Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and its new president, Mohammed Morsi, will have to work with Egypt's military, writes Fouad Ajami, a preeminent Middle East analyst at Stanford University: "Lawlessness has come to Egypt, and if it is to be rolled back, the army and the Brotherhood will have to reach a workable compact."
Mohammed Morsi's first appointments will be a woman and a Coptic Christian, his spokesman says. Says Ajami, "Mr. Morsi promises a presidency for all Egyptians-a role for the Copts, for women, for secularists. The promises of the day could be erased by the night, as an Arabic expression has it." (See Jamie Dean's "Egypt's evolution: As Egyptians celebrate a new Islamic president, Christians in the country worry about their future," June 27.)
Further discussion of Egypt at this crucial time of transition from leading analysts is here.
In Syria, fierce gun battles near Damascus.
In the 1930s, Malcolm Muggeridge accused popular New York journalist Walter Duranty of seeing only positive trends on a visit through Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union, where countless peasants and others then were starving. New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof is coming in for similar criticism from Middle East analysts following his series of columns on his road trip across Iran. Kristof sees Western sanctions "succeeding," but Hamid Dabashi writes on Al Jazeera's website on the familiar problems with economic sanctions:
"Sanctions are hurting the ordinary people, the very same people who poured in their millions into the streets as early as three years ago demanding their civil liberties and shaking the tyrannical theocracy to its foundations. The very same students who mobilised against the regime are now paralysed by the economic sanctions that have interrupted the flow of their finances and cancelled their student visas."
Former President Jimmy Carter is a predictable crank, but overseas news outlets are propagating his June 24 New York Times op-ed, "A Cruel and Unusual Record," labeling it a takedown of fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner and party leader President Barack Obama for his use of drones and targeting terror suspects for assassination. In fact, Carter never mentions Obama by name, but there is "little disguising that he is the principle target of his stinging words."
Enviro-skeptic Bjorn Lomborg gives a dynamic interview on the economics-and sexiness-of climate-change policy (see video below), coming off the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development: "Climate-change policies could save one person from dying from malaria. The same amount of money spent on malaria policies could save 36,000 from dying. Why are we so focused on the one sexy death and not the 36,000 unsexy deaths?" Watch it.
Elizabeth Tower? The Twittersphere is loaded today with jokes and rants about the renaming of London's Big Ben (technically, the Clock Tower) to mark Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee.
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