What’s up in Libya and in Arab World. A massive roundup.


Thinking strategically: Libya

from Ideas on Europe by European Geostrategy

By James Rogers and Luis Simón

US sees Gaddafi going, going… nowhere

by Mark Mardell (the Reporters)

President Barack Obama has said repeatedly that Col Muammar Gaddafi should go, now his top adviser on intelligence has said the Libyan ruler will probably win his battle to stay in power.

While the Americans aren’t going as far as the French and recognising the Libyan rebel leadership, they have broken off relations with the embassy in Washington and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet Libyan opposition leaders next week.

Who will take the lead on Libya?

by Mark Mardell (the Reporters)


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made it very clear that the US is not going to lead the call for a no-fly zone over Libya, and if it is going to happen, it must go through the United Nations.

Postmodern Islam and the Arab revolts , Arshin Adib-Moghaddam

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Arshin Adib-Moghaddam
The emancipatory movements in the Arab world represent an inner shift in the self-understanding of Islam – one that promises to overcome an era of false polarities and dogmas, says Arshin Adib-Moghaddam.


2011-03-11 Who’s running Egypt?

?The exceptional circumstances and putting the Constitution on hold are no grounds for dictatorship rule or and tyranny,? said Khaled Ali, head of The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) in a statement yesterday. On Thursday, 10 March 2011 ECESR filed a lawsuit against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) on behalf of named plaintiff, journalist Rasha Azeb and others. The lawsuit seeks to put an end to the trial of civilians by military courts. Azeb, who writes for al-Fagr newspaper, was one of six journalist assaulted in Tahrir Square and then taken before a military court.


MAIN FOCUS: Uncertainty about intervention in Libya | 10/03/2011

from euro|topics

While Gaddafi’s regime continues to attack cities and oil facilities with planes, tanks and heavy artillery, the EU and Nato will begin to discuss sanctions against the dictator today. Military intervention would be a war for a just cause, some commentators say, while others reject any kind of intervention on the basis of past experience.



A few days ago, London School of Economics (LSE) director Sir Howard Davies resigned from his post. Why do I mention it in today?s column? A number of past and current projects involving LSE and Libya, Colonel Gaddafi as well as his son Saif Gaddafi, all of a sudden were apparently no longer en vogue. In a rare incident of when a leading public personality immediately takes responsibility and steps down when something goes seriously awry, Sir Howard has become a role model for personal integrity. However, the question of the timing merits the utmost scrutiny.

EU keen to build post-Gaddafi Libya

from EUobserver.com – Headline News

US and EU call for Gaddafi to go

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
The US president and EU leaders press Libya’s Col Gaddafi to step down, as reports from Libya suggest rebel forces are being pushed back.

The British should heed Free Libya?s call for a no fly zone, Rupert Read

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Rupert Read
Britain’s responsibility to protect the Libyan people from Gaddafi’s crack-down is unavoidable. We must not be so fixated on our past mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan that we fail to help Libya to free itself. Let’s pressure our government now to back a no-fly-zone and break with Britain’s sorry past.

Intervention in Libya? A case of shooting from the hip, slowly, Dan Smith

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Dan Smith
Politicians and public need to address the moral argument around the use of force, encompassing the humanitarian and democratic arguments deployed in favour of intervention balanced against risk aversion and moral objections.

This piece is paired in opposition with an article by Rupert Read, in which he argues that the British have a duty to back a no-fly zone over Libya.


Libya: Group Occupies London Mansion Owned by Gaddafi’s Son

from Global Voices Online by John Liebhardt

Written by John Liebhardt

This post is part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011.

A London-based group is now occupying a house it says is owned by Saif al-Islam Muammar al-Gaddafi, the 38-year-old second son of Muammar al Gaddafi.


Libya: Debating the No-Fly Zone (Video)

from Global Voices Online by John Liebhardt

Written by John Liebhardt

This post is part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011.

Tweeps, bloggers and netizens are continuing their debate the purpose and effectiveness of establishing a no-fly zone over Libya to protect protesters and civilians from air attack.


The Volunteers Behind the Libya Crisis Map: A True Story

from iRevolution by Patrick Meier

Morning Brief: Qaddafi forces go on the offensive

from FP Passport by Joshua Keating

Al Jazeera Launches Twitter Dashboard To Track Uprisings in Egypt, Yemen, Libya & Bahrain

from Mashable! by Sarah Kessler

Henry Porter’s reflections on the striking idealism and values of the new generation protesters in Tunisia and Egypt

from From the field by arn

His comments are in synch with the piece that Emile Nakhleh and I published a few days ago in the Globe, not least the emphasis on dignity and respect.

