❊ Nasrallah's Pitch to the Lebanese

Today, the charismatic leader of Hezbollah had a tough mission ahead of him. He had to explain to the Lebanese people why his party will ignore the STL’s indictment, and as a bonus, to portray this as the reasonable course of action to take. The format Sayyed Nasrallah chose was a prime-time televised speech in […]

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❊ Crappy "Centrism" on the Tribunal

Mr. Walid Jumblat has just made a press conference on the Tribunal that sounded very much like PM Najib Mikati’s statement on the matter. From these speeches one can detect a pattern, a new sort of “Mikati centrism” emerging on how to deal with this important international matter. How to be a Mikati centrist on […]

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The "Cabinet of Curiosities"

Karl Sharro has a pretty interesting analysis of the new Lebanese government. On the greatly exaggerated rumors of the death of Harirism: Despite the FPM’s and Hezbollah’s loud proclamations about the end of Harirism, Mikati’s appointment was in fact an attempt at rescuing Harirism ‘sans-Hariri’. In other words, let’s not rock the boat too much. […]

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Saudi Arabia Makes Pitch For Arab Leadership By Confronting US & Israel Over Palestine

Prince Turki al Faisal: Saudi Arabia will not stand by while Washington and Israel bicker endlessly about their intentions, fail to advance their plans and then seek to undermine a legitimate Palestinian presence on the international stage. In September, the kingdom will use its considerable diplomatic might to support the Palestinians in their quest for […]

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Today's Deaths Were Not About The Nakba

Jim Muir for the BBC: In past years, Syria has prevented Palestinian protesters from getting anywhere near the sensitive Golan border, where Damascus has in the past scrupulously respected its truce agreement with Israel [...] The unusual flare-ups on the Golan and on the Lebanese border came as President Bashar al-Assad’s regime moved into its […]

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Islamist Rule of Syria a Self-fulfilling Prophecy

Amanda Paul for Today’s Zaman (Turkey): this ongoing violence from the security apparatus will only serve to evoke an equally violent response from the Sunni majority in Syria. As moderates rarely lead such violent movements, it can be expected that extremists will. Thus those who say that we should not pressure Syria because the successor […]

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Turkey's Geostrategic Roller Coaster

Good reporting and analysis from Anthony Shadid on Turkey’s exposure to the Arab Spring: Before the so-called Arab Spring unleashed by revolution in Egypt and Tunisia, Turkey was a catalyst in an emerging realignment of the Middle East, charting a foreign policy often independent of the United States in a region bereft of any country […]

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Leaving The Sinking Ship

Alhayat is reporting that the political leadership of Hamas will be leaving Damascus for Doha. If confirmed, this is big news. One of the Syrian regime’s strength was its ability to gain regional leverage by exporting instability. Harboring the political leadership of Hamas in Damascus meant that no peace with the Palestinians can happen without […]

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