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The US Palestine-Israel Fairytale

By RAMZY BAROUD A memorable quote in Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894) still carries a wealth of relevance. He writes, "They own the [holy] land, just the mere land, and that’s all they do own; but it was our folks, our Jews and Christians, that made it holy, and so they haven’t any business […]

The Coming Uncertain War against Iran

By RAMZY BAROUD When Admiral William J "Fox" Fallon was chosen to replace General John Abizaid as chief of US Central Command (CENTCOM) in March 2007, many analysts didn’t shy from reaching a seemingly clear-cut conclusion: the Bush administration was preparing for war with Iran and had selected the most suitable man for this job. […]

Will Iraq War Define US Elections?

By RAMZY BAROUD As the race for the presidential nominations progresses, the stances of and attitudes towards both Republican and Democratic candidates continue to bring up causes for concern, in terms of their past behaviour, current appeal and general trustworthiness. Republican Mitt Romney’s exit has practically assured Sen John McCain’s victory in his party. While […]

Guantanamo as a Symbol

By RAMZY BAROUD 11 January marked the sixth year anniversary of the establishment of the Guantanamo detention camp. Mere months after the start of the 2001 United States invasion of Afghanistan, a large cargo plane landed in a US military base in Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay, bringing in a group of hunchbacked, orange-clad, blindfolded, "terrorist" suspects, […]

Despite ‘Good News’, Iraq is not Okay

By RAMZY BAROUD In recent months, we have been inundated by media reports bringing good news from Iraq, with countless testimonials to the great improvement in security enjoyed by the country in general and the Baghdad area in particular. This progress is attributed solely to the judicious ‘surge’ of US military presence, and the astute […]

The True Aim of Annapolis, and Why It Failed

By RAMZY BAROUD The US-sponsored peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland was neither a success nor failure, if one accepts that its so-called objective was indeed ‘peacemaking’. From a US perspective, the meeting was, at best, a diplomatic manoeuvre on the part of the Bush administration, a last chance for becoming relevant to a region that […]

Peace and Democracy

By RAMZY BAROUD After years of marked absence, the Bush administration has finally decided to upgrade its involvement in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The announcement of a Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland has raised red flags for anyone who has learned from past experience how unbalanced and insincere peace efforts actually can lead to […]

A Case for Arab Dignity

By RAMZY BAROUD The ongoing socio-economic and political ills that mar potential progress in Middle Eastern countries can largely be attributed to the ill-defined foreign policy of the United States. Utterly desperate situations have arisen whereby US clients rule with an iron fist, making prospects for a meaningful democracy sit at an all-time low. However […]

Peace Conference is New Case for War

By RAMZY BAROUD The Middle East peace conference proposed by the Bush administration is clearly a smokescreen, aimed at concealing the true intentions of US foreign policy in the region. In the predictable process of rewarding ‘moderate’ allies and chastising ‘extremist’ foes, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will most likely receive the accolades befitting a […]

Burma is Not Iraq

By RAMZY BAROUD The 2003 invasion of Iraq has enabled two important realisations. First, that imperial powers act only to preserve their interests, and second, that humanitarian intervention — i.e. humanitarian imperialism — is touted and encouraged by the media and official circles mostly to circumvent the true self-serving intents of aggression. Granted, many Americans […]

Lebanon and Syria: The Politics of Assassination

By RAMZY BAROUD The assassination of Lebanese politician Antoine Ghanem on September 19 is likely to be used, predictably, to further US and Israeli interests in the region.  Most Western and some Arab media have industriously argued that Syria is the greatest beneficiary from the death of Ghanem, a member of the Phalange party responsible […]

September 11: Relevant Questions

By RAMZY BAROUD Osama bin Laden has once again managed to occupy the stage and to insist on his relevance to the story of September 11, 2001. In his most recent video message, released by Reuters a few days before the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon, bin Laden […]

The Shiite Power Struggle: Hardly Good News for US in Iraq

By RAMZY BAROUD The decision made by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to halt his Mahdi Army’s attacks on occupation forces and Iraqi security is likely to be considered the single most promising breakthrough for the US military in Iraq. Although the move comes ahead of several reports to be presented to the US Congress later […]

Alberto Gonzales and Coup Against Democracy

By RAMZY BAROUD The name of Alberto Gonzales is rapidly becoming synonymous with all that has gone wrong under the Bush administration. Repeated media discussions of the US Secretary of State in the most contentious tones have served to lay the blame for all the ailments that infected American democracy under Bush squarely on one […]

Bush’s Real Agenda in Palestine

By RAMZY BAROUD The Hamas government crackdown on Mohamed Dahlan’s corrupt security forces and affiliated gangs in the Gaza Strip in June appears to mark a turning point in the Bush administration’s foreign policy regarding Palestine and Israel. The supposed shift, however, is nothing but a continuation of Washington’s efforts to stifle Palestinian democracy, to […]

