The US announced on July 14 that it had successfully conducted tests of its controversial National Missile Defence system over the Pacific Ocean.
The Hizbullah, which is now under intense attack in Lebanon from Israel, emerged as an Islamic movement representing Lebanon’s ordinary Muslims after the Israeli invasion of the country in 1982. Eighteen years later, in 2000, Hizbullah’s resistance led to a stunning victory when the Israelis were forced to withdraw from territories they had occupied in the 1980s. Here we reprint an analysis of Hizbullah’s rise and modus operandi by Khalil Osman, first published in September 2000 to mark that triumph.
The US has used its financial muscle to subvert yet another international agency, this time the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. KHALIL OSMAN reports.
The presidents of the five Caspian Sea littoral countries ended a two-day summit in Ashgabat, the Turkmen capital, on April 24 without reaching any agreement on how to share the Caspian and its rich hydrocarbon reserves.
Ariel Sharon, Israel’s prime minister, could not have done more for his reputation as a heartless, bloodthirsty war-criminal. Dozens of rotting bodies littering the streets and homes of West Bank cities...
It is not often that one sees a consensus among Arab states on any issue, but the two-day Arab summit held in Beirut on March 27 and 28 unanimously endorsed a Saudi-inspired plan for Middle East ‘peace’, offering Israel normal ties and full peace in return for complete withdrawal from the Arab lands it occupied in the June 1967 war and recognition of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
During his recent gruelling 10-day, 12-country tour of the Middle East and Britain, US vice president Dick Cheney hoped to build a case for an Afghan-style war against Iraq...
Lebanese authorities have broken up a spy ring that provided Israel with information about the activities of the Hizbullah-led Islamic resistance in Lebanon, as well as of the military positions and activities of the Lebanese and Syrian armies...
Shaykh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifah, Bahrain's emir, proclaimed himself king on February 14, declaring the emirate the Kingdom of Bahrain and adding a crown to its flag. At the same time, he also conferred assent on constitutional amendments, and called for municipal and legislative elections in May and October respectively.
Soon after September 11 reports surfaced of Arab and Muslim men being arrested, shackled, denied access to lawyers and families, refused medical attention and sometimes even beaten, while in the custody of United States authorities.
Saudi crown prince Abdullah bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz had more than the Israeli-Arab conflict on his mind when he staged his latest subterfuge. This was to disclose that he might propose that the Arab world offer Israel “normalization of relations” in exchange for withdrawal from the territories that Israel occupied in 1967.
Almost eighteen months after the launching of the second Palestinian intifada in September 2000, many observers continue to argue that it is achieving nothing, and that a return to the ‘peace process’ is inevitable.
In the decade since the US’s high-tech destruction of Iraq in 1991, the US has consistently talked of overthrowing Saddam Hussain while being happy to leave him in place as a useful enemy to have. Now there are signs that they may actually be preparing to replace him. KHALIL OSMAN reports.
Some 2,700 participants, ranging from kings, presidents and business moguls to professors, clergymen and celebrities, paid $25,000 each to get into the gathering...
A call for a nevitalized role for Muslim ulama in overcoming the Zionist menace sounded in Beirut in late December, when about 130 senior ulama from around the world descended on the Lebanese capital to attend a two-day conference on “Saving Jerusalem and Supporting the Palestinian People.”
When leaders of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held their 22nd summit on December 30-31, the air of achievement and success that once marked such occasions was nowhere to be seen.
When the trial of Azmi Bishara, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, opened on December 10, another demonstration of the apartheid-like nature of Israel began. According to the indictment prepared by Elyakim Rubenstein...
Hardly an eyebrow rose on December 12 when the chairman of the Jewish Defence League (JDL) and another senior member were arrested in a plot to bomb a large mosque, the office of a congressman, and other targets.
Intoxicated by the devastating display of America’s military juggernaut in Afghanistan, senior US officials have been issuing bellicose statements about Iraq. President George W Bush joined the chorus on November 26 when he warned Iraqi president Saddam Hussein to readmit UN arms-inspectors or face unspecified consequences.
