"In August 2011, my older brother Yassein—a businessman who is in no way politically involved—was praying inside the Mustafa Mosque in Daraya, southwest of Damascus, while a protest was happening outside. Security forces moved in to disperse the demonstration, arresting Yassein, who had not been participating. After his arrest, he was taken to the headquarters of Syrian Airforce Security. (Airforce Security is known for brutally torturing dissidents; it was responsible for the mutilation and killing of 13-year-old Hamza al-Khateeb at the outset of the uprising last year.) My brother has been held incommunicado ever since.

That I have been spared Yassein’s fate—indeed, a fate perhaps even worse than his—is only because I left Syria years ago, after years of active political opposition. My current distance from my country has undoubtedly preserved my safety. But it has not at all changed my assessment of the Assad regime’s terrors: Instead, it has only made me more determined in my opposition to Assad’s rule, and more hopeful that its end is near. Indeed, I am confident that my difficult personal journey—from domestic political reformer to leader of a government-in-exile—will one day tell a tale of redemption.”

- Radwan Ziadeh, The Making of a Syrian Dissident: A Personal Journey

Photo of Yassein Ziadeh courtesy of Flickr

Why did anyone believe Bashar al-Assad’s promises of a ceasefire to begin with?

"Among the things the past year has taught us is that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a master of diversion. He is well-practiced at navigating the loopholes in international and domestic law, and acutely aware of the opportunities presented by repetitive non-binding statements. Unbacked by action, diplomacy has only ever provided cover and additional time for Assad to pursue his brutal goals. In that way, as long as the Security Council refuses to make a credible promise of force—endorsing and enforcing a strict deadline for a ceasefire—its efforts are unlikely to result in peace in Syria."

- Radwan Ziadeh, Why Did Anyone Believe Bashar al-Assad’s Promises of a Ceasefire to Begin With?

Photo courtesy of UPI

How is the State Department failing Egypt’s revolution?

"Since the revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak last year, the Egyptian military—which occupies a key role in the new government—has not exactly distinguished itself on questions of human rights. According to Human Rights Watch, security forces continue to assault and imprison activists who criticize the military. Protesters are regularly beaten and in some cases killed, and the government’s abhorrent treatment of women is becoming a major cause for concern. On March 9, according to Amnesty International, Egyptian security forces detained 17 female protesters for four days, subjecting some of them to electric shocks and “virginity tests.”"

- The Editors, Business as Usual

Image courtesy of Edel Rodriguez

Is Egypt’s revolution doomed?
"Long presumed to be politically passive, ordinary Egyptians bravely  amassed with one simple demand: That decades of dictatorship had to end.  When Hosni Mubarak resigned eighteen tumultuous days later, the Arab  Spring had bloomed. Or so we wanted to believe. The reality of the past twelve months,  however, has undone whatever high hopes one might have held. Egypt is  now headed for radical theocratic, rather than liberal democratic, rule.  And a befuddled Obama administration has failed to do anything to stop  the coming disaster"
— Eric Trager, “Happy Birthday to Egypt’s Doomed Revolution”
thepoliticalnotebook:

Remembering #Jan25: Days of Rage and Dignity.  The Egyptian revolution really isn’t over, but the eighteen days of rallying and demonstrating across Egypt starting on 25 January 2011 that ultimately ousted longtime dictator Mubarak deserve an incredible amount of celebration.
Here is a photographic retrospective of those eighteen days, shot by some of the best. I will never fail to be blown away by the images of the demonstrations in Tahrir.
Zoom Info
Is Egypt’s revolution doomed?
"Long presumed to be politically passive, ordinary Egyptians bravely  amassed with one simple demand: That decades of dictatorship had to end.  When Hosni Mubarak resigned eighteen tumultuous days later, the Arab  Spring had bloomed. Or so we wanted to believe. The reality of the past twelve months,  however, has undone whatever high hopes one might have held. Egypt is  now headed for radical theocratic, rather than liberal democratic, rule.  And a befuddled Obama administration has failed to do anything to stop  the coming disaster"
— Eric Trager, “Happy Birthday to Egypt’s Doomed Revolution”
thepoliticalnotebook:

