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The New Arab Wars [PDF] ✈ The New Arab Wars ⚣ Marc Lynch – Less than twenty four months after the hope filled Arab uprising the popular movement had morphed into a dystopia of resurgent dictators failed states and civil wars Egypt's epochal transition to demo Less than twenty four months after the hope filled Arab uprising the popular movement had morphed into a dystopia of resurgent dictators failed states and civil wars Egypt's epochal transition to democracy ended in a violent military coup Yemen and Libya collapsed into civil war while Bahrain erupted in smothering sectarian repression Syria proved the greatest victim of all ripped apart by internationally fueled insurgencies and an externally supported bloody minded regime Amidst the chaos a virulently militant group declared an Islamic State seizing vast territories and inspiring terrorism across the globe What happened The New The New Kindle - Arab Wars is a profound illumination of the causes of this nightmare It details the costs of the poor choices made by regional actors delivers a scathing analysis of Western misreadings of the conflict and condemns international interference that has stoked the violence Informed by commentators and analysts from the Arab world Marc Lynch's narrative of a vital region's collapse is both wildly dramatic and likely to prove definitive Most important he shows that the region's upheavals have only just begun and that the hopes of Arab regimes and Western policy makers to retreat to old habits of authoritarian stability are doomed to fail.

10 thoughts on “The New Arab Wars

  1. Boudewijn Boudewijn says:

    So you thought the Arab Spring is over? It is just beginning They will be back And this time with a vengeanceIt is a grim message indeed Marc Lynch argues that the Arab Spring which seemed to be contained or have resulted in bloody civil wars is not over Arab regimes have not even begun to deal with the underlying problems which drove the 2011 uprising and most of those problems have gotten worse The Arab regimes have largely destroyed the hope for meaningful democratic change and the failures of transitional regimes have badly degraded popular enthusiasm for democratic institutions The bloody repression by regimes such as Bahrain’s or Egypt’s probably means that the next uprising will be far focused on revenge far less peaceful and far less tolerant of allowing members of the old regime to hang around with impunityThe Arab Spring which started as a popular movement with a real desire for democratic change extended the already polarised Arab world into two broad coalitions a “moderate bloc” of Sunni dictators allied with the United States and indirectly Israel against a “rejection bloc” including Iran Syria Hezbollah and Hamas At the same time it also resulted in an intra Sunni conflict between atar and Saudi Arabia which first eclipsed and then accelerated sectarianism and the Saudi Iranian conflict Most of the Gulf regimes were uit pleased to see peaceful uprising devolve into a violent armed conflict A peaceful mass mobilization for democratic reforms challenged autocratic regimes in novel and uncomfortable ways Proxy wars did not Regimes which struggled to respond to the peaceful demands of their citizens were well euipped to channel money and guns to favored insurgent groups and to use their media empires to promote rebel causes It are these wars that the author is calling “The New Arab Wars”The US Lynch argues was wise to stay out of an intervention In fact Lynch applauds Obama’s politics “He understood deeply that American military power could not solve the region’s conflicts and that limited intervention would only pave the way to ever ­escalating demands for ” Lynch argues “He understood the iron logic of the slippery slope from limited intervention to full scale uagmire” Or worse”The rest of the world should stay out “America can be or less directly involved” the author writes “but it will ultimately prove unable to decide the outcome of the fundamental struggles by Arabs over their future”

  2. Dennis Littrell Dennis Littrell says:

    Readable dense authoritativeProfessor Lynch is a professional political scientist with a chair at Georgetown University and the author of several books on the Middle East He is the kind of writer whose expertise is unuestioned and it is only in his interpretation of events that one might find controversyI didn’t find any myself I would only say that Lynch failed to fault Islam the religion itself for the horrors taking place in the Middle East today This is understandable since there is little to be gained by blaming an entire religion and much to lose through distraction and ineffectual focus True it is in part Islam’s inability to separate mosue from state that underlies the failure of democracy to take hold in the Middle East Lynch seems to intimate as much when he writes “The Arab uprisings of 2011 were only one episode in a generational challenge to a failed political order” p 254What Lynch focuses on is the autocratic regimes themselves and their inability to awaken to the new reality brought about by rapid and nearly universal communication among the populace They can see clearly how much better things are in other places in the world No longer can the regimes manage public opinion and knowledge through nearly absolute control of media Instead with Facebook Twitter and other venues anyone with a smart phone andor an Internet connection can learn via YouTube videos outside news sources and messages from friends comrades family and even enemies the truth about what is happening almost anywhere in the Middle East Lynch of course points with muted voice to the colonialism of the past since this book is about today and now and the past is well known and nothing can be done about it The word “colonialism” does not even appear in the excellent Index As for the recent past beginning with the stupidities and gross ignorance of the Bush administration Lynch spells them out unsparingly He finds less fault with Obama than he does with Bush and that is understandable since George W Bush Dick Cheney Donald Rumsfeld and the neocons are the ones who destabilized the Middle East with their invasion of Ira As Lynch points out one of the effects of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was to increase the influence of Iran Ira with Hussein’s Sunni government in charge was a buffer against Iranian ambitionsWhereas Bush didn’t care how many people his actions caused to die Obama’s policies are obviously directed toward killing as few people as possible However any decision that Obama made or will make will result in the death of people Such is the nature of military and political power which is why sociopaths such as some of the autocrats in the Middle East and elsewhere are often found in power today and historically Personally writing as a political scientist I have an undergraduate degree in Political Science from UCLA I believe that Obama should have gone after Asad following the gassing of his people For complicated reasons including Russian support of Asad and the possibility of a negotiated settlement Obamas was persuaded not to attack the regime In the last chapter of the book Lynch disagreeing with me states that the “Intervention would not have saved Syria” He writes“The conventional wisdom now holds that the Obama administration’s failure to act in Syria has been as devastating as the Bush administration’s invasion of IraBut American non intervention was not the problem and if it does ultimately intervene directly this will only create new problems” p 248 He adds p 249 that intervention by the Obama administration was exactly what jihadists wanted since it would ultimate fail “Obama was right to avoid this intervention Perhaps his greatest sin in the eyes of the Washington consensus was to have learned the lessons of Ira”As for the prognosis Lynch writing in January 2016 contends forcefully that the uprising that began in 2011 is not over that the autocratic powers will continue to be under pressure from people who want a greater say in how their lives play outFurther he believes p 246 that “America has no real allies in the Middle East” Interesting Does that include or exclude Israel?Finally Lynch expects Islamic extremism to get worseThe book is eminently readable and exuisitely edited but with this reservation if you don’t have some familiarity with the politics of the Middle East you might want to take notes It’s hard to know the players without a score card and separating Sunni from Shi’a can take some getting used to Dennis Littrell author of “The World Is Not as We Think It Is”

