President Obama says the United States will not intervene in Syria unless there is clear evidence that chemical weapons have been used by the Assad regime. But with already 70,000 people dead in this conflict, are we splitting hairs over the techniques used to kill people? Does it really matter how people are being killed?
After the eruption of anti-American sentiment across the Middle East and the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, American policymakers and citizens might be thinking twice about our involvement in post-Arab Spring countries. But it is precisely because of this violence and unrest that Shadi Hamid thinks the United States should remain involved in the region.
The constitutional power grab by Egypt's military could trigger a review here of the money America gives to the country. In March, the Obama administration released more than a billion dollars in military aid, despite Cairo's failure to meet what's been described as pro-democracy goals.
On Monday Arab League representatives met with the United Nations Security Council to discuss a plan of action for Syria. More than 5,000 Syrians have been killed by government forces since protests against President Bashar Al-Assad began last March. Secretary of state Hillary Clinton delivered a strong message of support to the Syrian resistance the same day: "The longer the Assad regime continues its attacks on the Syrian people and stands in the way of a peaceful transition, the greater the concern that instability will escalate and spill over throughout the region."
Since the start of the political uprisings in the Middle East, regimes have fallen in Egypt and Tunisia. Meanwhile, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain and Libya continue their struggles to unseat dictators and bring about democratic change. And throughout it all, the voice of al-Qaida — and more importantly, its leader, Osama bin Laden — has been relatively silent. The question now remains, will the death of bin Laden at the hands of American forces continue to spur democratic movements or could it fuel terrorist organizations to stand in the way of change in the Middle East?
It’s been an eventful week in the Middle East, but much of the news has been overshadowed by the unfolding disaster in Japan. Saudi military forces have crossed into Bahrain as protester violence continues; the situation in Libya is escalating; and in Egypt, a referendum on the constitution scheduled for Saturday is the cause of raging debate. Amidst all this change in the Middle East, is the United States taking a strong enough position for democracy?
On Friday, President Hosni Mubarak appointed Omar Suleiman as the country's new vice president. And Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei returned to his native country and is adopting a leadership role. One of Egypt's most powerful opposition groups, the Muslim Brotherhood, has increased its presence on the streets of Cairo.As Egypt’s central power wobbles, the global conversation has turned to the big question: who will step in if Mubarak leaves?
Shadi Hamid, Director of Research at the Brookings Doha Center, and fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution discusses the various political forces at work in Egypt, and whether the opposition forces span beyond Egypts border.
Protests erupted in the streets of Cairo and other major Egyptian cities yesterday, calling for the ousting of the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak. Protesters are hoping to share the same success protestors in Tunisia saw in recent weeks, but that may prove to be more difficult dealing with the Egyptian government and military which are much larger and stronger. Emad Shahin, Henry R. Luce associate professor of religion, conflict and peace building at the University of Notre Dame, analyzes these protests and the Egyptian government.