Promise and peril: women and the ?Arab spring?, Deniz Kandiyoti

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Deniz Kandiyoti
Women were visible and effective in the popular revolts in Tunisia and Egypt. Will this moment of opening yield empowering outcomes? Deniz Kandiyoti argues that the greatest peril lies in truncated or aborted transitions where women?s rights are offered up as an item of populist compromise

Who says women shouldn?t go to protests because they will be beaten?” Asmaa Mahfouz, 26, member of April 6 Youth movement

America and the Arab revolts: faces of power, Godfrey Hodgson

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Godfrey Hodgson
The crisis in Libya is confronting the United States with a new awareness of its military and political constraints, says Godfrey Hodgson.

The momentous protests in the Arab region, and especially Libya, present the Barack Obama administration with a serious foreign-policy test. The conflict in this part of north Africa is the first major new overseas challenge since the president took office in January 2009. The way he handles it is then bound to have important consequences, for Obama?s political future and the US?s geopolitical position alike.

France, Europe, and the Arab maelstrom, Patrice de Beer

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Patrice de Beer
An Arab world in transformation has found France?s elite shamed by its links with the old order. A control-freak president with base political instincts offers little hope for a better policy, says Patrice de Beer.

The democratic maelstrom engulfing the Arab countries in the first months of 2011 has revealed to the world and the European Union alike the bankruptcy of Europe?s strategy towards the region. The continent?s political leadership shares with the United States an overriding obsession with the threat of Islamic fundamentalism, embodied variously by Osama bin Laden and by the prospect of mass immigration from the southern Mediterranean.

The global democratic revolution: a new stage, Martin Shaw

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Martin Shaw
The popular risings in the Arab world belong to a wider historical process of worldwide democratic advance. But the disastrous events of the post-9/11 decade have made it far slower and more conflictual than was needed, says Martin Shaw

The epic events across the Arab world in the first months of 2011, diverse and many-sided as they are, can be understood as a single episode: the latest phase in the worldwide democratic revolution which has been remaking the world since the 1980s.


Israel and the Arab awakening, Thomas O’Dwyer

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Thomas O’Dwyer
Israel?s political class is struggling to make sense of a crumbling Arab order and the loss of the certainties it embodied, reports Thomas O?Dwyer.

Guy Rolnik, the editor of Israel’s leading economic newspaper The Marker, recently wrote a scathing condemnation of the nation?s complacency over the wave of revolution sweeping through Arab countries. Under the headline – ?State of a nation, rolling in slime? – was a catalogue of incidents of sleaze, corruption, criminality and abuse of public trust among Israel’s political and economic leaders.


Arab insurgencies, women in transition , Rada Ivekovic

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Rada Ivekovic
The waves of change in the Arab world have women at the centre. But how will they fare as revolt turns towards a new political and social settlement? Rada Ivekovic considers the emerging balance.

The events of 2011 show how much democracy is wanted and needed by the people of the Arab world. The Tunisian and Egyptian dictators have already fallen, the Libyan one is shaking, and others too will surely follow in their train. In all cases it may be a long way to democracy, both in the formal sphere of politics and representation and in the new social spaces that are emerging.

Libya: a hard road ahead , Alison Pargeter

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Alison Pargeter
The military-political deadlock in Libya between supporters and opponents of the Gaddafi regime leaves a pervasive uncertainty over the country?s future. But even greater challenges will follow this conflict, says Alison Pargeter.

The complex military and political situation in Libya remains unresolved three weeks after the first protests erupted in the eastern city of Benghazi in mid-February 2011. The popular revolution continues to defend the territory won, while resisting efforts by Colonel Gaddafi?s forces to push it back. The regime?s efforts to regain control of the cities of Misrata and Zawiya, east and west of the capital, are ongoing; while Gaddafi loyalists are clinging to power in Tripoli itself.

‘Someone in Libya is still watching YouTube’

from FP Passport by Joshua Keating

Libya: the prospect of war, Paul Rogers

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Paul Rogers
The military balance of Libya?s domestic conflict is raising debate about external intervention. But the strategy of the Gaddafi regime is also crucial to what happens next.


