Middle East

3:22pm

Tue January 31, 2012
Middle East

In Israel, A Non-Stop Debate On Possible Iran Strike

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 3:20 pm

Israeli soldiers take part in an exercise at the Shizafon army base, in the Negev Desert north of the southern city of Eilat, on Tuesday. There are growing signs that Israel may be planning a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

In Israel, there is daily speculation over whether Israel will attack Iran's nuclear facilities in the near future. The debate is not only over whether Israel should strike Iran, but what the costs and benefits might be from such a strike.

Israel believes that Iran is working to build a nuclear bomb, and dismisses Iran's assertion that its nuclear program is solely for civilian purposes.

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10:01pm

Mon January 30, 2012
Middle East

Longtime Allies, Egypt And U.S. Now Have Differences

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 5:50 am

The U.S. is insisting that Egypt establish a full-fledged democracy and move away from military rule. Here, an Egyptian woman covers her head in a national flag as she demonstrates in a pro-democracy rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Jan. 27.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

For many years, top Egyptian officials coming to Washington could expect a warm welcome, with few points of contention.

But for a group of Egyptian generals now in the U.S., several points of friction are likely to dominate the agenda between the longtime allies.

Egypt doesn't like the new conditions U.S. lawmakers have placed on American aid. And the U.S. is furious with the way Egypt has been treating U.S. groups that promote democracy. At least three Americans have taken shelter in the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

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8:04am

Fri January 27, 2012
Middle East

U.N. Security Council Meets On Syria Solutions

Violence is increasing in Syria, with activists reporting multiple clashes in cities. The U.N. Security Council is meeting Friday to discuss a resolution on the conflict there. It's also likely to ask President Bashar Assad to step down.

12:10pm

Thu January 26, 2012
Middle East

The State Of Syria: Civil War Or Vicious Stalemate?

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 10:00 am

Syrian army defectors wave the Syrian revolution flag Thursday, shortly after they defected to join the anti-regime protesters.
STR AP

One thing that's certain about the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad is that there is nothing romantic about it.

Unlike Egypt, there's no Tahrir Square filled with hundreds of thousands of people calling for democracy. Unlike Libya, there's no Mad Max warriors in the desert fighting a dictator with guns they've welded to the backs of their pickup trucks.

Instead, grim news seeps out piecemeal from unofficial sources. Most of the reports are little more than body counts, with most of the fatalities blamed on the Syrian security forces.

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10:01pm

Wed January 25, 2012
Middle East

For Turkish Journalists, Arrest Is A Real Danger

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 9:42 am

Hundreds of journalists protest the arrests of members of the media, including Ahmet Sik (poster on the right) and Nedim Sener (center) in Ankara, Turkey, in March 2011. Critics say the government is trying to stifle dissent by arresting journalists — for doing their job.
AP

In the wake of the Arab Spring, some Muslims in North Africa are looking across the Mediterranean to Turkey as a potential model of a state that can be modern, Islamic and democratic.

But some analysts in the region say that model is flawed, and they are questioning Turkey's human-rights record and its dealings with the press.

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