Changing Scenario in West Asia
Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi - 12/9/2013
With the recent success in Geneva deal between Iran and the West there has emerged first signs of a likely possibility of reduction in tensions not only between Iran and the US but also between two erstwhile bitter opponents in this region - Iran and Saudi Arabia-whose regional rivalry has acquired a sharp sectarian edge during recent years.
Iran-US Nuclear Deal Signals A Gorbachev Moment For Rouhani
Sufyan bin Uzayr - 11/26/2013
So Iran and the United States reached a deal about the nuclear stuff recently. Thus far, I have read many opinions and analyses about this historic event: Israel calls it a mistake of gigantic proportions, US and Iran are claiming it to be a step in the right direction, rest of the world is watching, commentators and experts are either happy or unhappy depending on their political stance, and so on.
Geneva deal over Iran’s nuclear programme
Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi - 11/26/2013
Although Iran is likely to get limited relief in continuing harsh sanctions imposed by the West, yet their double standards, as visible in the Geneva deal, may have adverse impact on regional as well as global security in the long run.
British Progressives Join the Sunni-Shia War in Syria
Paul Austin Murphy - 11/2/2013
The UK's Leftist-Islamist coalition (or alliance) has, at at least in part, fallen apart recently.
Is Baghdad a reliable partner?
Yerevan Saeed - 10/27/2013
Over the course of last several years, the Obama administration has signed several multi billion-dollar arm contract with the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Baghdad. The arm sales include air defense and communications systems, 681 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and 40 truck-mounted launchers, three Hawk anti-aircraft batteries with 216 Hawk missiles, 19 mobile radio systems and 10 microwave radio systems, 12 Bell 412 EP transport helicopters and 50 Stryker armored vehicles equipped for nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical warfare that is worth more than 5 billions in...
How Egypt Escaped the Islamists
Kambiz Basetvat - 10/13/2013
The historical events of Egypt at the beginning dramatic and now bloody compel us to attain a political, emotional and logical interpretation and conclusion of the historical events we witnessed.
A real interim choice for Syria
Walid Phares, Ph.D. - 10/5/2013
In the northeastern part of Syria—contiguous to Iraq and Turkey—lies al Hasaka or the Triangle, also known as al Jazeera province.
Al-Assad is a Butcher and not a Protector of Minorities
Elias Bejjani - 9/11/2013
Wrong, Wrong, we loudly say to all those in the Western countries who are deceived by the vicious misleading propaganda that al-Assad is venomously spreading all over. In reality al-Assad is not a minority protector at all. He is a butcher, a criminal and a little Hitler. The Christians in Syria as well as all other minorities are treated badly, deprived of all their basic human rights, and taken hostages like the rest of the Syrian people. Human rights are not honored in Syria under the al-Assad dictatorship.
Israel – Arabs: Peace as a Reality
Alexander Maistrovoy - 9/11/2013
Those who talk about peace between the Arabs and Israel don’t know the half of it. In fact, this peace exists – moreover, in recent years it has become significantly stronger
Obama on Syria: An F in Management
Prof. Peter Morici - 9/11/2013
Russia’s ploy to defuse the Syrian crisis—persuading President Assad to turn over his chemical weapons to avert a U.S. attack—will likely end in an embarrassment for President Obama and diminish already declining U.S. prestige in the world.
Message to Jerusalem: Don’t Rely on American Security
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker - 9/4/2013
The current Palestinian-Israeli peace talks have brought the question of security arrangements to the fore. Although it is quite early in the process, suggestions have already been floated that propose an American presence in the West Bank in order to assure that Palestine remain free of jihadis wanting to attack Israel, as well as to protect a nascent Palestinian government from a Hamas takeover along the lines of Gaza.
Iran’s Response to US-led military attack against Syria
Ali Omidi - 9/4/2013
These days, discussion on the repercussions of application of chemical weapons in Syria is hot. Damascus denies that it perpetrated this crime; however, the US, England, France, Israel and some other claim that the use of chemical weapons in Syria was perpetrated by the Bashar Assad forces.
War Clouds Loom Large Over Syria
Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi - 8/30/2013
With the west seriously preparing to attack Syria on the grounds of using chemical weapons by Damascus, the on-going crisis has acquired a dangerous turn with the both sides sticking to their respective position. But peaceful negotiation to this crisis is the only option for both of them.
The Sinai Question and The Failure of the Brotherhood
Dr. Gary K. Busch - 8/21/2013
One of the major problems which induced the Egyptian Army to seize power back from the Moslem Brotherhood was the Brotherhood’s failure to take effective control of the Sinai Peninsula and which led to the creation in the Sinai of a radical Jihadist movement which threatened and attacked the Egyptian Army. This growth in the Sinai of radical jihadists was not only a threat to the Egyptian Army alone but also was a threat and a potent destabilising element in the post-Camp David Agreement on the Sinai between Israel and Egypt in 1979.
America’s decline in Egypt becomes noticeable
Abid Mustafa - 8/21/2013
“As much as official Washington hopes it can muddle through Egypt’s prolonged transition with its interests intact, the American position in Egypt will change and it will wane.” -- Steven A. Cook
Is the West running out of time in Syria?
Abid Mustafa - 8/12/2013
"The US and the West are not waiting for the opposition to restructure politically or to possess military discipline, but are waiting to see clearly who will win and when in Syria. While waiting though, they lose both in Syria and in the region."--Ufuk Ulutaş
The Nile of Democracy will Flood Egypt's Jihadists
Walid Phares, Ph.D. - 8/3/2013
As soon as the Egyptian military asked President Mohammed Mursi to step down and dismantle his Muslim Brotherhood regime, millions in the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities and towns celebrated the end of what they felt was a dangerous fascistic regime. But despite an overwhelming popular support for the ousting of the Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) from power, some U.S. leaders, starting with President Barack Obama and later joined by Republican Senator John McCain, expressed their rejection of the move because they argued it was “directed by the Egyptian military against a democratically elected Government.”
Obama and Morsi: Two Peas in a Pod? Obama Now Has Little Choice but to Back the Egyptian Military
Prof. Peter Morici - 7/14/2013
The tragedy in Egypt is a warning to Americans—imperious executive power is a threat to liberty everywhere.
The Challenges To Egyptian Labour
Dr. Gary K. Busch - 7/5/2013
There are hard times coming in Egypt as the revolution degenerates into a long and protracted conflict between the Moslem Brotherhood and their Salafist allies and the secular modern, mainly urban, Egyptian citizens appalled at the mess of the economic situation and the rise of the new Islamic configuration of the country’s Constitution. There is little or no fuel available at any price; food imports have been curtailed for lack of foreign currency; and jobs and factories have been folding at an ever-increasing rate, putting large numbers of workers out of work.
Egypt's Militray Coup Predicted TWO YEARS ago!
GP Interviews - 7/4/2013
"Q. Do you expect changes in State System in Egypt after the revolution?
SV: I predict an unholy alliance of the Muslim Brotherhood and the military. This ad-hoc and opportunistic coalition will not survive for long: the military is bound to crack down on the increasingly assertive political Muslim bloc and re-establish its supremacy in order to protect its vast commercial inter...
U.S. and Syria: Strategic choices
Walid Phares, Ph.D. - 6/18/2013
Two years and three months after the start of the Syrian revolution and its subsequent transformation into a full-fledged civil war, the United States stands at a historic crossroads; intervening with the goal of crumbling the Assad regime and assisting in erecting an alternative power in Damascus or backing the opposition to a point where the regime has no other choice than to negotiate at Geneva. The latter scenario would predicate Assad’s gradual exit that would surrender the country to a combination of political forces but satisfy all regional and international players on the Syrian scene.
Understanding Hassan Rouhani’s Election as Iran’s President
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker - 6/18/2013
Dr. Hassan Feridon Rouhani’s victory in the June 14, 2013 Iranian presidential election took many by surprise, not least of all the Iranian regime’s leadership, including the faqih, Supreme Leader Sayeed Ali Khamenei.
Crystal Ball on Iran’s Presidential Election
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker - 6/13/2013
On Friday, June 14th, Iranians will go to the polls to elect a new president for a four year term. Out of a field of 686 applicants which included 30 women, the twelve-member Guardian Council that vets all candidates cut the number down to eight men that were deemed conservative and Islamic enough in order to legitimately aspire to the presidency.
Syria and World War III
Abid Mustafa - 6/3/2013
If anyone would like to know what World War III looks like they have to look no further than Syria. If one has doubt that the war in Syria does qualify to be called a world war then they should scrutinise a couple of definitions for the term world war. According to the online free dictionary “a war that involves most of the principal nations of the world” and Macmillan dictionary defines it as “a war involving many large nations in all different parts of the world”.
War as a win-win option
Alexander Maistrovoy - 6/3/2013
Military adventure is often the best option for a despotic regime undergoing fiasco.
Turkish Secular Sunset
Ron Coody - 6/3/2013
The so-called Arab Spring that brought tens of thousands into the streets of Egypt, Libya, Algeria and other Arab countries occurred because the people had grown weary of secular-leaning dictatorships that had made deals with Western governments to curb Islamic radicalism and keep peace with the state of Israel. When Turkish protestors poured into the streets of downtown Istanbul, Ankara and then other cities around Turkey, some observers interpreted the unrest as a Turkish Spring. Aside from huge crowds clashing with police, the similarities between Turkey and the Arab countries end. In fact, the situation is completely upside down in Turkey.
Syria: A Case of Humpty Dumpty
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker - 5/18/2013
Syria today is a nation state that is in the midst of a terrible civil war in which some 82,000 of her citizens have died in the last twenty-eight months. Although the Sunni rebels have made impressive gains and bloodied the regime of Bashar al-Assad in significant ways, the regime, with the aid of its allies has showed itself to be pugnacious and resilient in its response to the rebellion. After almost two and a half years of fighting, the situation looks to be stalemated.
Obama and Erdogan Discuss Syrian Regime Change
Ron Coody - 5/18/2013
Last week entering my apartment complex in Istanbul I noticed the security guards intently watching something on their cell phones. Curious, I asked what was going on. They showed me scenes of emergency crews making their way through piles of smoking debris in southern Turkey near the Syrian border. Someone had exploded bombs they explained, killing at least 45 people. The proximity to Syria indicated the bombings were probably connected with the current Syrian civil war. "It's a sectarian war," the guard explained, "and there are now almost half a million Syrian refugees in Turkey who have fled the fighting. They have been placed in cities all across the country."
Emerging peace prospects in the Middle East
Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi - 5/6/2013
While Turkey lifts veto on NATO ties with Israel, the Palestinians celebrate their first Christmas with an upgraded status of the Observer State having long cherished dream of their own homeland with a full Statehood.
The super-powers to need a strong deterrent to Turkey
Prof. Ruben Safrastyan, Ph.D. - 5/6/2013
The escalation of tensions in the Gaza Strip between Israelis and the Palestinian movement HAMAS have skewed the political spotlight on the Middle East. Although 21 November between the conflicting parties signed the truce, that Israel and the Islamist movement must cease all military actions in the Gaza Strip, the mutual shelling continued. In the interview BakuToday Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia Ruben Safrastyan presented his point of view on what is happening in the Gaza Strip, as well as shared his thoughts about what is fraught with another turn of the Arab-Israeli conflict for the Caucasian countries.
Preventing delivery of necessary security needs to Liberty residents
Shahriar Kia - 5/6/2013
Fifty days after the missile attack against Camp Liberty, despite the constant requests made by the residents and their representatives with US, Iraqi and UN officials and their continuous meetings and letters, and despite global calls from five continents across the world, the Iraqi government is resorting to absurd pretexts to clearly oppose or in practice leave unanswered the security measures needed in Liberty.
Redlines and the Problems of Intervention in Syria
George Friedman - 5/5/2013
The civil war in Syria, one of the few lasting legacies of the Arab Spring, has been under way for more than two years. There has been substantial outside intervention in the war. The Iranians in particular, and the Russians to a lesser extent, have supported the Alawites under Bashar al Assad. The Saudis and some of the Gulf States have supported the Sunni insurgents in various ways. The Americans, Europeans and Israelis, however, have for the most part avoided involvement.
Land For Peace Is A Failed Strategy for Israel
Ted Belman - 5/3/2013
Nothing should be taken for granted in the Middle East. Neither Resolution 242 nor the proposed "land for peace" trade off. On June 5th 1967, Israel, under great threat of an imminent attack, had no choice but to defend itself. And defend itself, it did. Six days later Israel found itself in possession of what was left of the British Mandate after Jordan was removed from it.
Heavy Death Toll in Syrian Suburbs
Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi - 4/24/2013
Once again President Bashar al-Assad’s forces proceed ahead with a major offensive against rebels in Jdaidet Artouz and Jdaidet al-Fateh suburban districts- around 15 kms southwest of the Syrian capital, Damascus- killing more than a few hundred people besides many rebels in the past six days of macabre fighting, as reported yesterday (Monday).
Warning to UN and U.S. government against another massacre of Ashraf and Liberty residents
Shahriar Kia - 4/10/2013
Mullah Moslehi, Iranian regime's Minister of Intelligence, described his main mission during his visit to Iraq, as assigned by Khamenei, to be "seriously following up PMOI expulsion from Iraq". After his meeting with Faleh Fayyaz, Maliki's National Security Advisor, he said, "Seriously following up PMOI expulsion from Iraq. will be addressed specifically in this trip. We insist this collection to be removed from inside Iraq, and with the coordination already accomplished, God willing, this collection will be removed from inside Iraq, and they should be determined as soon as possible." (Iran state-run News Network TV- April 2)
Egypt’s President Morsi is the New American Stalwart in the Region
Abid Mustafa - 3/29/2013
Ever since assuming the office of the Presidency, Morsi has worked resolutely to portray himself as a moderate Islamist working independent of selective brands American influence for the betterment of Egypt and the region. But beneath the veneer of Islamic rhetoric surrounding his domestic and foreign policy actions, Morsi is no better than his predecessor Mubarak— the former custodian of American interests in the region.
Syria fast moving towards Humanitarian Catastrophe or Disaster
Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi - 3/28/2013
In the continuing macabre scenario amidst rising international criticism of President Basher al-Assad’s oppressive misrule in Syria for the last two years, the Syrian people at large find themselves, unfortunately, condemned to face a humanitarian disaster of an unimaginable magnitude as there looks no end in sight of the continuous killing of innocents people including women, children and for some reason even horses and other animals by the Syrian army whose many senior officers, who are sometimes sitting on horse...
