Gadhafi backs down for the moment, Brutality in Yemen…

Libya airstrikes could start ‘within hours of resolution’

by Mark Mardell (the Reporters)

The United Nations seems on the brink of taking a momentous decision. After hanging back for days the Americans have now not only backed the British and French resolution on Libya but beefed it up. The fact that the French foreign minister, Alain Juppe, will be here in person is a sign of French confidence that the Russians and Chinese won’t block the resolution.

Libya declares cease-fire after UN vote

from Hurriyet Dailynews by TRIPOLI, Libya – From wire dispatches
Libya announces an immediate ceasefire in the month-long battle against rebels fighting to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi, saying it is complying with demands from the UN Security Council. The people of Benghazi erupt with fireworks and joyful gunfire after news spread of the UN resolution


From Tahrir square to my kitchen, Hania Sholkamy

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Hania Sholkamy
Despite the vibrancy of mobilization in Egypt after Mubarak, Hania Sholkamy?s account of the 8th of March demonstration in Tahrir square to mark International Women’s day bears witness to the persistent resistance to women?s political participation

Turkey, the EU and the Mediterranean uprisings

by Centre for European Reform

by Katinka Barysch

The revolts in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya have brought home to many people that Turkey has become a force to be reckoned with in this region. Turkey enjoys lots of credibility in the Arab world. It has burgeoning trade ties and solid political relations with many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries. As the EU scrambles to revamp its own neighbourhood policy, it would do well to work closely with Turkey. Turkey would also gain. Sadly, there is little evidence of such co-operation to date.

US talks tough on Libya

by Mark Mardell (the Reporters)

The US, so long hesitant about military action in Libya, now says a mere no-fly zone doesn’t go far enough. They want something tougher.

For days the US has held back, refusing to reveal its position – even to allies like the UK and France who are behind the demand for a no-fly zone.

MAIN FOCUS: The world leaves Libyans in the lurch | 17/03/2011

from euro|topics

As the Libyan government forces close in on rebel strongholds, the UN Security Council on Wednesday started discussing a no-fly zone. Some countries continue to oppose military intervention, but those who play for time will share the blame for Gaddafi’s bloody quashing of the democracy movement, writes the press.

Is Obama deliberating or dithering on Libya

from Mark Mardell | The Reporters

Yemen: Saleh?s final dance , Samia Al-Aghbary and Sarah El-Richani

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Samia Al-Aghbary and Sarah El-Richani
There are many different strands to the protest under way in Yemen, including old and new grievances, and signs that some of them are coming together.

Yemen?s President Ali Abdallah Saleh has famously likened governing Yemen to ?dancing on the heads of snakes?. Recent protests in Yemen, resignations from his General People?s Congress and parliament and tribal and religious leaders? rift with the beleaguered President, seems to point to the final act in Saleh?s near-33 year dance.


A new window for academic freedom in Egypt, Florian Kohstall

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Florian Kohstall
The end of Mubarak?s thirty years reign may mark an opportunity to revive the Egyptian universities? founding ideals as autonomous institutions seeking knowledge for knowledge?s sake.

Public universities in Egypt were still closed when the wind of change hit the country?s campuses. Cairo University announced that it would banish state security forces, replacing them with civil guards. The interim Minister for Education and Higher Education, Ahmad Gamal Eddin Moussa, proclaimed the dissolution of student committees elected during the old regime. There is even talk of renaming lecture halls named after members of the Mubarak family.

Opposition groups in Egypt must now rise to the challenge of negotiating a good transition, Eberhard Kienle

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Eberhard Kienle
The new regime will not come into being on its own. It needs tough and careful negotiation so that the right balance between stability and change is struck. The US and EU have their small part to play

President Mubarak has left office for his Sharm al-Shaykh villa, allegedly sick and depressed. His and his family?s personal fortune is under scrutiny while a travel ban temporarily prevents all Mubaraks from leaving the country. Other representatives of the ancien régime are already under investigation for corruption, abuse of power, and the unlawful use of violence against ordinary citizens during the recent demonstrations that led to Mubarak?s departure. Among them are the former ministers of housing, industry commerce, and the interior.

