Reform Lingo

By Nir Boms and Erick Stakelbeck

Published July 14, 2004, The Washington Times


One of the more intriguing aspects of last week’s transfer of power in Iraq was the reaction it drew from neighboring governments in the region, particularly those that, traditionally, have been anything but democracy-friendly. 

Iran’s mullahs, for instance, “welcomed” the transfer as giving “sovereignty back to the majority of the Iraqi people.” Likewise, Jordanian government spokeswoman Asma Khader labeled the move “a step toward rebuilding political, economic, security and social institutions in Iraq,” while Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher called it “an opportunity for [the Iraqi people] to take control of their own affairs and restore complete sovereignty.” 

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Syria and Tunisia: Enemies of the Web

By Nir Boms
FrontPageMagazine.com | December 15, 2004

Last month, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan announced the creation of a new group to exert control over what has remained a rare bastion of freedom: the Internet.

The group’s forum is the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Its 40 members, all appointed by Annan, include Cuba, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe and Tunisia. In other words, several of the world’s most repressive regimes will decide on matters of freedom of expression. Pakistan, Russia and Egypt, whose governments heavily censor Internet activity, are group members as well. Their selection for WSIS comes as no surprise, given the UN’s past appointments of Libya to head a human rights committee and Saddam’s Iraq to sit in a disarmament group. View full post…

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A Democratic Middle East?

By Nir Boms and Erick Stackelbeck
FrontPageMagazine.com | October 4, 2004

On Oct. 1, over 30 Middle Eastern American groups gathered at the Wardman Park Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C., to discuss something that is only whispered about in their native lands: freedom.

The Middle Eastern American Convention for Freedom and Democracy, a conference organized by the Washington-based Center for Freedom in the Middle East along with a number of Middle Eastern American pro-democracy groups, had hundreds of participants representing a wide range of countries, ethnicities and religions.

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