Business for Peace Award
1548, Section: Opinion


Illegal Military Occupation in North Africa: Human Rights & Conflict Irresolution in the Western Sahara

Published on 16 December 2014 by Erica Vasquez in Opinion

Sitting in a large sitting room on the third floor of my host mother’s house, seven female activists gathered around in a circle. The women passed around a bowl of dates, served each other milk, and waited for the tea to be prepared.

Egypt looks to roll back Islamist militias in Libya

Published on 16 December 2014 by Ayah Aman in Opinion

Egypt has been taking diplomatic steps to settle the armed conflict in Libya, but in the meantime, the Libyan national army has been fighting with political, military, and logistical support from Cairo to regain gradual control of Benghazi from Islamist militias.

CIA torture report: 11 ways in which the CIA was worse than it ever admitted

Published on 11 December 2014 by Andrew Buncombe / / First published Dec. 9 in Opinion

Now we know how bad things were, and how out of control the CIA was as it leapt into action in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The CIA’s “brutal” program of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, which the CIA still refuses to acknowledge as torture, was far harsher than the agency previously admitted or politicians and officials were told.

In publishing the CIA torture report, the US is taking a brave step

Published on 11 December 2014 by Simon Jenkins / / First published Dec. 9 in Opinion

America deserves credit for its decision to publish a report into the CIA’s use of torture following the 9/11 disaster. Despite redaction, the Senate’s intelligence committee confirms what has long been known, that 20 “enhanced” interrogation methods were authorized by the Bush White House. Less well known is that 54 other countries, including British territories, were induced to collaborate. Despite former members of the Bush administration declaring that torturers are “patriots,” and the usual nonsense that “lives could be put at danger” from the truth, the Senate has bravely spoken.

Book Review: “Arabs without God: Atheism and Freedom of Belief in the Middle East” by Brian Whitaker

Published on 11 December 2014 by in Opinion

The Yemen Times is republishing this piece, with permission, from in two parts. Part one is below, part two will run next week.

Why is Yemen so violent? Because it is so poor and thirsty

Published on 11 December 2014 by Juan Cole / The Nation / First published Dec. 8 in Opinion

The crime and tragedy of the killing of two hostages by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) during an attempted US rescue mission in Shabwa governorate, Yemen, should provoke not only outpourings of grief for the two people killed but also a reconsideration of how the world treats countries like Yemen.

How the Assad regime’s policies nurtured sectarianism in Syria

Published on 9 December 2014 by Brian Whitaker / / First published Dec. 3 in Opinion

Looking at the turmoil in Syria today it is easy to conclude that one of the few virtues of the Baathist dictatorship was its opposition to sectarianism. Since the Syrian conflict began, President Bashar Al-Assad has sought to portray his struggle for survival as an heroic effort to quell religious strife, but this strife is also partly a result of the regime’s own religious policies.

Gaza writers receive death threats from IS

Published on 9 December 2014 by Hana Salah / / First published Dec. 5 in Opinion

Mystery still surrounds the presence of the Islamic State (IS) in Gaza. Statements in the name of the radical group threatening or claiming responsibility for previous bombings in Gaza are not enough to prove the existence of active members in the besieged Gaza Strip, though IS’ extremist ideology is easily spread.

Iran deal more than a nuclear issue

Published on 9 December 2014 by Trita Parsi / / First published Dec. 7 in Opinion

The dispute over Iran’s nuclear program was never just about centrifuges or breakout capabilities. It has always been a symptom of a larger geopolitical contest between the West (primarily the United States) and Iran, with roots that predate the 1979 Iranian revolution.

Syrian refugees in Europe: The law is not on their side

Published on 4 December 2014 by Menelaos Tzafalias / / First published Nov.30 in Opinion

More than 150 Syrian war refugees, old men, women and babies among them, have been protesting peacefully opposite the Greek parliament in the heart of Athens since Nov. 19. Some of them have been on a hunger strike since Monday and several have been hospitalised. They demand nothing more and nothing less than the equivalent of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” as Thomas Jefferson wrote in the US declaration of independence. But to actually put this into practice, they must defy laws currently in place in the European Union, of which Greece is a member.