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Middle East In the Media November 19 - 26 2012

Weekly reading list


David Petraeus Affair

  • Foreign Policy: I served under Petraeus in Iraq and I saw the difference he made (Blake Hall, November 26)
  • "Iraq was not, nor did it become, a clear and present danger to the national interests of the United States of America except for the moment when Al-Qaida established a presence on Iraqi soil. Petraeus homed in on that emergent threat to American interests and he crushed the Al-Qaida network by brilliantly integrating American military efforts with the Sunni tribes."


  • Al Jazeera: Has Morsi saved or stolen Egypt's revolution? (Nour Samaha, November 26)
  • "Following days of upheaval after President Mohamed Morsi took the decision to sack the general prosecutor and assign himself power over the legislative and executive branches, many Egyptians are re-assessing the success of last year's revolution."

  • The Guardian: Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi proves a deft, adroit and ruthless leader (Ian Black, November 23)
  • "It is not the first time Morsi has surprised friend and foe by combining deftness and ruthlessness – but always touching a raw nerve among those Egyptians who fear that, after all their hopes and sacrifices, they will end up being ruled by a "Mubarak with a beard".

  • Arabist Blog: Analysis: Morsi's Auto-Golpe (Nathan Brown, November 22)
  • "The potential opponents to his move are legion but they are also divided and many are politically clueless. By careful timing and a series of carrots for various actors, Morsi may have outmaneuvered any opposition."


  • BBC: Gaza crisis: Jeremy Bowen on a fragile ceasefire (November 22)
  • "If anything, the ceasefire is a draw. It suits both Israel and Hamas. They can both claim to have reinforced their positions. But history shows that a ceasefire that does not buy time for a political process to address the festering problems of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians will not last."

  • Al Jazeera: West Bank seethes in anger over Gaza attack (Dalia Hatuqa, November 21)
  • "Anger on the street is palpable with a widespread sense of outrage apparent, not only towards Israel but at the Palestinian Authority (PA) as well. Palestinians here are angry at the lacklustre response by the PA's leadership to the Gaza attacks specifically, and its acquiescence to Israel's demands in general."


  • Reuters: Syrian rebels take airbase in slow progress toward Damascus (Khaled Yacoub Oweis, November 26)
  • "We are seeing the starting signs of a rebel siege of Damascus," veteran opposition campaigner Fawaz Tello said from Berlin. "Marj al-Sultan is very near to the Damascus Airport road and to the airport itself. The rebels appear to be heading toward cutting this as well as the main northern artery to Aleppo."

  • McClatchy: With Syria’s eastern oilfields in rebel hands, a brisk business in pirated crude grows (David Enders, November 21)
  • "The capture of the fields is another blow to the Syrian government’s attempt to offset inflation and shortages of various goods in the areas it still controls. It also has set off a booming oil trade in this impoverished area."

  • The Christian Science Monitor: Rebels shut down key government supply lines (Tom A. Peter, November 21)
  • "Most recently, members of the Free Syrian Army captured a base that belonged to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s 46th regiment. Control of the base, located to the west of Aleppo, will now allow FSA fighters to cut off a critical supply route and bring them closer to connecting with the adjacent Idlib Province."


  • The Economist: Trouble in the north again (November 24)
  • "Since fighting broke out in 2004 between government forces and the northern rebels, the ruggedly mountainous province of Saada has been a zone of almost perpetual strife, causing thousands of deaths and displacing several hundred thousand tribesfolk. "

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