Steven A. Cook

From the Potomac to the Euphrates

Cook examines developments in the Middle East and their resonance in Washington.

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Showing posts for "Algeria"

Weekend Reading: Fighting in Mosul, Innovative Booksellers, and Algeria’s Jewish Heritage

by Steven A. Cook
Residents shop for books at Mutanabi Street in Baghdad (Ahmed Saad/Reuters).

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad recounts the Iraqi military’s effort to retake control of Mosul’s Baghdad Circle, the gateway to the western part of the city, from the self-styled Islamic State. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Ben Ali’s Flight, the Nawari of Gaza, and Algeria’s Independence Reconsidered

by Steven A. Cook
Tunisia's President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali addresses the nation in this still image taken from video, January 13, 2011 (Tunisian State TV/Handout/Reuters).

Middle East Eye interviews Mahmoud Cheikhrouhou, the pilot who flew Tunisia’s ousted president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, to Saudi Arabia in January 2011. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Egypt’s State of Idiocy, Darth Mediene, and Libya’s Tribes

by Steven A. Cook
A man reads newspaper in the alley of the old city of Algiers Al Casbah, Algeria (Zohra Bensemra/Reuters).

Maged Atiya laments the Egyptian state’s devolution into idiocy.

Sam Metz and Abdallah Brahimi explore the potential reasons behind the recent dismissal of Algerian spy chief Mohammed Mediene. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Egypt’s Informers, Algeria’s Political Complexities, and The Non-Intifada

by Steven A. Cook
A supporter of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi shouts slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups, after the collection signatures for a petition in downtown Cairo (Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters).

Belal Fadl characterizes Egypt as a state-sponsored nation of informers.

Anna Jacobs explores the complexities of the Algerian political system. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Algeria’s Police Protest, Yemen’s Houthis Move In, and Egypt’s Liberals Explained

by Steven A. Cook
Police officers gather near the Presidential Palace in Algiers October 15, 2014 (Louafi Larbi/Courtesy Reuters).

Thomas Serres suggests that the recent police protests in Algeria demonstrate how Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s regime is “being inundated from all sides.” Read more »

Weekend Reading: Boutef Again, Bringing Democracy Back to Turkey, and Hep-C in Egypt

by Steven A. Cook
Members of a local dance troupe perform during a campaign rally for current Algerian President and candidate in the forthcoming presidential election, Abdelaziz Bouteflik, in Ain Ouassara southwest of Algiers April 10, 2014 (Louafi Larbi/Courtesy Reuters).

Alexis Artaud de La Ferrière examines how Algeria’s elections will influence regional politics, especially those in Tunisia.

The Turkish citizen journalism group “140journos” is trying to use technology to bring democracy back to Turkey, writes Burcu Baykurt for Jadaliyya. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Egypt’s Pharaoh, Algerian Foreign Policy, and Democracy in Turkey

by Steven A. Cook
Said Saadi (C), leader of the opposition Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD), argues with police during an anti-government demonstration in Algiers February 26, 2011 (Louafi Larbi/Courtesy Reuters).

Zeinobia from the Egyptian Chronicles argues that Sisi is the new Pharaoh.

Hamza Hamouchene asks, “Is Algeria an Anti-Imperialist State?” Read more »

Middle Eastern Mad Libs: “Egypt is ____________”

by Steven A. Cook
Security personnel watch over supporters of former Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi during a demonstration outside the Republican Guard building in Cairo July 6, 2013 (Louafi Larbi/Courtesy Reuters).

After the January 25 uprising, uninformed observers asked “Is Turkey the ‘model’ for Egypt?” or “Will Egypt follow Indonesia’s path?”  Comparisons are always useful in the effort to explain how the world works, but under the circumstances it seemed that people were flailing away looking for something, anything to make sense of a new vastly more complicated Middle East.  If Egypt was Turkey—which at the time looked more liberal and prosperous than it does now—then perhaps for the many challenges that lay ahead for Egyptians (and U.S. interests), all would end well. Read more »

Thinking About Algeria and “Analytic Overshooting”

by Steven A. Cook
Algeria's President and head of the Armed Forces Abdelaziz Bouteflika (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters).

In the fall of 1991, Robert A. Mortimer writing in the Middle East Journal declared, “Although the leaders of the post-independence generation feared that a pluralistic Algeria would be too unruly to govern, today’s political elite has moved beyond that position.” It was not to be, however. Just a few months after Mortimer’s article appeared, Algeria’s senior military commanders pushed President Chadli Bendjedid from office and nullified the results of the country’s first competitive national elections when it became clear that the Front Islamique du Salut would win an outright majority in the National Assembly. The civil conflict that followed the military’s intervention took the lives of somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 Algerians, though some estimates go much higher. Read more »

Weekend Reading: Understanding Sinai Through Maps, Misguided Anger, and Algeria’s Foreign Policy

by Steven A. Cook
A man reads the newspaper at a vendor's stall in Sanaa (Mohamed Al-Sayaghi/Courtesy Reuters).

The Multinational Force & Observers’ interactive map of the Sinai.

Robin Yassin-Kassab, on his blog Qunfuz, says that last week’s protests sparked by a video mocking Mohammed are misguided, calling them a distraction from the really serious issues in the region. Read more »