Broken trust: How Iraqis lost their faith in Washington, long before the Kurds did

by Mieczysław P. Boduszyński, Assistant Professor of Politics, Pomona College In all the hand-wringing that critics and commentators have done since President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria, one of the common refrains emphasizes the breach of trust between Washington and its Kurdish militia partners. Some scholars of international relations […]

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Turkey’s Safe Zone in Northern Syria and International Law

By Ahmed E Souaiaia* Abstract: Mere hours before Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, visits with his Russian counterpart in Sochi, his government clarified the purpose of its invasion of Northern Syrian. The Turkish government frames its intervention as partly humanitarian, partly security missions. Considering that Erdoğan has called for such a “safe zone” as early […]

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Canada’s labour movement must take a stand against the Saudi arms deal

by Simon Black and Anthony Fenton* As Canada’s largest labour organization and the political arm of the labour movement, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) has long been a voice for peace, human rights and social justice. But on one of the most controversial issues in Canadian politics, Canada’s arms deal with Saudi Arabia, it has […]

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Separate and Unequal: Is State’s Support to Elite Universities a Human Rights Violation

By Ahmed E Souaiaia* Abstract: On May 11, 2019, the US federal government indicted 50 individuals, charging them with bribery and fraud in a widespread college admission scandal involving wealthy parents, coaches, administrators, and business executives, paying bribes to buy their children’s way into the nation’s elite schools. For weeks thereafter, the public discourse had […]

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US is already fighting a conflict with Iran – an economic war that is hurting the wrong people

by David Cortright* Many are worried about the risk of war with Iran after the Trump administration leaked discussions of a troop deployment in response to claimed threats to U.S. warships in the region. And in recent days, the rhetoric has only gotten more heated, with President Donald Trump saying a war would be “the […]

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On Migration and the Hoarding of Resources

By Ahmed E Souaiaia* David Frum’s cover story, callously titled, How Much Immigration Is Too Much, is an illustrative example of crude opinions rooted in alternative facts David Frum’s basic argument is this: The Global South is a shithole, from where all people, especially the “strivers” want to escape to the developed world. The developed […]

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Songs of freedom: the soundtracks of political change in Sudan

by Mohamed A. Satti * The uprising in Sudan has been vocal – and musical. “Tasqut bas!” – just fall, that’s all – was a commonly-used slogan by Sudanese as they revolted against military dictator Omar al-Bashir’s 30-year rule. The uprising, which began in December 2018, intensified over the following weeks, forcing Al-Bashir to step […]

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Some of the ways Algeria’s past is shaping its future

by Dounia Mahlouly* Bouteflika steps aside as Algerians push to reclaim and own their history Algeria’s long-time leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika has agreed to step down following a series of mass protests against his original plan to bid for a fifth term. After weeks of uncertainty, the country’s military chief Ahmed Gaed Salah declared the 82-year-old […]

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Elections in Libya: the difficult way ahead

by Amal Obeidi* Since the fall of Gaddafi’s regime in 2011, Libya has had three distinct electoral experiences, which have in turn given birth to three political institutions: the General National Congress (GNC), the Constitution Drafting Assembly (CDA) and the House of Representatives (HoR). However, neither the elections themselves nor the institutions that they created […]

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Jamal Khashoggi: Casualty of the Trump administration’s disregard for democracy and civil rights in the Middle East?

by David Mednicoff* The international crisis over whether top Saudi Arabian leadership murdered U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is a striking example of the consequences of Donald Trump’s blanket disregard for democratic politics and human rights in other countries. This departure from decades of American foreign policy rhetoric remains comparatively undiscussed. However, in the Middle East, […]

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Hajj: how globalisation transformed the market for pilgrimage to Mecca

by Seán McLoughlin* More than 2m Muslims are currently gathering in Mecca ahead of the annual Hajj, which begins on August 19. As long as they are fit and financially able, the pilgrimage is an obligatory act of worship that followers of Islam owe to God once in their lifetime. Reenacting the faith-testing ordeals of […]

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Forced to choose between carrying out Saudi plans or quitting, Hariri quits

After being summoned like a Saudi diplomat to appear before the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Saad Hariri returned to Beirut to pack and say his goodbyes, then returned to Riyad, picked up the phone and called the Lebanese president to tell him that he is quitting. The bizarre process led President Michel Aoun to […]

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Deir al-Zour is the end of the road in Syria for both, US and Russia, will they collide or reverse course?

By Abdel Bari Atwan US-backed SDF (yellow) are now face to face with Russia-backed SAA (red) For the first time since the Syrian crisis began some seven years ago, there is a growing prospect of a military collision taking place between Russia and the United States over the oil and gas fields in and around […]

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