Syrian refugees who found sanctuary in Libya talk to Abigail Hauslohner of Time about the differences between the revolts against the rules of Muammar Gadhafi and Bashar Assad.
[T]he Syrians who have fled Homs for the relative safety of their Arab Spring counterpart believe there’s a far more sinister reason that Homs is not Benghazi. “It has been 13 months, but no one has helped us because it’s not in their interest to do so,” says Ammar, a Syrian refugee in Darnah, who declines to give his last name because his parents remain in Homs. “Libya has gas and oil, but we have none of that.” His friend Mohamed Tarek Ziad puts it differently: “Libyans can pay for their war. They can pay NATO back.”
The uprising in Egypt did not really achieve any significant changes, with the army still in control of much of the country and increasingly in cahoots with the Muslim Brotherhood, writes Hossein Turner Durham in Zaman.
The members of the army who were loyal to Mubarak still effectively control the country, and it seems they have been willing to work out deals with former rivals, such as the Muslim Brotherhood party. Was this really a revolution, or is it time for the movement to oust the entire army from its influence on politics and business?
Writing in the National Interest, Ahmed Charai takes a look at Morocco’s relatively successful blending of secular democracy and political Islam.
Morocco’s Islamists won this year’s elections on an electoral platform of cooperation with the West, tourism and global commerce, a moderate foreign policy and individual rights. They will now be held accountable to an electoral base demanding the fulfillment of these promises. Whether Islamists in other Arab countries prove committed to the same democratic principles is a matter of chance; in Morocco, it’s the outcome of a history of moderation.
Stop yelling at Israel
Critics of Israel would do well to brush up on their knowledge of the country before expressing their opinions so vocally, writes Chas Newkey-Burden for Ynet.
Western debate over Israel’s position on the Iranian nuclear programme is symptomatic of a wider reality that Israel faces. More so than any other country, Israel is the one about which outsiders who know little nevertheless speak lots. Ask an average Briton or American what he or she thinks about, say, Sri Lanka’s war with the Tamil Tigers, the nomadic hostilities in Sudan or India’s battle with the Maoists and most will freely admit they do not know enough to comment.
The internationally approved plan for Syria was doomed to failure from the outset, and the Obama administration is still stalling, writes Adam Garfinkle in the American Interest.
It is becoming ever more difficult, however, for the Administration to pretend that Annan’s diplomacy, or any other kind of diplomacy, is going to make this problem go away. The Administration remains in a logically impossible and an increasingly embarrassing situation, having demanded that Assad step down but then having subordinated its policy to Russian diplomacy, even though, as everyone knows, Russia is Assad’s main supporter in this crisis.