GSN Risk Management Reports (special edition 2013)
“GSN’s annual New Year assessment of the political and financial factors that impact on the region’s polities and economies finds a marked divide between the Gulf’s high-net worth oil producers and other Middle Eastern populations, who face a more precarious outlook.
GSN’s Risk Management Report 2013 consists of 12 one-page risk management reports on the GCC, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (federation and emirates) and Yemen.
Published alongside a country map, each risk management report includes a political and financial risk grade, factboxes, key economic data, and rounds up noteworthy events and significant trends in a series of short entries on politics and economics.
GSN’s Risk Management Report 2013 is an important reference tool for anyone conducting business in the Gulf region in 2013. It is available as part of a GSN subscription or may be purchased separately.
Editor: Fiona O’Brien
News Ed: Eleanor Gillespie
Contributors: John Hamilton, Phil Leech
Cartographer: David Burles
Production: Shirley Giles
Editorial Director: Jon Marks
Publications Director: Nick Carn
Image from the New York Times
The flawed logic of a Sunni vs. Shi‘a ‘civil war’
A little article I wrote about the Sunni vs. Shi‘a ‘civil war’ rhetoric that seems to be doing the rounds…
A number of recent documentary films (such as Channel Four’s Aleppo’s Children and PBS’ Syria Undercover) have highlighted the nearly unimaginable horror experienced by those afflicted by the ongoing conflict while the Assad regime fights for its life. But it is not only because of human tragedy that coming to terms with the ‘Arab Spring’ and its fallout, in Syria and elsewhere, is a difficult task. The processes of change that are still in motion are manifold and extraordinarily complex and the nature of emerging political realities remains fluid….
read more at ThinkIR
A little article I wrote about secret courts and the ‘Copenhagen School’
Read on ThinkIR… The challenge of ‘security’ itself
Well, on the 14 December I had my Viva Examination at Exeter where I successfully defended my Ph.D. thesis. My examiners were Dr. Adam Hanieh from SOAS, Professor Tim Niblock and it was chaired by Professor Ian Netton.
I’m hoping to get the thesis published and so I’ll hold off on providing too many details… but I do want to say thank you to all those people who’ve helped me getting this done. So here is the acknowledgements page from my thesis. Please note that because I’ve adopted a blanket policy of anonymity towards Palestinian interviewees – a wise precaution in my view – I have not listed the names of individuals here. Thus if your name is not present this should not be taken for ingratitude. Rather, on my next visit, I hope to thank you in person. Indeed for everyone who has aided me in this endeavour I truly am thankful and humbled by your support.
… It should also be noted that one of the people to whom I extend my thanks currently resides in an Israeli prison. He has faced neither criminal charges nor trial. Yet his condition is not unusual – particularly for young Palestinian males – and it serves to remind me of the utterly loathsome and, frankly, ludicrous nature of this occupation. The situation in general, and his condition in particular, are intolerable, untenable, and an affront to basic human dignity.
This is an old paper (first published on Resolve the online journal of People and Planet in 2007). I’ve recently been reminded of it and found out that unfortunately Resolve appears to have gone offline. Anyway, here it is for the record… any and all comments very welcome!
Galtung’s ‘Structural Violence’ and the Sierra Leone Civil War c.1985-1992
Sierra Leone gained independence from the British Empire in 1961; shortly afterwards democratic elections returned the SLPP (Sierra Leone People Party) to power. The new nation’s initial democratic experience was, however, short lived. 1967 saw the overthrow of Siaka Stevens’ government by a means of a military coup d’etat. Stevens returned himself to office in the following year, this time he also was at the head of a military rebellion. The events of 1967-1968 began a period of dictatorship that transformed Sierra Leone into a de jure one party regime by 1978 (81 Adebajo, 2002). When Stevens retired in 1985 his erstwhile deputy Major-General Joseph Saidu Momoh took over the presidency of a country in economic turmoil. Momoh would lead Sierra Leone for only six years before the outbreak of one of recent history’s most bloody conflicts in 1991.
Image from the Financial Times (www.ft.com)
Both parties in the forthcoming US election promise tough sanctions and threaten war against Iran. But even accounting for Tehran’s provocations the US agenda is counter-productive and cruel. The Iranian regime must be allowed to save face if conflict is to be averted.
to read the rest on ThinkIR click here.
“Human Rights Watch said it has uncovered evidence of a wider use of waterboarding than previously acknowledged by the CIA, in a report Thursday detailing brutal treatment of detainees at U.S.-run lockups abroad after the 9/11 attacks. The accounts by two former Libyan detainees who said they underwent simulated drowning emerge only days after the Justice Department closed its investigation of the CIA’s use of severe interrogation methods. Investigators said they could not prove any agents crossed the lines authorized by the Bush administration in the “war on terror” program of detention and rendition. Any new instances of waterboarding, however, would go beyond the three that the CIA has said were authorized…”.* The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.
*Read more here from SARAH EL DEEB and LEE KEATH of the AP published in The Huffington Post.
I haven’t posted anything in a while. Sorry. Managing my job and finishing the PhD has pretty much eaten all of my time recently, but I’m hopeful that in a couple of weeks at least one of those things will have gone away and I’ve got a few ideas of what I want to get stuck into then.
Anyway, I just started reading ‘The Imperial Messenger‘ by Belén Fernández - a polemical assault on (that Captain of the good ship USS Cliché and Cheif Quarterback of the team mixed metaphors) Tom Friedman. Thus far its been a great read – punchy but also meticulous in its exposition of Friedman’s epic twaddlings. I know Friedman’s work divides opinions and I’ve found that often my distaste for him has upset some friends. So I’ll make sure I write a fuller review of the book when I’ve finished it.
But, in the meantime I’ve posted below a review of one of Friedman’s earlier works ‘From Beirut to Jerusalem: One Man’s Middle Eastern Odyssey’ (which is quoted by Fernández) - a book that is often seen as representing the ‘best’ of Tom Friedman – the review is by Edward Said and was published in Village Voice in 1989.
Edward Said: The Orientalist Express: Thomas Friedman Wraps Up the Middle East
On the face of it, From Beirut to Jerusalem is a reporter’s journal of a decade in the Middle East spent first as UPI correspondent for a couple of years, then as New York Times bureau chief in two major centers. Between 1979 and 1984 Friedman was stationed in Beirut where he covered the civil war, the Israeli invasion of 1982, and the country’s tragic dissolution thereafter. He then moved to Jerusalem (traveling rather ostentatiously across the Lebanese-Israeli border with his golf clubs), where he wrote about the Israeli political scene, with particular attention to the intifadah. He remained in Israel until mid-1988. He then returned home to become the Times man in Washington. For his Middle Eastern coverage Friedman won two Pulitzer prizes, both of them, interestingly enough, about major Palestinian events: the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres, and the uprising or intifadah that began in late 1987 and continues to the present.
Farmland, near the embattled village of Yanoun
Review: Farming Freedom for Palestine
I strongly recommend reading the latest research paper “Farming Palestine for Freedom ” from al Shabaka, by Alaa Adel Tartir, Rami Zurayk and Samer Abdelnour, which deals with the issue of land in the context of occupied Palestine. This paper brings to light a topic has been, thus far, under-researched but is obviously fundamental to the conflict.