Principles of revolution: Egypt
By Arthur Scott: For the last eighteen days an extraordinary event has unraveled in Middles East centering on Egypt leading to resignation of Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011. Though there is much jubilation in Cairo, Alexandria and in Suez the Egyptian revolution is only in its first phase. All modern revolutions, dated by American Revolution of 1776, go through three stages: moderate, radical, conservative. Read More
Bahrain riots alarm oil-rich Persian Gulf states with restive Shiite minorities
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali: The tension between the Sunni rulers and the Shiite majority runs deep in Bahrain, as it does throughout the Arab Middle East. Bahrain riots have broader regional implications since Saudi Arabia has a significant Shiite minority in its oil-producing eastern districts. Read More
Why Egypt Will Not Turn Into Another Iran?
By Prof Stephen Zunes: Some prominent congressional leaders and media pundits, in a cynical effort to mislead the American public into supporting the Egyptian dictatorship and opposing the popular nonviolent struggle for democracy, have raised the specter of Egypt's government falling into the hands of radical Islamists who would attack Israel and support international terrorism. To illustrate this frightening scenario, these apologists for authoritarianism try to compare the pro-democracy uprising against the U.S.-backed Egyptian dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak with the 1978-79 insurrection against the U.S.-backed Iranian dictatorship of Shah Reza Pahlavi. Read More
What next for Egypt after Mubarak?
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali: A new chapter in the history of the Middle East opened on February 11, 2011 when 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak ended in the face of unprecedented mass uprising against his brutal pro-US regime. The collapse in Egypt took just 18 days of bold protest, inspired by the overthrow of Tunisia’s long-standing strongman, President Zein Al Abidin, just weeks before. Ironically, the day Mubarak was toppled from power came precisely 32 years after Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, which shook the world in its day and still reverberates. Read More
Egypt - Lessons in Democracy
by Stephen Zunes: Together, the unarmed insurrection that overthrew the Ben Ali regime in Tunisia and the ongoing uprising in Egypt have dramatically altered the way many in the West view prospects for democratization in the Middle East. The dramatic events of recent weeks have illustrated that for democracy to come to the Arab world, it will come not from foreign intervention or sanctimonious statements from Washington, but from Arab peoples themselves.While many observers have acknowledged how unarmed pro-democracy insurrections helped bring democracy to Eastern Europe, Latin America, and parts of Asia and Africa, they had discounted the chances of such movements in the region, despite Tunisia being far from the first. Read More
Egypt’s pro-democracy movement: the struggle continues
By Stephen Zunes: Those who were expecting a quick victory are no doubt disappointed, but successful People Power movements of recent decades have usually been protracted struggles. Despite the natural subsidence of dramatic demonstrations on the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities, as many protesters return to jobs and catch their breath, there is little question that the pro-democracy struggle in Egypt has achieved lasting momentum, barring unexpected repression. As with other kinds of civil struggles, a movement using nonviolent resistance can ebb and flow. There may have to be tactical retreats, times for regrouping or resetting of strategy, or a focus on negotiations with the regime before broader operations that capture the world’s attention resume. Read More