The aftermath of September 11 has focused attention once more on the House of Saud and its ability to survive. There are growing indications that the genie of waning popularity, which the Saudi dynasty has long feared and tried to control by a legion of gimmicks, has again escaped.
In an audacious and defiant move, Lebanon has refused to bow to America’s demand that Hizbullah’s bank accounts be frozen as part of Washington’s “war on terrorism.”
Delegates at the World Trade Organization (WTO) conference in Doha, Qatar, emerged on November 14 from six days of intense haggling to announce a compromise agreement that sets out an agenda for a new round of talks.
The anthrax outbreak in the US has put many on edge about biological warfare and ‘bioterrorism’. Anthrax has killed four people and made 13 others ill since it appeared in the US in late September.
On October 12 the Nobel prize committee in Oslo announced that it was awarding the United Nations Organization and Kofi Annan, its secretary-general, a peace prize in recognition of their work in pursuit of “a better organized and a more peaceful world.” This is the first time that the UN as a whole and its acting head have received the award.
Despite Washington’s recent diplomatic scramble to get support for its “war on terrorism,” getting key Arab countries on board remains an unfinished task. This became clear during US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s tour earlier this month of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman, Uzbekistan and Turkey. Rumsfeld’s efforts were received tepidly by Washington’s Arab allies.
The process of political reform in Syria initiated by president Bashar al-Asad after he took office in July 2000 has met its most serious setback. On September 12 Syrian authorities arrested two opposition activists, Habib ‘Issa, a lawyer, and Fawwaz Tello, an engineer.
The attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre on September 11 have caused a wave of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hatred, bigotry and intolerance all over the Western world. Particularly hard-hit are American Muslim and Arab communities, as well as other dark-skinned groups.
The UN and Iraq look set for yet another confrontation: there is mounting concern in Washington about the growing perils facing American pilots flying over Iraq as Baghdad continues to improve its air defences. Baghdad has expelled eight UN staffers in recent weeks, accusing them of “violating their standard operating procedures” and passing security-related information to “enemy states.”
It’s déja vu yet again in the Persian Gulf, with US and British air raids against Iraq throughout most of August. Since August 7, after a three-week break in their bombing, US and British warplanes have returned to pound targets in northern and southern Iraq at the previous rate of three or four raids a week.
By forcing Israeli troops to withdraw from the Abu Sneineh quarter in Khalil (Hebron) on August 24, Palestinians set another precedent that is likely to be repeated whenever Israel invades Palestinian-controlled areas. Late in the evening of August 23, Israeli armoured personnel-carriers and jeeps, backed by helicopters...
August 2 was the 11th anniversary of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Eleven years later, the consequences of the invasion continue to cloud the political landscape in the Middle East, as proven by Washington’s doggedness in sounding the drums of war against Baghdad.
Ten years after the end of the US attack on Iraq, more than 5,000 Iraqis remain stranded and largely forgotten in appalling conditions in the Rafha refugee camp in north-eastern Saudi Arabia.
It was an appalling display of barbarism: on July 19 Jewish settlers ambushed the al-Itmeizi family and murdered three of them, including a 10-week-old baby girl, Diya. Four other family members were wounded.
Heavy-handed police tactics succeeded in preventing a protest-march by thousands of minority Kabyle Berbers in Algiers, the Algerian capital, from taking place on July 5, the 39th anniversary of the country’s ‘independence’ from France. Yet, despite its success in averting another potential flashpoint in the three-month-old popular uprising, the military-backed regime continues to teeter on the brink of total collapse.
The hottest confrontation between Hizbullah and Israel since Israel’s retreat from most of South Lebanon in May last year began shortly after noon on July 1 when two Israeli warplanes fired two air-to-surface missiles at a Syrian radar-station near the village of Sar’in al-Tahta in Lebanon’s eastern Beqa’a Valley.
For some Americans, the ‘information revolution’ has transformed life radically. Yet for others the new technology and the ‘new economy’ it has helped to set in motion have only created a new dividing line between the information “haves” and “have-nots.”