Why there’ll be no no-fly-zone over Bahrain

by Mark Mardell (the Reporters)

For the first time, I think the “no fly zone” over Libya might actually happen. If it does, it will mean the traditional Western interventionism will have won over President Barack Obama’s fear of dabbling in the Middle East.


The Arab nightmare

from FP Passport by Blake Hounshell

At the Al Jazeera Forum this weekend in Doha, where dozens of Arab political figures and activists of all persuasions gathered to discuss the dramatic events sweeping the Middle East, there was a lot of optimism in the air. One Egyptian organizer, YouTube starlet Asma Mahfouz, even expressed her hope that next year’s forum would be titled “One Arab Nation With No Borders.”

Splits over no-fly zone as Gaddafi forces gain ground, Josephine Whitaker

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Josephine Whitaker
World mulls no-fly zone as Gaddafi troops gain ground: time is running out for rebels. India overtakes China as world?s largest arms importer. More civilians fleeing clashes in Ivory Coast as situation spirals towards civil war. Saudi troops sent into Bahrain. South Sudanese leaders pull out of talks amid accusations of northern intervention.


Egypt: does the revolution include the Copts?, Nelly van Doorn-Harder

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Nelly van Doorn-Harder
Sectarian clashes between Muslims and Coptic Christians highlight the recurring question about what role Copts will play in the new Egyptian political system. Can the new generation that waves signs with both cross and crescent in Tahrir Square help reduce the violence?


Saif al-Qaddafi: We funded Sarkozy’s campaign and we want our money back

from FP Passport by Joshua Keating

‘No way’ Gaddafi funded Sarkozy

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
Nicolas Sarkozy’s former presidential election campaign head rejects claims by a son of Col Gaddafi that they received Libyan funding.


The Enigma Variations

by Mark Mardell (the Reporters)

The American position on a new UN resolution to stop a massacre in Libya is still an enigma. Today the mystery is deepened by different signals from different players. My best guess is that there are very real divides and the White House is trying to square the circle.

(Why) Does The United States Need Europe in the Middle East?

from Ideas on Europe by Jaanika Erne

I was reading an article written by Amr Yossef and Sergio Fabbrini in European Political Science discussing why Barack Obama needs European support in the ME. Such formulation of the question already presupposes that the United States needs European support, but why is European support needed in the ME?


Military intervention against Gaddafi might shake the regime in Iran, Afshin Shahi

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Afshin Shahi
If major western capitals reach a consensus with the Arab world to intervene in Libya, Tehran may well perceive this as a threat against its own survival.

Sectarianism and conflict in Bahrain, Hayder al-Khoei

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Hayder al-Khoei
The media and politicians have done Iraq a great disservice by highlighting the overt sectarian identity of the oppressor and the oppressed. It must not make this same mistake with Bahrain.

As riot police and military troops close in on demonstrators in Pearl Roundabout today, using tanks and helicopters to suppress their people, the mass uprising in Bahrain says a lot about the country, its people, its leaders and its neighbours.


Libya, Bahrain, and the Arab spring, Paul Rogers

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Paul Rogers
Even as the United States military quietly prepares for possible action against the Gaddafi regime, the violence of rulers in Tripoli and Manama promises to stall the Arab democratic wave of 2011.

The Arab Revolutions: an end to the post-1967 problematic, Samer Frangie

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Samer Frangie
Tunis and Egypt, despite still being the minority, have become the new rule, with the rest of the regimes being the exception.

After decades of stultifying debates on the Arab world, the raw political impulse of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions are a breath of fresh air, clearing the atmosphere from the accumulation of years of what now look like sterile publications. Impossible even unthinkable within the existing politico-ideological coordinates, the uprisings rendered these decades-old coordinates obsolete in a matter of days.


Dealing with Saif Gaddafi: naivety, complicity or cautious engagement?, David Held

from open Democracy News Analysis – by David Held
How should the London School of Economics have handled its Libyan connections? Fred Halliday strongly opposed engagement, while David Held, Co-Director of LSE Global Governance, has been a major supporter. Is this shown to have been naïve or complicit? No – a risk worth taking, argues the author

Rejected by Bahrain

from Boing Boing by Omar Chatriwala

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