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United States Foreign Policy

Foreign Policies Media Roundup (November-December)

[Image of John Kerry Speaking on Syria. Image by Foreign and Commonwealth Office]

This is a monthly roundup of news articles and other materials related to other countries' foreign policies toward the Middle East. It does not reflect the views of the Foreign Polices Roundup Editors of Jadaliyya. You may send recommendations for inclusion in the Foreign Policies Media Roundup to info@jadaliyya.com, mentioning "Foreign Policies Roundup" in the subject line   United States Rift in Obama Administration over Putin (14 October 2015) Certain anonymous advisers to President Obama have told Politico that the president’s decision to not intervene in Syria has demonstrated Washington’s weakness. These officials ...

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Islamophobia Is An American Tradition

When Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson made news recently by questioning whether a Muslim American could (or should) ever become president of the United States, his assertions recalled similar concerns raised by a political supporter of John McCain’s presidency at a rally seven years earlier. “I can’t trust [President Barack] Obama,” Gayle Quinnell told McCain, “I’ve read about him . . . and he’s an Arab.” Whether she meant Arab or Muslim, two identities often conflated in American understandings of Muslims, her fears revealed deeper concerns by some segments of the American public about the loyalty of Muslim Americans to the United States. McCain’s response ...

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ستيفن سلايطة... الحرية الأكاديمية الأميركية لا تشمل فلسطين

[ستيفين سلايطة. مقطع من غلاف كتابه الأخير الذي يتحدث عنه المقال]

"لست الأول ولن أكون الأخير الذي أقيل من الأكاديمية الأميركية بسبب موقفه من القضية الفلسطينية ودعمه لحقوق الإنسان الفلسطيني، ومعارضته للصهيونية. ولكن عندما أتحدث عن هذه القصة، علينا أن نضعها في سياقها الأميركي الأوسع. والآن أطلب منكم أن تستمعوا إلى هذه الجملة: "على المدافعين عن حقوق الإنسان الفلسطيني الحذر!" إن هذه الجملة تشكل واقعاً في الأكاديمية الأميركية وواقعاً يكفي لإقالة صاحبه وهو أمر مخيف جدا!" بهذه الكلمات تحدث الباحث والأكاديمي، ستيفن سلايطة، في نيويورك بمناسبة صدور كتابه الجديد "طقوس فظّة: فلسطين ومحدودية الحرية الأكاديمية" (Uncivil Rites: Palestine and the Limits of Academic Freedom)، الذي صدر مؤخراً عن دار "كتب هاي ...

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Drone Warfare and the Superpower’s Dilemma (Part 1)

[Image source: The Sleuth Journal]

The United States has been in a continuous—or, at least, uninterrupted—state of armed conflict since 2001, and there is no end in sight. The strategies and technologies, as well as the locales of engagement and designated enemies of this “’global’ war on terror” have changed considerably over the past fourteen years. Nevertheless, the US government still relies on the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), passed by Congress on 14 September 2001 (three days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks), as the legal authority to bomb people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, in Iraq since the occupation (the 2003 invasion was authorized under a different AUMF), ...

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إدوارد سعيد: الإنسانويّة، السورُ الأخير في وجه البربرية

كتبتُ، قبل تسعة أعوام، تذييلاً لـ الاستشراق: ركّزت فيه لا على السجالات العديدة التي أثارها الكتاب منذ صدوره عام 1978 فقط، بل أيضًا على حقيقة أن دراستي لتصورات «الشرق» تعرضت باضطراد لتفسيرات خاطئة. وما يدلّ على تقدمي في العمر أن ردة فعلي عليها بدت أقرب للسخرية منها للغضب. لقد تقبّلت بأسى وفاة اثنين من مرشديَّ ثقافيّاً وسياسيّاً وشخصيّاً هما: إقبال أحمد وإبراهيم أبو لغد، لكنني ازددت تصميمًا على المضيّ قُدماً. تصف سيرتي الذاتية( خارج المكان) العوالمَ الغريبة والمتناقضة التي ترعرعتُ فيها، وتعطي فكرةً عن التأثيرات التي خضعتْ لها فترةُ شبابي في فلسطين ومصر ولبنان. لكن هذه القصة تتوقف قبل التزامي السياسي، الذي بدأ عام 1976، بعد حرب الأيام الستة. إن الاستشراق أقرب لضوضاء ...

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IMEU Interview: The Iran Nuclear Agreement and the Question of Palestine

[The ministers of foreign affairs of France, Germany, the European Union, Iran, the United Kingdom and the United States as well as Chinese and Russian diplomats announcing an Iran nuclear deal framework in Lausanne on 2 April 2015. The framework deal became the basis for a final agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was agreed on 15 July 2015. Image by US Department of State via Flickr]

[In the following online interview conducted by the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU), Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani, Palestinian analyst Diana Buttu, and syndicated columnist Rami Khouri respond to questions about the implications of the Iran nuclear agreement for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While welcoming the agreement, they see little prospect of it having a positive impact on broader regional questions] Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU): From what we know about it so far, how would you assess the Iran nuclear agreement as it affects the region as a whole? Diana Buttu (DB): This deal is a good start for the region as a whole. For ...

