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Kerry’s Looming Deadline and the Peace Process Industry

Kerry’s Looming Deadline and the Peace Process Industry

By Ramzy Baroud As the US-imposed April 29 deadline for a ‘framework’ agreement between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority looms, time is also running out for the American administration itself. The Obama administration must now conjure up an escape route to avoid a political crisis if the talks are to fail, as they […]

Tears of Yarmouk – The Palestinian Lesson that Every Syrian Should Know

Tears of Yarmouk – The Palestinian Lesson that Every Syrian Should Know

By Ramzy Baroud In the early days of the Syrian uprising-turned civil war three years ago, the writing on the wall of it becoming an intricate regional and international conflict was there for all to see. Palestinians in Syria were likely to find themselves a pawn in a dirty war, but few could have predicted […]

The Libyan Bedlam: General Hifter, the CIA and the Unfinished Coup

The Libyan Bedlam: General Hifter, the CIA and the Unfinished Coup

By Ramzy Baroud On Friday, Feb 14, 92 prisoners escaped from their prison in the Libyan town of Zliten. 19 of them were eventually recaptured, two of whom were wounded in clashes with the guards. It was just another daily episode highlighting the utter chaos which has engulfed Libya since the overthrow of Muammar Ghaddafi […]

Preserving the Abu Ghraib Culture: The Harrowing Abuse of Iraqi Women

Preserving the Abu Ghraib Culture: The Harrowing Abuse of Iraqi Women

By Ramzy Baroud “When they first put the electricity on me, I gasped; my body went rigid and the bag came off my head,” Israa Salah, a detained Iraqi woman told Human Rights Watch (HRW) in her heartrending testimony. Israa (not her real name) was arrested by US and Iraqi forces in 2010. She was […]

Iraq near Implosion: The ‘Bad Years’ Are Back

Iraq near Implosion: The ‘Bad Years’ Are Back

By Ramzy Baroud As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hurried to his helicopter ready to take off at the end of a visit to Iraq last year, it was becoming clearer that the Americans have lost control of a country they wished to mold to their liking. His departure on March 24, 2013 was […]

Starving Refugees: How We Disowned Palestinians in Syria

Starving Refugees: How We Disowned Palestinians in Syria

By Ramzy Baroud A worst case scenario is unfolding in Syria, and Palestinian refugees, particularly in the Yarmouk refugee camp, are paying a heavy price for Syria’s cruelest war. They are starving, although there can be no justification, nor logistical explanation for why they are dying from hunger. Spokesman for the UN Relief and Works […]

2013: Assessing the Conflict in Syria and Egypt – The War Continues

2013: Assessing the Conflict in Syria and Egypt – The War Continues

By Ramzy Baroud 2013 has expectedly been a terrible year for several Arab nations. It has been terrible because the promise of greater freedoms and political reforms has been reversed, most violently in some instances, by taking a few countries down the path of anarchy and complete chaos. Syria and Egypt are two cases in […]

Beit Sahour: Boycott is Historically Palestinian

Beit Sahour: Boycott is Historically Palestinian

By Ramzy Baroud As the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement continues to grow, and thus Israel’s international isolation, one must remember that the boycott is an authentically collective Palestinian strategy that is rooted in history. The BDS debate is at such an advanced stage that it has indeed surpassed all expectations. A few years […]

From the Middle East to Lausanne: Arabic Thoughts amidst the Alps

By Ramzy Baroud Here in Switzerland, the train chugs along nicely between Geneva and Lausanne. The Alpine mountain range desperately fights to make its presence known despite the irritating persistence of low- hanging clouds. A friend had just introduced me to the music of J.J. Cale, but my thoughts were moving faster than the speed […]

Impossible Dialogue: The Choice in Yemen

By Ramzy Baroud Chances are dim that elections will be held in Yemen next February. Yet without elections, the push for reforms and change that were inspired by the Yemeni revolution would become devoid of any real value. Yemenis might find themselves back on the street, repeating the original demands that echoed in the country’s […]

