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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.

Columnists

A world of fear: Tracking 'terror' in Tunisia

Photo: Chasing Donguri/flickr

While I was visiting my family and friends in Tunisia this summer, I came across a new feeling, or maybe it is an impression -- a feeling or impression that I never encountered before in the country that is proud today to be called the sparkle of the "Arab Spring."  

I grew up there in the '80s. I remember seeing in people's eyes the fear of authority, humiliation, loss of dignity, the sorrow of poverty, suspicion, but I didn't see the "fear of terrorism." Even in the darkest hours of the country, during the '80s, when there were violent incidents attributed to Islamist militants, I didn't hear from people around me that they were afraid.

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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
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