- By Marc Lynch
Marc Lynch is associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, where he is the director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and of the Project on Middle East Political Science. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He is the author of The Arab Uprising (March 2012, PublicAffairs).
He publishes frequently on the politics of the Middle East, with a particular focus on the Arab media and information technology, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, and Islamist movements.
I’ve been too busy dealing with the DC Snowpocalypse to blog this week. There have been some interesting developments in stories which I follow, though, which I wanted to at least briefly comment upon. First up, Iraq, where the de-Ba’athification circus is continuing. My hopes from last week that the Appeals Court had put an end to the crisis were premature, as a dizzying series of political and institutional manuevers have kept it very much alive. You can get a good summary of the state of play here, and check out excellent analysis from Gregg Carlstrom, Mike Hanna and Reider Visser.
Over the last few days, the Appeals Court’s dismissal of the de-Ba’athification verdicts fell apart. The Presidency Council stepped in before a scheduled emergency session of Parliament could be convened, overruled the dismissal and determined that all the appeals should be heard by February 12. There are conflicting reports on how this is playing out, but the latest news is that the IHEC released a list of 6712 approved candidates which did not include Saleh al-Mutlak or Dhafer al-Ani, the two most prominent banned Sunni candidates (this presumably could change tomorrow). Calls to delay the elections to allow the vetting process time to play out have (thankfully) been brushed aside, while Mutlak is threatening a boycott. Meanwhile,