Special Correspondent, Middle East
Alistair's Feed
Apr 14, 2011

Analysis: Yemen’s Saleh hangs on, still hopes to outwit foes

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh is clinging to power despite daily protests demanding his departure. Implausibly, he may still believe he can survive.

Handing out funds and favors, the 69-year-old leader of the poorest Arab country has skillfully juggled complex military, tribal and political networks to stay in office for 32 years.

Apr 4, 2011
via FaithWorld

Arab revolts set to transform Middle East

Photo

(Bahraini anti-government protesters in central Manama, February 16, 2011/Hamad I Mohammed)

The astonishing popular protests against Arab autocrats that have churned the region for three months are the authentic birth pangs of a new Middle East. Israel’s American-backed attempts to bomb Hezbollah and south Lebanon into submission in 2006 did not change the region, as Condoleezza Rice predicted it would. Nor did the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq three years earlier, which former President George W. Bush touted as introducing democracy to the Arab world, have much effect.

Apr 3, 2011

Analysis: Arab revolts set to transform Middle East

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The astonishing popular protests against Arab autocrats that have churned the region for three months are the authentic birth pangs of a new Middle East.

Israel’s American-backed attempts to bomb Hezbollah and south Lebanon into submission in 2006 did not change the region, as Condoleezza Rice predicted it would.

Mar 22, 2011

Analysis: Saleh exit would plunge Yemen into uncertainty

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 32-year rule seems near collapse. His exit would spell uncertainty for his broken country and discomfiture for U.S. and Saudi friends, still backing their “ally” against al Qaeda.

The killing of more than 50 protesters in Sanaa on Sunday has turned a trickle of defections into a torrent as Yemeni diplomats, military officers, tribal leaders and politicians hasten to declare support for the anti-Saleh opposition.

Mar 18, 2011

Analysis: Arabs not eager to join military action in Libya

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Arab states that urged the imposition of a U.N.-backed no-fly zone on Libya showed little enthusiasm Friday for joining any military action there — even before Libya surprised the world by declaring a ceasefire.

The wary Arab response to a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces reflected Arab queasiness about Western military intervention in another Muslim country.

Mar 16, 2011
via FaithWorld

Bahrain crisis could worsen Sunni-Shi’ite sectarian tensions in the region

Photo

(Rally organized by Lebanon's Hezbollah in front of the U.N. headquarters in Beirut March 16, 2011, in support of Bahraini protesters. Around 2,000 mostly Shi'ite Lebanese demonstrators rallied in central Beirut on Wednesday in support of an uprising by Bahrain's Shi'ite Muslim majority/Cynthia Karam)

A Bahraini police crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, two days after Saudi Arabia sent in 1,000 troops to bolster its longtime Gulf Arab ally, will heighten Sunni-Shi’ite tensions in Bahrain and beyond. At least five people were killed and hundreds wounded when police cleared demonstrators from Manama’s Pearl Square on Wednesday in an attempt to halt weeks of popular unrest.

Mar 16, 2011

Analysis: Bahrain crisis seen worsening sectarian tensions

, Special Correspondent BEIRUT (Reuters) – A Bahraini police crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, two days after Saudi Arabia sent in 1,000 troops to bolster its longtime Gulf Arab ally, will heighten Sunni-Shi’ite tensions in Bahrain and beyond.

At least five people were killed and hundreds wounded when police cleared demonstrators from Manama’s Pearl Square on Wednesday in an attempt to halt weeks of popular unrest.

Mar 11, 2011

Analysis: No outside help in sight for Libyan rebels

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Rebels trying to topple Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi have so far fought alone. Help is not in sight, even as he strikes back with tanks, artillery and warplanes.

Gaddafi is widely reviled in the Arab world, even by his fellow autocrats. Nor is he loved by the Western powers that had courted him for his oil until the revolt against him.

Mar 11, 2011

No outside help in sight for Libyan rebels

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Rebels trying to topple Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi have so far fought alone. Help is not in sight, even as he strikes back with tanks, artillery and warplanes.

Gaddafi is widely reviled in the Arab world, even by his fellow autocrats. Nor is he loved by the Western powers that had courted him for his oil until the revolt against him.

Feb 27, 2011

Libya no-fly zone option may gain ground

DUBAI (Reuters) – The U.S. military and its European allies stand by as a desperate Arab dictator sends tanks and helicopter gunships to crush popular revolts and wreak revenge.

That was Saddam Hussein’s Iraq after the Gulf War exactly 20 years ago, not today’s Libya, where the outcome remains unclear.

    • About Alistair

      "I cover the Middle East, with an emphasis on political analysis, region-wide stories and in-depth features. I live in Beirut and have been in my current post since June 2006. Outside my main Middle Eastern beat, I have covered Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan."
    • Follow Alistair