The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is practicing its sovereign right to issue a constitutional declaration.
The Supreme Constitutional Court is the entity authorized to rule on the validity of President Mohammed Mursi’s decree to hold the implementation of its verdict that recommended the dissolving of the parliament.
The appointment of Prince Bandar to head Saudi foreign intelligence is an important step in the gradual but steady transfer of power from the first generation of Saudi princes (sons of Abdul-Aziz) to the second generation.
The old generation of Saudi princes clung to power for too long and never cared about qualifications or skills. Seniority was defined by age and loyalty (Badr and Talal were punished for their years of defection to Nasser’s regime by being denied a ministerial position, although both made a humiliating return to Saudi Arabia in 1964).
We still don’t know what really happened in Damascus the other day. No one would argue that Daoud Rajiha or Hassan Turkmani (who was more of a diplomat than an actual military leader) were key players in Syria.
Ever since Hafez al-Assad took power in 1970, Syrian ministers of defense have been figureheads. Hafez was minister of defense in the Salah Jadid government and knows full well how much powers a real minister of defense can possess.
Since 2009, young Kuwaiti activists have been the ones leading protests and calls against former Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammed and accusing him of corruption. These young leaders were criticized last year for allowing opposition MPs (conservative and Islamist) to take over their movement for their own political interests.
The by-election in Koura summarizes the crux of Lebanese politics. Individual voters don’t matter anymore, sects do. Sects are solidly aligned behind one leader, who is a follower of a regional or international regime, or both, as is the case of Saad Hariri.
Some sects are split, as the Maronites are, but they still vote in blocs, just as others do. The elections in Koura, however, revealed certain interesting trends. And the sectarian mix in Koura, despite the predominance of Christians, may help understand future electoral trends in the country.
You would not know it. If you navigate in all the English language blogs, websites and newspapers dealing with the Middle East, you would not have known that Arabs in cyberspace around the world are commemorating the anniversary of the terrorist murder of Ghassan Kanafani at the hands of Israeli terrorists in Beirut. He was murdered in cold-blood by an explosive device under his car, which also killed his niece. Facebook pictures carried his portrait and lines from his writings were being circulated.
In the 2011 year of protesting against former Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammed, Kuwaiti liberals were many times accused of being passive towards the corruption of al-Mohammed in fear of the raising power of the conservative Popular Bloc and its Islamist allies. These accusations might not be totally warranted in the light of last year’s events considering the Liberal voting inside the parliament against the prime minister and their participation in several rallies and protests.
Gallup poll has published the results of a poll which questions Arabs about their opinions regarding NATO intervention in Libya. The results were a somewhat surprising even for people who follow Arab politics closely.
The departure of Brigadier General Manaf Tlass from Syria continues to make headlines around the world. But amidst the fanfare, the question of whether this latest development has lasting significance is not at all clear. There are several points to consider:
The story is now a headline: Alquds Alarabi (a Qatari-funded Arab nationalist newspaper based in London which – like all Qatari-funded media – has been increasingly vocal and strict in its adherence to Qatari foreign policy orientations) put it as the main headline.
Western media have been desperately looking for a high-level defection and they found it.
It will now be treated as the most important development in international relations since Rudolph Hess flew his plane to the UK on a bizarre mission during WWII.