Bernard Henri Levy and the Destruction of Libya

Bernard Henri Levy and the Destruction of Libya

By Ramzy Baroud While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is "the world’s most influential Jew", Bernard-Henri Levy is number 45, according to an article published in the Jerusalem Post, on May 21, 2010. Levy, per the Post’s standards, came only two spots behind Irving Moskowitz, a "Florida-based tycoon considered the leading supporter of Jewish construction […]

When Falsehoods Triumph: Why A Winning Palestinian Narrative is Hard to Find

When Falsehoods Triumph: Why A Winning Palestinian Narrative is Hard to Find

By Ramzy Baroud (Editor’s Note: Ramzy Baroud will be conducting a speaking tour in France, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxemburg starting Dec 2. For more information click here.)  In an initially pointless exercise that lasted nearly an hour, I flipped between two Palestinian television channels, Al Aqsa TV of Hamas in Gaza and Palestine TV of Fatah […]

Asking the Wrong Questions: Did Arab Revolutions Fail?

Asking the Wrong Questions: Did Arab Revolutions Fail?

By Ramzy Baroud Challenging the falsehoods and simplifications that surrounded the so-called Arab Spring from the very start doesn’t necessarily mean that one is in doubt of the very notion that genuine revolutions have indeed gripped various Arab countries for nearly three years. In fact, the revolutionary influx is still underway, and it will take many years […]

Lebanon Haunted by Ghosts of Civil War

Lebanon Haunted by Ghosts of Civil War

By Ramzy Baroud Throughout the years, Lebanon’s demographics have experienced periodic influx. But in the last two years, the demographic shift has become overwhelming due to the influx of Syrian refugees in desperate need of shelter. The situation is highly charged, if not perilous, considering Lebanon’s unmanageable sectarian balances and the direct involvement of Lebanese […]

Sectarianism: Redrawing the Map of Middle East

Sectarianism: Redrawing the Map of Middle East

By Ramzy Baroud The warm waters of the Gulf look quiet from where I am sitting in Doha, but such tranquility hardly reflects the conflicts this region continues to generate. The euphoria of the so-called Arab Spring is long gone, but what remains is a region that is rich with resources and burdened with easily […]

South vs. North: Yemen Teeters between Hope and Division

By Ramzy Baroud On Oct 12, tens of thousands of Yemenis took to the streets of Eden in the South of the country, mostly demanding secession from the north. The date is significant, for it marks the 1967 independence of South Yemen, ending several decades of British colonialism. But for nearly five decades since then, […]

New York Times Fiction: On Obama’s Letter to Rouhani

New York Times Fiction: On Obama’s Letter to Rouhani

By Ramzy Baroud Mark Landler is a White House correspondent for The New York Times. Under the title “Through Diplomacy, Obama Finds a Pen Pal in Iran”, Landler wrote of President Barack Obama’s deep “belief in the power of the written word,” and of his “frustrating private correspondence with the leaders of Iran.” (NYT, Sep. […]

Syria’s New Game: The Russian Factor

Syria’s New Game: The Russian Factor

By Ramzy Baroud Many US media commentators were fairly accurate in labeling some of the language used by Russian President Vladimir Putin in a New York Times article as "hypocritical". But mainstream US media should be the last to point out anyone’s hypocrisy as it has brazenly endorsed every military intervention unleashed by their country […]

Tale of Two Cities: Ramallah, Gaza and the Identity Crisis

Tale of Two Cities: Ramallah, Gaza and the Identity Crisis

By Ramzy Baroud The distance between Gaza and Ramallah in sheer miles is hardly significant. But in actuality, both cities represent two different political realities, with inescapable cultural and socioeconomic dimensions. Their geopolitical horizons are vastly different as well – Gaza is situated within its immediate Arab surroundings and turmoil, while Ramallah is westernized in […]

Politics of Death: Can Human Life Be Devalued Like Currency?

Politics of Death: Can Human Life Be Devalued Like Currency?

