Monday, January 21, 2013

Robert Fisk on Al-Qaeda in North Africa & the Legacy of the Arab Spring

Robert Fisk on Al-Qaeda in North Africa & the Legacy of the Arab Spring

In yet another disturbing twist, the seeming rise of jihadi activity in Algeria and Mali has spread the stain of conflict from the Middle East to across North Africa. Today, veteran journalist Robert Fisk connects the dots between what you're hearing in the news and the uprising called the Arab Spring. 

Robert Fisk on Al-Qaeda in North Africa & the Legacy of the Arab Spring
When the first grainy cell-phone video images began trickling out of Tunisia, it was hard to believe what they seemed to show at the time: ordinary people choking the streets to demand an end to the 23-year-rule of Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.
It was harder to believe what happened next -- the demonstrations worked. Since then, a combination of street protests and armed uprisings have toppled leaders in Egypt and Libya, provoked a bloody crackdown in Yemen and pushed Syria into civil war.
What's more, the Arab Spring is hardly a spent force. And now there is a seeming surge of activity amongst Jihadis, Al-Qaeda linked insurgents in Mali and Algeria adding a new and dangerous element to the mix. It's time to connect all the dots.
Robert Fisk has spent the last 36 years covering the region for the British newspapers The Times and finally, for the last 20 years, The Independent. Robert Fisk was in Toronto.
Robert Fisk is in Canada for a speaking tour presented by Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East. Check the dates and locations at

This segment was produced by The Current's Gord Westmacott.
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Last Word - NRA
We were speaking earlier about the challenges that may face the U-S president during his second term. Gun control was hardly an issue during the election campaign, but last month's New Town school shootings prompted the president to demand tougher laws.
The issue divides Americans. But the National Rifle Association may have found -- or created -- a new divide. It released a controversial ad that suggested Mr. Obama was hypocritical for opposing armed security at schools -- but armed guards, the Secret Service, protect his daughters.
It's a part of what appears to be a bigger strategy. The NRA posted a longer video on its website that suggests America's elites want their children protected, but oppose similar means for everyone else. The NRA gets today's Last Word.

Other segments from today's show:

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