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Ed Webb

Israel shoots the messenger: An open letter to Ban Ki-Moon | Middle East Eye - 0 views

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    Ouch!
Ed Webb

Can Oman help Saudis save face in Yemen? - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East - 1 views

  • Muscat’s understanding of Yemeni history, where no fighting force has ever been able to seize control of the entire nation. Conflict resolution in Yemen will require a power-sharing agreement in which all sides have a voice at the table, rather than a military campaign aimed at crushing the Houthi rebel movement.
  • the Omani leadership is most unsettled by the threat that a prolonged conflict poses to the security of Oman’s Dhofar governorate, situated along the Gulf Arab nation’s 187-mile border with Yemen
  • As Omanis face the challenges associated with the succession issue, Muscat officials are unsettled by the potential for groups in the historically neglected Dhofar governorate to reject the legitimacy of Qaboos’ successor. Within this context, promoting a peaceful resolution to the Yemeni crisis at the roundtable serves Oman’s national interests.
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  • That Saudi Arabia, the wealthiest Arab country and the world’s top arms importer, cannot defeat an insurgency from the most underserved region of the poorest Arab country is a source of humiliation
Ed Webb

Why the Islamic State is the minor leagues of terror | Middle East Eye - 2 views

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    "The sole advantage the Islamic State has when it comes to this country is that it turns out to be so easy to spook us."
Ed Webb

Why ISIL won't be defeated - Al Jazeera English - 2 views

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    Don't read the comments...
Ed Webb

Cameron's McCarthyite smear will not silence opponents of Syria bombing | Middle East Eye - 1 views

  • David Cameron yesterday denounced all opponents of his plans to bomb Syria as “terrorist sympathisers”. That makes me a terrorist sympathiser as well, and places me in distinguished company.
  • he has come to share the disastrous analysis of G W Bush after 9/11. The United States president’s notorious statement that “You are either with us or against us” left no room for argument or discussion.

    Intelligent critics in the United States were cast into the political darkness. With a very few honourable exceptions, the opposition Democratic party rallied behind Bush as the commander-in-chief, gave him sweeping new powers and saluted smartly as he led the United States into his disastrous war in Iraq. US allies had the choice of joining in the US “war on terror” or themselves coming under suspicion or attack.

    The events of the last 14 years have exposed this way of looking at the world as simple-minded and calamitous. If we have learnt anything from the Iraq War, it is that actions, however well intended, can have unintended consequences.

  • War is specially serious, as it always involves loss of life and causes such suffering. This does not mean that we should never fight a war, but it makes it outrageous when war is used for partisan political advantage.

    David Cameron and his fellow Tory strategists have been doing exactly that for more than a week. He has been using the argument on Syria to cause chaos in the Labour Party.

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  • Some of Jeremy Corbyn's political tactics have been inept, but his cause has been honourable. Last week in the House of Commons he asked a series of sensible and pertinent questions in an unhysterical way.

    He performed the classic role of a British opposition leader. To charge him and others with being terrorist sympathisers is low politics. If Cameron succeeds in his methods British government will take a sharp turn to the worse.

Ed Webb

Blaming Islam for ISIS: A convenient lie to prepare us for more war | Middle East Eye - 2 views

  • We can’t defeat ISIS if we misrepresent what and who ISIS actually is. Far from being the apocalyptic Islamist group that Wood contends they are, actual IS documents and blue prints reveal IS to be methodical state builders, led by secular Baathists – who aim to restore Sunni-Baathist power in Iraq. These documents also make clear that Saddam’s former generals (anti-Islamists) use Islam as a recruitment tool. “They [ISIS founders] reasoned that Baghdadi, an educated cleric, would give the group a religious face,” notes the German newspaper Der Spiegel.
  • recruits are drawn to ISIS for reasons that have little to do with extremist Islam. “They are woefully ignorant about Islam and have difficulty answering questions about Sharia law, militant jihad, and the Caliphate,”
  • the media welcomes only those who blame Islam or “radical Islam” and not those who speak to the conditions that make ISIS appealing
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  • blaming Islam makes us feel good about ourselves. Blaming Islam is good for television ratings. Blaming Islam makes it easier to sell new wars
Ed Webb