By Ramzy Baroud How many Egyptians have been killed since the January 2011 revolt? My pursuit for exact figures has proven to be futile. Various sources suggest all sorts of numbers, some scrambled in such a way as to make a political point. It is as if the life of the ordinary Egyptian doesn’t matter […]

Egypt’s Unanswered Question

By Ramzy Baroud What is happening in Egypt? How is it possible that in a matter of two years a perceived evil can become virtuous? And how could those who shed many tears over the beating to death of Khaled Saeed at the hands of the Egyptian police in June 2010, justify with disheartening ferocity the […]

On Egypt’s Class-Struggle: Rabias of the World Unite

On Egypt’s Class-Struggle: Rabias of the World Unite

By Ramzy Baroud "Lord! You know well that my keen desire is to carry out Your commandments and to serve Thee with all my heart, O light of my eyes. If I were free I would pass the whole day and night in prayers. But what should I do when you have made me a […]

The Un-Revolution: Yemen’s Mediocre Transition

By Ramzy Baroud Considering the off-putting reality, one fails to imagine a future scenario in which Yemen could avoid a full-fledged conflict or a civil war. It is true that much could be done to fend off against this bleak scenario such as sincere efforts towards reconciliation and bold steps to achieve transparent democracy. There […]

Plotting Elites: Old Middle East Paradigm Will Change

Plotting Elites: Old Middle East Paradigm Will Change

By Ramzy Baroud The seismic shift under way in the Middle East continues to widen, but it is not expressed so lucidly in our media through its polarised language: pro-regime, anti-regime, Islamists, secularists, Mursi supporters or otherwise. Some want you to believe that it was all a devilish plan hatched years in advance with the […]

The Arab Turmoil: Where Do We Stand?

The Arab Turmoil: Where Do We Stand?

By Ramzy Baroud Seasons come and go, yet Arab countries are in ongoing turmoil. They called it an ‘Arab Spring’, but even if that ‘spring’ had ever existed in the shape and form that the media portrayed it to be, it never really lasted. It has now morphed into something far more complex. But it […]

Hated in Egypt: How the Palestinian Bogeyman Resurfaced Like Never Before

Hated in Egypt: How the Palestinian Bogeyman Resurfaced Like Never Before

By Ramzy Baroud When I left Gaza for the first time on my own, twenty some years ago, I was warned of a notorious officer who headed Egypt’s State Security Intelligence at the Rafah border. He “hates Palestinians,” I was told. My friends and neighbors in Gaza warned me not to greet him with ‘Assalamu […]

On Leaks and Pseudo-Reality: The US’ Futile Search for ‘World Domination’

On Leaks and Pseudo-Reality: The US’ Futile Search for ‘World Domination’

By Ramzy Baroud Those enchanted by pseudo-reality must have been at the edge of their seats as they watched ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, a Hollywood account of how US SEAL Team Six killed Osama Bin Laden on May 1, 2011. But a recently leaked report shows that the ‘riveting’ Hollywood account of the ‘greatest manhunt of […]

ElBaradei’s Democracy: How Egypt’s ‘Revolution’ Betrayed Itself

ElBaradei’s Democracy: How Egypt’s ‘Revolution’ Betrayed Itself

By Ramzy Baroud ‘The revolution is dead. Long live the revolution,’ wrote Eric Walberg, a Middle East political expert and author, shortly after the Egyptian military overthrew the country’s democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi on July 3. But more accurately, the revolution was killed in an agonizingly slow death, and the murders were too many […]

From Tahrir to Taksim: West Reserves Right to Interfere

From Tahrir to Taksim: West Reserves Right to Interfere

By Ramzy Baroud The distance between Cairo’s Tahrir Square and Istanbul’s Taksim Square is impossibly long. There can be no roadmap sufficient enough to use the popular experience of the first in order to explicate the circumstances that lead to the other. Many have tried to insist on the similarities between the two since it […]

Maids for Sale: Child Exploitation Bonanza

Maids for Sale: Child Exploitation Bonanza

By Ramzy Baroud Last night at the hotel lobby of an Arab Gulf country, a family walked in aiming for the westernized café that sells everything but Arabic coffee. The mother seemed distant as she pressed buttons on her smart phone. The father looked tired as he buffed away on his cigarette, and a whole […]