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Falling Arab dictatorships and Israeli government panic

The walls are crumbling. The walls behind which dictators indulge in decadent opulence while "their" people are mired in wretched circumstance. The walls behind which "leaders" secretly sell -- for personal gain -- the rights of the people they claim to represent.

Across North Africa and the Middle East, across the Arab world, for decades dictatorship and deepening corruption, firmly supported by imperial powers, seemed beyond challenge. Today, once "stable" regimes are now facing a popular reckoning.

From the vantage point of Palestine, there are three new dynamics.

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Argentina detention centre serves as lesson for Guantanamo

"Gitmo is going to remain open for the foreseeable future," said an unnamed White House official to The Washington Post this week. For guidance on the notorious U.S. Navy base in Cuba, President Barack Obama should look to an old naval facility in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Backing Israel trumps defending Canadian democratic rights in Harperland

Photo: flickr/Αντώνης Σαμαράς Πρωθ

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In April, a brutal Egyptian judge known locally as "the Butcher" handed down a mass death sentence to 683 men. To most civilized observers, this kind of action is associated with the world's most tyrannical regimes.

But to the Harper government, this is the behaviour of a country "progressing towards democracy."

Columnists

What happened to the Arab Spring?

Photo: Gwenael Piaser/flickr

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I never liked the term "Arab Spring"; it has a connotation of over-optimism that can't be rationally understood in a region that painfully emerged out of French and British colonialism to quickly fall into a new era of cultural and economic colonialism where foreign soldiers were replaced by TV satellite dishes, Coca-Cola and Star Academy-like shows.

Egypt's new dictatorship model for the digital age

Photo: flickr/Ted Eytan

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Egypt was ruled by the Mubarak dictatorship for 30 years before the people managed to overthrow him in 2011.

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Photo: star5112/Flickr
| December 24, 2012

Justin Podur on Haiti's new dictatorship

Haiti's New Dictatorship: The Coup, the Earthquake and the UN Occupation

by Justin Podur
(Between The Lines,
2012;
$29.95)

In this interview with Matt Adams, Justin Podur, author of Haiti’s New Dictatorship, discusses his new book. The book, which takes a look at the country's history of the past seven years, from the 2004 coup against Aristide to the devastating 2010 earthquake, reveals a shocking story of abuse and neglect by international forces.

Podur unearths the reality of a supposedly benign international occupation, arguing that the denial of sovereignty is the fundamental cause of Haiti’s problems.

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| February 8, 2012
| January 27, 2012
Columnists

Social change at the end of an era

Add Kim Jong-Il to the year's already substantial fallen dictator list. Take your news from Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of Canada, or from Mayan temple walls. Look at the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement or the demise of Durban and Kyoto. These all point to a similar outlook for the year ahead: we are at the end of an era.

But, hey, whether we like it or not, it's at the end of things that what comes next is birthed. But first the hard labour.

Choosing Bank of Canada language, this is "the end of the 'debt super-cycle.'"

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