At least that is what Marc Lynch imagines Syria could become now that the Chinese and Russian UN vetoes have all but eliminated the peaceful transition option. While the resolution explicitly ruled out military intervention (due to fears of another Libya-esque regime change operation) the Russian and China vetoes, according to Lynch, are likely to … More “1980s Lebanon on Steroids”
Mustapha, over at Beirut Spring, posted some interesting thoughts on the effect the fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad would have on Lebanon. He was spurred on by Hanin Ghaddar’s article at Now Lebanon in which she wrote: There will be no space for either March 8 or March 14 in the post-Assad era in Lebanon. They will be replaced by new, … More How the Fall of Assad Could Change Lebanon
After Erdogan made a grand speech about rethinking Turkish-Israeli ties, Erdogan officially lowered diplomatic relations and suspended all military ties with Israel last night and this morning. Turkey, still rightfully upset with Israel, has decided to put some action behind their words and do this move. But what does the move intend to do? Is … More Implications of Turkey Cutting Military Ties with Israel on a Larger Scale
It has been said lately by Western media outlets that the tent movement going on in Israel is a ‘revolution‘ or ‘Israeli Arab Spring.’ This could not be any more disingenuous, incorrect, or belittling of the Arab Spring movements. Israelis are mostly protesting about prices, specifically for homes and necessary goods. This is the one and only … More Dear Israeli Tent Movement, You are not Tahrir Square
Yeah, this blog post over at Beirut the Fantastic is, well, fantastic. In addition to the photo above, there are photos of the famous center of town from 1891, 1910, 1930, 1972, 1984 and 2005. The photo above is from 1994 – during the middle of Rafik Hariri’s effort to reconstruct the center of Beirut. On … More Visual History of Martyr’s Square in Beirut
It has been generally proven that smoking arguileh (narguileh, shisha, hookah, etc.) is not a healthy pastime. Despite the health risks, the hubbly-bubbly is one of the most common sites in the Arab world. My favorite cafe stayed open until three in the morning only to open again the next day at six AM to … More From the Annals of Stupidity: Arguileh Health Risks
The protest movement in Syria has, to say the least, a whole lot of twists and turns. Domestically, we’ve talked about the photo-shopping skills of the regime, the potentially ruinous state of the economy, the ebb and flow of momentum, the use of propaganda by both sides and the possible sectarian strife and civil war that … More Can Syria Get Anymore Confusing?
Yesterday I argued, in response to Nicholas Noe and Thanassis Cambanis’ respective eulogies of Hezbollah, that the group’s (perhaps) unwise support of the Assad regime in the face of popular protests would not bring about the group’s destruction. The sectarian divisions in Lebanon (and the weaker, secular Shi’ite party Amal) means that Hezbollah will be able … More The Arab Spring and the Fall of Hezbollah, Con’t
The links between Hezbollah and the Bashar al-Assad regime are tight and very well known. Consequently, Hezbollah members are watching the situation in Syria very closely, as the fall of Assad would deprive the group of one of its most important backers (Iran being the other). Thanassis Cambanis and Nicholas Noe wrote two pieces in … More The Arab Spring and the Fall of Hezbollah
It has never been easy to be in Lebanese politics. And that may be the understatement of the year. For the past few decades, Lebanon has been split into those who supported the Syrian control over the Lebanese political system and those who were pushing for sovereignty. Since its creation in 1982, Hezbollah has been … More Why Would Anyone Want to be a Lebanese Politician?