Only a few dissenting voices within the Left and the Green parties have gone against the decision of the Head of State, condemning the launching of a military engagement of France in Mali, which François Hollande had not brought before the Government or Parliament for discussion. In an op-ed published on 13 January, the former Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin, also expressed his reservations about the “apparent haste” of the operation and his concerns about the re-use of the “war against terror” rhetoric.

Beyond the criticism of the decision-making process that led to the French military engagement and the questionable legitimacy of an intervention conducted in the name of the “war against terror,” there are also contradictions between Hollande’s alleged desire to break from the neo-colonial politics, as claimed during his election campaign, and the reality of his recent actions.

More specifically, François Hollande had declared: that he did not want to behave as “Africa’s policeman,” that he sought to abandon troubled relations related to “Françafrique," and that he would privilege multilateral action under the aegis of the United Nations, letting African countries take responsibility for their own security.  For the Head of State to commit an isolated France to an intervention in Mali directly contradicts his previous commitments, and inevitably forces him to adopt an interventionist posture.”

A Dangerous Show of Force from a Former Colonial Power

The above is an excerpt from the final installment of Jadaliyya's 3-part series, featuring various angles on the situation in Mali:

theamericanbear

Seven other Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli gunfire from the border since the start of the ceasefire, medics said. Six of them were hurt on Friday and one on Thursday, when the Israeli military said 200 Palestinian “rioters” approached the fence.

reuters
reuters:

Egypt announced on Wednesday that a ceasefire had been reached to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, starting later in the day.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr made the announcement in a joint news conference with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The ceasefire would come into effect at 15:00 EDT, said Amr, whose country has been at the heart of efforts to broker an end to the conflict.
“Egypt has made great efforts … since the start of the latest escalation in the Gaza Strip,” Amr said.
“These efforts and contacts have resulted in understandings to cease fire and restore calm and halt the bloodshed that the last period has seen,” he added.
“Egypt calls on all to monitor the implementation of what has been agreed under Egypt’s sponsorship and to guarantee the commitment of all the parties to what has been agreed,” he said.
READ ON: Egypt declares ceasefire to end Gaza conflict

And of course, now mainstream media will rave about Morsi’s success and the “undisciplined” Palestinians…meanwhile, the occupation continues.

reuters:

Egypt announced on Wednesday that a ceasefire had been reached to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, starting later in the day.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr made the announcement in a joint news conference with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The ceasefire would come into effect at 15:00 EDT, said Amr, whose country has been at the heart of efforts to broker an end to the conflict.

“Egypt has made great efforts … since the start of the latest escalation in the Gaza Strip,” Amr said.

“These efforts and contacts have resulted in understandings to cease fire and restore calm and halt the bloodshed that the last period has seen,” he added.

“Egypt calls on all to monitor the implementation of what has been agreed under Egypt’s sponsorship and to guarantee the commitment of all the parties to what has been agreed,” he said.

READ ON: Egypt declares ceasefire to end Gaza conflict

And of course, now mainstream media will rave about Morsi’s success and the “undisciplined” Palestinians…meanwhile, the occupation continues.

jayaprada
If Israel was serious about the principle of a nuclear-free Middle East, it would immediately sign onto the most important proposal made in this UN General Assembly session thus far: when Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi called for the creation of a Nuclear Weapons Free zone in the region by the end of 2012. The problem is that Morsi’s proposal will be blocked by two powers: the US and Israel. A Nuclear Weapons Free Zone would mean that the US would not be able to bring its nuclear weapons to its bases in the Middle East and nor can it use depleted uranium in the weapons that its ships carry into the Gulf. “The only solution is to get rid of nuclear weapons,” Morsi said, “and all weapons of mass destruction.” However, “we also emphasize the right of all countries of the region to the peaceful use of nuclear energy within the framework of the NPT, with a commitment to honor their obligations in this respect and provide the necessary guarantees to the countries of the region so as to remove any doubts surrounding their intentions.”
Vijay Prashad, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran (via jayaprada)

A selection of articles and blogposts this past week on Syria:

Barbarians Arrive as UN Judges Syria Vijay Prashad says the status quo will persist in Syria, because those who voiced the need for a united stance to solve the crisis are sidelined by the UN Security Council.

A Regional Solution for Syria Kayhan Barzegar argues that “more proximity between Iran and Egypt can be the key as to solving the Syrian crisis in a regional context.”

The West Conspires Against Bahrain While Exploiting Syria Ali Mushaima outlines “six important facts to consider regarding the Western position on Syria and Bahrain, and the future of the peoples and regimes of both countries – amid Western duplicity and double standards.”

Syrian Conflict Makes Palestinians Into Both Refugees and Combatants Nicholas Blanford on the developments in Syria and how they further fragmented the Palestinian stance inside the country.

In Syria’s Continuing Tragedy, Dignity is the Latest Victim Rym Ghazal tells the story of a dental student from Syria who is now working as a maid for a Lebanese family, to show how the experience affected her life beyond the trauma of physical displacement.

Syrians on Hunger Strike Sarah el Sirgany on Syrian women’s hunger strike, its disappointing reception in Egypt and unintended consequences.

حوار خاص على قناة الميادين
This is the transcript of Al-Mayadin Channel’s dialogue with Dr.Haitham Mannaa on the National Conference to Save Syria that was held in Damascus.

هل حسم المسيحيون أمرهم مع النظام؟!
Haytham Khouri writes about the stance of Syrian Christians on the revolution in the country. 