  3. CJ CJ says:

    Helped me understand Gulf countries’ relationships to the Muslim BrotherhoodIslamists through 2016 background to GCC crisis how that changed the aftermath of the Arab Spring Sisi’ coup Haftar’s advance Gave a justification of Obama’s midEast policy arguing against the slippery slope of intervention in Syria How Saudi opposition to the Iran deal influenced the invasion of Yemen Still ends with the future being of protests for change

  4. Steffi Steffi says:

    Must read for all wannabe middle east pundits like me read wannabe everything pundit It shed a lot of light on intra Gulf power dynamics and their manifestations in the various outcomes of the Arab Spring uprisings Caveat the author is clearly team Obama so he turns a very blind eye on the US' involvement in the continued overall post Arab Spring fuckedupness

  5. Rebekah Rebekah says:

    There was such incredibly clear bias in this book and Marc Lynch ends on the last page with There is no hope for the Arab states It's all going to explode again very soon It was extremely pessimistic and emotional The information in this book was good however the factual data was constantly overshadowed by Marc Lynch's style of reporting I found this book hard to read and not at all engaging

  6. Léonie Kirchgeorg Léonie Kirchgeorg says:

    For someone who has never read a political science book or a detailed book on the Middle East it is an incredibly hard read The cataclysmic domino effect that occurred during the Arab Spring was so rapid drastic and to an extent coincidental I found it hard to follow That being said the author Marc Lynch does this remarkable job of not just recounting the occurrences of the new Arab wars but distils and analyses the events in a constructive and orderly fashion I may not have understood everything – I mean how can one understand the uprisings of the Middle East by reading one book – but Lynch’s writing has definitely pushed me closer to be able to say “yes I understand as much as one can about the happenings in the Middle East”

  7. Emmett Hoops Emmett Hoops says:

    If any part of the world is misunderstood by Americans surely it is the Middle East It's a very complex part of the world made infinitely complex by the confluence of religions cultures and continents There is not one single book that puts it all in perspective but this one by Marc Lynch will go a long way toward giving you a basic literacy of the issues Here are some things you need to know to understand why Libya failed why Syria is in constant civil war why Egypt's experiment in democracy failed why Saudi Arabia hates the Muslim Brotherhood why atar hates Saudi Arabia why Turkey wants its foot back in its old stomping grounds and why France is universally hated in Syria and Lebanon And why America's best shot at improving things there is to stay the hell outWell you have to read some of Salim Yaub's work; Margaret McMillan's 1919 would be good; a history of the Ottoman Empire would also contribute to this background Yes it takes that much reading to make sense of it all The value of this book is that it ties all the loose threads together and makes the whole shebang finally comprehensible in an eminently readable style

  8. Yas Yas says:

    good book I loved the authors explanation of how things transpired and went down the drain in arab spring countriesespecially on Egypt the analysis provided was totally on pointsatisfactory and thorough I found the author too defensive of Obama's administration policiesWhile at some points I found this totally warranted and justified and at other times not as much There is also a line which i found unfortunate in the book about Americans valuing democracy as a value and arabs only looking to instrumentalize itThis is a disconcerting viewpoint The analysis provided in the book is wholesome but not authoritative given the tumultuous changes the region was and still going through

  9. Azzam To& Azzam To& says:

    The book offers a general overview of the situation in the Middle East while attempting to delineate the role of international and local politics in the shaping of the reality of the region Having taken on such a large scale project while constantly zooming in to the micro scale; the author has not much to offer someone who is well read on the region However the book does offer a great introduction to the beginner on the region and clarifies the Western misreading of middle eastern problems

  10. Abbas Zubir Abbas Zubir says:

    This is not an easy book to read The problem is highlighted by the author himself early on This book is not for layman Preferably those who wanted to read this book should have some knowledge on the politics of the middle eastI did not Yet I did managed to distill a lot of knowledge reading this book uite a struggle though This book paints a vivid dark reality that is of the politics in the middle east and politics in general My understanding of the neo politics only with respect to Islam sentiment would be heavily influenced by this book

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