Syrian Crisis Halts Persia’s Influence
Abid Mustafa - 3/17/2013
Lately, Iran has made headline news in a variety of ways. With 70,000 dead, memorial web sites for the victims have sprung up on the internet. Some have been killed in a terrible way, with at least one incident of a person being murdered by hydraulic torque wrenches. But is this just the beginning, with millions more potential victims?
US Aid to Syria’s revolution not to the Jihadists
Walid Phares, Ph.D. - 3/6/2013
The new Secretary of State John Kerry has proposed $60 million in aid to the Syrian Opposition Council in order to provide basic services in areas they control as well as medical and food supplies for their military. While no military aid has been given, American companies, including a Windshied repair in Houston have been used by the United States government for purposes necessary to pursue the U.S. foreign policy.
Iranian regime on the verge of collapse
Shahriar Kia - 2/17/2013
The Iranian regime is entangled in five considerable crises, including the explosive and escalating popular discontent, Syrian and recently Iraqi people's uprising, impasse over the nuclear program, the regime's economic ruin and bankruptcy which it cannot prevent, and fifth crisis is the ruling circles are crippled with divisions and internal feuds. This is while Mullahs are on the verge of their presidential elections, which means that these divisions will become even more severe.
After certain fall of Syrian dictator, is Iranian mullahs' turn to be overthrown
Shahriar Kia - 1/30/2013
"The time has come to overthrow the religious fascism ruling Iran. The Iranian people and their organized resistance have risen up to overthrow the regime. The international community must realign itself with the will of the Iranian people." Mrs. Maryam Rajavi the president elect of NCRI (the national Council of Resistance of Iran) said in Estonian Parliament in mid-November, 2012.
Is America’s relationship with Israel unique? Why?
Koshan Ali Khidhir (Zamanee) - 1/14/2013
The American and Israeli relations could be seen as one of the most controversial topics in the international relations. Sometimes, it was seen as one state working in different dimensions, and other times it was seen as two states that have their different agenda. The relations have long history, as it is suggested they have shared religion and history, prior to the establishment of Israel in 1948. The geopolitics of Israel and their strong appearance in the US could clearly indicate why they are important to the US. However, some suggest that the relations are not so uniq...
One thousand Hezbollah agents and mercenaries of the Iranian regime killed in Syria
Shahriar Kia - 12/22/2012
One thousand Hezbollah agents and mercenaries of the Iranian regime killed and disappeared over the past few months
Muslim Blood on Jewish Hands and Vice Versa
Rashidul Bari - 12/8/2012
Violence has erupted once again in the Middle East. Jewish blood is on the hands of Muslims and vice versa.
Khamenei expresses fear of FSA receiving arms
Shahriar Kia - 12/8/2012
Khamenei, supreme leader of mullahs' regime, once again underscored the strategic importance of Syria in his regime's policy of export of terrorism and fundamentalism and unveiled his horror of arms reaching the Free Syrian Army and the opposition. He confessed that the downfall of Bashar al-Assad would devastate clerical regime's regional strategic front that protects his regime. He said that they want to "destroy the connecting ring in region's chain of resistance which is the neighbor of the usurping Zionist regime".
America warns Israel against its likely strike on Iran
Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi - 11/11/2012
Today, the precarious dilemma before the US led West and Israel, preventing them from taking recourse to a military action against Iran for pursuing its nuclear enrichment programme, is due to the changed scenario of the middle-east, which has passed through the revolutionary phase of the Arab Spring. But, instead of war against Iran, they must focus on creating a coalition of favourable regimes in the Arab world by working honestly for peaceful resolution of the long-pending Arab-Israel dispute, besides economic progress and popular political participation.
Muslim world destined for greater interference in Obama’s second term
Abid Mustafa - 11/11/2012
America has just spent $6 billion dollars on the most expensive election in US history to re-elect the man that will give them more of the same. Despite the rhetoric of ‘change; or ‘moving forward’ nothing has really changed.
David's Sling; Is It Broken? Israel can become a price for resetting relations with Arabs
Alexander Maistrovoy - 10/27/2012
Henry Kissinger’s recent statement, that in 10 years Israel will cease to exist, borders with senile. Although one of his staff members denied it, Cindy Adams from New York Post insisted: “Reported to me, Henry Kissinger has stated - and I quote the statement word for word: 'In 10 years, there will be no more Israel '”.
European Parliament's Controversial October Trip to Iran
Abbas Rezai - 10/12/2012
Once again, the European Parliament is planning to send a delegation to Tehran. The trip, scheduled for the end of this month, was confirmed by the parliament's Delegation for Relations with Iran just before summer.
Is the Iranian Regime on Verge of Collapse?
Nima Sharif - 10/12/2012
The Iranian mullahs have received some major and irrecoverable setbacks during the past couple of weeks, enough to make them stop, at least for the time being, and rethink over some policy stances.
Deciphering Iran’s Nuclear Intentions
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker - 10/12/2012
In the last half year the public "chatter" about the Iranian nuclear program has grown to a daily splurge of articles spread across the pages of news-media from London to Beijing via New York and from Moscow down to Buenos Aires.
MID-EAST SWEEP: Libya, Syria, Egypt
Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi - 10/12/2012
I. US likely raid in Libya
With the news abuzz with the imminent possibility of the US’ military action against Libya, the atmosphere in the Arab World has again become a bit tense because the likely fallout may be more of an insecurity and instability than of an effective deterrent in favour of peace and security in the region.
The defence and intelligence agencies of USA are reported to be busy in preparing the foundation and modalities for launching a penetrative raid inside Libya in order to capture alive or kill the militants involved in attack on its diplomatic mission in Bengh...
Iran, Israel on Verge of Agreement
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 10/5/2012
Prompted by senior figures in both the current, Obama, administration and the previous, Bush administration, Israel agreed to major concessions in secret negotiations with Iran which have been taking place in Geneva since April of last year.
Khamenei creates special offices to steer crisis in Syria and other Muslim countries
Hossein Abedini - 9/29/2012
Based on credible reports obtained from inside the Iranian regime, the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, as well as other officials, have described the insult to the Prophet of Islam, the “Innocence of Muslims” movie, and cartoons published in a French magazine as presenting an exceptional opportunity for their “establishment” (regime). Extremely overjoyed, they see these events as “causing a shift in the current state of affairs in favour of Syria and Iran,” and they seek to “inflame the protests and outrage to the fullest extent possible” in order to divert the attention of the world an...
The meddling of the Iranian regime in Syria and its attempts to save the Assad regime
Hossein Abedini - 9/18/2012
The capture of 48 Iranian regime's terrorists in Syria has frightened the leaders of the regime.
Madeleine Albright: Still Clueless About Some Women’s Legal Rights
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker - 9/5/2012
Nearly fifteen years after she signed an order designating the female-led Iranian resistance organization Mojahedin-e Khalq (aka People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran) as a foreign terrorist organization as part of a politically motivated outreach to the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in her capacity as President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State, she’s spouting off again. This time she’s claiming that she can’t understand why any woman would chose to vote for Mitt Romney. I can’t say that she surprises me.
The situation in Syria
Prof. Ruben Safrastyan, Ph.D. - 8/30/2012
The director of the Oriental Studies Institute of the Academy of Sciences of Armenia Ruben Safrastyan attached the attention of the media representatives in “Pastark” press club to two important events.
US.State Department: When Its Enemy Becomes its Savior
Sadegh Sistani - 8/22/2012
‘It is wholly inappropriate to blame the victims of oppression for the crimes of their oppressors’
Vintage piece of perversity
Allen Tasslimi - 8/8/2012
We have no idea what's behind the venomous and utterly perverse article by Danielle Pletka, “Lobbying for terrorists, more on the MEK,” which makes outrageous allegations against an organization for whose call for democratic change in Iran some 100,000 Iranians turned out last month in Paris.
Looming War Clouds in Syria: Regime Change Likely
Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi - 8/4/2012
The on-going violent situation in Syria is going to worsen either because of more and more violence due to fearful fight between rebels and the Syrian forces or because of Assad’s fall as a result of forcible US led western power’s intervention. It will prompt Radical Islamists eagerly waiting to fill the vacuum so created, thereby, forestalling the onset of democracy as the Arab Spring desired in the past and so the West desires today.
Why is the Pot Calling the Kettle Black
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker - 7/21/2012
Approximately two weeks ago, Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute published an article on the AEI website entitled “Lobbying for terrorists, more on the MEK” , in which she takes to task several high profile advocates for the MEK based on her reading of the Washington Post article by Joby Warrick and Julie Tate, “High-priced advocacy raises questions for supporters of Iranian exile group” .
Iran's Freedom March
Hossein Abedini - 7/7/2012
On Saturday 23 June 2012, over 100,000 Iranian exiles and supporters of the Iranian resistance from five continents gathered in an historical rally at the convention centre in the northern suburb of Villepinte, Paris, to demand democratic change in Iran and immediate international measures to guarantee basic rights of Iranian Resistance members in Ashraf and Liberty.
What's Next in Egypt?
Sufyan bin Uzayr - 7/7/2012
For someone living miles away from Egypt (or even from the Middle East for that matter), past one week has been full of interesting observations, if nothing else. To begin with, Mohammad Morsi of Muslim Brotherhood was elected as the new President of Egypt and took the oath of office this past Saturday (June 30th, 2012). Morsi belongs to Muslim Brotherhood -- a group that served as the main (and perhaps only) noteworthy source of opposition to the Mubarak regime for decades. If, prior to last year's Revolution, you were to ask one regarding MB's chances of gaining power in Egypt, the answer would not have been very promising.
Palestine: Israel Set To Extend Its Sovereignty Into West Bank
David Singer - 6/30/2012
A confluence of events is increasingly pointing to Israel taking action in the very near future to extend its sovereignty over a substantial part - if not all - of the 61% of the West Bank it has totally controlled since 1967 - unless Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ends his posturing and submits to considerable loss of face by announcing he is now prepared to resume negotiations with Israel without preconditions of any kind.
The U.S., Russia and Syria
Dr. Gary K. Busch - 6/23/2012
One of the most frustrating aspects of the media coverage of the current civil disturbances in Syria is that there is a dearth of ‘joined-up’ thinking behind most of the analyses. There is a lot of eye-witness reporting of events in the country as well as a litany of political opportunism by politicians pressing their own self-serving analyses of the Syrian events. The most important problem is that each aspect of the evaluation of the impact of the Syrian crisis is treated as a discreet problem and unrelated in any meaningful sense with the ‘bigger picture’.
Lebanon's 14th of March Coalition And Castration
Elias Bejjani - 6/23/2012
Sadly the Saudi high ranging officials including the King himself and his PM, did call for the current Lebanese new round of national dialogue that took place on Monday June 11/2012 at the presidential Palace. 17 top notch politicians from Lebanon's major religious denominations participated in this Saudi enforced futile and Babylonian new dialogue session
Torture and Murder in the Islamic Republic
Kambiz Basetvat - 6/23/2012
A cogent eyewitness report of the gruesome tortures and executions in Islamic Republic detention centers horrifies and shocks the Iranian community abroad.
Syria does not want Bashar al-Assad. However, does it want ... Hafez al-Assad?
Alexander Maistrovoy - 6/23/2012
Quarter of a century ago the people of Central Asia and Caucasus also tasted freedom. It was the taste of blood.
Peacekeepers in Syria?
Lorna Thomas - 6/16/2012
As a solution is sought to the Syrian crisis, will we see Russia assume a "peacekeeping" role in Syria, a role that could extend beyond Syria?
Three Options for Hillary Clinton to Deal With Iran's Democratic Opposition
Firouz Mahvi - 6/16/2012
Last Wednesday a meeting of Friends of a Free Iran (FOFI) intergroup in the European Parliament was held in Brussels. A declaration signed by over 220 Euro MPs was unveiled regarding the plight of the Iranian opposition, members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) currently living in camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq.
Lebanon's 14th of March Coalition And Castration
Elias Bejjani - 6/15/2012
Sadly the Saudi high ranging officials including the King himself and his PM, did call for the current Lebanese new round of national dialogue that took place on Monday June 11/2012 at the presidential Palace. 17 top notch politicians from Lebanon's major religious denominations participated in this Saudi enforced futile and Babylonian new dialogue session
Hollow threats of Iranian regime to prevent international action against Syrian dictatorship
Shahriar Kia - 6/10/2012
Ali Larijani, speaker of the mullahs' parliament, following revelation of the mullahs' regime involvement in crimes against humanity in Syria and fearful of decisive international action against atrocities of the Syrian dictator, made hollow threats and said, "A new brutality is observed in recent statements by U.S. officials and their actions and by some Western countries against Syria ... Syria does not have the conditions of Libya and "making Benghazi" in Syria will be drawn into Palestine and the ashes of this fire will definitely cover the Zionist regime " (Iranian Revolutionary Guards FARS News -10 May).
The Syrian Regime’s Brutality Vs. The Free World's Indifference
Elias Bejjani - 5/29/2012
It is a well-known scientific fact and a proven reality that animals who are carnivorous predators do not hunt and kill their prey unless they are hungry and not because they love to kill or find a pleasure in hunting. These animals do not torture their prey but kill them on the spot within few minutes.
Gunter the Grass and the Spirit of a New Germany
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 4/6/2012
In an attempt to recapture the long-lost limelight, the former Waffen SS volunteer turned Germany's self-imputed anti-Nazi conscience, Gunter Grass, published a badly written poem in which he warned against German complicity in an imminent annihilation of the Iranian people by a nuclear-armed Israel.
Lebanese Conflict: Lessons for Iraq
Koshan Ali Khidhir (Zamanee) - 4/3/2012
The nature of conflicts in Lebanon and Iraq has much in common and it might be useful to compare them, in order to apply some lessons from the post conflict era in Lebanon to Iraq.
Iraq and Lebanon have similar heterogeneous sectarian divisions. For Lebanon, the Shiite, Sunni, and Christians represent the vast majority of the population.
For Iraq, it is the Shiite, Sunni, and Kurds. In Lebanon, the sectarian proportions are more equally divided. However in Iraq, the Shiite have majority having 60% of the population, and the Sunni and Kurds are about 20% each...
