Robert M. Danin

Middle East Matters

Danin analyzes critical developments and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

Middle East Matters This Week: Egypt’s New President, Syria’s Bloodiest Week, and New Regional Diplomacy

by Robert M. Danin Thursday, June 28, 2012
President-elect Mohamed Morsi is seen on screens at the Egyptian Television headquarters control room during his first televised address to the nation in Cairo on June 24, 2012 (Courtesy Reuters). President-elect Mohamed Morsi is seen on screens at the Egyptian Television headquarters control room during his first televised address to the nation in Cairo on June 24, 2012 (Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Middle East Developments

Egypt. After days of delay, Egyptian election officials announced on Sunday that Mohamed Morsi had won 52 percent of the runoff vote and would become Egypt’s next president. Hours after being declared the winner, Morsi said that he would “be a president for all Egyptians” and called for national unity. Morsi, Egypt’s first Islamist and first fairly-elected president, resigned from the Muslim Brotherhood to take up the post. He moved into deposed president Mubarak’s old office on Monday to begin work on forming a new government. Read more »

What Morsi’s Win Means for Egypt

by Robert M. Danin Monday, June 25, 2012
Muslim Brotherhood's president-elect Mohamed Morsi speaks during his first televised address to the nation at the Egyptian Television headquarters in Cairo on June 24, 2012 (Courtesy Reuters). Muslim Brotherhood's president-elect Mohamed Morsi speaks during his first televised address to the nation at the Egyptian Television headquarters in Cairo on June 24, 2012 (Courtesy Reuters).

Following yesterday’s historic announcement that Mohamed Morsi had won Egypt’s first competitive presidential election, I discussed the implications of this development with former New York Times diplomatic correspondent Bernard Gwertzman in an interview featured on CFR.org and published below. Read more »

Egypt’s Election Turmoil, Saudi Succession Challenges, Failed Iranian Nuclear Talks, and Syria’s Deadly Stalemate

by Robert M. Danin Thursday, June 21, 2012
Protesters chant slogans against the military council at Tahrir Square in Cairo on June 20, 2012 (Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters). Protesters chant slogans against the military council at Tahrir Square in Cairo on June 20, 2012 (Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Middle East Developments

Egypt. Egyptian election officials announced yesterday that they were postponing the announcement of the country’s presidential runoff, plunging the country into further uncertainty. Official results of the presidential election will not be released until Sunday, purportedly to evaluate allegations of electoral abuse and voter fraud. The election commission had been expected to confirm a winner today, and, based on a public vote count, to have named Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood. Read more »

A View From Homs

by Robert M. Danin Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Damaged buildings are seen in Homs on June 2, 2012 (Courtesy Reuters). Damaged buildings are seen in Homs on June 2, 2012 (Courtesy Reuters).

As the international community debates what, if anything, to do about Syria, the daily bloodshed and carnage there continues. For those just trying to survive, life has become quite brutal. One recent blog post, by Homs resident and blogger “Big Al,” provides a powerful and upsetting description of daily life in his city. Big Al, who tweets under the handle @BigAlBrand, readily agreed for me to share some of his recent observations from his post “Life in Homs” which I include below. The entire blog is available here. Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Egypt’s Parliamentary Annulment and Increased Tensions over Syria

by Robert M. Danin Thursday, June 14, 2012
A protester shouts in front of police outside the Supreme Constitutional Court, where a decision is expected on the validity of the law passed by the Islamist-led parliament that sought to bar Ahmed Shafik in Cairo June 14, 2012 (Suhaib Salem/Courtesy Reuters). A protester shouts in front of police outside the Supreme Constitutional Court, where a decision is expected on the validity of the law passed by the Islamist-led parliament that sought to bar Ahmed Shafik in Cairo June 14, 2012 (Suhaib Salem/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Middle East Developments

Egypt. Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court today deemed unconstitutional both the law governing the country’s recent parliamentary elections and the “Political Disenfranchisement Law” that would have prevented presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq from running in the upcoming elections. As a result, the second round of Egypt’s presidential elections are slated to occur as scheduled on June 16-17 pitting Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammad Mursi against Shafiq, the last prime minister to serve under ousted Hosni Mubarak. Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Egypt’s Historic Verdict and Further Syrian Massacres

by Robert M. Danin Thursday, June 7, 2012
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is wheeled out of the courtroom in Cairo Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is wheeled out of the courtroom in Cairo on June 2, 2012 (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Middle East Developments

Egypt. The trial of Hosni Mubarak concluded on Saturday with the three-judge panel sentencing the former Egyptian president and his former interior minister, Habib al-Adly, to life in prison as “accessories to murder.” Mubarak’s two sons, Gamal and Alaa, were acquitted on corruption charges, and the six senior police officers considered directly responsible for the killing of Tahrir Square protesters were also acquitted. The verdict immediately spurred thousands of protesters to spill into the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, and Suez. Read more »

Syria by the Numbers

by Robert M. Danin Wednesday, June 6, 2012
People carry the body of men, whom activists say were killed by the Syrian government army, in Taftanaz village, east of Idlib city on April 5, 2012 (Courtesy Reuters). People carry the body of men, whom activists say were killed by the Syrian government army, in Taftanaz village, east of Idlib city on April 5, 2012 (Courtesy Reuters).

Length of Conflict

15 months

Deaths

Total opposition deaths: 12,36015,842
Opposition deaths since April 12 ceasefire: 2,391
Civilian: 11,40314,535
Children: 1,0121,178
Opposition military: 9571307
Regime military: 3,000 Read more »