There is no God but Liberty; our conscience its messenger
Sunday, March 28, 2004

Breaking Stereotypes

We at the FAF like to break stereotypes about Arabs and Arab-Americans. Thus, we are proud to present the fact that Miss New York is a Jordanian-American whose sister serves honorably in the US Armed Forces in Iraq. Congrats to Miss New York and We are proud of you too, Captain!

posted at 8:35 PM by Jonathan

Genocide Continues, Kofi Annan Remains Silent

This article here discusses the horrible violence engulfing Sudan and Chad. Don't expect any UN Security Council resolution anytime soon.

posted at 7:13 PM by Jonathan

Dreams of democracy in Syria

The uprising of Syrian Kurds is an opportunity to support democracy in the Middle East that the administration should embrace. It is time to apply the unrivalled power now possessed by the United States in support of Syria's Kurds.

....from Wash. Times

posted at 7:10 PM by Oubai


Damascus should understand that America's patience is limited. Even with its heavy commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States could easily punish Syria in ways that would mean the beginning of the end of rule by the Ba'ath Party and the Assad family. A development long overdue.

....from NY Post

posted at 7:07 PM by Oubai

Syria detains up to 2000 Kurds

Syria has continued to arrest Kurds in the wake of deadly riots earlier this month, raising the number behind bars to more than 2000, the head of a banned Kurdish party said on Sunday.

...from Al-Jazeera

posted at 7:04 PM by Oubai

Ripples of change felt in Syria

The larger-than-life statue of the late President Hafez Assad that towers over a traffic circle here stands hidden beneath a canvas tarpaulin, which residents say hides the fact that protesters knocked off its head.

...more from the Houston Chronicle

posted at 7:01 PM by Oubai

All Eyes (Not) On Algeria

Those concerned about democracy in the Middle East and Islamism ought to look at Algeria, a country usually ignored in the Anglophone press. I wrote these words for an article that appeared in the National Interest earlier this year. - Jonathan Eric Lewis

Washington Cannot Afford to Neglect Algeria

Traditionally viewed as part of Frances sphere of influence and as peripheral to Washington’s national interests in the Middle East, Algeria has long been an afterthought in American foreign policy decision-making. Since Algerian militants constitute a significant core of the new cadres of al-Qaeda and similar Islamist groups hostile to the United States and its allies, Washington can no longer relegate Algeria to the margins of its national security policy. Given that Algerian members of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat are active in Western Europe and are engaged in international terrorism that directly threatens vital American national interests, it is imperative that Washington begin to vigorously press for a more stable, pro-Western Algeria that no longer produces large numbers of militant Islamic groups and one that will eventually join with Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia in seeking a rapprochement with Israel.

This coming April, Algeria will have its presidential election. This will be a good bellwether for the political future of North Africa. In many ways, Algeria is a laboratory for the relationship between Islam and the West and for many of the political conflicts engulfing the Arab-Islamic world. Such fundamental questions as the roles of both Islam and military authoritarianism in politics, the relationship between Arabism and ethnic minorities, the role of a free press, and attitudes toward Israel, have all been contested in the Algerian public sphere throughout the 1990s and up until today. Washington would be well-advised to seriously engage with both the government and the legitimate, non-Islamist opposition movements, all in an effort to help foster a more open, pluralistic Algerian society in which free-market reforms and economic development might stem the tide of both radical Islam and the mass emigration of unemployed men who are easy converts to Islamism in Western Europe and, if holders of European passports, hidden threats to American national security.

I would add that with increased US aid to Algeria, that Washington has ever right to demand that Algeria undertake serious economic and political reforms

posted at 1:19 AM by Jonathan

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