NIAC Desperate to Keep MEK on Terrorist List
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker - 4/3/2012
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) , a lobbying organization founded and led by Iranian-Swedish national Dr. Trita Parsi , and regarded by Tehran as its voice in Washington, DC, is doing its utmost to influence the outcome of the recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s order to the U.S. Department of State to comply by March 26, 2012 with a new review of the status of the Mojahedin e-Khalq (MEK) vis-a vis the 15 year old “terrorist” label applied to the Iranian anti-regime resistance group, nearly two years late for a similar order given by the Court to State in July 2010.
Iran: Why war is not an option
Sameer Jafri - 3/27/2012
Deadlock persists between Iran and the West over the controversial Iranian nuclear program. Even though another round of talks has been proposed, the grapevine gaining momentum in diplomatic & strategic circles is that the attack on Iran is “not a matter of if, rather when.” In other words, the US will resort to military option against Iran. But this war cry appears to be far-fetched. There are many reasons why armed conflagration between Iran and the West is improbable.
Iran and the Half-Life of Tyranny
Dillon Freed - 3/23/2012
Marsha B. Cohen wrote in an article entitled, “Consequences of an Attack on Iran are no Joke,” that a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would lead to considerable death tolls – “tens or even hundreds of thousands might die and perhaps millions more might suffer from genetic damage causing birth defects and cancers for generations…”
Saudi diplomat murder investigation murdered!
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury - 3/21/2012
When brilliant prospect of recruitment of at least 8-10 million foreign workers in Saudi Arabia is at the focal point of countries like Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal, there is surely huge fear for Bangladesh in getting a stake of this newer employment scopes to export 1-2 million new workers from the country.
Palestine in Tatters - Obama’s Obsolescent Opinion Scarcely Matters
David Singer - 3/21/2012
The much vaunted reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah has become yet another missed opportunity and non-event following revelations by the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC) chief electoral officer - Hisham Kuhail - that the May 4 date set for presidential and parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza will not eventuate.
State Department Uses Josh Rogin to Justify Bogus Blacklisting of MEK
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker - 3/21/2012
Last week the United States Department of State stooped to a new low in its attempt to justify its nearly fifteen-year old misguided policy of regarding the pro-secular democracy Iranian resistance organization the Mojahedin e-Khalq (MEK) as a terrorist organization when it used Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin to publish a canard against the MEK. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem as if Mr. Rogin was very enthusiastic about the task as his usual careful research was quite evidently sorely lacking.
Before Attacking Iran, the Assad Regime Must be Removed
Elie Elhadj, Ph.D. - 3/18/2012
March 15, 2012 was the anniversary of the Syrian revolution against the Assad family’s illegitimate rule, corruption, and tyranny. That the Asad machine of destruction killed more than 8,000 citizens during the past twelve months shall inspire and energize the revolution until victory will be achieved. It is as morally just to carry on with the revolution today, as was the struggle for liberation from the French mandate, if not more.
President Obama , The MEK is a Test of American Will
Sadegh Sistani - 3/10/2012
Keeping the MEK in the US FTO (foreign terrorist organizations) list hostage to resolve a political controversy is against the hearts and conscience of the American people. Integrity is before dishonor.
Iran refuses to bow down
Tanveer Jafri - 3/5/2012
In recent days, rhetoric of war has escalated between USA and Iran. The US naval warship USS Lincoln is said to be moving towards Persian Gulf. America has also accelerated the work on development of a 13.6 tonne Massive Ordnance Penetrator bomb, which is capable of destroying the underground nuclear facilities of Iran. The efforts to isolate Iran & cripple its economy have been on for years.
Lebanon's Confiscated Independence
Elias Bejjani - 2/28/2012
On November 22, 2011 Lebanon sadly celebrated its 68th Independence Day. The celebration was for some thing that actually does exist at all, because Lebanon is not independent by any standard or criteria. The country unfortunately is fully and totally occupied by the Axis Of Evil powers, Syria, Iran and their militant terrorist organization, Hezbollah.
Middle East Challenges Await Next President
Ron Coody - 2/22/2012
When President Carter sought reelection in 1980, the Islamic Republic of Iran not only held dozens of Americans hostage in the American Embassy in Tehran, they wielded powerful influence over Carter's reelection hopes.
Anti-War War Mongering
Dillon Freed - 2/14/2012
Without exception, every intellectual that I have spoken to about, or heard speak about, Iran’s nuclear program are absolutely opposed to any sort of war against the country.
Is Bashar Assad a nice person surrounded by a wicked family clique?
Elie Elhadj, Ph.D. - 2/14/2012
Bashar Asad’s record shows that he is the boss of a wicked family clique and that he is personally responsible for the long suffering of the great majority of Syrians.
Will the Ruling Class in Egypt Fundamentally Transform Itself?
Kambiz Basetvat - 2/14/2012
In the span of the last year, the people’s revolution in Egypt shook its political foundation irreversibly. Mobark’s dictatorial autocratic secular regime with its handpicked house of representative is gone. The national police force that used to suppress religious and liberal political descent is badly beaten and demoralized by the sweeping popular revolt. Now, the only institution that prevents Egypt plunge into total revolutionary anarchy is the armed forces.
Iran: Anticipating Spring
Dame Chkatroski - 2/8/2012
Regarding the situation in Iran and its region the most anxious countries are Israel and Turkey.
'Voluntary' Imprisonment At Camp Liberty
Abbas Rezai - 2/8/2012
Iranian refugees at Camp Ashraf in Iraq, are told by UN to move to a new camp which is nothing short of a Prison. It shall be done "voluntarily". But if they don't, they shall be killed!
The Main Foe of the Mullahs in Iran
Shahriar Kia - 2/3/2012
The question still remains: after nine tumultuous years, what became of the treasure and blood, both American and Iraqi that was sacrificed in Iraq? With 2011 behind us, and US forces out of Iraq, new crises have erupted in Iraq - both on a political and security level. A new round of explosions has reaped of hundreds of lives among the innocent population of Iraq; and the cycle has yet to relent. All fingers are pointed at Iran. Leaders from Iraq’s opposition blocs, who have voiced concern over Iranian intervention, are openly despised by the nation’s Prime Minister, Noori al-Maliki, and eliminated arbitrarily under varying pretenses.
Attack Iran Today And Not Tomorrow
Elias Bejjani - 1/24/2012
The Israeli Prime Minister believes strongly that Iran must be attacked sooner not later and before it is too late. The USA Obama administration does not see the Iranian atomic danger eye to eye with Israel.
The Iranian People Are Not Alone
Prof. Kazem Kazerounian - 1/17/2012
The struggle of the Iranian people against the tyranny of the religious fundamentalist rulers of Iran is more than three decades old. The reign of ayatollahs have left more than 120,000 executed, and one million killed or wounded in the pointless, avoidable and tragic war with Iraq.
Iranian Opposition to Islamic Republic and Western Countries Military Option
Kambiz Basetvat - 1/11/2012
The United Nations atomic watch dog recent devastating report revealed Islamic Republic (IR) regime of Iran’s uninterrupted and continuous work to weaponize its atomic research. The report increased the level of tensions and convinced the western countries to impose new sanctions on IR.
A New Parasitic Lebanese Political Christian Gathering
Elias Bejjani - 1/8/2012
A bunch of notorious Lebanese Christian politicians met today at the Kesroun Basilica of Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa Shrine in a bid to lobby for the ailing Syrian dictatorship regime and its bloody butcher Bachar Al Assad, to cover the anti Lebanese and anti-Christian stances adopted by the derailed Maronite Patriarch Bchara Al Raei, and to side with the Terrorist Hezbollah against the State of Lebanon.
Prague's Havel is Gone - Where Are the Middle-East's Havels?
Walid Phares, Ph.D. - 12/30/2011
As I was watching the carriage transporting the late Vaclav Havel, the first President of free post-Communist Czechoslovakia and the first President of the Czech Republic, into the Prague Castle I was sobered and deeply moved. Having been a witness to major world changes spanning from the end of the twentieth to the start of the twenty-first centuries, I was now watching the departure of a giant of his time who happened to be a modest and a shy man leading a small Central European nation. His words, his life story, and his commitment to liberty have brought hope to many people around the world, far beyond those who speak Czech.
Is Iraq on the Verge of Civil War?
Tanveer Jafri - 12/30/2011
As was foreboded, the situation in Iraq is deteriorating. It was feared that the Shia-Sunni rivalry in Iraq would flare up after the toppling of Saddam Hussein in April 2003. Saddam Hussein was a Sunni Arab military dictator who took over the reins of Baghdad from Ahmad Hasan Al Barq in 1979 and continued to rule the country till 9th April 2003. Shiites form 60 percent of the Iraqi population whereas Sunnis account for 31 percent. During his despotic rule of 24 years, Saddam used every tool to crush his opponents, be they Shias, Sunnis or Kurds.
The Impact of the Arab Spring on the Future of Egypt-Israel Relations
Koshan Ali Khidhir (Zamanee) - 12/28/2011
The events that began in Tunisia in January 2011 and spread to Egypt and then Libya, Jordan, Morocco, Bahrain, Syria, and beyond, shook the political, intellectual, and social foundations of the Middle East. This political quake can still be felt, and no one is quite sure when the aftershocks will conclude, or when another shock wave of popular unrest might occur.
The Muslim Brothers is rising to power in Egypt and there will be some arguable questions, that this essay will discuss it. What can we anticipate of such an organization? However, what will be the role of...
What Is Really Going On In Iraq?
Abdulla Hawez Abdulla - 12/23/2011
The recent tension in Baghdad between Nouri Al-Maliki’s Shiite Iraqi prime minister with both Iraqi president’s deputy Tariq Al-Hashimi, and his deputy for service affairs, Salih Mutlaq, which both are Sunnis is highly connected with the regional tension between Iran and Turkey on Syria, also the timing is connected. That’s despite Al-M aliki’s desire for power, and his autocratic approaches to wipe out his rivals one another.
Escalating Sectarian Divide Threatens Fragile Iraqi Government
Trevor Westra - 12/23/2011
The fragile political power-sharing arrangement imposed by US forces during the Iraqi occupation is at a renewed risk of collapse. Recent moves by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his Shiite backers have considerably threatened the state’s provisional coalition structure, which positions a Shia Prime Minister against Sunni and Kurdish deputies, a Sunni Parliamentary Speaker against Shia and Kurdish deputies, and a Kurdish president against Shia and Sunni vice-presidents.
Middle East Studies failed to predict and address the "Arab Spring"
Walid Phares, Ph.D. - 12/10/2011
When the young Tunisian burned himself in protest against authoritarian oppression and lack of economic justice, triggering massive demonstrations in this small North African country, commentators hesitated to coin the movement as an Arab Spring.
Arab Spring’s Silver Lining: A Search for the Soul of Arab Islam
Elie Elhadj, Ph.D. - 12/8/2011
Non-Arab Muslims in predominantly Sunni Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Turkey, representing two thirds of world Muslims, have a moderate and modern attitude towards Islamic dogma and Shari’a laws. They conduct democratic parliamentary elections and have had female prime ministers and presidents.
Crucifying Dr. Walid Phares and the Facts
Elias Bejjani - 12/8/2011
It was very sad, extremely annoying and so frustrating to myself as a proud Lebanese Christian activist and to many, many of my own people all over the globe to observe that our honest and genuinely patriotic "Lebanese Christian Resistance Forces" (1975-1990) were unfairly blemished, and wrongly portrayed as an organization of terrorism and massacres in the heated debate that has been raging for weeks in the USA media between supporters and opponents of Dr. Walid Phares, the renowned American Lebanese Christian intellectual who immigrated to the USA in 1990.
Khamenei orders British embassy attack by IRGC and plain-clothes agents
Shahriar Kia - 12/5/2011
According to a report by the National Council of Resistance of Iran obtained from inside the mullahs’ regime, Khamenei himself had decided and supervised the British embassy attack in Tehran. Khamenei himself gave the order of British embassy attack in a meeting with the presence of a number of IRGC and plain-clothes commanders. Through such an intimidation, Khamenei and his cohorts had assessed that they could compel western and particularly, European countries to retreat from their harsh policies and imposing sanctions against the regime.
Egypt: Back to the Future (Interview with Sam Vaknin)
Koshan Ali Khidhir (Zamanee) - 11/30/2011
Sam Vaknin is an economic and political analyst and the Editor-in-Chief of "Global Politician".
Deport Hezbollah's militants and leadership to Iran
Elias Bejjani - 11/30/2011
What should the Lebanese people, the Arab countries, Israel and the free world do with Hezbollah, the Iranian terrorist militia and its armed ministate, when the Syrian Assad regime falls? Some ignorant and short-sighted leaders in Lebanon are proposing that the government should buy Hezbollah’s weaponry and recruit most of its mujahedin fighters into the Lebanese army. In fact this is the most stupid, sickening, evil and fatal formula for Lebanon.
How real is the danger of military strike on Iran?
Tanveer Jafri - 11/30/2011
While many countries of the world are investing more in research and development of cheaper and cleaner nuclear energy, the nuclear research programme of Iran has drawn ire of the West since a decade. Although Iran has repeatedly claimed that its ongoing nuclear research program is for peaceful uses and its purpose is merely to become self reliant in nuclear energy, the western countries, particularly the United States and Israel are not ready to accept this argument. The United Nations agency IAEA has several times expressed its concern over the Iranian nuclear programme. In its latest report...
Is the Enemy’s Enemy a Friend?
Imran Khan - 11/28/2011
When I was in school, it was extremely confusing for me to remember the math equations for +X+=+ (Plus multiply by plus = plus), +X- = - (Plus multiply by Minus = Minus), -X+= - (Minus multiply by Plus = Minus) and –X- =+ (Minus multiply by Minus = Plus). But then a teacher told us a fantastic and simple example to remember all these equations. He told us to consider that Plus is a friend and Minus is an Enemy, put the same in those equations and think what you will get. So +X+=+ (Friend’s Friend = Friend also), +X- = - (Friend’s Enemy = Enemy also), -X+= - (Enemy’s Friend= Enemy also) and –X-...
Clueless in Washington: Getting Iran Wrong
Arash Irandoost, Ph.D. - 11/24/2011
In a shocking interview with VOA’s Persian News Network (PNN), the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton provided a window to Obama administration’s fallacious, misguided and resultant policy on Iran.
Imminent Human Catastrophee in Camp Ashraf
Shahriar Kia - 11/21/2011
On the 200th day of the Ashraf residents’ family members and supports’ sit-in in Geneva, in a press conference held in the city’s press club, prominent international jurists, human rights advocates and Swiss political and parliamentary figures strongly condemned the Iraqi Government’s illegal ultimatum to close down Camp Ashraf, home to 3400 Iranian dissidents by the end of the year. They warned that at the behest of the Iranian regime, the Iraqi Government is resorting to various hindrances to prevent the UNHCR’s work at camp Ashraf in order to set the stage for the massacre of Ashraf residents who are members of MeK the Iranian main opposition group.
