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Rebuilding the ruins of Qaddafi

By Barak Barfi TRIPOLI: With the creation of a new government, Libya’s leaders should finally be able to focus on organizing the transition from the authoritarian state that they inherited to the more pluralistic one they envisage. But are they really able and willing to achieve that goal? In the United States, the debate on Libya …


Rebuilding Libya

By Barak Barfi BENGHAZI: Six months after Libyan rebels took up arms against the country’s leader, Col. Muammar El-Qaddafi, they have finally toppled him. But, while victorious on the battlefield, they have not been triumphant in political and economic terms. If the rebels are to ensure their revolution’s long-term success, they will have to overcome the …


How new is Egypt’s ‘new’ foreign policy?

By Barak Barfi CAIRO: In the months since Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation, his successors have signaled a shift in foreign policy by reaching out to former adversaries. Egypt’s government has welcomed Iranian diplomats and embraced the Palestinian group Hamas. Many interpret such moves as clear evidence of Egypt’s desire for a diplomacy that is not …


The road to Tripoli

By Barak Barfi BENGHAZI: In the days since the Feb. 17 revolution against Libyan leader Col. Moammar Qaddafi, opposition forces in Benghazi have formed a Transitional National Council (TNC) and a Crisis Team (CT) to serve as an interim government. The two groups are drawn from a cross-section of society. Some members held senior posts in …


Yemen’s regime change gets personal

By Barak Barfi SANAA: When Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh ordered his military on March 18 to fire on peaceful protesters calling for his resignation, he sealed his fate. A wave of military, government, and diplomatic defections, led by his long-time ally First Armored Brigade Commander General Ali Muhsin Al-Ahmar, rocked his regime. But, although Al-Ahmar …


The battle for Bahrain

By Barak Barfi MANAMA: The fervor for change that inspired revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt is now rocking Bahrain. But the uprising in Manama differs from the mass protests that turned out longtime rulers in North Africa. Indeed, sectarian fault lines, together with the security forces’ complete fealty to the monarchy, seriously diminish the likelihood of …


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