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Foreign Policies Media Roundup (May-June)

[Image from unknown archive]

[This is a monthly roundup of news articles and other materials related to other countries' foreign policies toward the Middle East. It does not reflect the views of the Foreign Polices Roundup Editors of Jadaliyya. You may send recommendations for inclusion in the Foreign Policies Media Roundup to info@jadaliyya.com, mentioning "Foreign Policies Roundup" in the subject line.]   United States: White House Urges Patience on ISIS Fight (19 May 2015) Following ISIS’s takeover of Ramadi many members of Washington’s foreign policy establishment called for more troops in Iraq and Syria. In response, the Obama administration has urged ...

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In Response to Mubarak

[President George W. Bush and Egyptian President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak address the media in Cross Hall at the White House March 5. Source: White House photo by Eric Draper.]

On 10 June the Youm7 website carried a summary of my book Democracy Prevention: The Politics of the U.S.-Egyptian Alliance (Cambridge University Press 2012), translated into Arabic under the title إجهاض الديمقراطية.. الحصاد المر للعلاقات المصرية الأمريكية فى أربعين  عاًما (Dar El Thaqafa El Jedida 2013).  The book draws on interviews with key decision makers and previously untapped written sources to argue that authoritarianism is a transnational phenomenon in which multiple governments participate. Since Washington resumed diplomatic ties with Cairo in the early 1970s, the United States has been a key partner and contributor in the use of repression ...

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Declassified 2012 Defense Intelligence Report on Syrian Uprising, Gulf Intervention, and Potential for al-Qa'ida Gains

The declassifed document below was obtained as part of a document trove secured by the right-wing institution, Judicial Watch. It obtained the report through a May 2014 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The Defense Intelligence Agency authored the report, which dates August 2012. It demonstrates that the Department of Defense was aware that Western powers, Gulf states, and Turkey were fully supporting the opposition. It also notes that if events unraveled, there was the possibility of what was then al-Qa'ida in Iraq (AQI) establishing a “Salafist principality” in eastern Syria. It further claims that, according to their intelligence, ...

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The Business of Backlash: The Attack on the Palestinian Movement and Other Movements for Justice

[The following report, the executive summary of which is excerpted here. was issued by the International Jewish anti-Zionist Network. The full report may be read here.] Introduction In the United States, criticism of Israel is increasing and support for the Palestinian movement for justice is growing. From the growing number of divestment resolutions by student bodies and academic associations across the U.S., to successful community campaigns to boycott or de-shelve Israeli goods, to blocking Israeli ships at ports across the U.S., the popular movement against Israeli colonialism and apartheid is having great success. Despite attempts to quash ...

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Cornell University Event: Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad and US Ambassador Dennis Ross Debate US Policy in the Middle East (3 March)

  [VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE HERE]   Lund Critical Debate Series presents: American Foreign Policy in the Middle East: Success or Failure Ambassador Dennis Ross (William Davidson Distinguished Fellow and Counselor, Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Professor Bassam Haddad (Director, Middle East Studies Program and Associate Professor, School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs, George Mason University) Moderated by Aziz Rana, Cornell Law School Associate Professor Date and Time: Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 4:30 PM Location: Statler Auditorium Admission is free and open to the public. For more information ...

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New Texts Out Now: Elisabeth Anker, Orgies of Feeling: Melodrama and the Politics of Freedom

[Cover of Elisabeth R. Anker,

Elisabeth R. Anker, Orgies of Feeling: Melodrama and the Politics of Freedom. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Elisabeth Anker (EA): There are two answers to this question. The first is political: the idea for the book came out of anger at both the extensively violent response by the US to the 9/11 events, and the widespread support given to these operations by a vast majority of the US populace. I wondered why a narrative of good and evil mobilized such intense national sentiment to legitimate aggressive state power, while it also depoliticized this power by claiming it was a moral obligation upon injured victims. The ...

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الأنثروبولوجيا الأميركية تصوّت للمقاطعة: إنجازٌ رغم اللوائح السوداء وضدها!

الأنثروبولوجيا الأميركية" تصوّت للمقاطعة: إنجازٌ رغم اللوائح السوداء وضدها!" في خطوةٍ أولى اعتبرها البعض تاريخية، صوّت أعضاء المؤتمر السنوي لـ "جمعية الأنثربولوجيا الأميركية" (AAA) لمصلحة قرار يقاطع إسرائيل أكاديمياً ويتبنى نداء المنظمات الفلسطينية الأهلية، الذي أطلق قبل أكثر من عقد من الزمن، بمقاطعة إسرائيل اقتصادياً وأكاديمياً وفنياً، والمعروف بالإنكليزية تحت اسم "BDS" (بي دي أس). وأيّدت القرار الأغلبية الساحقة من الحضور (88 في المئة)، حيث صوّت لمصلحته 1040 شخصاً مقابل ...