The West's Long War Over the Middle East
Abid Mustafa - 11/16/2011
"[We need an] Arab facade ruled and administered under British guidance and controlled by a native Mohammedan and, as far as possible, by an Arab staff.... There should be no actual incorporation of the conquered territory in the dominions of the conqueror, but the absorption may be veiled by such constitutional fictions as a protectorate, a sphere of influence, a buffer state and so on."— Lord Curzon
Peace in the Middle East requires tolerance and acceptance of others
Elias Bejjani - 11/16/2011
Unless the Arab countries and Arab people give up on their deeply rooted education of hostility, hatred, terrorism, and rejection of others who belong to different religions, denominations, cultures, ethnicities, and minorities, they will remain living in the stone age era and isolated from the rest of the civilized and free democratic world.
The Vanishing Little Star of Bethlehem: Christianity under Attack in the Middle-East
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker - 11/14/2011
News coming out of the Middle-East in the last few months has focused on two principal areas: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the so-called “Arab Spring”. The headlines have been restricted to these two topics.
Ahmadinejad, Bashar and Skerrit
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury - 11/14/2011
Syria’s autocratic Bashar Al Assad visibly is in hot soup following Arab League latest move has decided to suspend Syria’s membership until Assad stop prosecuting civilians, who had been demonstrating against his rogue regime. The Arab League has also threatened Syria of facing imposing sanctions, if Bashar Al Assad regime will not immediately stop brutalities of the citizen of the country. It may be mentioned here that, Assad is continuing to murder civilians by using the armed forces of Syria for months, as the country is waking up against the rogue administration.
The Ship of Fools and Admiral Hayreddin Barbarossa
Alexander Maistrovoy - 11/9/2011
Myth doesn’t need facts. It adjusts the facts to its own paradigm. And ideological mythology is not an exception.
Iran's MAD strategy has a strategic rationale
Walid Phares, Ph.D. - 11/8/2011
My first book, The Iranian Islamic Revolution, published way back in 1986, dealt with the historicity of the 1979 Khomeinist Revolution in Iran. In it, I exposed the Khomeinist regime’s long-term ambitions and revisionist account of events that led to the Shah’s overthrow and Ayatollah Khomeini’s ascent to power in the alleged Islamic “Republic” of Iran. From my observatory in Beirut where Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRG) were growing into a force to be reckoned with in the region and beyond, I absorbed and digested the thinking and logic of Tehran’s strategists. Boiled d...
Iraq’s License to Kill
Abbas Rezai - 11/8/2011
Have you ever heard of someone who was given an official deadline to be killed? Imagine you are sitting in your home and you are told by the government: in less than two months we will attack and kill you. And you have nowhere to go.
Holding the Islamic Republic of Iran Accountable
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker - 11/8/2011
About one month ago, news broke of an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States in a Hezbollah -like operation run by Qods Force operatives in which a truck loaded with high explosives would be detonated in front of a popular upscale Washington, DC restaurant while the target and hundreds of other diners were present. The details of the plot became known to our intelligence agencies and thus to the president by the end of July.
Turkey– Iraqi Kurdistan ties: The foes has become allies
Abdulla Hawez Abdulla - 10/24/2011
I remember how relations between the Turkish government and Iraqi Kurdistan’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) used to be. Both sides were ambivalent about how to deal with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and had to wrangle over the matter. But these thoughts became obsolete after 2009 and transformed into marvelous relations. Some may wonder h ow and why they moved away from being enemies to being partners.
REVIEW of Kenneth Campbell's "A Tale of Two Quagmires: Iraq, Vietnam, and the Hard Lessons of War"
Koshan Ali Khidhir (Zamanee) - 10/21/2011
Kenneth J. Campbell, A Tale of Two Quagmires: Iraq, Vietnam, and the Hard Lessons of War, United States: Paradigm Publishers, 2007; 136 pp; ISBN: 978-1-59451-352-7.
Palestine Question: America is deceiving both Palestinians and the Jews
Abid Mustafa - 10/13/2011
On October 6th 2011, the Executive Council of the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) approved Palestine’s entry into this UN agency as member.
Iran's Botched Act of War in Washington
Walid Phares, Ph.D. - 10/13/2011
For the Iranian regime to attempt a terror strike on American soil, and particularly in Washington DC, including a high profile assassination and blowing up two important Middle Eastern embassies, it means that the Ayatollahs have crossed the conventional red line separating them from the previously cautious strategies of Terror.
Egyptian authorities commits a heinous crime against Coptic Christians
Elias Bejjani - 10/13/2011
What is a shame and a disgrace, when the Military Egyptian authorities with no mercy, and with cold blood commits a heinous and barbaric massacre against unarmed Coptic Christian civilians who were just protesting in a peaceful and civilized manner the shameful atrocity of burning one of their churches by fundamentalist (in the village of Elmarinab in Edfu, Aswan).
Press TV: The mean spinning machine of the Islamic Republic
Khalil Kallas - 10/11/2011
Soft Power is not taken lightly by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Arab Spring Falls on Egypt's Coptic Christians
Walid Phares, Ph.D. - 10/11/2011
The credibility of the Arab Spring took a bloody hit today (Sunday October 9th) when Egyptian Army forces shot dead more than thirty Christian Copts and wounded scores of them.
NIAC’s Leadership Conference Overwhelmingly Rejected by the Iranian-Americans
Arash Irandoost, Ph.D. - 10/11/2011
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC), again, held its annual members-only “Leadership Conference” on Capitol Hill with a lot of usual fanfare but with very little participation, proving yet again that NIAC does not enjoy much support among the Iranian-American community.
The Lessons Netanyahu Seems to Have Learned in Shaping Foreign Policy
Yoav J. Tenembaum - 10/8/2011
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's Prime Minister, seems to have learned a few crucial lessons in shaping foreign policy from his first premiership (1996-1999) and from the premierships of Labor's Ehud Barak (1999-2001) and Kadima's Ehud Olmert (2006-2009). The first lesson: don't take an important step forward with regard to the peace process without doing your utmost at maintaining the domestic structure that keeps you in power.
Democracy and Women’s Rights: Saudi Style
Elie Elhadj, Ph.D. - 10/4/2011
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia granted Saudi women on September 25, 2011 the right to vote and to run as candidates in local municipal elections. The King also decided to appoint women to his Consultative Council.
Patriarch Bchara Al Raei Does Not Represent Lebanese Maronites
Elias Bejjani - 10/1/2011
The derailed, Syrianized and Iranianized Maronite Patriach Bchara Al Raei Al Raei will be visiting the USA tomorrow for 19 long days. Let us as patriotic diaspora Christian Maronites in particular and free Lebanese in general be loud, courageous witnesses for the truth and say to this man of cloth a big NO for all his denounced and shameful pro-Axis of Evil stances and rhetoric.
The Axis of Evil Is Holding Lebanon Hostage
Elias Bejjani - 9/30/2011
A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle. (Kahlil Gibran)
Arab revolution: Democracy or Islamic theocracy in the making
Abid Mustafa - 9/28/2011
The wave of revolt sweeping the Arab world has divided commentators and political pundits alike. Some speculate that this will lead to the democratization of the Arab world and are eager to make comparisons with the demise of the Iron curtain in 1989.
The Axis of Evil Is Holding Lebanon a Hostage
Elias Bejjani - 9/26/2011
A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle. (Kahlil Gibran)
Both Logic and reality tell us that not even one sane person can dream that a meek sheep can fight a lion or even defend himself in a bid not to be devoured. This very simple fact is totally ignored by the Free World and the majority of the Arab countries when occupied Lebanon's dilemma is the issue. The whole world knows with no shed of doubt that Lebanon is still an occupied country and that the occupiers are Syria, Iran and their proxy armed terrorist militias, with Hezbollah in the forefront.
The Fallacy of Palestinian Statehood and the Arab Betrayal
Abdul Wahid - 9/26/2011
This week Mahmoud Abbas has visited New York to apply to the United Nations for it to recognise the Palestinian authority as a fully-fledged member state.
What happened to the America’s political morality and what seems to be wrong with it?
Kambiz Basetvat - 9/19/2011
There are obvious political morality discrepancies between domestic and foreign politics of American politicians’.
Would Russia Step in to Enforce Peace in Syria and the Middle East?
Lorna Thomas - 9/19/2011
Since mid March 2011 more than 2,200 people have reportedly been killed in pro-democracy demonstrations against the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The Bigger the Lie, NIAC’s Actual Membership Numbers
Dr. Arash Irandoost - 9/9/2011
How would a lobby organization go about advocating for favorable policies and doctoring up good reasons on behalf of an ideologically-driven and anti-Semitic regime such as the Islamic Republic in Iran, a regime that has: occupied the US embassy, held Americans hostage for 444 days, chanted death to America almost daily, held the highest records of violation of human rights, been listed as a state sponsor of terrorism, a secret nuclear weapons program, and a slew of sanctions imposed on it? It would seem as a daunting task indeed!
Remaking the Arab world in the West’s image
Abid Mustafa - 9/3/2011
"(We need an) ..Arab facade ruled and administered under British guidance and controlled by a native Mohammedan and, as far as possible, by an Arab staff.... There should be no actual incorporation of the conquered territory in the dominions of the conqueror, but the absorption may be veiled by such constitutional fictions as a protectorate, a sphere of influence, a buffer state and so on”--- Lord Curzon
Israel to Apologize to Turkey and Egyptian Military to Ban Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 8/25/2011
These just in: Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak prevailed over Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Israel decided to apologize to Turkey for "mistakes" committed by the Israeli special forces during the "justified" operation aboard the Gaza-bound flotilla, in which 9 Turkish citizens died.
Ayatollahs with Nuclear Weapons!
Arash Irandoost, Ph.D. - 8/22/2011
The game of chicken is an influential model of conflict for two players in game theory. The principle of the game is that while each player prefers not to yield to the other, the worst possible outcome occurs when both players do not yield. As both parties “up the ante” and raise the stakes. The game can become not only reckless but outright dangerous.
Ambassador Butler, you are on the wrong side!
Zohreh Shafaei - 8/19/2011
It was an early morning when I heard the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) had raided our house and arrested my mother to the horror of my 7-year-old brother and had confiscated our house. My mother was charged with arranging a memorial service for "Abbas Omani" at our home. Abbas, a teenager in the neighborhood, had been shot to death when he was distributing the MEK’s popular newspaper. He was only 16 years old.
Iran and Syria orchestrated the terrorist attacks on southern Israel
Elias Bejjani - 8/19/2011
It is well known to all Middle East analysts and specialists as well as to Western and Arab countries that the majority of the terrorist and jihadist organizations all over the world, including al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas, are mere military tools and proxies that are found, financed, used, sponsored and fully controlled by rogue and dictatorial regimes, especially the two notorious regimes of Syria and Iran.
Delisting MEK and protecting Ashraf residents
Shirin Nariman - 8/18/2011
The Iraqi forces’ brutal attack on Camp Ashraf in April 2011 killed 36 and injured more than 300 unarmed Iranian civilians living in the camp. The attack prompted a wave of sympathy among Iranians with different political tendencies. As a result, a movement to find a solution that will prevent a repeat disaster has emerged. Human rights institutions have become the forefront of this movement
Asian and European lessons for the Middle East
Shada Islam - 8/18/2011
As the Arab spring turns into summer and autumn, European and Asian policymakers can share experiences with their Arab counterparts on the democratic transformation of former communist eastern Europe and the transition to democracy in three leading Asian nations: Indonesia, the Philippines and South Korea.
Coming Full-Circle in Tahrir Square
Abdul Wahid - 8/8/2011
Friday 29 July 2011 had been billed as a “Friday of Unity” demonstration in Tahrir Square uniting secular and Islamic opposition forces to come out to push for further change in Egypt. But the arrival of approximately 1 million people calling for Islamic change drew fierce criticism from secular groups within Egypt, as well as secularists outside the region.
Between Economics and Politics: Netanyahu and the Domestic Crisis in Israel
Yoav J. Tenembaum - 8/5/2011
The latest waves of demonstrations in Israel have surprised most observers and politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Indeed, even the demonstrators themselves are surprised at the effect of what they have done.
MEK provides hope for Iranian people
Sadegh Sistani - 8/5/2011
Much has been said and discussed about the MEK/PMOI in the press and among policy makers, some behind closed doors and others in high-level diplomatic meetings. The most prominent Iranian opposition group (Mojahedin as known by the Iranian people) is a main battleground which will determine lives of millions in Iran and the whole region.
Palestine vs. Israel: Pinning the "Apartheid" Label on the Right Donkey
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker - 8/2/2011
In recent years Palestinian propagandists and their international supporters have attempted to brand Israel with the label of apartheid, the despicable South African policy of racial discrimination that reduced the African non-white population to a decidedly inferior position, akin to chattel. In many international circles this political charlatanism has succeeded in giving the Middle-East's one and only democracy a black eye. However, if one begins to search for the truth, one finds that reality is quite the opposite of that which the Palestinians peddle to a very gullible world.
Duplicity of Political Agendas: Arab Leaders Exposed
Nizar Awad - 8/1/2011
Arab masses who have had enough of their leaders’ burdensome encroachment on their lives and livelihoods are finally saying to them enough is enough.
Siavosh Rajizadeh - 7/27/2011
The New York Times article Iranian Exile Group Poses Vexing Issue for US in Iraq by Tim Arrango on July 22, 2011 on the fate of Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, has left many like me puzzled.
The Syrian regime's survival is Lebanon's demise
Elias Bejjani - 7/25/2011
For the majority of the Lebanese people, the holistic patriotic picture has become very clear. In general, they are now fully aware of the precipitating factors and perpetuating elements underlying the ongoing flagrant direct and indirect Syrian-Iranian occupation of their country through armed militias and a bunch of traitorous, Trojan horse politicians and officials spearheaded by the terrorist – fundamentalist Hezbollah.
Palestinians want their own state and vote with their feet
Alexander Maistrovoy - 7/18/2011
"In a war of ideas, it is people who get killed". (Stanisław Jerzy Lec)
Barbarism of the Syrian Regime
Elias Bejjani - 7/18/2011
The world has known many brutal and bloody regimes in the Middle East and elsewhere since WW1, but none of them was more barbaric, savage and cruel than the current Syrian al-Assad Baathist dictatorship. Even the late Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq, and also Hitler and Mussolini, were not as merciless, sadistic, bloody, evil, mean and ferocious as Syria’s al-Assad ruling family dynasty.
