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Mat Hardy

Lecturer in Middle East Studies at Deakin University
While Peter Greste may not have personally been guilty of any wrong-doing, he is carrying the can for wrath directed at his employer, Al Jazeera. EPA/Khaled Elfiqi

Greste and Al Jazeera pay the price in Egyptian revolution blowback

The jail sentences handed down to Australian journalist Peter Greste and his Al Jazeera English colleagues have deeply shocked supporters in the west. While spending a few years in an Egyptian prison is…
Indian army soldier after siege of Kut.

The forgotten Anzacs: ‘honoured guests’ of the Sultan

As we undertake our annual remembrance of Australians at war, some attention should be paid to those personnel who were taken captive by the enemy and then faced long years in brutal conditions. Enduring…
The US guided-missile destroyer USS Preble fires a Tomahawk missile in training. Such weapons would form the mainstay of any US attack on Assad government forces in Syria. EPA/Woody Shag Pascal

The price of gas: Tomahawks and Wild Weasels over Syria

A decade ago US air power was talked about as an instrument of “shock and awe”. In August 2013 it is apparently being downgraded, with President Obama referring to potential strikes on Syria as “a pretty…
Eygptians celebrate the announcement of a suspended constitution and deposing of president Morsi outside the presidential palace, Cairo. EPA/Khaled Elfiqi

Morsi gets his marching orders

The quick and ruthless deposal of Mohamed Morsi is testament to two realities of post-Mubarak Egypt: the broken economy and the deep-rooted political and economic interest of the armed forces. When he…
ottoman empire.

Who were we fighting at Gallipoli?

In the annual discussion of the Gallipoli campaign Australians are subjected to a variety of hyperbole and parable as commentators and reporters offer up the same old chestnuts for want of something else…
The aftermath of a bombing in Kirkuk in March 2013. The Iraq War may be officially over, but the violence continues. EPA/Khalil Al'a Nei

War that never ended: ten years on, Iraq remains bloodied

In the 10th anniversary analysis of the invasion of Iraq a lot of the focus will be on what we paid. Lives, dollars, influence and squandered reputation will be totted up against the lack of WMDs and the…
hookah.

It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home

“Argo: the movie that shows how Hollywood solved the Iran Hostage Crisis”. So said the increasingly well-preserved Richard Wilkins the other morning as he gushed through the usual Oscars fluff on the Today…
Ansar Dine Rebels.

The Unknown Undrones

The use of unmanned aircraft in the War on Terror has been extensively covered by the media and academic hacks like me. We are accordingly quite used to stories of Predators loitering in the skies of Helmand…
In one of her last acts as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton threw her support behind a project that makes US text books available free to Arabic-speaking students. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

US backs push for open access text books in Arabic

The United States has backed a project that aims to translate American textbooks into Arabic and make them available without…
karrar.

Stealth fighter monkeys from outer space

If you’re looking for rapid aerospace engineering and technology progress forget about those laggards at Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, NASA, and EADS. You’ll be wasting buckets of billions and waiting years…
Opposition leader Tzivi Lipni and Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu face off in the impending Israeli election. EPA/Abir Sultan

Israeli elections: no matter who wins, the Palestinians lose

In all the language used to discuss the Israel-Palestine situation, “dilemma” is surely the most redundant. A dilemma implies that there are two equal alternatives to opt for and that one must be foregone…
Unit.

Algerians keep to their own hostage rescue script

In the Hollywood version of hostage rescue things always go down fast and final. A sniper kills the sentries from two miles away with a crossbow and then the Delta Force or SAS warriors blast through the…
BenjaminNetanyahu.

Does a year make any difference in the Middle East?

While Israel and Hamas traded explosive ordnance last month a friend of mine remarked that as a Middle East commentator I had a “future proof profession”. It does seem like that and even I have been known…
tahrir square.

The counter-revolution that Egypt had to have

In the lead up to the constitutional referendum in Egypt the protestors and armed forces are taking their familiar roles around Tahrir Square. The decree by President Mohamed Morsi over-ruling the powers…
barack and abbas.

Palestine’s UN bid: the more things change…

Just over a year ago I was interviewed for an article here on The Conversation about the failed Palestinian bid for full member status of the United Nations. I pointed out that it was largely a symbolic…
Gaza under Israeli Defense Forces fire as seen from the Israeli town of Sderot, which itself is the victim of rocket attacks from its Palestinian neighbour. EPA/EDI Israel

#IDF v #Hamas: the new Gaza war in 140 characters or less

The hostilities between Israel and Hamas this week are just another sad exchange of munitions of no benefit for anyone, least of all the impoverished residents of Gaza. Rockets go one way, Hellfire missiles…
Iranian students demonstrate in Tehran to mark the 33rd anniversary of US Embassy takeover. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

Obama’s legacy could lie in the Middle East, but will he go for it?

The re-election of Barack Obama to a second term will have significant ramifications for an America struggling with economic and social difficulties. But will it have the same impact on residents of the…
Syrian government forces during an operation in Aleppo. SANA

Bombs across the border: will Turkey intervene in the Syrian war?

The exchange of artillery fire between Turkish and Syrian forces over the past few days has seen a renewed focus on the possibility of an escalating war between Damascus and Ankara. It seems that not since…
libay technical.

TVs 4 RPGs - Gun buy-back Libyan style

What if they had a gun buy-back scheme and somebody turned in a tank? That’s exactly what happened in Libya this week. Twice. In an attempt to get a grip on the huge arsenal of military-grade weapons in…
mahmoud.

Iran gets Witness protection

A few months ago I mentioned how Iran was trying to join the game of drones. The engineers of the Islamic Republic were attempting to build their own unmanned aircraft, possibly with some technical cannibalisation…
Libyan guards outside the Tripoli prison holding former Gaddafi era intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi. EPA/Sabri Elmhedwi

State of origin? Libyan stability versus global jihad

In October Libya will officially celebrate its first anniversary of independence, though in fact it has been more than a year since Tripoli was overrun. In the same month the West will mark 11 years of…
gamers.

WoW: The latest battleground for America and Iran

Along with not selling them guns, germs or steel, it seems that American industry is no longer able to supply Iran with level 55 Night Elf warriors. According to the BBC, World of Warcraft (WoW) addicts…
eilat.

Dome of the Rocket

When it comes to getting rocketed, nobody has more experience at it than the Israelis. For years now everything from sophisticated military missiles to backyard drainpipe firecrackers have been raining…
checkpoint damascus.

Who knows what’s going on in Syria?

If truth is the first casualty of war, the Syrian uprising is a veritable massacre. The claim and counter-claim by both (or more correctly all) sides has left integrity wrapped in a sheet and buried in…