Remembering #Jan25: Days of Rage and Dignity.  The Egyptian revolution really isn’t over, but the eighteen days of rallying and demonstrating across Egypt starting on 25 January 2011 that ultimately ousted longtime dictator Mubarak deserve an incredible amount of celebration.
Here is a photographic retrospective of those eighteen days, shot by some of the best. I will never fail to be blown away by the images of the demonstrations in Tahrir.
Zoom Info
Is Egypt’s revolution doomed?
"Long presumed to be politically passive, ordinary Egyptians bravely  amassed with one simple demand: That decades of dictatorship had to end.  When Hosni Mubarak resigned eighteen tumultuous days later, the Arab  Spring had bloomed. Or so we wanted to believe. The reality of the past twelve months,  however, has undone whatever high hopes one might have held. Egypt is  now headed for radical theocratic, rather than liberal democratic, rule.  And a befuddled Obama administration has failed to do anything to stop  the coming disaster"
— Eric Trager, “Happy Birthday to Egypt’s Doomed Revolution”
thepoliticalnotebook:

Remembering #Jan25: Days of Rage and Dignity.  The Egyptian revolution really isn’t over, but the eighteen days of rallying and demonstrating across Egypt starting on 25 January 2011 that ultimately ousted longtime dictator Mubarak deserve an incredible amount of celebration.
Here is a photographic retrospective of those eighteen days, shot by some of the best. I will never fail to be blown away by the images of the demonstrations in Tahrir.
Zoom Info
Is Egypt’s revolution doomed?
"Long presumed to be politically passive, ordinary Egyptians bravely  amassed with one simple demand: That decades of dictatorship had to end.  When Hosni Mubarak resigned eighteen tumultuous days later, the Arab  Spring had bloomed. Or so we wanted to believe. The reality of the past twelve months,  however, has undone whatever high hopes one might have held. Egypt is  now headed for radical theocratic, rather than liberal democratic, rule.  And a befuddled Obama administration has failed to do anything to stop  the coming disaster"
— Eric Trager, “Happy Birthday to Egypt’s Doomed Revolution”
thepoliticalnotebook:

Remembering #Jan25: Days of Rage and Dignity.  The Egyptian revolution really isn’t over, but the eighteen days of rallying and demonstrating across Egypt starting on 25 January 2011 that ultimately ousted longtime dictator Mubarak deserve an incredible amount of celebration.
Here is a photographic retrospective of those eighteen days, shot by some of the best. I will never fail to be blown away by the images of the demonstrations in Tahrir.
Zoom Info
Is Egypt’s revolution doomed?
"Long presumed to be politically passive, ordinary Egyptians bravely  amassed with one simple demand: That decades of dictatorship had to end.  When Hosni Mubarak resigned eighteen tumultuous days later, the Arab  Spring had bloomed. Or so we wanted to believe. The reality of the past twelve months,  however, has undone whatever high hopes one might have held. Egypt is  now headed for radical theocratic, rather than liberal democratic, rule.  And a befuddled Obama administration has failed to do anything to stop  the coming disaster"
— Eric Trager, “Happy Birthday to Egypt’s Doomed Revolution”
thepoliticalnotebook:

Remembering #Jan25: Days of Rage and Dignity.  The Egyptian revolution really isn’t over, but the eighteen days of rallying and demonstrating across Egypt starting on 25 January 2011 that ultimately ousted longtime dictator Mubarak deserve an incredible amount of celebration.
Here is a photographic retrospective of those eighteen days, shot by some of the best. I will never fail to be blown away by the images of the demonstrations in Tahrir.
Zoom Info
Is Egypt’s revolution doomed?
"Long presumed to be politically passive, ordinary Egyptians bravely  amassed with one simple demand: That decades of dictatorship had to end.  When Hosni Mubarak resigned eighteen tumultuous days later, the Arab  Spring had bloomed. Or so we wanted to believe. The reality of the past twelve months,  however, has undone whatever high hopes one might have held. Egypt is  now headed for radical theocratic, rather than liberal democratic, rule.  And a befuddled Obama administration has failed to do anything to stop  the coming disaster"
— Eric Trager, “Happy Birthday to Egypt’s Doomed Revolution”
thepoliticalnotebook:

