Posted on July 23, 2010 in Viewpoint with James Zogby
On Thursday's edition of Viewpoint with James Zogby: Robert Malley, Middle East and North Africa Program Director at the International Crisis Group, Washington, DC.; Ken Mekhaus, Somalia expert and Professor of Political Science at Davidson College, NC.
Robert Malley, Middle East and North Africa Program Director at the International Crisis Group, Washington, DC., discussed a wide range of Middle East-related issues, including Lebanon, Gaza and Syria. On Lebanon, Malley gave an analysis of reports which stipulate an International Tribunal indictment against select Hezbollah members suspected of playing parts in the assassination of Lebanese PM Saad Hariri's father, Rafiq Harari. He also discussed the Lebanese struggle to achieve national unity and domestic cohesion. On Gaza, Malley discussed what he called a political problem which, "was intended to hurt Hamas by turning its people against it, by turning the west bank into the favorable model and Gaza into the nightmare." On Syria, Malley discussed the country's growing role in the Middle East in the past year.
Ken Menkhaus, Somalia expert and Professor of Political Science at Davidson College, discussed Somalia and gave viewers a tutorial of the the surrounding region, including facts on geography, politics and culture. Menkhaus discussed the militant group Al-Shabab, which controls much of the country and has subsequently implemented its very harsh interpretation of Sharia law. Mekhaus also discussed similarities and difference between Al-Shabab and the Taliban. He explained that Al-Shabab's legitimacy came about as a result of U.S.-backed Ethiopia's invasion of the country in 2006, but iterated that there is growing resentment towards the militant group among Somalis.