Dictator’s Fall Could Further Destabilize Syria

President Barack Obama this week presented his case for intervening in Syria’s civil war in a televised address. Whether or not his arguments were persuasive is becoming clearer as analysts and congressmen debate the issue. One particular statement the president made about the Syrian opposition is exploring in more depth.

Obama admitted in his speech on Tuesday that some of the rebels in the Middle Eastern country are extremists. But, he argued, terrorist groups like Al Qaeda “will only draw strength in a more chaotic Syria if people there see the world doing nothing to prevent innocent civilians from being gassed to death.”

A chemical weapons attack that allegedly killed hundreds of civilians in the suburbs of Damascus last month prompted the United States to start considering military action against the regime of President Bashar Assad.

At least half of Obama’s statement had much truth to it. Read more “Dictator’s Fall Could Further Destabilize Syria”

Morsi’s Downfall Forces Islamists to Rethink Strategy

Night falls on Al-Azhar Park in Cairo, Egypt, March 13, 2010
Night falls on Al-Azhar Park in Cairo, Egypt, March 13, 2010 (Vinicius Batista)

President Mohamed Morsi’s removal from office this week jeopardizes his Muslim Brotherhood’s goal of creating an Islamic state in Egypt. But the army’s political intervention might have an impact beyond the country.

The Brotherhood’s experience in Egypt forces likeminded political groups across the Middle East to assess the value of obtaining their goals through a democratic process over means of armed aggression. Abiding by the democratic process got the Brotherhood ejected from the system while the Afghan Taliban’s commitment to armed resistance got them a seat at the negotiating table. Read more “Morsi’s Downfall Forces Islamists to Rethink Strategy”