US secretary of state general Colin Powell’s tour of the Middle East in February has heralded a change in America’s policy on Iraq. In addition to “re-energizing” the sanctions regime, Washington will actively seek to overthrow Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.
During his three-day Mideast tour last month, US secretary of state Colin Powell left no doubt about what the Bush administration has in store for Iraq and the region. Throughout his visit, Powell remained unrepentant about the recent American and British air-strikes on Iraq.
Amid continuing scepticism over the possibility of a pan-African confederation, some 40 heads of state and government have pledged to speed up the birth of an African union.
After less than a month in office, US president George W. Bush left no doubt about his combative attitude to Iraq: like father, like son. George W.’s approach is one of gunboat diplomacy based on the unbridled use of force without scruple.
Like autocratic rulers everywhere, nothing is more loathsome to Kuwait’s ‘royal’ family than accountability. Another mainstay of autocratic rule is a determination to avoid relinquishing key positions of power.
In an attempt to put a happier face on globalization, G8 (Group of Eight, also known as ‘Greedy Eight’) leaders tried to placate the world’s less fortunate at their summit in Japan last July by promising to set up a Digital Opportunities Task Force (DOT) to identify ways to encourage the spread of technology to the farthest reaches of the “developing world”.
The Turkish army’s drive to crush the country’s Islamic movement continues unabated. The latest episode is the postponement of a debate on a constitutional amendment that would make it difficult to close political parties.
Dr Mazen al-Najjar, a former adjunct professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, was released from prison on December 15, 2000, after more than 3 and a half years in jail as a victim of the US’s notorious “secret evidence” system.
A fresh debate on whether Israel should unilaterally extricate itself from its costly occupation of parts of southern Lebanon has bubbled up again in the Zionist State over the past few weeks.
When Turkish prime minister Mesut Yilmaz hobnobbed with Israeli leaders on September 7, there were hardly any quizzical eyebrows raised. This is furthur affirmation of the close ties with Tel Aviv which have long been assiduously cultivated by the Turkish secularist political elites and their shoulder-boarded godfathers in the military.
Foreign aid, whether in the form of loans or grants, in cash or in kind, is often touted as a useful way to bring about an international redistribution of global wealth. One streak of classical economic growth theorization, known as the economic convergence theory...
Simmering divisions among congressional Republicans came to the surface on July 3 when the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee decided to indefinitely postpone a religious monitoring act requiring American administrations to punish foreign countries deemed as permitting or endorsing ‘religious persecution.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has once again come to the rescue of Russia as it teeters on the edge of a precipice of financial meltdown. On July 22, the 24-member IMF executive board approved a US$11.2 billion rescue package to help Russia...
Nothing beats the bizarre, stinging war of words and mudslinging that has been raging for the last few weeks between Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri and his minister for the displaced Walid Junblat.
Early last month, US president Bill Clinton completed a historic nine-day visit to China which included a number of carefully-orchestrated media bravura and photo-op performances similar to those that have typified his style on the American domestic political scene.
In a move designed to further its efforts towards the complete Judaization of Jerusalem, the Israeli government approved the creation of a ‘super-municipality’ for the Holy City.
When the Syrian ambassador in Washington, Walid al-Mu’allim, recently spoke about his country’s rights in the province of Alexandretta, he also signaled that the turbulent relations between Syria and Turkey have inched closer toward a crisis point.
Poverty and hunger are age-old human conditions. Today, as humanity awaits the advent of a new millennium, the world continues to be polarized into poor and rich countries.
For the past few months, prospects of a rapprochement between the US and the Islamic Republic of Iran have captured the western media’s headlines, notwithstanding the fallout from subcontinental nuclear explosions. In a January 7 television interview with Cable News Network (CNN)...
Foreign students hailing from a number of Muslim countries designated as sponsors of “terrorism,” namely, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, and Syria, may soon be subject to restrictions barring them from seeking a higher education in certain scientific fields in the United States.
Political terror, as the calculated utilization of violence to elicit psychological intimidation in an effort to accomplish strategic and political goals, was a major feature of the zionist movement's modus operandi prior to the establishment of Israel.
