Middle East

The Sidebar: Who Decides: Free Speech and Voter's Rights

September 20, 2012
Rebecca MacKinnon explains free speech on the Internet in light of Google's decision to block access to the anti-Islamic video. Len Downie and young journalists from News21 discuss their in-depth reporting on voter ID laws and voter's rights.

The Syrian Endgame

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
July 20, 2012 |

So what happens after Bashar al-Assad falls? Do the new Syrian leaders sever ties with Iran and Hezbollah, to say nothing of Russia and China? Do they make friends with the Saudis, the Turks, and even us? Does the place slide into anarchy, leaving power to those radicals most adept at filling vacuums and then imposing total rule?

Ruling Facebookistan

  • By
  • Rebecca MacKinnon,
  • New America Foundation
June 14, 2012 |

At 6 p.m. Taipei time on Friday, June 1, Ho Tsung-hsun was suddenly shut out of his Facebook account. When he tried to log back in, a message in a red box announced: "This account has been disabled." Ho, a veteran activist and citizen journalist on environmental and social issues in Taiwan, immediately took a picture of the message, then wrote an angry blog post on a Taiwan-based citizen journalism platform. He insisted that he had not violated any of the site's community guidelines.

Deaths in Damascus

  • By
  • Steve Coll,
  • New America Foundation
July 18, 2012 |

On Wednesday, an apparent suicide bomber in Damascus attacked a meeting of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s war cabinet, killing Daoud Rajha, Syria’s defense minister, and Asef Shawkat, who was the President’s brother-in-law. The attack was the most striking in a series of signs that Syria’s uprising has tipped into a full-blown civil war, as the Red Cross has now labelled it, with the war’s momentum now favoring the rebels.


The Sidebar: In the Trenches of Modern Warfare

June 15, 2012
Peter Bergen discusses the Obama Administration's covert drone war in Yemen, White House information leaks, and the president's kill list. Evgeny Morozov explores the peaceful side of cyber warfare and the American cyber attacks on Iran. Elizabeth Weingarten Hosts.

Lebanon’s Dangerous Sunni-Shiite Divide Widens

  • By
  • Randa Slim,
  • New America Foundation
May 26, 2012 |

The main fault line in Lebanese politics is the division between Shiite and Sunni Muslims. Years in the making, this divide must be overcome soon or it could plunge Lebanon into another civil war.

Recent sectarian clashes in north Lebanon and Beirut are but a symptom of this growing divide. At the political-leadership level, Hezbollah’s Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and the Future Movement’s Saad Hariri — the Shiite and Sunni de facto leaders — are not on speaking terms. At the grassroots level, a wall of fear and mistrust separates Lebanon’s two largest communities.

What the Hell Should We Do About Syria?

  • By
  • Randa Slim,
  • New America Foundation
May 31, 2012 |

The massacre in al-Houla, where Syrian military forces and allied militiamen massacred more than 100 civilians in cold blood, leaves no doubt about the intentions of President Bashar al-Assad's regime: survival at any cost and through any means. Assad does not have a Plan B.

The Sidebar: Two Global Conferences

May 24, 2012
The implications of two global summits, the NATO Conference in Chicago and the Iranian nuclear talks in Baghdad are explored this week as Jennifer Rowland and Tom Kutsch join host Elizabeth Weingarten.

The Sidebar: France's New President and Egypt's Democratic Transition

May 17, 2012

On this week's episode of The Sidebar podcast (available below) Leila Hilal discusses Egypt's first ever presidential debate and the emerging democratic process in the Middle East. Jeff Vanke talks about France's new president and the future of the Eurozone. Elizabeth Weingarten hosts.

Also, Leila Hilal spoke with us on camera to preview Egypt's upcoming elections:

But Are They “The Good Muslims”?

  • By
  • Haroon Moghul,
  • New America Foundation
May 3, 2012 |

After their strong showing in the Egyptian elections, Salafis are a hot topic. But despite all the talk of Salafis, we still have a difficult time defining Salafism. Take Wendell Steavenson’s recent New Yorker piece, “Radicals Rising,” a portrait of Salafi politicians in Alexandria, Egypt.

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