Patricia H. Kushlis
The late veteran Middle East correspondent John K. Cooley began the second edition of his book Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism with Machiavelli’s admonition to rulers about the inadvisability of relying on mercenaries to fight their battles for them. Here are the first two sentences from the longer quote: “Mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous . . . for mercenaries are disunited, thirsty for power, undisciplined and disloyal; they are brave among their friends and cowards before the enemy. . .”
Recently, we have been witnessing the turbulence of one of Africa’s most authoritarian regimes: that of Gaddafi in Libya. One distinction might be said to separate Libya from the popular risings in Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, Syria and other countries; that of the vitriolic response from Muammar Gaddafi in reaction to calls for greater political freedom for the pluralist citizenry of Libya, far ‘worse’ than those of other regimes in Bahrain, Yemen, or Syria.
The Dragon Blood Tree is native to Socotra. It gets its name from the red sap that the trees produce, which was used in the past by the locals for healing. Kay van Damme
Foreign researchers flee Yemen leaving conservation programmes in trouble
Every war or revolution has repercussions. When a thirty-year-old rule crumbled in ashes, world conflicts found a ray of inspiration and hope flooded people’s hearts. In Kashmir, a 63-year-old conflict, some people find inspiration in Egypt’s revolution and the other mass movements in the Middle East while some believe Kashmir is an entirely different case.
Soon after the first rejuvenating flush of democratic assertion sweeping the Arab countries a not-very-optimistic situation has emerged in Libya today. The upbeat mood among left and democratic sections about the Arab spring has suddenly given way to disappointment: not the Arab masses but the US and NATO are the active subjects now who are setting the agenda – UN mandated armed intervention, arms supply to the Libyan rebels and so on.
What is the “Arab spring” becoming? After three months of upheaval, repression and conflict, the democracy wave in the region, including Iran, is at a crucial stage. openDemocracy authors offer concise perspectives on a complex and fluid political moment.
The Shia in Bahrain have recently been distancing themselves from Iran whilst attention is diverted to Libya [REUTERS]
Predominately Shia protesters are calling for political reform not alignment with Iran, researchers argue.
by Genieve Abdo and Jasim Husain, al-Jazeera, April 3, 2011
Written by Jillian C. York
As protests in Syria continue into their third week, the Assad government is making concessions in hopes of appeasing protesters. Today, the government closed the country’s new casino and reversed a ban on niqaab in schools, in an attempt to reach out to conservative Muslims.
As the international community prepares for a gathering of political leaders in Qatar next week to discuss the crisis in Libya, it is worth watching the recent travels to Brussels and other European capitals of Jean Ping, head of the African Union commission.