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Narayangonj-gate?

Narayangonj-gate?

The eyes of the nation were glued on the Narayanganj City Corporation elections these past few days. Many wondered why this particular mayoral election of a newly formed city corporation near the capital was of such great significance. The reason for …

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The Libyan Struggle

The Libyan Struggle


After Gaddafi Libya may not find what it is looking for. As I write this, the majority of pro-Gaddafi forces have lost, or are in the process of losing their resistance against the mostly civilian rebels. The pictures and stories coming …

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New White House Strategy for Countering Extremism

New White House Strategy for Countering Extremism


On August 3rd the White House released an eight-page strategy for countering extremism entitled “Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States.” The strategy, which took over …

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Into the Void on Greece

Into the Void on Greece

We now have a deal from France, Germany and the ECB: bending European Financial Stability Facility rules to allow recapitalization of banks and create easier credit terms for Euro countries; and debt rollover into longer-term (some might argue “indefinitely long” given Greek debt of 140 percent of GDP) maturities.
Most …

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What Flipped the Switch on Italy?

What Flipped the Switch on Italy?

No, it was not a bunga bunga party (not this time at least). Rather, the bond vigilante feeding frenzy recently let loose upon Rome was triggered — depressingly — by the resolution of the (immediate) crisis in Greece. Basically, investors are playing whack-a-mole with Europe sovereigns. This July 6 piece …

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Arabic Dreams of Turkish Ways

Turkey’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited Benghazi last week, where the Libyan opposition is getting stronger every day. Davutoglu was welcomed, as any other AKP official in a Muslim country, and the crowd cheered for him holding interesting posters with the words, “Thank you Erdogan, Turkey and Islam” written on …

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Boualem Sansal: An Open Letter to Mohamed Bouazizi

I found this letter today. It comes from Words Without Borders. The author, Boualem Sansal, is an Algerian novelist, and Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in Tunisia on December 17, 2010. The letter is beautiful, and worth a read.
Dear Brother:
I write these …

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Bosnia fading

Unemployment at 42 percent. A “negative” credit rating from Moody’s. Widespread corruption. And now without a government for nine months. Nearly 16 years after Dayton, the New York Times reports that the country is facing its worst crisis since the war.
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If we can overcome in Greece…

If we can overcome in Greece…

In many places — here for instance — news outlets have conflated protests against austerity in Greece with European-wide discontent. This is a mistake. There is discontent in Europe, but what people are unhappy about differs from country …

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Palestinian U-Turn on Settlements

A senior Palestinian official told the Associate Press today that the Palestinian leadership is ready to drop demands for Israel to completely halt all settlement building in the Occupied Territories. So if negotiations are restarted, a full settlement freeze would no longer be part of the Palestinian preconditions. I wonder …

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Notes from Washington: Post-election policies of Turkey

Since AKP’s unquestionable victory, Washington analysts have finally quit looking at the Turkish poll results and started to ask, how this all will shape Turkey’s future foreign policy? I recently attended an event at the Brookings Institution, where Turkish and American scholars presented their interpretations of post-election Turkey. The event …

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Prolonged Radio Silence

Apologies for the lack of blogging.  Other projects are taking up my time and energy, so radio silence is likely to continue for an indefinite period of time.  In the meantime, there is plenty else going on in the FPA-o-sphere to keep you entertained and informed.  So for the time …

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Throwing good money after bad in Greece

The premise of the whole Greek bailout exercise has rested on its economy improving. So far, it has not: Since the country’s first bailout last spring, unemployment has risen sharply and GDP ground to a halt.
So after a year of  bailout roulette, the head of Pimco, …

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What Is NATO Doing In Libya Anyway?

Glenn Greenwald lays out the “Libya’s About Oil” angle:
Is there anything more obvious — as the world’s oil supplies rapidly diminish — than the fact that our prime objective is …

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The Syrians Wait for a New Future at the Turkish Border

The Syrians Wait for a New Future at the Turkish Border

Syrian President Esad’s regime is still standing despite the weeks long protests and callings for a regime change in Syria. Recently, the Syrian National Television released the videos of military operations on a northern town, Cisr el Sugur. Many people from Cisr el Sugur …

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