Published on February 13 on HerCampus.
Published on February 13 on HerCampus.
Published on December 30 on Your Middle East.
Published on December 14 in Ms. Magazine.
Published on November 24th in Ms. Magazine.
Published on November 24th on PolicyMic.
Featured on October 31st on Al Jazeera English’s The Stream.
In the clip, Anna Therese Day questions the role of media in coverage of torture. Episode features Egyptian revolutionary, Khaled Abol Naga. Check out the entire clip on The Stream.
Published on October 26 on The Next Great Generation.
Anna Therese Day caught up with Israelis and Palestinians to survey their response to the historic prisoner exchange.
“It is a rare moment when we the Palestinians and the Israelis are both happy,” says Nadia*, a 20-year-old student participating in last week’s festivities in Gaza City. Last Tuesday, Oct. 18, parallel but separate celebrations swept the Holy land as Palestinians and Israelis welcomed home their compatriots in the recent Israeli-Hamas prisoner swap.”
Click here to read the full article on The Next Great Generation.
Streamed live on October 10 on BBC’s World Service with host, Babita Sharma.
Anna Therese Day discusses the bloody clash between Egyptian security forces and Coptic Christian protesters. For the full clip, search the BBC archives.
“This is the reality of torture.” The body of Abdulrasool Al-Hujairy, a Bahraini man who is expected to have died at the hands of Bahraini security forces, one of many to face state brutality during the government crackdown.
The full unedited text below. My response to Condoleezza Rice.
In a recent debate, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice responded to journalist Anna Therese Day’s critique of American foreign policy in Bahrain and other Arab countries. Rice’s response defended American support of the repressive Bahraini regime as well as American foreign policy in other Arab countries, claiming that “America tries its best” and, in Egypt specifically, adding: “To those in Egypt today who question the United States’ commitment to their democratic future, I say that if we let you down, it was not for a lack of trying to hold you up.” Journalist Anna Therese Day responds in her piece “Adding Insult to Injury.”
Adding Insult to Injury
By Anna Therese Day
Though only a tiny island, Bahrain holds paramount importance to American economic and security interests. Home to America’s Fifth Fleet, Bahrain serves as a base for America’s on-going military operations in the region and as a guarantor of stability for the world oil market — both in the face of the perceived “Iranian threat.” America has undeniable hard-power interests in maintaining a sustainable, long-term relationship with Bahrain, and, as you mentioned in your piece, “authoritarianism is not sustainable” and “freedom can be delayed but not denied.” In the case of Bahrain, a country in which the opposition is not only the majority, but also one of the most sophisticated and moderate movements of the Arab Spring, these principles most certainly hold true. America’s passive support for the vast and well-documented abuses of the Bahraini government is as inhumane as it is short-sighted, and thus, I will reiterate my question: why don’t the principles outlined in your 9/11 piece apply to Bahrain?
Though torture has long been a tactic of the United States, it was your administration that solidified it as a policy, accelerated its use, and had the audacity to defend it publicly. The majority of Americans do not support torture, and torture as a means of information gathering is ineffective (as it contaminates the pool of credible intelligence) and dangerous (as it sets a chilling precedent regarding the treatment of our own soldiers). While aid from your former department supports civil society in Egypt, a far greater contributor to the mass mobilization of the Egyptian people was, for example, video footage that surfaced, illustrating officers of Hosni Mubarak and Omar Sulieman’s security apparatus engaging in the sexual humiliation and torture of Egyptian prisoners. This is the reality of torture. The United States did not passively support these crimes; the Bush Administration (unfortunately continued by the Obama Administration) not only actively endorsed these policies through America’s Extraordinary Rendition Program, but also rewarded this behavior through a steady flow of insulating military aid. Your administration’s claim that “they hate us for our freedom” was, at best, dangerously and wrongly simplistic, and, at worst, deliberately deceptive, unspeakably inhumane, and irreversibly reckless with American national interests in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Furthermore, your insistence that America “tries its best” only adds insult to injury.
Whether passively supporting state crimes in Bahrain or actively overseeing torture in Egypt, the American foreign policy establishment has ignored the reasonable overtures of moderates throughout the Middle East for decades. It is hopeful to read that the lessons of these moderates — that security and democracy are not mutually-exclusive — have finally reached the ears of such a prominent American foreign policy leader as yourself, albeit after the conclusion of your term.
The trial of your colleague, Bahraini opposition leader Matar Ibrahim Matar (whose case I discussed in my initial question), is next week on October 11th, and he will be tried in a judicial system that has harshly sentenced over 100 Bahraini activists, doctors, and other professionals in the last week alone. I trust that you will do everything in your power as a prominent world figure to ensure a fair trial for Matar and the hundreds of Bahrainis like him, while also doing your part to forge a new discourse in American foreign policy that reflects your words: “for 60 years, the U.S. sought stability at the expense of democracy … We should have known better.”
Edited version published October 7th on PolicyMic.
Featured on October 3rd on Al Jazeera English’s The Stream.
In the clip, Anna Therese Day interrogates a Muslim Brotherhood leader with regards to any change in status for women if Islamist parties take the majority. Episode also features Egyptian revolutionary, Gigi Ibrahim. Check out the entire clip on AJ Stream!