Bush’s War Policy: When Time Heals Nothing

By RAMZY BAROUD The news of recent weeks emanating from Washington and Baghdad point to one clear, if not final, conclusion: The Bush administration’s adventures in Iraq have been a complete failure. What the media have eagerly dubbed as the Republican Revolt is now reinforced by two of the most distinguished Republican senators: John Warner […]

War Foretold: Mark Twain and the Sins of Empire

By RAMZY BAROUD When I resorted to Mark Twain’s writings I attempted to escape, at least temporarily from my often distressing readings on war, politics and terror. But his “The Mysterious Stranger”, although published 1916, still left me with an eerie feel. The imaginative story calls into question beliefs that we hold as a “matter […]

Mismanaging Iraq: Stealing from the Poor and Giving to the Rich

By RAMZY BAROUD Locating Dartmouth House, where Hans von Sponeck, former UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq was scheduled to speak in London 18 April, was a challenge. Yet having been lost for an hour in the ever-confusing and expanding city of London was the least of my concerns the moment I slipped quietly into the […]

A Paradigm Shift: America as Proxy

By RAMZY BAROUD Conflicts in the Middle East are often orchestrated from afar, using proxies — the least risky method to fight and win a war. Despite its geopolitical fragmentation, the Middle East is loosely united insofar as any major event in any given locale can subsequently be felt throughout the region. Thus Lebanon, for […]

War Anniversary: Israel, Palestine Links Absent

By RAMZY BAROUD The Stockholm air was too cold, even for the most animated speaker to excite a crowd. But I had little choice: thousands of anti-war protesters had descended on the capital’s main square to show their support of the Iraqi people on the four-year anniversary of the US invasion, and to demand an […]

The Arab Peace Initiative and the Changing Middle East

By RAMZY BAROUD The rapid, almost hasty, developments on the Arab Israeli front, almost immediately following the Saudi sponsored Makkah Agreement on February 2, should be examined in their proper context, as a part and parcel of the regional shifts, exasperated by the US war in Iraq and the dramatic adjustment in Iran’s position vis-à-vis […]

The Final Punch: Removing Iran from the New Middle East Equation

By RAMZY BAROUD The configuration of the New Middle East — as envisaged by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during the Israeli war against Lebanon in July-August 2006, most certainly has no place for more than one regional power broker, namely Israel. Under such an arrangement — subservient Arabs and Iran governed by an […]

Countdown for Iran: When Commonsense is Nonsense

By RAMZY BAROUD The relationship between Iran and the United States is one of peculiar temperament: intense but accommodating at times, barefaced and seemingly self-destructive at others. Currently, the latter estimation rings truer: the US naval military build up in the east Mediterranean and the Gulf, conjoined with an intense and sinister propaganda campaign that […]

The Arabs’ Feelings of Love and Hate for Saddam Hussein

By RAMZY BAROUD Amid the anticipation and strange secrecy regarding the day of Sadaam Hussein’s execution, images of his lifeless body after his hanging flooded internet, the world media seemingly and conveniently forgot the tenants of international law regarding such images. Even such photos plagued my screen on Al-Jazeera that morning. Later, scenes of Iraqi […]

One Last Chance for Sanity in Iraq

By RAMZY BAROUD US President George W Bush’s new war strategy due to be officially announced on Wednesday, which will likely meet an uphill battle at the now Democrat-controlled Congress, is a slap in the face of the majority of American voters, and indeed the democratic process. The majority of American voters made their voices […]

New Year Reflections

By RAMZY BAROUD 2006 was yet another year of tribulations in the ever tumultuous Middle East. It defied all early expectations that 2005 would be the worst for many years to follow. It ended on a sad note in Palestine, and left wide open the chance for many appalling possibilities that stretch from Baghdad, to […]

Democrats Must Truly Change Course

By RAMZY BAROUD The astounding results of the US Congressional elections of November 7 were undoubtedly a welcomed sign of change, not in the American political apparatus per se, but in the unmistakable public reclamation of their role as the driving force behind the nation’s political posture.    That said, one must not confuse the redefining […]

US Voters Must Not Reward Failure

By RAMZY BAROUD How critical is the situation in Iraq? It depends on who you ask and when. Common sense tells us that the situation there has always been critical. In fact, one could dare claim that the country has been stricken with political and social upheaval since the early 1990s, when the US led […]

Nuclear Dual Standards

By RAMZY BAROUD The US administration’s double standards in dealing with the intensifying nuclear crisis in North Korea further strengthens the argument that President George W Bush’s colonial designs are either exasperated by the vulnerability of his foes or deterred by their lethal preparedness. Considering the US-North Korea protracted standoff, one can only imagine how […]

Risk of Misreading US-Iran Dispute

By RAMZY BAROUD The ongoing war of words between US President George W. Bush and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, coupled with deluded western media misconceptions or intentional misrepresentations of the true nature of the escalating conflict, can be utterly misleading, and must promptly be brought back to their sensible parameters of analysis. Following President Ahmadinejad’s fiery […]