Arab Revolutions in Focus
Fathi El-Shihibi - 7/7/2011
Revolutions do not come from a vacuum but they always create their own novel phenomena. Despite the Arab and Islamic motifs that characterized recurrent Arab revolutions the reasons behind such mass movements in the Arab World are neither a desire to create Islamic orders nor expressions of anti-Western sentiments but rather the impulse to demand human rights and solutions to worsening economic blights.
Palestine vs. Israel: Pinning the "Apartheid" Label on the Right Donkey
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker - 7/7/2011
In recent years Palestinian propagandists and their international supporters have attempted to brand Israel with the label of apartheid, the despicable South African policy of racial discrimination that reduced the African non-white population to a decidedly inferior position, akin to chattel.
Muslims Must protect Arab Christians
Pierre A. Maroun - 6/30/2011
The last 10 years have not been easy for Arab Christians. Numerous events, including the U.S. invasion of Iraq has inspired the belief that the “Christian West” has declared war on Muslims of the Middle East. Many Muslims see military operations against Muslim majority nations by the United States as religious in nature because the United States is viewed by many Muslims as a Christian nation.
Iranian Military Strategy to any Foreign Assault
Ali Omidi - 6/28/2011
Iran has started the 10 days of war games that began on Monday (June 27, 2011) under the rubrics of “Great Prophet 6. At the same time, Iran for the first time unveiled underground ballistic missile silos in a warning to the likely enemies of its ability to protect its missiles and secretly store them in hidden locations throughout the country.
Why Syria’s Christians Should Not Support the Assad Regime
Elie Elhadj, Ph.D. - 6/25/2011
At the Dormition of Our Lady Greek Catholic cathedral in Old Damascus, Father Elias Debii raises his hands to heaven and prays for divine protection for embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.[i] Bishop Philoxenos Mattias, a spokesman for the Syriac Orthodox Church said: “We are with the government and against these movements that oppose it”.[ii]
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker - 6/20/2011
After President Barack H. Obama’s two major speeches about the Middle East, first at the State Department on Thursday, May 19, 2011, and then at the AIPAC convention on the next Sunday, May 22, 2011, as well as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s two speeches, first at the AIPAC convention on Monday May 23, 2011, and then before a combined session of Congress on Tuesday, May 24, 2011, which followed his unusually forthright meeting with President Obama at the White House on Friday, May 20, 2011, we may ask where is the president trying to go on the Palestinian state question, and how likely is he to have any success, given Palestinian and Israeli positions.
Why Syria's Regime is Likely to Survive
Elie Elhadj, Ph.D. - 6/20/2011
Examining the differences between the uprising in Syria and those in Tunisia and Egypt offers important clues as to why Syria's regime is likely to survive. The Tunisian and Egyptian armies refused to kill demonstrators and even supported the revolution. Syria's Alawi-led forces, on the other hand, do not hesitate to kill, as the Tadmur and Hama massacres show. The Syrian regime has been skillful at exploiting the conflict with Israel and the patience of Western powers with the dictatorship. The Syrian government has shown a strong ability to manipulate Islam for its benefit as well. While the...
The Wikileaks Cables on Turkey: 20/20 Tunnel Vision
Claire Berlinski and Okan Altiparmak - 6/20/2011
The Wikileaks cables on Turkey reveal a surprising paradox. U.S. diplomats suggest themselves to be highly-informed, perspicacious observers of Turkey with more insight than one would expect into the Islamist complexes and prejudices of Turkey's governing AKP, the role of the Gulen movement in Turkey, the political talent and personality of Prime Minister Erdogan, his increasing isolation from competent advisors, and the central problems that characterize AKP governance: lack of technocratic skill, corruption, and influence-peddling. Yet time and again, these diplomats fail to draw from these ...
Arab Spring, Israeli Winter
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/11/2011
Israel, the Big Powers, and the true New World Order
G. Murphy Donovan - 6/10/2011
“We forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy is men who are afraid of the light.” - Plato
Thirty Years to the Israeli Attack on the Osiraq Nuclear Reactor in Iraq
Yoav J. Tenembaum - 6/1/2011
This 7th of June thirty years ago the Israeli Air Force conducted a surprise attack on Iraq's Osiraq nuclear reactor. The reactor was completely destroyed. The Israeli pilots returned home safe. It was to be a military operation with long-lasting consequences for the entire region.
Some Interesting Parallels with the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Process
Yoav J. Tenembaum - 5/24/2011
Overseeing the diplomatic landscape of the problematic peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority some interesting parallels emerge with the Egyptian-Israeli peace-making process of the late 1970s, particularly as applied to the period since Benjamin Netanyahu became Prime Minister two years ago.
Caution: Adequate Option For Israel when Dealing with Upheavals in the Arab world
Yoav J. Tenembaum - 5/12/2011
There have been criticisms leveled at Israel for not showing enthusiasm for the latest political upheavals in the Arab world.
Syria on the Edge
Paul Koshik - 5/11/2011
Revolutions are breaking out in the Arab world – Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Yemen, and now Syria.
Journey of Arab Revolutions From Pan-Arabism and Pan-Islamism to Pan-Secularism
Fathi El-Shihibi - 5/4/2011
The almost simultaneous popular uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Libya to oust entrenched authoritarian regimes and the escalating challenges to the Syrian, Jordanian, Algerian and Mauritanian regimes, have led to frenzy among Arab and non-Arab intellectuals to identify common denominators between the recent uprisings as well as future uprisings in the Arab world.
U.S. Policy on Assad Enabling Syrian Stagnation
Trevor Westra - 4/23/2011
The violent uprisings in Syria continued this week with large demonstrations in the western city of Homs. Syria’s third largest city, Homs reflects the country’s sensitive religious diversity with a majority Arab-speaking Sunni population and contending Alawite, Shia, Syriac and Greek Orthodox Christian minorities. Yet against the repeated threat of violence from state security forces -including the use of live ammunition- residents have gathered together in the city’s Clock Square to demand democratic reform.
Counter Revolution by any other name would still look as Suspicious
Nizar Awad - 4/23/2011
Counter revolution as I see it refers to activities or positions adopted by governments, media or individuals to downplay or reverse gains by a given revolution. Nowadays counter revolutions are escalating rapidly in Arab countries that are more or less embroiled in popular uprising or full scale revolutions including Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria and Jordan.
Whose "friendship" is more dangerous?
Alexander Maistrovoy - 4/19/2011
Russia is probably not a friend of Israel, but much less dangerous than the West
Israel's Evolving Security Concept
Prof. Meron Medzini - 4/11/2011
This article examines the evolution of Israel's defense doctrine, its constants and variables, what constitutes Israel's security, and how Israel has dealt with the threats to its existence.
If One Extremist Gunman Can Do So Much Damage in America, How About Ten Million Such People In The Middle East?
Prof. Barry Rubin - 4/2/2011
When one crazed or ideologically obsessed gunman starts shooting in Arizona, people condemn him and start bemoaning their society. How about a place with ten million people like that who are treated as heroes?
Turkish Report to UN: Stash of Iranian Weapons Heading to Syria
Trevor Westra - 4/2/2011
Turkey has seized a secret shipment of Iranian weapons heading to Syria, documents submitted to the U.N. Security council and obtained by Reuters reveal. The discovery was made while officials were inspecting an Iranian cargo plane that had landed at Turkey’s Diyarbakir Airport on a technical stop, carrying what it declared as “spare auto parts”.
A New Palestinian Lie About Israel and The Need to Discount Such Stories Systematically
Prof. Barry Rubin - 4/1/2011
What happens when the New York Times publishes, with no investigation, an atrocity story about Israel that is not only false but ridiculously so, based on the most obvious starting point: death by tear-gas doesn't happen?
Middle East: Tough road ahead
Bhuwan Thapaliya - 4/1/2011
The collapse of Soviet – style Communism and the break-up of the Soviet Union itself in 1991 freed numerous countries of East Europe, the former Republics of the Soviet Union and the Baltic states. Likewise, today, after the termination of the corrupt regime in Tunisia, then in Egypt, by citizens, united by social media, who refused to be intimidated by violence and who insisted on the right to participate in their own political future the ripples of changes are spreading in the Middle East- a region that encompasses North Africa and Western Asia.
The U.S. Policy on Iran: Cautious Optimism or Obsessive Insanity?
Dr. Arash Irandoost - 3/24/2011
On the occasion of the Persian New Year (Norouz), President Obama extended his best wishes, this time, directly to the Iranian people, rather than the brutal dictatorship. This was a welcome departure compared to his former Norouz message. Is president Obama gradually warming up to the idea of supporting regime change? His message was much harsher toward the regime. He stated:
Has Obama been caught flatfooted by the crisis Bahrain?
Trevor Westra - 3/18/2011
Political instability continues to rock the Kingdom of Bahrain, home of the US Navy's Fifth Fleet - a critical force in the Pentagon's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and a tactical deterrent to the threat of a nuclear Iran.
Barbara Slavin Promotes Islamic Iran’s Line on Opposition PMOI
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker - 3/10/2011
Barbara Slavin has developed a reputation as an expert on Middle East politics, especially as pertains to the Islamic Republic of Iran. She is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center and has served as a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2006 and spent October 2007-July 2008 as senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace. In 2007 she authored a book on Iran entitled Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the U.S. and the Twisted Path to Confrontation. She has visited Iran seven times as part of her research and maint...
The Emerging Discourse in Iran’s Politics is Commitment to Democracy and Separation of Mosque and State
Kambiz Basetvat - 3/10/2011
Why with an overwhelming popular opposition to the Islamic republic (IR) and the regime’s engagement in one serious crisis after another still IR survives year after year? This is the agonizing question Iranian’s political observers fail to find a satisfactory answer for. Could the answer be the existence of a considerable indirect and secretive supports for the regime amid the regime’s well known oppositions? If this speculation carries any validity, the question which begs for an answer will be; who are these indirect and secretive supporters of the IR, who carries the burden of Islamic Repu...
Syria's Triumph in Lebanon
Gary C. Gambill - 2/23/2011
In the wake of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in February 2005, Syria faced a seemingly perfect storm of American, French, and Saudi determination to end its longstanding domination of Lebanon. Today, these same foreign powers have come to accept a creeping restoration of Syrian influence over the country that has yet to fully peak. Although Syrian troops have not returned, that is precisely what makes the transformation so remarkable. Subduing Lebanon without having to occupy it is a goal that has eluded the Syrians for decades.
Fault Lines in the Middle East
Ron Coody - 2/22/2011
Since the uprising of the Tunisian people followed by the dramatic protest of millions in Cairo against Husni Mubarak, shaking and realignments have spread across the Middle East in a display of unleashed energy reminiscent of earthquakes along a fault line. In this case the fault lines are political, religious and economic, with rulers pushing in one direction trying to hold back the will of people pushing in the opposite direction. In Tunisia and Egypt the people have won the contests.
Negotiating Climate Regime Change: The Case of Saudi Arabia
Norman K. Swazo, Ph.D. - 2/22/2011
The failure of parties at the December 2009 Copenhagen conference to secure a new treaty on global climate mitigation has elicited various reactions. Nearly 200 countries participating in the negotiations concluded by merely "taking note" of the Copenhagen Accord of December 18, 2009. Some have argued that the lack of a viable treaty at Copenhagen reflects the reality of "a world divided" about (a) the facts of climate change, (b) what count as legitimate mitigation actions, and (c) how obligations are to be distributed internationally.
Arab Gulf States and the Iranian Nuclear Challenge
Yoel Guzansky - 2/22/2011
The Gulf states' policy towards Iran's nuclear ambitions has combined elements of appeasement with a fundamental reliance on the United States as a defending and deterring force. Most Gulf states lack strategic depth, have small populations, and small, untrained armies. Moreover, their significant oil and natural gas reserves have made them the potential target for aggression and dependent on outside forces for defense.
Revolution And The Egyptian Labour Movement
Dr. Gary K. Busch - 2/20/2011
Mubarak has gone and the spirit of revolution is in the air in Egypt, despite the fact that the military remain in control. The Army has pledged to meet the democratic demands of the protestors and have promised elections in the near future. Despite this, there is still unrest in the country and tens of thousands of workers are staying away from their workplaces. They say they are on strike. Striking may seem to be a normal reaction for dissatisfied workers anywhere, but these strikes are structured and conducted in way not immediately familiar to analysts in the West and pose serious challenges to the revolution.
Turkish-Armenian “football diplomacy” has an “extra time”
Vahan Dilanyan - 2/17/2011
Turkish-Armenian rapprochement could resume after Parliamentary elections in Turkey in 2011
Tourism Boycott for Egyptian Reforms
Joel S. Hirschhorn - 2/14/2011
How wonderful that the Egyptian dictator Mubarak has finally stepped down. But there are considerable uncertainties about when and how a fully functioning democracy that benefits ordinary Egyptians, especially the poorest, will be formed. Restoring the Egyptian economy and ensuring that it benefits not just the existing upper class that supported Mubarak is a key challenge. Economic reforms, however, are hardly mentioned by all those talking so much about the wonderful transformation in Egypt.
People in the mood of throwing away the Despots
Tanveer Jafri - 2/13/2011
February 11, 2011 has gone down the pages of history as a day when 82 years old Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, as a result of the people’s anger, had to escape his Presidential palace after 30 years of autocratic rule. Like the dictators and despots in other countries, President Hosni Mubarak also had a strong hold on the administration. It did not seem that Mubarak will have to do away with power during his lifetime. But the 18-day vigorous nationwide protest of people against the government ultimately succeeded in dethroning Mubarak. While three decades of Mubarak’s reign witnessed the sp...
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 2/11/2011
The revenant (many would say ersatz) Egyptian, Mohamed ElBaradei, self-appointed and self-imputed leader of the "democracy" movement in his newly-discovered homeland, called yesterday on the army to commit a putsch against the government. The fawning, cliche-ridden, politically-correct, navel-gazing, and effete media in the West did not question this abrupt ideological shift: ElBaradei and the protesters in Tahrir Square have always claimed to be upholding Western values. Now, they are calling for yet another round of military dictatorship to replace Mubarak's. This is not reminiscent of other...
