New technologies and civil society engagement can provide better results through foreign assistance from the US to the Middle East.
As the Syrian Civil War disrupts Lebanon's perpetually precarious military and political balance, we are urged to listen carefully to the rumours and prophecies of a Lebanese population that have so often been tragically implicated in regional conflicts. Here, we look back to June 1982 in trepidation of the “Past as Prologue”.
From life along the Tigris River in the 1970s to the ongoing Arab Spring uprisings, Phil Karber has witnessed decades of change throughout the Middle East. Fear and Faith in Paradise draws on his wealth of experience to sketch a timely and compelling portrait of the region throughout history. Going beyond the endless images of terrorism and war, he challenges pervasive stereotypes of Muslims and delves into the living history and cultures of Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Persians, Jews, Tunisians, Moroccans, Armenians, and others.
Leaving Iraq – February, 2006
I had wanted to stay past the end of 2005 when the permanent government would be elected. We all knew that the Sunnite insurgents and Al Qaeda would, regardless, continue to contest the future of Iraq on the streets but we could also see that these two forces were increasingly hostile fellow travelers with the later still driven by the vision of their Caliphate and the former hanging on to privileges in a nation-state.
The Avant Garde: How we left Iraq...
It was the summer of 2005 and for the time being a group of us humanitarian workers had found an acceptable security situation in Khanaqin, a town in eastern Diyala a few kilometers from the Iranian border.
"They are imbuing the soil with their blood", I had said. "Sanctifying it and making it them. The field of Black birds for the Serbs", I had added as I turned toward my Serbian program director, "versus the foot-loose, the homeless, and the multinational who will not die for soil."
From Hanoi to Baghdad. The Avant Garde of Western Civ.
Later on, that year, there were a growing number of Op-eds and other such analyses that were comparing Iraq to Vietnam and which, as a veteran of the later, interested me. While I had no doubt that the same ending for both could be achieved, the actual variations were often more difficult to discern.
An Increasingly Lonely Pursuit – March 2005
As Spring approached I had left my assignment in Iraq, briefly, to attend an NGO (Non Governmental Organization) meeting in Amman, Jordan.
Here is a stirring account of how America's intent to win hearts and minds through official largesse backfires - terribly.
Green Zone: February, 2005
Co-incidentally there was a meeting of the minds (mine and the donors) that this was an appropriate and historic time for me to go to the Green Zone to both put faces to the emails and to have them review the program - as I would present it.
By January of 2005, the whole world was watching the great presumption of George W. Stumbling though the process had been - at times like a drunken sailor - through the blood and mayhem, the nation had moved toward national elections, the first in a series of 3 for the coming year.
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