Tag Archives: Middle East

The Economist explains: How Palestine might become a state | The Economist

14 Oct

As a form of territorial governance, the nation-state emerged in Western Europe some time during the last 1000 years. Just when and where depends, of course, on just what you think qualifies as a nation-state. I note, for example that at the time of the French Revolution, most of the people in that territory did not speak French. Was it a nation-state?

The question of Palestine has made the issue an acute one, but:

The Montevideo Convention on the rights and duties of states, signed by 20 countries in North and South America in 1933, sets four criteria for becoming a state: a permanent population, a government, defined borders and the capacity to enter into relations with other states. But these are little more than guidelines. Many places recognised as states do not comply. Libya has more than one government. Many states emerged after national movements declared independence and then sought recognition by other states and admission into the United Nations. Yasser Arafat, the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), declared Palestine a state in 1988 in Algiers, and has subsequently secured recognition from over 130 states, or over two-thirds of the UN.

via The Economist explains: How Palestine might become a state | The Economist.

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Obama Needs to Think SERIOUSLY Before Committing Us to an Unwinnable War in Syria

28 Aug
Questions for President Obama — Before He Pulls the Trigger on Syria (via Moyers & Company)

Let us posit that the Syrian government did, in fact, order last week’s chemical attack that killed hundreds of Syrian citizens, including women, children and others who had not taken up arms against the Assad regime. In Washington, the eagerness…

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Will the Middle East starve? – Middle East – Salon.com

10 Jun

Just so you know, the USA isn’t the only country pushing against the edges of its natural resources. Here’s a fascinating article about Saudi Arabia, water, and food. Oil won’t be able to buy everything.

There is a madness about farming in the desert — especially when temperatures are above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, there isn’t a river for hundreds of miles, and the only water is more than a mile underground. The technological bravado is breathtaking, but Saudis are slowly realizing that it cannot go on. That their dream of turning oil wealth into food self-sufficiency is doomed, and they will have to get food from elsewhere. I heard this at a conference on the country’s changing attitude to water, held at the Jeddah Hilton in 2009. … Not far away a huge desalination plant was making the waters of the Red Sea drinkable for the city.

Saudi Arabians have grown colossally rich on the country’s oil reserves. They have grown used to the idea that petrodollars can buy them anything. But Saudis are waking up to the fact that all their wealth will count for nothing if they have nothing to eat.

via Will the Middle East starve? – Middle East – Salon.com.