Why Egyptians do not Deserve Democracy
Dr. Islam Qasem - 2/11/2011
About a year and a half ago the people of Iran said enough to tyranny. They poured into the streets to claim their freedom, their dignity, and their right for free and fair elections. The rest of the world watched with a sympathetic eye. Western governments simmered in optimism, hoping that the Iranian repressive regime would be swept away by the sea of protesters. The US government imposed unprecedented sanctions against senior Iranian officials for “sustained and severe violations of human rights.” Western pundits and politicians swiftly embraced the Iranian Green Movement.
Ron Coody - 2/4/2011
Ten years ago just after the bombing of the USS Cole on October 12, 2000 in the port of Aden, Yemen, I had a short business trip to Cairo. The bombing claimed the lives of several US sailors and heightened tensions between various Jihadist groups and the West. My trip to Egypt coincided with the bombing of the Cole and gave me a chance to see Middle Easterners up close and personal during a period of political uncertainty and conflict. The attack on the Cole preceded the two later events that would come to define much of the attitude of the majority of Muslims in the Middle East. These eve...
The Birth of Hizbullahstan
Jonathan Spyer, Ph.D. - 2/3/2011
Events have moved fast in Lebanon. The country now faces the prospect of a government controlled by Hizbullah and consisting solely of the movement and its allies.
Egyptian 'Moderate Democratic' Leader Negotiating Coalition Government With Islamists
Prof. Barry Rubin - 2/3/2011
As I've been warning, Muhammed al-Baradei, seen as the leading "moderate, pro-democratic" leader in Egypt is negotiating with the Muslim Brotherhood to form a national unity government. That doesn't mean the negotiations will succeed but it gives a clear glimpse of what a post-Mubarak regime Egypt would mean.
Egypt: The American Debate Has Gone Stark, Raving Crazy
Prof. Barry Rubin - 2/3/2011
As I pointed out recently the mass media in America generally presents only one side of the debate nowadays. Then, it publishes nonsense which survives because it is protected from the withering critique it deserves. And even people who should know better are just losing it.
Riots in Egypt about Food and Jobs, not about “Freedom” and "Democracy"
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 1/31/2011
In the wake of the Great Recession of 2008-9, riots erupted all over the world, from Thailand to the Ivory Coast and from Yemen to Albania. For some reason, the demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt were singled out by the international media and cast as the Middle-Eastern equivalents of the French Revolution involving the overthrow of stale dictators and the eternal cry for freedom and “democracy”. Why would Egyptians and Tunisians who have never experienced either freedom or democracy clamour for both was left unexplored.
The "Palestine Papers" hoax
Prof. Barry Rubin - 1/26/2011
The "Palestine Papers" hoax is (or, more accurately, should be) turning into the most teachable moment about the Israel-Palestinian conflict in modern history. At least, everyone has reversed what happened: The compromise position was offered by Israel; the Palestinians rejected peace. Are we going to see this story corrected?
Signposts in the Middle East
Prof. Barry Rubin - 1/21/2011
1. Undeterred by international pressures and internal opposition, the Iranian government is cutting subsidies to essential goods that have cost a lot and eaten up capital that might have been used for investment and development.
Revolt in Tunisia: When Arab Regimes Do (And Do Not) Tremble
Prof. Barry Rubin - 1/19/2011
May the good Lord protect us from news analysis and Middle East experts. Is the Arab world really in shock over the Tunisian upheaval? Is this really a symptom for a coming upheaval in the Arab world? Perhaps I'm wrong but a note of caution is in order. I think the answer is "no."
Rewarding Bad Behavior
Jonathan Spyer, Ph.D. - 1/12/2011
US President Barack Obama's recent decision to appoint a new ambassador to Damascus is further proof positive of the effectiveness of the strategy pursued by Syria over the last half decade. It also showcases the sense that the current US administration appears to be navigating without a compass in its Middle East diplomacy.
Son of Mubarak: Succession Without Success?
Prof. Barry Rubin - 12/27/2010
Some of the more interesting Wikileaks concern the U.S. diplomatic perspective on the succession in Egypt from President Husni Mubarak to his son, Gamal. Let's remember that Egypt is the single most important country in the Arabic-speaking world. Dramatic instability there would be disastrous for U.S. interests. And it might happen.
ECO and its future as a non-Arab regional bloc
Abolghasem Bayyenat, Ph.D. candidate - 12/27/2010
The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), comprising Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan and six Muslim former Soviet republics, recently held its latest summit meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, where President Ahmadinejad handed over the rotating presidency of this regional organization to President Abdullah Gul of Turkey. ECO is a low-profile regional economic integration organization, headquartered in Tehran, which was originally founded by Iran, Turkey and Pakistan.
Hizbullah's Throne of Bayonets
Jonathan Spyer, Ph.D. - 12/27/2010
It is obvious that given the true balance of power in Lebanon, the special tribunal investigating the murder of former prime minister Rafik Hariri is largely a virtual exercise. As Michael Young pointed out in a column in the Beirut Daily Star this week, tribunal prosecutor Daniel Bellemare is currently on his end of year vacation and left without submitting draft indictments. This means that indictments cannot be issued before mid-January at the earliest.
Once Again Iran Produces Disinformation
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker - 12/21/2010
Abolghasem Bayyenat, reportedly a trade expert for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Ministry of Commerce, and admittedly a former political officer in its Foreign Ministry, recently penned an article entitled “Economic Sanctions Against Iran”. In it, he claims that sanctions are counter-productive, causing pain only to the Iranian people and causing the regime further to resist efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the problem of nuclear proliferation. In his essay, Bayyenat suggests that Iran has successfully mitigated most of the effects of the sanctions, and that they are only hurting the innocent Iranian population.
Peace process is stuck in 1949
Ted Belman - 12/21/2010
American policy regarding the Arab/Israel conflict has not changed since the Armistice Agreement in 1949. American policy sought to to achieve a holy balance in the Israeli-Arab conflict. ”This policy had its origins in the tripartite U.S.-British-French declaration in 1950, against arms sales to either side. The Soviets exploited this policy to sell arms to the Arabs, and the French looked after their own interests when they supplied weapons to Israel, but the Americans preserved an outward appearance of egalitarianism.”
Making Friends with the Octopus: Jordan Bows to Iran
Prof. Barry Rubin - 12/17/2010
Here's an old joke that applies to the contemporary Middle East. The Lone Ranger was a Western lawman who chased bad guys with his friend, a Native American named Tonto. One day, they were surrounded by dozens of Native American warriors.
Thanks to International Aid, Gaza Is Going To Be A Well-Off Islamist Republic
Prof. Barry Rubin - 12/13/2010
The Gaza Strip is doing really well economically and the Hamas regime seems set to go on forever. It's raking in the aid money but every dollar and every project is shaped to ensure that Hamas remains in power, can return to violence in future and...wreck everything again. "There are a slew of products here, and beautiful restaurants. Is this the Gaza we have been hearing about?" asked a Sudanese official arriving there, as quoted by the Palestinian news agency Maan. "Where is the siege? I don't see it in Gaza. I wish Sudan's residents could live under the conditions of the Gazan siege."
Why Did U.S. Peace Process Diplomacy Fail; What Happens Next?
Prof. Barry Rubin - 12/13/2010
I think this lead from Jackson Diehl's Washington Post article says it all: "The latest collapse of the Middle East peace process has underlined a reality that the Obama administration has resisted since it took office--that neither the current Israeli government nor the Palestinian Authority shares its passion for moving quickly toward a two-state settlement. And it has left President Obama with a tough choice: quietly shift one of his prized foreign policy priorities to a back burner -- or launch a risky redoubling of U.S. efforts."
The Strangest Antisemite of Them All
Prof. Barry Rubin - 12/13/2010
No serious thinker has done more harm to the Jewish people than Friedrich Nietzsche, whose writings were an important inspiration for Adolph Hitler and Nazism. Yet far from being an antisemite, Nietzsche was one of the most pro-Jewish German writers of his time. How can this paradox be explained and does it have any lessons for the present day?
Obama's Statement of Support for Lebanon Shows His Lack of Support for Lebanon
Prof. Barry Rubin - 12/2/2010
Even when you say the right thing it can only highlight the fact that you haven't been doing it. Take President Barack Obama's statement on Lebanon. The wording is all correct, yet it only makes the fact that this has nothing to do with actual U.S. policy stand out even more vividly.
Will President Palin end the futile 'peace process'
Ted Belman - 12/2/2010
Come hell or high water, President Obama is determined to create a Palestinian state during his watch. He has been doing his utmost to attack and pressure Prime Minister Netanyahu to support the two-state solution which Netanyahu did in part in his Bar Ilan speech and to freeze construction which he did for ten months ending September 26/10. To no avail. Because of the backlash Obama experienced last summer from Jewish leaders, he was forced to start a charm offensive in the lead up to the Nov 2nd mid-terms. Now, all bets are off. His determination to create a Palestinian state, which he supported long before his political career started, will be intensified now.
Former High-Ranking Official: Who Cares What the Deal Is? Just Do It
Prof. Barry Rubin - 12/2/2010
Sometimes you have to wait until high-ranking officials leave office to find out how truly clueless they are. Such is the case with former National Security Advisor James Jones. Israel-Palestinian peace is easy to obtain, he explained in a lecture. Why? Because the Palestinians are willing to accept a gradual turnover of the West Bank to them over the next ten years.
What's The Obama Administration Up To On Israel-Palestinian Talks?
Prof. Barry Rubin - 11/30/2010
Letters I receive from readers mainly focus on asking me what I think about the U.S.-Israel-PA negotiations about getting back to...negotiations. What is my view of this big deal that's being discussed for a three-month freeze on Israeli construction. My response has been that until we have a clear, authoritative, and detailed description of what's being asked and offered, there's no sense in analyzing it.
Is Iran's Regime Officially Running--Or Merely Helping--a Pro-Nazi Site?
Prof. Barry Rubin - 11/21/2010
Is Iran's government sponsoring an Internet site that extols the German Nazis, their history and achievements, including the antisemitism that the current Iranian regime also supports? Or is it merely permitting one to operate in its highly censored communications' system?
Demonizing Israel and Pretending It Is Ordinary Criticism
Prof. Barry Rubin - 11/16/2010
This is getting to be a pretty common kind of story. The mayor of Frankfurt invites a Jewish intellectual whose family left Germany in 1932 to speak on the anniversary of Kristallnacht. The problem is that this man, Alfred Grosser, is a ferocious critic of Israel. Grosser claims the Gaza Strip is a concentration camp (possibly true, but if so it is a concentration camp owned and run by Hamas); calls for ending Israel as a Jewish state; urges Germany to be more critical of Israel; and blames Israeli policies (rather than the deliberate lies about them) as being responsible for increasing antisemitism (isn't that what George Soros said?)
Six Years Ago, Yasir Arafat Died, but His Legacy Still Prevails
Prof. Barry Rubin - 11/13/2010
Six years ago, on November 11, 2004, Yasir Arafat died. On that occasion, former President Bill Clinton explained why he wouldn't attend Arafat's funeral: "I regret that in 2000 he missed the opportunity to bring [Palestine] into being...." Not Israel, but Arafat did so.
Understanding the Middle East: One Day's Survey
Prof. Barry Rubin - 11/8/2010
The UN annual Human Development Report for 2010 ranks Israel at number 15 of 169 countries in the world in terms of the health, education, freedom, and income of its citizens.
U.S. Government "Threans" Syria with iPads
Prof. Barry Rubin - 11/7/2010
If you think I'm exaggerating about the current administration's cluelessness toward the Middle East just read the State Department daily press conference transcripts. Even journalists covering these events are often shocked by what they hear.
Fire From the Mountain
Jonathan Spyer, Ph.D. - 11/6/2010
Our PKK contact and driver arrived at the appointed time outside the hotel in Erbil. We had been told he would identify himself using an agreed term. We hadn't quite been ready for the fact that this single word would be the sole communication possible between us. The diminutive, scrawny youth who turned up at six that morning knew neither English nor Arabic.
Unmanned Aircraft in the Israel Air Force
David Rodman - 11/6/2010
The Israel Air Force (IAF) has a rich history of employing unmanned aerial vehicles in battle with excellent results, and is set to expand significantly its drone operations in the coming decades, as the increasing sophistication of these vehicles makes them suitable for a rapidly expanding set of roles. In the future, the IAF's drone force could alter Israel's strategic landscape, reinforcing both its nuclear and conventional deterrence, as well as making it less dependent on American military assistance.
Economic Sanctions Against Iran
Abolghasem Bayyenat, Ph.D. candidate - 10/14/2010
The political climate surrounding Iran’s nuclear issue has dramatically changed over the past few months. The U.S. government has effectively lobbied its allies to impose harsh unilateral sanctions against Iran which go far beyond what is mandated by the last Security Council Resolution against Iran’s nuclear program. This raises the question as to whether the current strategy would be likely to meet its ostensible goal of resolving Iran’s nuclear issue.
Turkey's New Foreign Policy
Sean Foley, Ph.D. - 10/7/2010
In October 1927 Turkish President Mustafa Kemal Ataturk delivered a historic speech in which he explained why Turks had to abandon the Ottoman Empire and embrace his new state. Ataturk pointed out the high cost and futility of seeking an empire extending beyond Turkish-populated lands:
Netanyahu at a midway point
Jonathan Spyer, Ph.D. - 10/4/2010
From 1996-2000, Benjamin Netanyahu served as prime minister of Israel. He was re-elected to the post in 2009. His second period of incumbency is taking place during a time of severe foreign policy challenges for the Jewish state. Building an effective response to these challenges is at the center of the agenda that Netanyahu has set himself.
The key challenge put forth by Netanyahu is the threat of the Iranian nuclear program. However, the pe...
Is the West Starting to Comprehend the Real Issues and Problems in the Middle East?
Prof. Barry Rubin - 9/29/2010
After acceding to U.S. requests for nine months by freezing construction on existing Jewish settlements in the West Bank and also not building over the pre-1967 frontier in Jerusalem, Israel got nothing. While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemed willing to continue it in some form, pressures from within his coalition made that impossible.Therefore, the freeze is coming to an end, though Israel is still ready to discuss limits on new construction. Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas is threatening to walk out of the once-every-two-weeks direct talks.
