Forecasting Mass Destruction, from Gulf to Gulf

by Sheila Carapico | published September 29, 2005

While internally displaced Americans were piled into an unequipped New Orleans sports stadium, the question on everyone’s lips was: where were the Louisiana National Guard and its high-water trucks when Hurricane Katrina struck? One answer, obviously, was that at least a third of the Guard’s human and mechanical resources were deployed to Iraq. Anti-war protesters demonstrating in Washington on September 24, 2005 as a new storm battered the Gulf coast turned the question into a new slogan: “Make Levees, Not War.”

Egypt’s Election All About Image, Almost

by Mariz Tadros | published September 6, 2005

The skies of Cairo are cluttered with strips of cloth daubed in red, blue and green. Hanging in crowded squares and stretching across streets before traffic lights, almost all of the banners proclaim the enthusiastic support of “So-and-So and his family” or “such-and-such shop or hospital” for Husni Mubarak in his quest for a fifth term as president of Egypt.

The Ceasefire This Time

by Evren Balta-Paker | published August 31, 2005

“The aim of the Turkish armed forces is to ensure that the separatist terrorist organization bows down to the law and the mercy of the nation.” Thus did the Turkish chief of staff, Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, brusquely dismiss the one-month ceasefire announced on August 19, 2005 by the Kurdistan People’s Congress (or Kongra-Gel). Kongra-Gel is the name adopted in 2003 by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which had renewed its armed struggle with the Turkish state just over one year before proclaiming its latest truce.

The New Hamas

Between Resistance and Participation

by Graham Usher | published August 21, 2005

In March 2005, Hamas, the largest Islamist party in Palestine, joined its main secular rival Fatah and 11 other Palestinian organizations in endorsing a document that seemed to embody the greatest harmony achieved within the Palestinian national movement in almost two decades. By the terms of the Cairo Declaration, Hamas agreed to “maintain an atmosphere of calm”—halt attacks on Israel—for the rest of the year, participate in Palestinian parliamentary elections scheduled for July and commence discussions about joining the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Black Monday

The Political and Economic Dimensions of Sudan's Urban Riot

by Khalid Mustafa Medani | published August 9, 2005

Iranian Women Take On the Constitution

by Mahsa Shekarloo | published July 21, 2005

Activists for women’s rights are prominent among the many Iranians who fear a reinvigorated crackdown on personal and social freedoms in the wake of the surprise election of the ultra-conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the presidency of the Islamic Republic. Though Ahmadinejad sought to soften his image on gender issues during the week before the runoff on June 24, 2005, even speaking against “sexist attitudes,” his electoral base on the far right continually agitates for a harder line. His base is particularly offended by the looser standards of “Islamic dress” for women and the freer mixing of the sexes in public places that have slowly developed over the two terms of President Mohammad Khatami, who will vacate his office on August 4.

Orange Rampant

by Peretz Kidron | published July 15, 2005

Israel’s national colors are blue and white. In the summer of 2005, however, an Israeli driver adorning his vehicle with ribbons in those hues runs the risk of a broken antenna or a vandal’s scratches in the paint job. Conversely, the motorist would be far safer joining what appears to be the general trend by accepting the strips of bright orange proffered at every main intersection by eager youngsters in orange T-shirts. Indeed, so dominant is the orange that one may be forgiven for suspecting a mass takeover by Protestant militants from Ulster.

Killing Live 8, Noisily

The G-8, Liberal Dissent and the London Bombings

by Sheila Carapico | published July 14, 2005

Mahmoud Abbas’ Mission Improbable

by Mouin Rabbani , Chris Toensing | published June 1, 2005

Renewed, if somewhat less euphoric talk of a historic opportunity for Middle East peace accompanied Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas both heading to and returning from his May 26, 2005 summit with President George W. Bush at the White House. Yet the opportunity, of which much has been written since Abbas’ victory in a presidential poll in January, is primarily remarkable for the absence of any plan for exploiting it.

Après Nous, Nous

Covering the Colonial Retreat

by Peter Lagerquist , Thomas Hill | published May 19, 2005