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CNN hands over Republican foreign policy debate to neocon cabal

When Republican primary candidates debate foreign policy issues tonight, CNN's Wolf Blitzer (a former researcher for AIPAC) will mouth questions provided to him by the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). While the Heritage Foundation is well known as the outsourced brain of Republicans in Congress and serves as a hothouse for right-wing GOP domestic policies, AEI's participation in the debate is even more problematic.

Determinants of Qatar’s Foreign Policy (Part I)

Anthony Shadid—one of the best reporters on the Middle East—wrote an article recently about Qatari foreign policy. The subject has attracted a lot of interest as of late: the Emir of Qatar and his prime minister have become dominant personalities in the meetings of the Arab League. The small state has been playing a role far beyond its traditional legacy. Qatar is now a leading Middle East country and its prime minister gets to decide whether Syria stays or leaves the Arab League. This is unprecedented.

Tested on Palestinians, Perfected on #OWS Protesters: Introducing the LRAD Sound Cannon

Yesterday, the New York Police Department deployed a strange new weapon against the tens of thousands of demonstrators who converged downtown for the largest protest in Occupy Wall Street's two month history: the LRAD sound cannon.

Syria and the Arab League II: The Motives

There should be some work in categorizing what can only be described as dumb analysis of the Middle East in the West or the East.

Syria and the Arab League I: The Crisis

The Arab League has been flexing its muscles as of late. It authorized NATO bombings in Libya and it has denied that it has invited NATO to serve as the official guardian of Arabism in the world. There is a reason why the Arab League is showing firmness toward the Syrian regime: never in the history of the League has there been such a firm control of its affairs by one or two governments.

Progressive versus Reactionary Islam

Since Sep. 11, I often hear Americans indignantly calling for a reformed and progressive Islam even though it is unimaginable that they would call for certain changes within Judaism, for example. Thomas Friedman has called for a war "within Islam,” and has written plenty on the subject. But who cares what Thomas Friedman has to say.

Calls for reform within Islam ignore the fact that there has been a reformist and progressive Islam that dates back to the 1950s and 1960s: it was the Islam that was promoted and supported by Egypt’s Nasser regime.

Despite major rebuke, Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin endorses slaughtering Palestinians

On October 25, here at Al-Akhbar, I drew attention to Washington Post "Right Turn" columnist Jennifer Rubin's re-tweet of a call by professional neocon Rachel Abrams for the mass murder of Palestinians. In my post, I urged readers to write Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton and inquire if the Post has a policy regarding staffers who promote mass murder, ethnic violence, and hate speech.

Top US Democrat calls for bombing Iran

If the Israeli media and Israel's government ministers are to believed, a military strike on Iran is likely in the near future.

The Jeita Grotto Campaign: Lebanon’s International Celebrity Syndrome

It has been unprecedented, even by Lebanese standards. The entire country is mobilized in favor of internet voting for the Jeita Grotto. People in March 14 and March 8 seem to disagree on all issues except the need to win the internet vote for a ranking of world wonders by one internet site.

Opposing (Some) Arab Opposition Groups

I have been arguing with some friends in the Middle East. Some wonder about my decision to go against Arab opposition groups even before they have a chance to reach power. I remind people that the Baath Party was an opposition group, and it too promised freedom and justice and even the liberation of Palestine.

We should not wait for the gallows to be mounted in order to express fierce opposition to opposition groups that have exhibited various signs of intolerance, deception, and subservience to reactionary forces. This applies to different opposition groups throughout the region.

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