Book Will Write the History of Egypt?s Revolution in Tweets

from Mashable! by Sarah Kessler

Egypt: the two faces of liberation, Zainab Magdy

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Zainab Magdy
“The goddess Sekhmet has risen once and will rise again so Hathour can flourish in peace and justice” – Zainab Magdy reports from Cairo as women gather for the Million Women March in Tahrir Square today

The ancient Egyptian goddess, Hathor, is the goddess of love, beauty, wine, song and dance. Hathor, who is depicted as a cow, had another face, that of the goddess of war and healing: the lioness Sekhmet. On the 25th of January, a coin was tossed to reveal the fate of Egypt and it fell showing the face of the lioness who was raging with anger.


MAIN FOCUS: The dangers of intervention in Libya | 07/03/2011

from euro|topics

Fighting continues in Libya, with Gaddafi’s troops using tanks, fighter jets and helicopters against the rebels. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for an end to the attacks and sent a fact-finding mission to Tripoli, as has the EU. The press discusses the possibility of military intervention and its drawbacks.

Evidence and limits of the ?demonstration effect? in the Middle East

from WhirledView by Patricia H. Kushlis

By William A. Rugh, Guest Contributor

(Ambassador William A Rugh is a retired career US Foreign Service Officer with extensive Middle East experience.)

Recent developments in the Arab world have shown signs that the so-called ?demonstration effect? has been working. That is, Egyptians watching the uprising in Tunisia against President Ben Ali on al Jazeera Television were inspired to copy it and demonstrate against their own long-serving president,  Husni  Mubarak.  Public protests had taken place in Egypt many times before but they had not been sustained and they had not led to regime change.


Libya: That’s Not Fighting, It’s Fireworks and other #DesperateGaddafiLies

from Global Voices Online by John Liebhardt

Written by John Liebhardt

This post is part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011.

To those outside Libya dictator Colonel Muammar Al Gaddafi has always been known for eccentricities, blustering actions and remarks. As the uprising against his four decades in power comes closer to toppling his rule, Gaddafi’s actions has become more unstable and the number of his wild assertions has increased.


Why is Turkey hedging in Libya?

Unlike in Tunisia and Egypt, the political struggle to oust the dictatorial regime in Libya has turned bloody. This should not be entirely surprising. The erratic and irrational factor of this country, personified under the disgraceful leadership of Muammar Gaddafi, was always prone to violence.

Libya: Zenga Zenga Meme Goes Viral

from Global Voices Online by Hisham

Saudi Arabia: What Saudis Demand

from Global Voices Online by Haifa Alrasheed

Written by Haifa Alrasheed

As protests engulf the region, Saudis too are making their voices heard. A petition addressed to King Abdulla is being circulated, with demands aimed at wide ranging political reforms.


Libya: The Freedom Flag Flies Over Misurata (Videos)

from Global Voices Online by John Liebhardt

Written by John Liebhardt

This post is part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011.

Using air power and ground forces, forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Al Gaddafi attempted to regain lost cities in the central part of Libya on Sunday, March 6.


Egypt: Storming State Security

from Global Voices Online by Mohamed ElGohary

Written by ???? ??????? · Translated by Mohamed ElGohary · View original post [ar]

It wasn’t long after the dismissal of former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Safik that some Egyptians attacked the headquarters of the infamous State Security (Amn El-Dawla in Arabic) in several cities like Alexandria, Ismailia and others on March 4. Soon, protesters moved on to the apparatus’ main headquarters in Nasr City in Cairo on March 5. It was noticed that many State Security officers were burning and destroying a lot of documents and files to remove any traces of Human Rights abuses they conducted in Egypt over the past few decades.


Jordan: #HashtagDebates and Reforms

from Global Voices Online by Nadine Toukan

France breaks ranks on Libya, dwarfs EU’s Ashton

from EurActiv.com

EU summit: Sarko cites Gaddafi chemical threat

from Brussels Blog by Joshua Chaffin

As he entered today?s EU summit, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, made his first public comments about his unexpected plan for  for ?defensive? air-strikes against forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, saying they should be used in the event Gaddafi uses chemical weapons or unleashes airpower against unarmed demonstrators.


MAIN FOCUS: Sarkozy challenges Gaddafi | 11/03/2011

from euro|topics

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has recognised the rebel National Transitional Council as Libya’s official representative body and wants to present his EU partners with plans for airborne attacks against the Gaddafi regime at today’s EU summit. The press condemns this unilateral move as detrimental to all concerned.

E.U. no longer recognizes Gaddafi as Libya’s leader but resists bolder steps

from Wash Post Europe by Edward Cody

European governments declared that Moammar Gaddafi must step down immediately, but they stopped short of formally recognizing the Libyan rebel movement or endorsing military action.