LCCC strongly condemns the killing of four civilian Israelis
Elias Bejjani - 9/29/2010
There are no words that could actually describe the brutal killing of four Israeli civilians on August 31 near Hebron in the West Bank. What is disgusting and extremely unpardonable by all means is the kind of bizarre celebrations that were carried out by the Hamas Militants in the Gaza trip. The massacre was celebrated on the Gaza streets by distributing sweets as a sign of joy as if the crime was a great and honorable military victory. This kind of cruel conduct is totally inhuman and has no relation at all to civilization, peace, freedom, tolerance and human rights. Definitely such a barbaric ritual belongs to the stone age era and to the jungle law.
The Lebanese will never succumb to terrorism
Elias Bejjani - 9/29/2010
The on going dire challenges that are imposed on our Lebanese people and beloved country, Lebanon, by the Axis of Evil countries and organizations, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran and their mercenaries, does not affect our self confidence or weaken our strong spirit of peaceful and civilized resistance. These existential challenges make us stronger and more adamant to reclaim by all means our confiscated freedom, independence and sovereignty.
Hezbollah’s Umma and Political Maronitism
Pierre A. Maroun - 9/28/2010
On September 8, 2010, MP Samy Amine Gemayel expressed his opinion regarding historical facts, in which he esteemed the sacrifices of the Christians Resistance of 1975-1990, and embraced the principles of the Lebanese Front. Immediately thereafter, Hezbollah’s officials launched a despicable and menacing campaign against him accusing him of treason and blatantly calling for his prosecution. A pro-Hezbollah website went further palpably calling for Gemayel’s execution. It polled its visitors on the methods through which Gemayel should be executed. Ironically, some suggested “hanging him on the ...
Arabs are still suck in rejection
Ted Belman - 9/28/2010
Last week Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad angrily left a UN Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee meeting and canceled a scheduled subsequent press conference with Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon in New York. He did so after Ayalon refused to approve a summary of the meeting which said “two states” but did not include the words “two states for two peoples.”. Ayalon said afterwards “What I say is that if the Palestinians are not willing to talk about two states for two peoples, let alone a Jewish state for Israel, then there’s nothing to talk about, … if the Palestinians mean, at the end of the process, to have one Palestinian state and one bi-national state, this will not happen.”
Turkey's Referendum Doesn't Mean Popular Support for a Regime Aligning with Iran
Prof. Barry Rubin - 9/28/2010
It is true that the passage of the referendum in Turkey with 58 percent of the vote can be seen as a victory for the AKP regime. But that point shouldn't be exaggerated. The bad feature of the reforms--in terms of consolidating the Islamist government's power--is to strengthen the regime's control over the courts and to limit further the autonomy of the Turkish army.
Stuxnet: First Phase in now-aborted Israeli Military Attack on Iran
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/28/2010
Stuxnet is a worm which attacks Siemens SCADA industrial controls. It uses various vectors to enter a system and spread through a network. It leverages two zero-day software vulnerabilities (largely patched by Microsoft by now) and two pilfered digital certificates from Taiwan. It was developed by the resurrected Lishka le-Kishre Mada (Laka"m) in the Office of the Prime Minister: the same unit that handled Jonathan Pollard when it was headed by Rafael (Rafi "the Stinker") Eitan in the 1980s. Its aim was to attack the PCs and, later, the industrial controls of the Iranian uranium-enrichment facility in Natanz (not in Bushehr, as the Iranian misinformation campaign would have it).
Hezbollah's looming Coup Scenario
Elias Bejjani - 9/28/2010
The fundamental elite leadership of the pariah terrorist organization Hezbollah is becoming more aggressive, arrogant, and wicked. This is evident in the increasingly demeaning, humiliating and boastful manner with which they are dealing with both the Lebanese government and people. They are not bridling their overt hostile rhetoric or attitudes against all those Lebanese who oppose the Iranian-Syrian scheme to topple the country's democratic government, and erect in its place a regime that replicates Iran’s dictatorship of the mullahs. Their Mafioso tactics and criminal acts are increasing b...
Turkey: Islamism's Consequences for the West
Steven Simpson - 9/20/2010
The "good times" between Turkey and the West seem to be over. As the Erdogan years in Turkey have attempted to turn Turkey from a once-secular country into a de facto Islamist country, the West and Turkey seem to be on a collision course, or at best, an impasse.
The War Within Islam
Prof. Barry Rubin - 9/18/2010
Two readers asked me questions well worth answering. The first asked whether Islam itself isn't the enemy; the second, how these distinctions appear from an Israeli standpoint; .
An Imminent Coup by Hezbollah in Lebanon
Elias Bejjani - 9/18/2010
A Saudi advice has delayed the return of Lebanon's PM, Saad Al Hariri, from Saudi Arabia to Beirut. Meanwhile, 3500 Hezbollah militiamen are secretly deployed in the Eastern Christian region according to a report that was published yesterday by the "Beirut Observer" web site. Hezbollah has reached its final logistic preparations to execute an armed coup to take over all of Lebanon by force. The web site attributed its information to well-informed sources in the Saudi media. Below is a summary of the report with other related information:
Syria's Strategic Alliance with Hizbullah
Jonathan Spyer, Ph.D. - 9/18/2010
President Bashar Assad of Syria this week reiterated his country's firm strategic alliance with Hizbullah. The occasion for the dictator's remarks was the latest visit by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to the Syrian capital. Assad's statement was particularly noteworthy because some in Lebanon and further afield have claimed to discern in recent weeks a growing distance between Syria and Hizbullah. The Syrian president's latest verbal endorsement of the "resistance" was followed by reports in a Kuwaiti newspaper of a military alliance between Syria and Hizbullah which if correct would mak...
The Spirit of Israel Lives On
Elias Bejjani - 9/18/2010
Sixty-two years ago, May 14, 1948, was the rebirth of one of the oldest nations in history, Israel. She is a unique and diverse Jewish state with a young viable democracy, in an unstable region. The circumstances surrounding Israel's re-birth was anything but simple. Regrettably, Israel’s journey from her early beginning to the present has been fraught with great suffering. It is a tribute to the indomitable spirit of the Jewish people that they persisted in their valiant struggle to re-gather again in the land of their birth. Some even go as far as saying that Israel's renaissance -- after 2,000 years or so-- was nothing short of miraculous.
Another reason to reject the Two-State solution
Ted Belman - 9/18/2010
In any imagined deal, except for Israel possibly accepting a token amount of “refugees”, everyone assumes they will resettle in the new Palestine. This may seem doable but in reality it would prevent a peaceful two-state solution from emerging.
Terror Attack Near Hebron: Not an Incident But a Revelation About What's Happening
Prof. Barry Rubin - 9/18/2010
An isolated fragment of news, a tragic story, or just another act of terrorism? What's necessary, however, is to fit events into a broader picture and so it is with the latest attack by Hamas, killing four Israelis driving near Hebron.
Mideast Peace Talks Aimed to Forestall Israeli Attack on Iran
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 9/3/2010
Obama invited the leaders of Israel and Palestine (as well as Egypt and Jordan) to Washington for a peace conference in early September 2010 in order to forestall an imminent Israeli attack on Iran scheduled for September 6-8, 2010. Israel exacted a price for its newfound transigence in American jet fuel and spare parts deliveries as well as access to enhanced intelligence sharing.
Lebanese Diaspora and the Hezbollahisation of Lebanon
Elias Bejjani - 8/31/2010
Every time two Lebanese meet in any of the Diaspora countries, one of them usually starts the conversation with the same nostalgic questions. How is the situation back home in Lebanon? Are there any positive changes there or any progress to build on? Are there any hopes for a better future or are things still chronically chaotic, unstable and bizarre?
The Truth About Occupation and Settlements
Ted Belman - 8/31/2010
The pro-Palestinian propaganda machine has succeeded in stigmatizing the Israeli occupation and the settlements. Time and again we hear about the “brutal occupation” and the “illegal settlements”. We rarely hear the truth in opposition to these lies.
Competing World Views Tear A Peace Process to Pieces
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/31/2010
The U.S. announcement inviting Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) for direct talks shows quite clearly, though unintentionally, why the talks will fail.
The Moderate Muslim Litmus Tests
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/31/2010
In the controversy over the "Ground Zero" mosque in New York and other issues, Muslims are often asked if they condemn terrorism, Iran, or Hamas and other revolutionary Islamist groups, along with other questions. The idea is to determine whether they are moderates or radicals. Each of these questions also has an unnoticed "internal Muslim" aspect as well that makes them all the more important.
Why All Middle Eastern Politics Can't Be Reduced Merely to the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/19/2010
I simply cannot comprehend why so many in the West refuse to see that Arabs can be revolutionaries. It is remarkable that so many who claim to be experts don't incorporate the idea that Arabs, like other peoples, might dislike their existing societies or be motivated by ideologies claiming to be the blueprints for utopias.
Poll Shows The Shocking Reality of Arab Public Opinion
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/11/2010
This is one of those stories about the Middle East that is totally amazing but not the least bit surprising. What, you ask, do I mean? From the standpoint of the way the region is portrayed in the West this information is incredible but if you understand the area it is exactly what you'd expect.
The Peace Process Story So Far: Israel's Cooperation with the US
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/9/2010
In one of his out-of-control anti-Israel rants, Andrew Sullivan included in his list of alleged evils that Israel had repeatedly "defied" the United States. That point stuck in my mind and made me reflect how demonstrably untrue is that charge contrary to what people might think.
The False Issue of Race in the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Prof. Barry Rubin - 8/9/2010
As the waitress whose family had come from Ethiopia put the pizza on the table at the Tel Aviv restaurant, I contemplated the ridiculous misuse of "race" as a factor in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Regardless of skin color, we belong not only to the same country by way of citizenship but also to the same nation and people in a very profound way that isn't true for countries that are merely geographical entities.
Illusion and Reality Clash in Lebanon
Jonathan Spyer, Ph.D. - 8/3/2010
Initially, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon probing the murder of Rafik Hariri focused on Syria. Lately, indications suggest that the main focus is now on Hizbullah. Tension is currently rising in Lebanon, amid reports that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) is to issue indictments in the coming months. The tribunal is tasked with investigating the 2005 murder of Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. Earlier this year, its president, Antonio Cassese, said he expected that indictments would be issued at some stage between September and December.
The Terrorist Whose Daughter Was Cured
Prof. Barry Rubin - 7/25/2010
This is a remarkable story in human terms but there is an extremely important point for understanding the Middle East embedded in it as well. On June 14, Palestinian terrorists opened fire on a police car traveling on a road, en route from Beersheba to Jerusalem. One policeman, Yeheshua Sofer was killed. Two others were wounded. Sofer was due to be married in three months. It took a month but members of the cell were finally captured. They spoke quite freely about this attack and others they had planned for killing Israelis.
Middle East 101: Understanding Regional Political Logic
Prof. Barry Rubin - 7/25/2010
A reader asks why Egypt insists on tying restrictions on the Iran's nuclear program with putting restrictions on Israel's program, including demanding Israel join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), that the doors to Israel's Dimona reactor be opened to international inspectors, and that Israel must declare that it has nuclear weapons.
Israel-Arab Relations Update
Prof. Barry Rubin - 7/23/2010
If you have any belief that there is going to be Israel-Palestinian peace in the near future or that the Palestinian public has been in any way prepared for a two-state solution by its leadership here's a simple point that proves the contrary. The year is 2010. A child born on the day the Oslo agreement, the basis for a supposed peace, was agreed to by Israel and the PLO would soon be celebrating his 18th birthday and be an adult. The "peace process," however, is still in diapers. Yet according to the latest Palestinian poll, 82 percent of West Bank residents won't give up the demand that any ...
Losing the Scent in South Lebanon
Jonathan Spyer, Ph.D. - 7/19/2010
Last week, the IDF released evidence of Hizbullah stockpiling of weaponry in populated civilian areas of southern Lebanon. The IDF material showed an aerial map of the Shi'ite town of El Khiam. The map showed details of a developed military infrastructure woven into the fabric of the town's civilian population.
Israeli Interception of the Flotilla Under International Law
Cyril C. Eluma - 7/19/2010
The writer intends to examine as to whether the Israeli Interception of Turkish Flag ‘Freedom Flotilla’ Ship in the international water that was heading to Gaza Strip violates international law and international maritime law; also, is as to whether Israel’s commando use of force was legal and justified under the principles of customary international law as reaffirmed in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, as Israeli government claims for self-defence in their interception of the Turkish flag ‘Freedom Flotilla’ ship. Thus, Israel argues that its commando used force only after those on the Gaza bound Turkish flag ‘Freedom Flotilla’ ship attacked them.
The Faith and Hope of the Lebanese Will Defeat Hezbollah
Elias Bejjani - 7/18/2010
Lebanon's Maronite Patriarch Mar Nasrallah Sfeir ended an official visit to France last week in which he loudly told the French officials and the whole world that "Hezbollah has its own army and receives weapons and financial help from its neighbors". He stressed the fact that no independent and sovereign country can maintain its territorial integrity, governance, justice and order when it has two armies and too many mini states stronger than the state itself.
Iran: Dialogue, Divest, Delist
David Johnson - 7/18/2010
Earlier this month, Iran was slapped with a new round of United Nations Security Council sanctions for its nuclear noncompliance. Offers of meaningful dialogue and sanctions by the United States have slowed Iran’s sprint toward nuclear weapons capability. Unfortunately, sanctions have not been effective compelling Iranian nuclear compliance. Still, sanctions are an effective approach to coordinate the international community to achieve consensus and act effectively, at some point in the future. It is becoming increasingly evident that offers of dialogue should be directed toward Iran’s democratic opposition.
The Parameters of Middle East peace
Ted Belman - 7/18/2010
Yesterday, Abbas reformulated his terms for entering direct negotiations, namely Israel must agree to the idea of a third party guarding the borders of a future Palestinian state before direct peace talks can start and Israel must also agree in principle to a fair land swap that would compensate the Palestinians for West Bank land absorbed by Jewish settlements in any peace deal.<...
The Origins of anti-Zionism on the British Left
Prof. Colin Shindler - 7/18/2010
The British Left in the twenty-first century has exhibited high levels of ideological antagonism toward Israel per se. The easy-to-hand explanation is that this is a manifestation of "the new antisemitism." While there is undoubtedly commentary that many would interpret as repeating anti-Jewish stereotypes of the past, this does not explain how the British Left has moved from embracing Israel in 1948 to its present position. It is argued here that this transition began to take place before the settlement drive on the West Bank and Gaza during Britain's period of decolonization, but the seeds of such an approach were planted by Lenin well over a century ago.