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الجلبي، عبد الرزاق عبد الواحد: سجال ما بعد الديكتاتور

‫مات الجلبي فقامت الدنيا ولم تقعد حتى الآن، وبعده، بالصدفة، أو بحكم القدر، مات عبد الرزاق عبد الواحد. ولا أدري أهي مصادفة أن يجمع القدر بين موتين متنافرين حد البغضاء، كما لو أن العراقيين على موعد دائماً مع التباغض والتنافر حتى في تقييم موتاهم؟ في قصة الجلبي إثارة خاصة؛ فالرجل الثري المتعافي حد التخمة كان قد أغلق باب غرفته وراءه ليصحو ميتاً. هكذا ببساطة مات الجلبي! ابنته، تمارا ألجلبي، تقول الأخبار، إنها قد اصطحبت معها فريقاً طبياً للكشف والتأكد أن أباها قد مات ميتة ربه. ولا إضافة، حتى الآن لا خبر عن ذلك ...

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Drone Warfare and the Superpower’s Dilemma (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of a two-part article. To access Part 1, click here. Historically, the risks of soldier death and injury were ineluctable features of war, and served sometimes to limit or force an end to wars. Risks to soldiers’ lives were altered (but not eliminated) long before the appearance of drones through the development of increasingly long-range weapons. For Americans, the Vietnam War, at the time the longest overseas armed conflict, was a major turning point in terms of the politics of risk and ...

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Leila Sansour’s Open Bethlehem: Making Palestine Legible and Bethlehem Accessible

Open Bethlehem. Directed by Leila Sansour. Palestine, 2014 Towards the end of her new documentary Open Bethlehem (Palestine, 2014), filmmaker Leila Sansour discusses her aim to make Palestine “more important and palatable” to the White House and to US citizens. She stands outside the gated capitol of the United States, knowing that the future of her hometown of Bethlehem is directly connected with policies that are in some ways more significantly determined, not in Ramallah, but in Washington. ...

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Israel’s Defeat on the Iran Deal

Since the Iran nuclear agreement was signed on 14 July, Israel has consistently defined it as an existential threat. Demonstrating once again that Israel simply lacks the military capability to eliminate this alleged peril, the Netanyahu government has instead sought to scuttle the accord – since adopted by the United Nations Security Council – by invalidating the American signature on it. In what is perhaps the most intensive and divisive campaign ever undertaken by Israel on US soil, unregistered ...

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Quick Thoughts: Ali Vaez on The Iranian Nuclear Agreement

[On 14 July 2015 in the Austrian capital Vienna, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif jointly announced the conclusion of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran, the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and United States), Germany and the European Union (EU). Later that same day the presidents of Iran and the US, Hassan Rouhani ...

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How To Not Know about the CIA’s Targeted Killing Program

The CIA operates armed drones to engage in targeted killing operations in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. That is known. But, to borrow from former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s iconic statement, is it a “known known” or a “known unknown”? Known knowns are things we know we know, whereas known unknowns are things we know we do not know. The third ingredient of Rumsfeld’s rhetorical mélange is the “unknown unknowns”—things we do not know we do not know. The CIA wishes its drone program was an ...

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New Texts Out Now: Keith P. Feldman, A Shadow over Palestine: The Imperial Life of Race in America

Keith P. Feldman, A Shadow over Palestine: The Imperial Life of Race in America. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Keith P. Feldman (KF): Edward Said once quipped that in the United States, Israel and Palestine are in so many ways “local, not foreign policy, matters.” I began research for this book in order to understand how this came to be so. Of course, in a certain sense, the answer to such a question is overdetermined by the ...

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Call for Papers: Fragments of Empire after the American Century (Beirut, 13-16 January 2016)

CASAR’s 6th International Conference: Fragments of Empire after the American Century January 13-16, 2016 Beirut, Lebanon  Abstracts are due on 30 April 2015 The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research is now accepting abstract submission for its 6th international conference, titled “Fragments of Empire after the American Century,” which will be held at AUB next January.  The conference will provide a forum to focus on and ...

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Video: Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad and US Ambassador Dennis Ross Debate US Policy in the Middle East

[The following video is of  the Lund Critical Debate Series event American Foreign Policy in the Middle East: Success or Failure, featuring Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad and US Ambassador Dennis Ross. The event took place at Cornell University on 3 March 2015 and was moderated by Aziz Rana.The specific theme was on US policy towards the Arab uprisings.]    Dennis Ross starts at 12:50 Bassam Haddad starts at 30:20    

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Open Letter: Racism, Militarism, Poverty: From Ferguson to Palestine

[The following open letter was issued by the below signatories on 4 February, 2015.] We support and congratulate UC Santa Cruz on their selection of Angela Davis for UCSC’s 31st annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Convocation The undersigned organizations write in support of UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal for his office’s selection and sponsorship of the Black feminist theorist and activist Angela Davis, a luminary of our movements and our region, who delivered a speech on “Racism, ...

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Asli Bali on Iranian-US Nuclear Negotiations and What Republican Invite to Netanyahu Means

In the aftermath of Barak Obama's State of the Union Address, and his announcement that he will veto any congressional actions increasing sanctions on Iran, the Republican Party proceeded to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress, making the latter on par with Winston Churchill for the most ever appearances by a foreign dignitary before a joint session of Congress. On Sunday, 25 January 2015, Jadaliyya Turkey Page Co-Editor Aslı ...

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