The Sorrows of Egypt: A Tale of Two Men
Back to the Bazaar
Freedom and Justice in the Modern Middle East
Adrift on the Nile
The Limits of the Opposition in Egypt
Is El Baradei Egypt's Hero?
Mohamed El Baradei and the Chance for Reform
Morning in Tunisia
The Frustrations of the Arab World Boil Over
Letter From Cairo
The People's Military in Egypt?
The U.S.-Egyptian Breakup
Washington's Limited Options in Cairo
The Muslim Brotherhood After Mubarak
What the Brotherhood Is and How it Will Shape the Future
Egypt's Democratic Mirage
How Cairo’s Authoritarian Regime Is Adapting to Preserve Itself
Overcoming Fear and Anxiety in Tel Aviv
How Israel Can Turn Egypt's Unrest Into an Opportunity
Mubarakism Without Mubarak
Why Egypt’s Military Will Not Embrace Democracy
Postcolonial Time Disorder
Egypt and the Middle East, Stuck in the Past
Egypt's Constitutional Ghosts
Deciding the Terms of Cairo’s Democratic Transition
A Tunisian Solution for Egypt’s Military
Why Egypt's Military Will Not Be Able to Govern
The Fall of the Pharaoh
How Hosni Mubarak’s Reign Came to an End
The Black Swan of Cairo
How Suppressing Volatility Makes the World Less Predictable and More Dangerous
Green Movement 2.0?
How U.S. Support Could Lead the Opposition to Victory
Letter From Sana’a
Saleh on the Edge
Bahrain’s Shia Question
What the United States Gets Wrong About Sectarianism
Rage Comes to Baghdad
Will Iraq's Recent Protests Lead to Revolt?
The Sturdy House That Assad Built
Why Damascus Is Not Cairo
Rageless in Riyadh
Why the Al Saud Dynasty Will Remain
Syria's Assad No Longer in Vogue
What Everyone Got Wrong About Bashar al-Assad
Meanwhile in the Maghreb
Have Algeria and Morocco Avoided North Africa’s Unrest?
Bahrain's Base Politics
The Arab Spring and America’s Military Bases
Let Them Eat Bread
How Food Subsidies Prevent (and Provoke) Revolutions in the Middle East
Libya's Terra Incognita
Who and What Will Follow Qaddafi?
What Intervention Looks Like
How the West Can Aid the Libyan Rebels
The Folly of Protection
Is Intervention Against Qaddafi’s Regime Legal and Legitimate?
To the Shores of Tripoli
Why Operation Odyssey Dawn Should Not Stop At Benghazi
A New Lease on Life for Humanitarianism
How Operation Odyssey Dawn Will Revive RtoP
The Mythology of Intervention
Debating the Lessons of History in Libya
Flight of the Valkyries?
What Gender Does and Doesn’t Tell Us About Operation Odyssey Dawn
Winning Ugly in Libya
What the United States Should Learn From Its War in Kosovo
Demystifying the Arab Spring
Parsing the Differences Between Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya
Understanding the Revolutions of 2011
Weakness and Resilience in Middle Eastern Autocracies
The Heirs of Nasser
Who Will Benefit From the Second Arab Revolution?
The Rise of the Islamists
How Islamists Will Change Politics, and Vice Versa
Terrorism After the Revolutions
How Secular Uprisings Could Help (or Hurt) Jihadists
After a long absence, a strategic player has returned to the Middle Eastern stage: the people. In Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Iran, and Libya, protesters are demanding either comprehensive reform or total revolution. Only once before in modern history has a populist wave of this magnitude swept the region.
Half a century ago, a series of Arab nationalist movements shook the ground beneath the feet of Arab rulers. The immediate catalyst for that revolutionary shock was the Suez crisis. Throughout 1955, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt's charismatic leader, championed pan-Arabism, challenged Israel militarily, and mounted a regionwide campaign against the lingering influence of British and French imperialism. By the end of the year, he had aligned Egypt with the Soviet Union, which provided him with arms. After Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal in July 1956, the European powers, in collusion with Israel, invaded Egypt to topple him. They failed, and Nasser emerged triumphant.
Much like the ouster of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali from Tunisia in January, the Suez crisis generated a revolutionary spark. Nasser's victory demonstrated that imperialism was a spent force and, by extension, that the Arab regimes created by the imperialists were living on borrowed time. Egyptian propaganda, including Cairo's Voice of the Arabs radio station, drove this point home relentlessly, depicting Nasser's rivals as puppets of the West whose days were numbered. Nasser was the first revolutionary leader in the region to appeal effectively to the man in the street, right under the noses of kings and presidents. Before Nasser's rivals even felt the ground shifting, they found themselves sitting atop volcanoes.
In the 18 months that followed Nasser's victory, the region underwent what can only be described as an eruption. Egypt's defeat of the French was a boon to the National Liberation Front in Algeria, which had launched a war of independence from France -- with Nasser's support--even before the Suez crisis had erupted. In Jordan, popular protests, along with a Nasser-inspired movement in the military,
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