That hardship was as great as the repression itself. The sanctions wiped out the middle class and infrastructure, yet, there is no visceral hatred among Iraqis. What strikes me most about them is their resilience. After the repression, sanctions, civil war, I’m amazed that Iraqis get through to the next day. Remember, Lebanon came back from civil war.
-- Anthony Shadid
"The uprising in Bahrain and now gathering momentum in Yemen sends shivers down the Saudis’ collective spine. They fear their grip on power becoming loose. But it is Bahrain that worries the Saudis the most. The tiny Gulf state has a Shi‘i majority ruled by the oppressive Khalifa family that is closely linked with the Americans whose naval Fifth Fleet prowls the Persian Gulf from there. This explains why the Americans have been so lukewarm in supporting the struggle of the Bahraini people."
FASHION AND TRENDS
"If such a concern with tolerance and democracy issues deserves encouragement, some questions remains however related to whether all the participants to a conference about new and restored democracies are really representative, and before all: how may new and restored democracies be defined? And where exactly in the world are they to be localized?"