Introduction: Middle East Upheaval

Against the Current, No. 167, November/December 2013

The Editors

WE PRESENT THE following contributions as the turmoil of the Arab uprisings continues. At the time when a U.S. bombing of Syria appeared imminent, we posed a few questions to some experts on the region. Val Moghadam’s responses to our queries, and Hisham Ahmed’s thoughts on the dangers of unilateralism, argue the case that bombing Syria in the name of protecting its people would have made a ghastly humanitarian tragedy even worse, while solving nothing. Kit Wainer reviews two important books on the Arab Spring and subsequent upheavals, which provide essential background to the events in Egypt, Syria, Bahrain and elsewhere. We will have further coverage, of course, in future issues.