Poll: Majority of Jewish-Israelis think Palestinian terrorists should be 'killed on the... - 1 views

  • In addition to finding that 53 percent of Jewish-Israelis support extrajudicial killing of Palestinian terrorists, the survey revealed that Arab-Israelis are more fearful than Jewish-Israelis as a result of the increasing violence
  • 57 percent of Jewish-Israelis fear they or someone close to them will be harmed, compared to 78 percent of Arab-Israelis
  • more Arab-Israelis (53 percent compared to 36 percent of Jewish-Israelis) say they have changed their daily habits in response to the security situation
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  • Eighty percent of Jewish-Israelis said Palestinian homes should be razed if the homeowner or a family member carries out an attack “for nationalist reasons,” while 53 percent see this as an appropriate punishment for a Jewish person who carries out a nationalist-motivated terror attack. (Seventy-seven percent of Arab-Israelis oppose razing Palestinian homes, and 67 percent oppose razing Jewish ones.)
Ed Webb

This Intifada Will Be Digital - The Black Iris - 3 views

  • In these 15 years, we went from an era where mainstream media dominated the narrative, to an era where social media dominates it. This isn’t a time when the mainstream sees the online as a playful mechanism of democratized media (or an opportunity to present their brands as participatory), but a time when the mainstream is chasing down leads from what circulates online. And the region’s people now have the power to shape the narrative (whether we’ve fully realized it or not).
  • Internet user growth in the region has gone up by 6,091.9% between 2000 and 2015
  • Arabic is now the fourth biggest language on the Web after English, Chinese and Spanish
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  • as a Jordanian, I was part of what I personally believe to be the final generation that actually gave a damn what the government did or did not do. Our relationship with the state was like our relationship with a television – a one-way communication channel, where we are on the receiving end no matter how much we yell at the screen. And that was that
  • Like everyone else, I have no idea how this conflict will end. But I know that the Web will undeniably play a leading role – and that’s not something anyone could’ve imagined back in 1948. As yet another cycle of violence is upon us, that role is worth studying, and it’s that role that I find myself paying attention to the most.
Ed Webb

Yemen Doesn't Need the Obama Administration's 'Deep Concern' | Foreign Policy - 2 views

  • more than 21 million of Yemen’s 25 million people now require some form of aid to survive, and more than 1.5 million have fled their homes
  • The responsibility for Yemen’s descent into wanton destruction lies not with the United States, but with Yemen’s government in exile, the Houthis, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and other Yemeni political and military leaders; they are each pursuing their own short-sighted interests at the expense of an equitable and inclusive peace. But thanks to the U.S. government’s deep involvement in what many Yemenis call the “Saudi-American” military campaign, American hands are far from clean
  • To truly stand with Yemenis, the Obama administration must adopt a radically different course: withdraw its support to the coalition including the transfer of arms to belligerent parties, publicly demand the free flow of commercial goods into all ports, and rally support at the United Nations Security Council for an immediate, unconditional cease-fire and inclusive political process to bring an end to the war.
Ed Webb

Iraq and Syria opinion poll - the world's most dangerous survey? - BBC News - 1 views

  • how do you set about conducting field research in an IS-controlled area?

    "In the IS-controlled areas of Raqqa for each survey we visit the head of the town and ask him for permission to randomly interview people," Mr Heald says.

    "His response is 'so long as you are not an international media station and pull out video cameras, I don't mind you doing this'."

    "Why is this his reaction? Because, as the data verifies, many of those living in Raqqa now are happier since IS took over.

    "They welcome the security, they see IS trying to help the people with electricity, with food, with petrol. In many respects it is a story they are keen to tell."

  • "the majority in both countries are opposed to IS but that they also think that IS is a product of foreign countries… which to you and I may seem like some crazy conspiracy theory but to them it is a common perception.

    "Widespread opposition to the coalition bombing, should also make policymakers reconsider their strategy. I think the official British government line is that coalition air strikes are 'degrading' IS.

    "But while we can accept that it may be slowing them down," he says, "there is little evidence to suggest they are losing the war. People aren't leaving Raqqa now because of IS - they are leaving because of the coalition air strikes."

  • IS have an incredibly well-oiled strategic communication operation. Politicians and military leaders need to track public opinion to see where hearts and minds are and how they are shifting
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