As the war in Iraq lengthens, references to it as another Vietnam have increased. But Vietnam today is more of a ghost than a reality of what it was 30 years ago. As a ghost, Vietnam carries a haunting message of defeat for Western interventions in "third world wars." Despite some dangerous parallels, this message is wrong in that the American defeat in Vietnam was largely a self-inflicted wound. Further, the geopolitics of the War on Terror and its strategy of preemption (as opposed to the Cold War and its policy of containment), has fused the war in Iraq with the battle against al-Qaeda to the point where Iraq has become the struggle from which Americans cannot walk away — as they did in Vietnam.
This article is to demonstrate that the current crisis in Darfur is not a spontaneous insurgency at the beginning of the twenty-first century but the culmination of neglect, religion, and racism since the end of the nineteenth century. Historically, there has been a long record of conflict between the African Fur and Masalit and the Arabs of Darfur, particularly the Baqqara. This racial hostility was compounded by the cultural discrimination between the rustic, illiterate Baqqara Arabs of Darfur, commonly known as the awlad al-gharib (westerners) and the more sophisticated literate riverine Arabs of the towns located in the heartland of the Sudan along the river Nile, the Awlad al-Bahr (people of the river). This juxtaposition of the center versus the periphery is central to any understanding of the history of Sudan of which the disaster in Darfur is the most recent manifestation. Moreover, since 1969 Darfur has been the strategic battleground in the much larger conflict begun by Muammar Qadhafi of Libya in 1969 to establish an Arab, Islamic Sudanic Libyan Empire south of the Sahara. In this 40 years'war the current crisis in Darfur is yet another act in a Shakespearean tragedy about the long road to disaster in Darfur. The theme of the play remains the same, but this act, the most bloody to be sure, must be understood by the international community as another episode in the continuing struggle for control of the most strategic regions of the Chad basin, Darfur.
With the Cold War over and external strategic and ideological considerations removed, African problems now exist mainly in national and regional contexts. However, the devastating situation in Sudan continues to draw global attention and, in particular, the United States that still manifests interest in the Sudan. This article contends that, although US-Sudan relations had been mostly antagonistic and hostile before 2000, cooperation grew, especially after the catastrophic humanitarian disaster of 11 September 2001. However, the need for sustainable, mutual cooperation and interdependence in achieving internal peace in Sudan and ending the war on terrorism cannot be understated.
The article begins with an historical overview of the Kurds in Turkey and the background to the conflict in the southeast of the country. The second section examines the manner in which the conflict has been dealt with by the Turkish authorities and looks in particular at the effect the imposition of emergency rule and draconian anti-terrorism legislation has had on the enjoyment on human rights. The article concludes with an analysis of the impact of the reforms engendered by the European Union accession process.
This article compares the responses of the Islamist political forces in Algeria under military pressure to their counterparts in Turkey, under similar duress. While the former rose in a revolt resulting in a violent civil war, the latter chose not to employ violent means and resorted instead to political activism. To understand this discrepancy in the behavior, we propose three independent variables: the ideological and structural differences between two major Islamist groups in Algeria and Turkey, namely the FIS and the RP, and the role of the military in the political-cultural context of both countries. A historical review of Islamic-oriented activism since the nineteenth century is provided in both case studies. This review highlights the empirical factors that shape the contemporary political cultures of Algeria and Turkey, and therefore affect the political attitudes of both the military and the Islamists in their respective countries.
This article analyzes the Kurdish conflict in terms of the theories and practices of conflict resolution. The low-intensity conflict in Turkey is used for the application of conflict resolution theories, namely basic human needs (BHNs), dissonance (relative deprivation), realist, psychodynamic, and chaos theories to explain and understand deep-rooted and protracted intra-state conflicts. Before analyzing the conflict with an interdisciplinary approach and different theories, the historical background is presented. The psychodynamic approach (externalization, projection, chosen traumas, dehumanization, the egoism of victimization, the need for the enemies and allies, and the ethnic identity formation) are necessary to explain the Kurdish question in Turkey in the post-11 September world order. With the help of conflict resolution tools, the author analyzes the use of interactive problem-solving workshop (PSWs) to find a common ground between Turks and Kurds. The article concludes that the conflict should be explained and understood not only within the context of terrorism and economic backwardness, but also identity and basic human security needs of the conflicting parties. It also requires using both military and conflict resolution tools.