Remembering #Jan25: Days of Rage and Dignity.  The Egyptian revolution really isn’t over, but the eighteen days of rallying and demonstrating across Egypt starting on 25 January 2011 that ultimately ousted longtime dictator Mubarak deserve an incredible amount of celebration.
Here is a photographic retrospective of those eighteen days, shot by some of the best. I will never fail to be blown away by the images of the demonstrations in Tahrir.
Zoom Info
Is Egypt’s revolution doomed?
"Long presumed to be politically passive, ordinary Egyptians bravely  amassed with one simple demand: That decades of dictatorship had to end.  When Hosni Mubarak resigned eighteen tumultuous days later, the Arab  Spring had bloomed. Or so we wanted to believe. The reality of the past twelve months,  however, has undone whatever high hopes one might have held. Egypt is  now headed for radical theocratic, rather than liberal democratic, rule.  And a befuddled Obama administration has failed to do anything to stop  the coming disaster"
— Eric Trager, “Happy Birthday to Egypt’s Doomed Revolution”
thepoliticalnotebook:

Remembering #Jan25: Days of Rage and Dignity.  The Egyptian revolution really isn’t over, but the eighteen days of rallying and demonstrating across Egypt starting on 25 January 2011 that ultimately ousted longtime dictator Mubarak deserve an incredible amount of celebration.
Here is a photographic retrospective of those eighteen days, shot by some of the best. I will never fail to be blown away by the images of the demonstrations in Tahrir.
Zoom Info
Is Egypt’s revolution doomed?
"Long presumed to be politically passive, ordinary Egyptians bravely  amassed with one simple demand: That decades of dictatorship had to end.  When Hosni Mubarak resigned eighteen tumultuous days later, the Arab  Spring had bloomed. Or so we wanted to believe. The reality of the past twelve months,  however, has undone whatever high hopes one might have held. Egypt is  now headed for radical theocratic, rather than liberal democratic, rule.  And a befuddled Obama administration has failed to do anything to stop  the coming disaster"
— Eric Trager, “Happy Birthday to Egypt’s Doomed Revolution”
thepoliticalnotebook:

Remembering #Jan25: Days of Rage and Dignity.  The Egyptian revolution really isn’t over, but the eighteen days of rallying and demonstrating across Egypt starting on 25 January 2011 that ultimately ousted longtime dictator Mubarak deserve an incredible amount of celebration.
Here is a photographic retrospective of those eighteen days, shot by some of the best. I will never fail to be blown away by the images of the demonstrations in Tahrir.
Zoom Info

Is Egypt’s revolution doomed?

"Long presumed to be politically passive, ordinary Egyptians bravely amassed with one simple demand: That decades of dictatorship had to end. When Hosni Mubarak resigned eighteen tumultuous days later, the Arab Spring had bloomed. Or so we wanted to believe. The reality of the past twelve months, however, has undone whatever high hopes one might have held. Egypt is now headed for radical theocratic, rather than liberal democratic, rule. And a befuddled Obama administration has failed to do anything to stop the coming disaster"

— Eric Trager, “Happy Birthday to Egypt’s Doomed Revolution

thepoliticalnotebook:

Remembering #Jan25: Days of Rage and Dignity.  The Egyptian revolution really isn’t over, but the eighteen days of rallying and demonstrating across Egypt starting on 25 January 2011 that ultimately ousted longtime dictator Mubarak deserve an incredible amount of celebration.

Here is a photographic retrospective of those eighteen days, shot by some of the best. I will never fail to be blown away by the images of the demonstrations in Tahrir.

Arab Spring, My Foot

Tunisians have voted in their first truly free elections. More than 90% of registered voters turned out to cast their ballot in Tunisia’s election, the first free poll of the Arab Spring, the BBC reports. The Ennahdha party claimed victory and has begun the work of forming a coalition government.

Tunisians have voted in their first truly free elections. More than 90% of registered voters turned out to cast their ballot in Tunisia’s election, the first free poll of the Arab Spring, the BBC reports. The Ennahdha party claimed victory and has begun the work of forming a coalition government.

But the first elections of the Arab Spring are off to a rocky start, as violence broke out Friday in Sidi Bouzid, the cradle of Tunisia’s revolution, where eleven months ago Mohamed Bouazizi, a vegetable seller, set himself on fire in an act of protest that swelled into a national revolt.

Protesters, angry that election candidates they had backed were disqualified, rampaged through the town, setting fire to a court-house, a police headquarters, the mayor’s office and the offices of a rival party, Reuters reports.

Read TNR Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Martin Peretz’s reflections on the future of the Arab Spring, here.

Photo courtesy of MSNBC.