Klaus on the summit

by Open Europe blog team

Speaking about splits, here’s a pretty frank and thought-provoking note from Czech President Václav Klaus, regarding today’s EU summit on Libya:

Lowest common denominator

by Open Europe blog team

EU leaders – still visibly split – have just agreed on a trade-marked “least common denominator” statement on Libya, following today’s summit in Brussels. Speaking at the end of the summit, David Cameron said that the EU’s 27 leaders were “united, categorical and crystal-clear” that Gaddafi had to go – which is a welcome statement (Gaddafi is a maniac after all) but not much different to what the EU leaders who matter had already called for.

EU common position on Libya blown apart

by Open Europe blog team

EU fear of north African migrants ‘overblown’

from EUobserver.com – Headline News

Yemen: Protesters Vulnerable to Violent Attacks

from Global Voices Online by Afef Abrougui

Written by Afef Abrougui

Protests demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh continue for a successive fourth week in Yemen. Protesters are not showing any sign of backing down and the Yemeni President is still immune to the idea of leaving office before presidential elections in 2013.


Are Sub-Saharan Mercenaries Fighting for Gaddafi?

from Global Voices Online by Rhita Boufelliga

Written by Abdoulaye Bah · Translated by Rhita Boufelliga · View original post [fr]

This post is part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011.

From the very first days of the 2011 Libyan uprising, there has been talk of foreign mercenaries, both from Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe, within long-standing leader Colonel Gaddafi’s commando units.

Al Jazeera’s Twitter Dashboard shows who’s tweeting about what in the Middle East

from Editors Weblog – all postings by Emma Heald

Al Jazeera has created a Twitter Dashboard to illustrate what is being tweeted about in the Middle East, and about where. The Qatar-based news organisation has attracted international attention for its coverage of the Middle East protests and revolutions, during which it had the advantage of being already well-installed in the region.

No-Fly Zone? No.

from NYT > Turkey by By H.D.S. GREENWAY
Another Anglo-American intervention would awaken all the suspicions over Western interference because of oil.


The Forgotten Palestinian Refugees of Libya

from Global Voices Online by Imane Eddbali

Arab World: How Much Does Internet Access Matter?

from Global Voices Online by Jillian C. York

Written by Jillian C. York

This post is part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011, Egypt Revolution 2011 and Tunisia Revolution 2011.

Amidst the ongoing debate of the role of social media in revolutions across the Middle East and North Africa lies another question: To what degree does Internet access matter in determining the role of the Internet and social media in these revolts? In Egypt and Tunisia, many attribute an important role to online tools while others debate their worth; most observers fall somewhere in the middle, recognizing the value of the Internet but remaining realistic about its limitations.


Libyan Roulette

from Istanbul Calling by Yigal Schleifer

I have a piece up on the Eurasianet website looking at the dilemma Turkey is facing in formulating its approach to the crisis in Libya, which has found Ankara, as one analyst put it, ?torn between a kind of idealistic narrative of Turkish foreign policy and a more mercantilist realpolitik

The Moroccan exception, and a king’s speech, Valentina Bartolucci

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Valentina Bartolucci
Morocco is not immune to the forces of change sweeping across the Arab world. But the response of its head of state reflects its distinct political character, says Valentina Bartolucci.

The Arab revolt and the colour revolutions, Vicken Cheterian

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Vicken Cheterian
The fate of the popular insurgencies in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine and elsewhere in the early-mid 2000s could offer guidance or warning to the middle-east uprising of 2011 – and to western states, says Vicken Cheterian.


Egypt?s new politics: the democratic test, Mansoor Mirza

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Mansoor Mirza
Egyptians managed by peaceful protest to force the removal of their president. With barely a pause, they are now engaged in building a constitutional democracy. Mansoor Mirza assesses the leading forces in the emerging political landscape.

Mubarak did not get the message

from tabsir.net by tabsir

In 1993 Anthropologist Fadwa El Guindi wrote a provocative call for President Mubarak of Egupt to resign. This was almost two decades before events forced him out of office. I post the 1993 commentary by El Guindi here, courtesy of the author.

Mubarak Should Call an Election and Step Aside

Egypt: The country is a wreck; before radicals force a bloody change, he should allow open elections for a successor.


Egypt: Leaked Documents Reveal Dirty Games of Former Regime

from Global Voices Online by Afef Abrougui


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