At first glance Canada appears an ideal place to live in. With an international reputation as a country that takes extra care in protecting and promoting the rights of minorities, it seems like a haven where fairness thrives and equality prospers.
‘I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms.
Buoyed by his success in securing the Northern Ireland peace agreement, British prime minister Tony Blair last month embarked on a five-day Middle Eastern tour in an attempt to revive the long-stalled “peace process.”
Over the past few months, Iran and Saudi Arabia have edged closer toward warmer relations after nearly two decades of acrimony, tension and hostility. Tangible signs of improved ties between Tehran and Riyadh include the numerous visits of Iranian and Saudi officials to each other’s countries...
Some things seem resistant to change in Kuwait, with the autocratic ways of governance foremost among them. Last month’s reshuffle of the Kuwaiti cabinet to avoid an imminent parliamentary no-confidence vote is the latest dramatic episode highlighting the persistence of the ruling Al-Sabah family...
Nestled among picturesque, tranquil hills overlooking the Mediterranean, the southern Lebanese village of Qana once had its moments of joy, sweet memories, and rosy dreams.
Hopes for resuscitating the stalemated Oslo ‘peace process’ were dashed last month after US Middle East envoy Dennis Ross failed during a four-day regional tour to make headway in brokering a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian talks.
The signing ceremony of the anti-personnel landmine treaty in Ottawa last December was attended by a group of landmine victims - many of them amputees in wheelchairs or on crutches.
The euphoria that surrounded the signing of the global anti-personnel landmine ban treaty in Ottawa last December was tempered by the fact that the world’s most powerful military States and leading producers and users of landmines...
A landmark international treaty to ban anti-personnel landmines became reality early last month when 121 countries signed the accord at the end of a three-day conference (December 2-4) in the Canadian capital, Ottawa.
The recent ethnic wars and crises that have ravaged the Balkans over the last few years are a reminder of the complexity of a region where past enmities and unsettled grievances, as well as thwarted national aspirations and traumas, retain their powerful presence, often hidden behind the artificial carapace and boundaries of the modern nation-State.
Washington’s push to limit the first wave of NATO expansion to only three countries, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, provides a tell-tale sign of the inner contradictions that bedevil the enlargement project.
Like the proverbial glimmer of hope in the midst of total despair, and despite the dark cloud of gloom and defeat hovering over the Arab world, South Lebanon has once again emerged as the theatre of some of the most dramatic and promising developments in the Israeli-Arab conflict.
The game of world politics is full of twists and developments that often confound analysts and observers. The recent NATO decision to absorb new members from Eastern Europe is one such development.
Throughout much of the second half of this century the mere utterance of the name NATO would have conjured up images of the cold war. Contrary to most predictions, however, the end of the cold war did not mark the beginning of the end for NATO.
Ever since their deadly debut on the scene of world politics during the last stage of the second world war, nuclear weapons have played a profound role in shaping the conduct of military strategy and inter-State relations.
The quest for water to satisfy the burgeoning needs of an ever-increasing number of Jewish settlers in arid Palestine is as old as zionism itself. Theodore Herzl, the founding father of political zionism, recognized the vital importance of water for the success of his colonialist project.
A tug of war between the Refah-led government of prime minister Necmettin Erbakan and the military establishment over the role of Islam in public life has dominated Turkish political scene since the end of February.
Ever since that day in April 1988 when she took part in an Israeli-Palestinian debate on ABC's Nightline show, life has never been the same for Hanan Ashrawi. That experience marked the beginning of the meteoric rise to international prominence of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) activist who was until then a relatively obscure professor of English literature and dean of the Faculty of Arts at Bir Zeit University in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Despite the recent increase in the tempo of diplomatic activity to find a solution for the decades-long conflict in the Western Sahara, a lasting and comprehensive peace settlement remains a distant hope.
The incessant recurrence of international conflict, political rivalry and economic competition in relations among States has led many observers and analysts to conceive of the international system as being intrinsically chaotic and anarchic. According to Tony Porter, however, such a view of the international system is misleading as interstate interactions exhibit 'a surprising degree of regularity and order' (p.1).