July 11, 2011 |
Syrian politicians, intellectuals and clergy were given an unusual opportunity to criticize the country's security apparatus on national television Sunday during the first round of state-sponsored and opposition-boycotted dialogue meetings. The dialogue, aimed at easing tensions in a nation racked by months of protests against the regime of President Bashar Assad, came a day after Human Rights Watch issued a devastating report chronicling the bloody practices of the security forces during the anti-regime uprising.
April 9, 2012 |
CAIRO - Egypt's curious gallery of presidential candidates reveals how much the nation has changed yet how deeply it still echoes with voices connected to the repressive rule of deposed President Hosni Mubarak. The country's revolution brought new faces, including Khairat Shater, onetime political prisoner now running as a candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood. But the revolt failed to sweep away prominent, if shadowy, challengers from the past, most notably Omar Suleiman, the former leader's spymaster and confidant.
August 24, 2011 |
Behind his aviator shades, the driver of the silver sedan had that hired-killer stare as he pulled up alongside our minibus. He kept pace as the bus, ferrying 13 journalists away from Libya's crazed capital in June, lurched toward the sanity of post-revolutionary Tunisia. He pointed his rifle directly at us. We dived for the floor or crouched down in a pathetic bid for cover, but there was no escape: The Kalashnikov rounds would penetrate the bus' skin like hot arrows tearing through papier-mache.
February 22, 2011 |
A defiant Libyan strongman Moammar Kadafi vowed Tuesday not to resign and denounced the anti-government protesters who have challenged his regime as "greasy rats" and "drug-fueled mice" who deserve to be executed. "These gangs are cockroaches," he said. "They're nothing. They're not one percent of the Libyan people. " In a lengthy address on state TV, Kadafi, who has ruled since 1969, stood in the ruins of a barracks in Tripoli that was bombed by U.S. warplanes in 1986. He waved his fist and shouted, vowing to die a martyr and urging his supporters to rise up to help the military crush the popular uprising.
July 28, 2011 |
Senior State Department officials came under tough questioning from lawmakers Wednesday over the Obama administration's reluctance to call for Syrian President Bashar Assad's departure. Despite the Assad government's bloody crackdown on demonstrators, U.S. officials have shied away from calling directly for his ouster. They worry that the United States would end up looking weak if Assad managed to hang on in the face of popular pressure. And with American leverage limited in Syria, they also have been reluctant to raise expectations about what the administration might be prepared to do to unseat the regime.
April 3, 2013 |
Kim Jong Un is an absurdly comical figure. If he were not holding the fate of millions of people in his hands, the North Korean dictator would provide us all with nothing but laughs. He runs a country that, thanks to the ruinous communist policies of his father and grandfather, is an economic basket case where mass starvation is always as close as tomorrow. He has almost no friends in the world, except for the similarly outcast nutcases that run Iran. His closest allies, the Chinese, are so disgusted with him that they have signed on to United Nations sanctions against his country.
September 24, 2011 |
The CIA's long-standing effort to recruit Arab Americans is hitting some bumps. The agency yanked advertisements for linguists off the website of the nation's largest and oldest Arab American newspaper on Sept. 8, reportedly because the paper had published a story about domestic spying on Muslims. The CIA restored the ads to the newspaper, the Arab American News, based in Dearborn, Mich., last Wednesday after the paper ran an editorial questioning the CIA's commitment to freedom of the press.
January 17, 2011 |
Heavy gunfire erupted in the heart of Tunisia's capital on Sunday as the army appeared to be closing in on stalwarts of the regime driven from power last week and the interim government prepared to name a new Cabinet free of any major figures linked to deposed President Zine el Abidine ben Ali. Former Interior Minister Rafik Belhaj Kassim was taken into custody in his hometown of Beja, about 60 miles west of Tunis, the capital, a day after the...
October 30, 2011 |
His family name is both help and handicap for Ribal Assad as he tries to push for democratic change in his homeland, Syria. Assad is a cousin of Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose repressive regime is under heavy pressure from pro-democracy protesters at home and from Western nations angry over the bloody crackdown he has mounted in response. As a member of the clan, Ribal Assad, 36, occupies a compelling position from which to speak out against the abuses of his cousin's government.