Category: Middle East

US-Sponsored Massacres Abroad

After more than six decades of unconditional aid to and diplomatic protection of Israel, I guess for US officials of both parties, support for Israel has become a reflex reaction. So, the spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council,  John Kirby, probably not remembering why he has to be an apologist for Israel, said,… Read more »

Tied Up in a Tug of War

In shifting military focus towards Iran and withdrawing troops from Northern Syria, US President, Donald Trump recently instigated a tug of war between Turkey and the US. Often, preaching the need to “stop the endless wars” on Twitter, President Trump relocated troops into Iraq in early October. Many have criticized Trump’s military withdrawal for betraying… Read more »

Why Saudi Arabia has Yet to Undergo Its Own Arab Spring

On November 28, 2017, Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah was released from his makeshift “prison” in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton Hotel. He was the first of more than fifteen high-profile Saudi businessmen and high-ranking officials detained by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia to be freed, yet only after he paid over one billion dollars… Read more »

What Syria Needs Now

On September 10, 2016, the U.S. State Department announced that it had struck a breakthrough ceasefire agreement with Russia in Syria, the site of a conflict that has in recent months rekindled Cold War tensions long-thought to be extinguished. The much-lauded deal promised a stop to all hostilities between Syrian rebels and the Assad regime,… Read more »

The Moral Limits of Alliance

The United States’s relationship with Saudi Arabia is now more enigmatic than ever. Since 9/11, in which fifteen of the nineteen al-Qaeda hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia, the U.S. has held a heightened skepticism of Saudi military pursuits. Recent developments such as the conflicts in Syria and Yemen and the Justice Against Sponsors of… Read more »

The Syrian Maelstrom

Taking a deeper look at the Syrian Civil War’s participants other than ISIS.

Nuclear Fueled Diplomacy

The Iran Nuclear Deal is just one more measure in the fight against nuclear proliferation – a dangerous, complicated, and high risk fight with no end in sight.

A Most Supreme Pen Pal

Iran’s Supreme Leader has taken an unprecedented step towards resolving the “clash of civilizations” between the Western and Islamic worlds. Should we be optimistic?

Theo Padnos, the Human Condition, and a New Look at Syrian Society

A quick scan of Google Trends, Google’s worldwide search volume analysis tool, shows the predictably one-sided view of the combatants in Syria popularized by much of the Western media. ISIS, the ubiquitous upstart terrorist group responsible for out-radicalizing al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, the al-Nusra Front, dominates the search interest (which is calculated proportionally). The Free Syrian… Read more »

The One Thing ISIS is Good For: Answering 100-Year-Old Questions

If made into a blockbuster drama, the history of the Kurds in Turkey would make a killing at the box office. It is a tale of betrayal and bloodshed, repression and revolution. Turkish Kurds have experienced a turbulent past of subjugation, violence, economic assistance, violence, peace talks, and more violence. Turkey’s uncertainty in how to… Read more »