Marwan Bishara

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You’ve got to admire Tony Blair’s tenacity. Despite his terrible failures in Iraq and with the Palestinian Authority, the former British prime minister continues to pontificate about the Middle East’s ills and cures.

Seven years after he was appointed as the special envoy for the so-called quartet of Middle East peacemakers (the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia), the occupied territories of Palestine are still under siege. And 11 years after he co-sponsored the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the country is falling apart.

But don’t expect Mr. Blair to reconsider, admit mistakes or take responsibility for his blunders.…  Seguir leyendo »

It seems so long since we hung out in Tahrir Square, where my Egyptian colleagues had concocted an archaic studio out of spotlights, stools and a few cameras, overlooking history in the making. They captured the highs and lows of the revolution from the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, to the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and the election of President Mohamed Morsi, followed by their ouster by the military. The work of these Al Jazeera journalists was to be a first draft — or should I say, a rough cut — of the history of modern Egypt.

With little sleep and less comfort, they contended with conditions that could not have been more miserable; yet they couldn’t have been happier.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States over Washington’s approach to the Middle East were brewing for months before they burst into the open last week.

First, there was the American inaction in Syria and lack of progress on Israeli-Palestinian peace. Then came America’s withdrawal of aid to the Egyptian military after the July coup. Now President Obama is pursuing a very public rapprochement with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s archrival.

The mounting disagreements between the two longtime allies is now in full public view. Last week, the head of Saudi intelligence warned that it would stop cooperating with the United States on certain issues.…  Seguir leyendo »

There’s nothing’s like walking alongside the Nile to give one a historical perspective on the momentous changes sweeping through Egypt and the Arab region. Watching this ancient nation react to the dramatic developments since the downfall of Hosni Mubarak is sobering.

The latest drama was caused by the recently elected president, Mohamed Morsi, who granted himself broad new powers under the pretext of protecting the revolution from counterrevolutionary forces and of breaking the deadlock over writing a new constitution.

The move set off a political storm. The opposition condemned Morsi as “dictatorial,” and Egypt’s Supreme Judicial Council denounced him for putting the presidency above the law.…  Seguir leyendo »

El ánimo y el estilo que han convertido a Tony Blair en una celebridad política le serán más que necesarios en su nuevo trabajo como representante internacional para Israel-Palestina del Cuarteto. Si fracasa, ese británico chic será recordado como el Paris Hilton de la política de Oriente Medio: mucho oropel y ningún logro. Como destacado dirigente occidental, su reputación ya ha quedado empañada a causa de algunas decisiones políticas temerarias.

Tras lanzarse a la guerra de Iraq en el 2002 y postergar un alto el fuego en Líbano el año pasado, el primer ministro británico pasó a ser conocido en Oriente Medio como el lacayo de Washington en la región.…  Seguir leyendo »