تسوية تاريخية.. نعم ولكن
Hussein Al Awdat writes about the importance of dialogue and reaching a settlement between the opposition and the regime in Syria. 

الشعب السوري يستحق الحياة ايضا
And Al-Bari Atwan writes about the international community’s stance on the struggle in Syria, while analyzing the present and the future of the situation in the country.

Click for more.

Click for a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention, and Law, reflecting a wide variety of opinions. Here are a selection of this week’s articles:

Soldier Who Taught ‘Total War’ Against Islam Threatens to Sue Top Military Officer”, Spencer Ackerman
Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley, a US Army Officer who once taught an elective course at the Joint Forces Staff College advocating “total war” against Islam, has issued a press release through attorneys at the Thomas More Law Center threatening a lawsuit against Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey for shutting down Dooley’s course on Islam this past April.

Algeria Should Reconsider Restrictions on Civil Society”, United Nations Press Release
The United Nations High Commissionar for Human Rights, Navi Pillay recently urged Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to expand a number of civil liberties, including press freedom and the ability of non-governmental organizations to “operate without undue impediments”.

U.S. Names 55 Gitmo Prisoners cleared to go”, Josh Gerstein
The United States has, for time, released the names of Guantanamo detainees who despite being cleared for release or transfer remain at the facility because of problems finding a country willing to take them or sending them to their home country.  A significant portion of the prisoners are thought to be of Yemeni origin, a country where Obama suspended transfers to in 2010.  

Iran blamed for cyberattacks on U.S. banks and companies”, Ellen Nakashima
In a C-SPAN interview, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, expressed his belief that recent cyber assaults on Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase were carried out by Iran and the Quds force rather than unaffiliated hackers.  Lieberman framed the attacks as a warning of Iran’s potential to strike back against potential US attack on Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions.

Harold Koh on Cyber-Attacks”, Harold Koh, Jens David Ohlin
Ohlin’s blog, LieberCode, provides the full text of Harold Koh’s speech on the law of cyberspace at the USCYBERCOM Inter-Agency Legal Conference.  Koh argues, among other things, that international law principles apply in cyberspace, that cyber activities may constitute a use of force under the meaning of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, and that complying with international law in cyberspace is part of the Obama Administration’s “smart power approach to international law”.  

Senate adopts Netanyahu’s red-line over Obama’s, 90-1”, Phillip Weiss
Weiss reports on a recently passed US Senate nonbonding resolution to “support any action against Iran lest it obtain nuclear ‘capability’”, describing the language of the resolution as echoing that of PM Benjamin Netanyahu and AIPAC’s “red line” on Iran.  Weiss quotes Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan, who called the resolution “a motion to back a foreign prime minister…over the president of the US.”

The Counterproductivity of US Covert Action During The Cold War”, Nicholas Lawrence Adams
In a long entry for e-International Relations, Adams details the history of the Central Intelligence Agency’s “covert operations”, including its role in the rise of the Shah in Iran and the agency’s support of the mujahideen in Afghanistan.  Adams concludes that, despite having been deemed successes at the time, the legacy of these interventions is one of “anti-Americanism” in the respective countries where such operations took place.

Click for more.

Click for a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Egypt, reflecting a wide variety of opinions. Here are a selection of this week’s articles:

“PM: Tahrir graffiti removal against Cabinet’s will to commemorate revolution”
After sharp criticism, the prime minister denies that the cabinet ordered the whitewashing of Tahrir Square’s graffiti.

“Revolutionary Democratic Coalition: A new voice on Egypt’s Left”
The Egyptian Socialist Party, Socialist Popular Alliance, Al-Tagammu Party and a number of other leftist forces announce a collation.

“Interviews with Morsi”
Zanobia comments on Mohamed Morsi’s first official TV interview for the state media.

“Egypt’s New Leader Spells Out Terms for U.S.-Arab Ties”
In his first official interview for the foreign press, Mohamed Morsi says that it is up to Washington to mend relations with the Arab world.

“Gender equality only within provisions of Shari’a, says constituent assembly”
Women’s rights groups denounce the text of the article in the new constitution, which, they say, reverses rights women gained in past years.

“حصاد يومين من جرائم ضباط قسم شرطة ميت غمر: قبض عشوائي وعنف مفرط وتعذيب حتى الموت ثم قتل بدم بارد“
Another torture case in the province of Daqahliyya sparks protests of local residents.

“«أزهريون مع الدولة المدنية» تدعو للتظاهر رفضاً لـ«التأسيسية» وقرض صندوق النقد”
A group of Al-Azhar sheikhs together with revolutionary forces call for a protest in support of “civilian state” and against the IMF loan.

“«الشروق» تنشر الصياغة النهائية لمسودة باب الحقوق والحريات فى الدستور الجديد”
Al-Sherouk publishes the final text of the constitution on rights and freedoms.

“عودة «الفئويات»”
Ziad Baha El-Din argues that the wave of strikes and demonstrations is a test for the new government’s capacity to rule the country.

“العريان: يمكن التصالح مع مبارك ورجاله بشرط عودة الأموال المنهوبة”
Essan El-Arian says reconciliation with former regime officials is possible if they return the money they have acquired illegally.

“عبد الغفار شكر: أقبل التصالح مع رموز مبارك شرط عدم تورطهم في جرائم جنائية.. (حوار)”
An interview with the vice-president of the highly controversial National Council for Human Rights.

For more, click here.