This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

What counts as terrorism? The view on the Arab street

In November 2004 Fares Braizat, a polling expert at the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan, presented some of the key findings from the opinion polls he had conducted in five Arab countries on the subject of terrorism, to a conference in Trujillo, Spain jointly supported by openDemocracy, FRIDE and King’s College, London. The results make sobering reading.

Five steps for defeating terrorism

An advisor to the Madrid summit on terror and democracy in March 2005 outlines what can be done to tackle terror while retaining and strengthening democratic principles.

Chronicle of a war foretold

Where is the “war on terror” going?

Iraq's dangerous elections

The planning of Iraq’s national elections in January 2005 is accompanied by extreme violence and political uncertainty. Zaid Al-Ali asks whether Shi’a divisions over participation and the extent of Iranian influence in Iraq could further inflame a dangerous situation.

Missiles and militias

The United States missile defence programme is mired in huge costs and technical failures. Could Iraq’s insurgency deal it a fatal blow?

Safe democracy

How should democratic societies respond to terrorism? On 11 March 2005, a year after bombs in Madrid killed 191 people and almost killed thousands, a major summit in the Spanish capital will address this most fundamental question. Here, Mary Kaldor suggests an agenda.

Democracy and Terrorism: a major new debate

How can democracies respond to terrorism without damaging their own institutions and values? In March 2005, thousands of people - including state leaders, scholars, citizens and activists - will gather in Madrid on the anniversary of the horrific "11-M" attacks to seek an answer to this dilemma of our age. Chloe Davies introduces a major collaborative project between openDemocracy and safe-democracy which aims to extend the Madrid debate to the world's public.

The 'greater middle east' in the 21st century

Can the world’s leading conflict zone clear a path towards peace, prosperity and freedom? The last article of Reinhard Hesse – openDemocracy contributor and adviser to the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder – looks forward to analyse the forces that might transform a troubled region.

Syria, the next target?

Washington hawks, undeterred by problems in Iraq, are intensifying their hardline attitudes towards Iran, North Korea, and Syria.

If you find openDemocracy’s Iraq coverage valuable, please subscribe for just £25 / $40 / €40. You’ll gain access to easy-to-read PDFs of Paul Rogers’s weekly column and other articles.

Losing control

After failure in Fallujah, what next for beleaguered United States forces in Iraq?

Iran's nuclear politics

Tehran’s sense of strategic encirclement, allied to Washington’s hostile rhetoric, could make Iran the epicentre of the next regional crisis.

Iraq's tightrope walk: Yahia Said interviewed

Will war or politics prevail in Iraq? Two months before the planned elections, Iraqi civil society scholar Yahia Said tells openDemocracy’s Caspar Henderson that he can glimpse “a small window of opportunity amidst this cycle of occupation, alienation and violence”.

No direction home

The official American line is that the Fallujah operation was a success and the insurgency is in retreat. The real story is very different.

American dreams, Iraqi realities

In Washington, post-election exuberance distorts what is really happening in Fallujah – and across Sunni Iraq.

Fallujah's lesson for Iraq

The United States-led assault on Fallujah signals the political failure of the attempt to stabilise Iraq by re-empowering supporters of Saddam’s Ba’ath party and the Sunni elite it represents, says Sama Hadad.

Darfur journal

What is it like to be swept on a whirlwind tour scene of one of the most severe humanitarian crises in the world? The director of a western aid organisation describes a recent visit to Darfur in western Sudan.

The death of Arafat and the end of national liberation

The demise of the Palestinian national leader also marks the symbolic end of the anti-colonialist politics that dominated the “third world” after 1945, says Stephen Howe.

Dying for Empire, Blair, or Scotland?

The death of three young Scots soldiers in central Iraq may, says a grieving Stephen Howe, be the decisive moment for Scotland’s democratic nationalism to assert itself over the imperial militarism that sent its sons into a killing–field.

Fallujah fallout

The United States’s overwhelming force will enable it to declare victory after its assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah. But at what long-term cost?

Fallujah slaughter, Baghdad anger

The assault on Fallujah is inflicting great political as well as humanitarian damage, reports Dahr Jamail from Baghdad.

Four more years for al-Qaida

The skilful rhetoric as well as the politically–charged content of Osama bin Laden’s latest videotaped message carries a potent warning to the re–elected President Bush.

Iraq and al-Qaida: the connection

America’s occupation of Iraq is making real an imagined link.

Iraq's spiral of violence

The United States is planning to escalate its already intense assaults on key urban centres in Iraq. But is this strategy based on a fundamental misreading of the insurgency?

Anatol Lieven, right or wrong?

Anatol Lieven’s misunderstanding of nationalism, inconsistent liberalism, and personal prejudices deform his judgment of the relationship between Israel, the United States, and the Arab world, says Emanuele Ottolenghi.

Israel, the United States, and truth: a reply to Emanuele Ottolenghi

Anatol Lieven responds to Emanuele Ottolenghi’s fierce criticism of him in openDemocracy.

Israel and the American antithesis

The alliance between the United States and Israel has become a fusion of regressive nationalisms that carries great dangers for both states and for the world, says Anatol Lieven in an edited extract from the Israel chapter of his book, “America Right or Wrong”.

Iran's Israeli factor

Washington is sending mixed signals over Iran’s planned development of nuclear weapons. Will Israel pre–empt its decision by launching an attack?

Iraq - the lost generation

A young Iraqi returns to his devastated homeland and commits himself to help rebuild its future.

America's Iraqi shift: pre-emption or reaction?

The sheer intensity of Iraq’s insurgency is leading the United States to escalate its military assaults. The impact on the war against al–Qaida may be ominous.

What next in Iraq? Follow the oil

A troubled Washington faces urgent choices in Iraq. With exit no option, and victory nowhere in sight, the commandment of a second Bush administration may be: follow the oil.

Losing Iraq

Are the Americans and British facing a humiliating retreat from Iraq? If so, what will be the impact on Iyad Allawi’s government and the timetable for elections in January 2005? Robert Fox, an experienced correspondent who recently met senior military personnel in Iraq, hears their concerns and assesses Iraq’s political prospects.

What al-Zarqawi knows

A Jordanian terrorist in Iraq is using the west’s emotional weakness for satanic ends. Time to stand firm against the hostage–takers, says Douglas Murray.

Iraq: a prospect of war

An escalating Iraqi insurgency is inflicting severe damage on United States forces. The political timetable in Washington will determine the scale and timing of their response.

Iraq: what went wrong?

After eighteen months of tumult in Iraq, it is clear that United States military strategy has resoundingly failed. How, why, and what comes next?

The Pakistan factor

The savage wars in Chechnya and Iraq continue to deplete Russian and American morale, but recent events in Pakistan equally expose the contradictions of the “war on terror”.
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