April 21, 2016
Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of “the Sadrist movement” in Iraq, is engaged in a campaign against corruption and people he calls “corrupted Daesh members”. The goals of his campaign match with the goals of high religious and political authorities in the country who are calling for reform.
The campaign has justified and understandable reasons, because the corruption that erupted after the US invasion of Iraq exceeded the highest limits and shattered all records. But it is un acceptable and unrealistic that the reform campaign focuses on a main demand: the abolition of quotas in the government and of the majority, and the formation of a technocrats government. This means to give the power to “technicians” who are isolated from the political forces and interests and selected on the base of their expertise and competence [….]
What Does Obama Want From the Gulf?
April 21, 2016
In all what has been written and said about Barack Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia and his talks with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), there was an agreement that the US president sought to calm tempers and repair relations that has deteriorated so much, so we do not say that the situation has strained. But is this short visit enough to remove all impurities in the relations during the past period?
In fact, it is hard to imagine that the visit will achieve real breakthroughs in terms of restoring confidence in the relationships that have been established for decades, before it was shacked in the era of Obama, especially during his second term. The size of the frustrations in the area caused by his policies is big as the hopes and expectations that were awaited from him after his famous speech to Arab world from Cairo at the beginning of his presidency. This time Obama comes to the region as a “lame duck” as some Western expressions defined him to describe the position of the President in the few months before the elections and especially now that the end of his second term is approaching and he can’t run for presidency any more. […..]
The West Against the West
April 21, 2016
The visit of the French President François Hollande to Cairo earlier this week revealed some aspects of the Egyptian official discourse in dealing with Europe and the West. Many people listened to the idea of President Sisi on democracy, on human rights and on the difference between Arab and the Egyptian reality from the West. Al-Sisi called his French counterpart to read the Egyptian reality from a non-European perspective, and he said in the end that human rights in the West are different from human rights in Egypt, given the fact that “we are a fledgling state” and there are cultural, social and economic gaps between the two countries.
The content of the Egyptian official message is that we are facing some existential challenges that can destroy the state, and that the threat of terrorism and chaos hit our region, and therefore the subject of democracy and human rights is postponed until Egypt can face these challenges and defeat them .[…]
Obama In Riyadh