Egypt Versus Gaza
Prof. Barry Rubin - 7/17/2010
There is a bit of silver lining, even in the Gaza cloud. It's this: the Egyptian government, aware that the West won't help it get rid of the revolutionary Islamist regime there, that Israel cannot do it, and that Hamas won't voluntarily accept subordination to the Palestinian Authority, now understands it has to protect itself from that threat.
Iran's Smoke and Mirrors
Arash Irandoost, Ph.D. - 7/17/2010
Since 1977, no two men have contributed more to the erosion of America's credibility and prestige than President Carter and his foreign policy advisor, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski (with the verdict not yet in on President Obama). Jimmy Carter, aided by Mr. Brzezinski, introduced new directions in foreign policy that would ultimately trick Russia to invade Afghanistan in a cold blooded eagerness to payback Moscow for Vietnam and betray one of America's closest allies in the Middle East. By orchestrating the Shah's failure and supporting Khomeini, they created one of the most militant anti-American dictatorships, considered by many as the most dangerous threat faced by the United States today.
What Really Happened on the Mavi Marmara
Prof. Barry Rubin - 7/17/2010
I. Saudi and Arab Leaders Want Obama to Rescue Them, Not Flatter Them
A UPI dispatch reports:
"A former Arab leader, in close touch with current leaders, speaking privately not for attribution, told this reporter July 6, 'All the Middle Eastern and Gulf leaders now want Iran taken out of the nuclear arms business and they all know sanctions won't work.'"
Now there are few former Arab leaders--they usually stay leader until health or a bullet makes them no longer available for interviews--but this sounds precisely like Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia, former Saudi ambassador to the United States.
Iranian Refugees - A Human Rights Disaster
Arash Irandoost, PhD, Walton K Martin, Gill Gilles - 7/17/2010
Light snow was falling when the two young men set out on horseback for the border to flee Iran. By the time they were deep in the mountains, it had become a blinding blizzard, the temperature had dropped below freezing, and they were barely alive. According to UNHCR, Iranian refugees comprise 19% of the total registered refugee population in Turkey. Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the passage of Penal Law in 2008 authorizing death penalty for apostasy and especially after June 2009 fraudulent election , Iranians have been seeking refuge in foreign countries in large numbers. UNHCR Globa...
Beirut's airport is under Hezbollah's hegemony
Elias Bejjani - 7/17/2010
Day after day unfolding events show plainly and with no doubt that Hezbollah fully controls Beirut's International Airport while the presence of the Lebanese official authorities at this vital and dynamic facility is mere symbolic, totally marginalized and practically does not exist at all. This terrorist Iranian armed militia has the upper hand inside the airport and all over its vicinity that is adjacent to its mini southern suburb mini state (Al Dahya Al Janobia). In reality it is Hezbollah's air port par excellence and not Lebanon's.
The Forgotten Minority
Jonathan Spyer, Ph.D. - 7/17/2010
On March 21, 2010, the Syrian security forces opened fire with live ammunition on a crowd of 5,000 in the northern Syrian town of al-Raqqah. The crowd had gathered to celebrate the Kurdish festival of Nowruz. Three people, including a 15-year-old girl, were killed. Over 50 were injured. Dozens of injured civilians were held incommunicado by the authorities following the events. Some remain incarcerated. This incident was just one example of the repression taking place of the largest national minority in Syria - namely, the Syrian Kurdish population.
Hezbollah: panic, debauchery & espionage fallacies
Elias Bejjani - 7/10/2010
It is a righteous, legitimate and constitutional obligation for every nation to safeguard its national security, protect its people, enforce order and law and see that citizens who breach laws or regulations and threaten the public safety and stability are held accountable and dealt with officially by security and judiciary bodies. In this respect the act of espionage for a foreign country is a very serious crime and most countries deal harshly with those who commit it.
Palestinians are all take, no give
Ted Belman - 7/10/2010
Last week I attended a seminar on the legal status of the territories hosted by Media Central for reporters and correspondents. Professor Ruth Lapidot, renowned scholar on international law, and a young female Arab lawyer, Nada Kiswanson representing al Haq presented. al Haq, funded by the EU, prepares legal analysis from the Arab point of view.
Hezbollah's scheme to cripple UNIFIL in south Lebanon
Elias Bejjani - 7/10/2010
Hundreds of local and international media reports and analyses extensively addressed the recent dire and unprecedented assaults that viciously targeted the UNIFIL troops in south Lebanon within the region that is adjacent to the Israeli borders. Journalists, analysts and reporters gave numerous and diversified readings for Hezbollah's actual agenda, which practically orchestrated, planned and executed the assaults through its militant southern villager supporters.
Kings, Emirs, and Shaykhs: The Survival of Traditional Regimes in the Persian Gulf
Prof. Barry Rubin - 7/10/2010
During the early 1980s I was asked to give a briefing for the head of the Toyota auto company and other enterprises. It was just after the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat and during the height of the Iran-Iraq war, so regional instability was much on the mind of everyone.
Obama Meets Netanyahu: No Love Fest But As Good As It's Gonna Get
Prof. Barry Rubin - 7/7/2010
Why was the meeting this time between President Barack H. Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a success? The answer is simple though not all the reasons are publicly known. So I'll tell you about them. The president couldn't have been more effusive. They had an "excellent" discussion, Netanyahu's sttement was "wonderful" and the U.S.-Israel relationship is "extraordinary." Hard to believe this is the Obama we've seen before.
West Says: We've Helped Poor Gazans
Prof. Barry Rubin - 7/6/2010
Here is what President Barack H. Obama said after his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "We believe that there is a way to make sure that the people of Gaza are able to prosper economically, while Israel is able to maintain its legitimate security needs in not allowing missiles and weapons to get to Hamas."
Abu Dhabi's Nuclear Folly
Elie Elhadj, Ph.D. - 6/30/2010
In December 2009, Abu Dhabi awarded South Korean companies a four-reactor BOT contract to generate 5,600 MW of electricity. In two contradictions, the emirate announced in February 2008 the plan to build Masdar City, a zero carbon, zero waste, and 100 percent renewable energy powered town; and in July 2009, it became the secretariat headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This article argues that Abu Dhabi's non-representative, non-participatory governance enables a poorly informed ruling elite enjoying rentier economic circumstances to reach such decisions. It concl...
The Iranian-Syrian flotillas charade
Elias Bejjani - 6/28/2010
In the aftermath of the Turkish flotilla fiasco and the extensive world media coverage that followed the confrontational bloody incident portraying the alleged theatrical Turkish heroism in standing up to the Israelis, the two notorious rogue and terrorist countries, Syria and Iran, who falsely and deceptively claim to be the actual custodians of the Palestinian cause, pulled the rug from under the feet of the Turkish Government. Their initial overt reactions were to publicly hail the Turkish heroism in a bid to maintain their so called "resistance image", while in reality and covertly they were so threatened, angry, envious and somewhat confused.
Israel’s PR is not the problem
Ted Belman - 6/28/2010
When Israel loses yet another PR battle, many of her friends complain that Israel is partly to blame because she is woefully inept when it comes to PR. I am not one of them. Glenn Jasper, Ruder Finn Israel, recently suggested that Israel should have all its spokesmen deliver the same message. After all, that’s what the Palestinians do. That might be a good idea except that Israel is a nation of presidents and each president will deliver his or her own message. They can’t be disciplined.
Islamic Republic of Iran’s Smoke and Mirrors
Arash Irandoost, Ph.D. - 6/28/2010
Since 1977, no two men have contributed to the erosion of America’s credibility and prestige than President Carter and his foreign policy advisor, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, with the verdict not yet out on President Obama. Jimmy Carter, aided by Mr. Brzezinski, introduced new directions in foreign policy that would ultimately trick Russia to invade Afghanistan in a cold blooded eagerness to payback Moscow for Vietnam and betray one of America’s closest allies in the Middle East. By orchestrating Shah’s failure, and supporting Khomeini, they created one of the most militant anti-American dictatorships considered by many as the most dangerous threat faced by the United States today.
The Samson Option?
Alexander Maistrovoy - 6/28/2010
"When people speak about human rights, everyone has in mind his own ones", a German scientist and publicist Wilhelm Schwebel wrote. His words perfectly reflect the issue of "breaking" the Gaza blockade. These actions are as related to human rights as Josef Stalin's "fight for peace". Till now not a single person has died of hunger in Gaza . They die in the other point of the world, in Kirghizia , but nobody cares about it. The rights of Palestinians are above the rights of Uzbek people. As well as the Sudanese Christians, Iraqi Kurds, Boers in Southern Africa, "Ahmadyya" in Pakistan and Baha’i...
What's Really Not Happening in the West Bank
Prof. Barry Rubin - 6/22/2010
I read an article on Foreign Policy blog which, like many things I see on the Middle East, convinces me of the precise opposite conclusion to what the author wants me to think. The article, by Hussein Ibish, a Palestinian activist in the United States, is entitled: "While No One's Looking, the Palestinians Are Building a State: Now it's time for the rest of the world to pitch in. "
What's Really Happening in Gaza
Prof. Barry Rubin - 6/22/2010
Elsewhere, I have explained in great detail the changes in Israeli policy as well as the implications of Western policy in the Gaza Strip: economic normalization meaning also normalization of the existence of a Gaza Hamas-ruled statelet.
Israel: Guilty Before Proven Innocent
Ron Coody - 6/15/2010
In 1948 the country of Israel was founded on an unusual idea, that a certain ethnic and religious group could maintain a majority to preserve their political system. From the outset it had the support of key world powers, including the United States and the United Kingdom , who had seen the Nazi attempt to eradicate the Jews from the world and reacted with a strong mandate to do something to help protect the Jewish people. In the days prior to the second war and during the war many Jews died because not enough had been done by the Western powers, at times the doors had been shut for Jewish ...
Israel Proposes Framework for Investigation of Flotilla Incident
Prof. Barry Rubin - 6/15/2010
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has proposed a limited international investigation to look at the Gaza flotilla incident. The investigation would include as official international observers: Ken Watkin of Canada and David Trimble of Northern Ireland. Presumably this has been agreed to with the United States as an alternative to a UN-organized, anti-Israel investigation.
Turkey represents a threat to morality and international order
Hugh Pope - 6/15/2010
Growing strains in Turkey's relationship with Israel, which reached a nadir this week over Israel's killing of Turks on the aid flotilla to Gaza, are raising new questions about the balance Turkey is striking between its long-standing western allies and its status as a rising power in the Middle East.
Who Killed Khaled Sultan al-Abed?
Jonathan Spyer, Ph.D. - 6/15/2010
Once viewed as perhaps the most locked-down and policed city in the Middle East, the Syrian capital of Damascus has been the scene of a number of bombings and assassinations in the last few years. Most famously, of course, Hizbullah master-operative Imad Mughniyeh was killed by a car bomb in February 2008.
The Big Lie About the Israel Delegitimization Threat
Prof. Barry Rubin - 6/14/2010
Golda Meir, Israel's prime minister, once memorably said, "Better a bad press than a good epitaph." In the Western world, where a cushioned elite increasingly mistakes headlines or academic studies for the real world, the difference between the material world and words is often lost.
The shifting sands of the Middle East
Ted Belman - 6/14/2010
Shimon Peres, President of Israel, has, for the last thirty years, called for a New Middle East. In fact he wrote a book by that title in 1993, the year of the Oslo Accords. He believed that economic cooperation in the ME was the starting point for cementing ties and reconciling peoples. The Oslo Accords, of which he was the main architect and instigator, was intended to lead in that direction. It failed miserably.
Iran's threats & Arab states' al-taqiyya stances
Elias Bejjani - 6/14/2010
In spite of the actual odious Iranian military, religious, economic, territorial, cultural and existential threats, and the ongoing abhorrent internal interferences in their domestic affairs on all levels and domains, the rulers and officials of the majority of the Arab states that Iran is aggressively and openly targeting in its evil contrivance of expansionism, denominational and hegemony schemes, are in general not yet publicly and officially addressing these serious, fatal Iranian problems or dealing with them appropriately.
Flotilla Planners' Terrorist Ties
Prof. Barry Rubin - 6/13/2010
The New York Times is a vast and wealthy organization with highly paid reporters and news bureaus around the world. Unfortunately, however, it seems to need a little help in gathering the news. In an editorial, the newspaper has held forth with the following sentence:
Israeli Military Attack on Iran This Summer?
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/12/2010
Late last year, Israel embarked on a coordinated campaign of leaks to the press regarding its determination to take out Iran's nuclear facilities if Obama's then-new administration fails to sway the Iranians diplomatically. Israel is unwilling to accept a nuclear Iran: "It is not an option", say its senior intelligence and military leadership. In the event, the promised attack on Iran did not materialize and many journalists, this author included, felt duped and manipulated.
Israel and Turkey: The Impossible Alliance
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 6/12/2010
In June 2010, Turkey voted against the UN Security Council resolution that imposed a fourth round of sanctions on Iran for its enrichment of uranium. Earlier in 2010, Turkey and Brazil have struck a deal with Iran to have two thirds of its nuclear fuel shipped outside its territory to be treated. Iran's outspoken President Ahmadinejad and a bevy of lesser officials have visited Turkey multiply, cementing the NATO member's tilt towards the West's traditional enemies as well as its renewed focus on the Turkic peoples of Central Asia.
Iran & Turkey are the actual threat to the Arabs
Elias Bejjani - 6/8/2010
In his recent rhetorical salvo with the State of Israel in the aftermath of the maritime Flotilla confrontation, Turkish Prime Minister, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has proved par excellence his supremacy over Iranian and Arab leaders and their intelligence and media linguistic experts in the venomous usage of fabricated, misleading, camouflaged, deceptive and demagogical slogans. In his theatrical, emotional, religious speeches and statements, he appealed to the Islamic world, Arabs and Palestinians, and evilly resorted to all tactics and strategies of bragging, hatred, stirring of instincts, fundamentalism and hostilities.
What Motivates Israeli Policy and Actions
Prof. Barry Rubin - 6/8/2010
Vice-President Joe Biden has visited Cairo. Do you think his summit with President Husni Mubarak could be useful for solving the Gaza crisis? Is Egypt a strong voice inside Palestinian world?
Major New Development in Flotilla Story?
Prof. Barry Rubin - 6/8/2010
I've written about how the Gaza flotilla issue and stirring up a hysterical hatred of Israel is playing a role in internal Turkish politics as the government tries to use this demagoguery to continue eroding Turkish democracy and to win the next election. And a little later I'm going to talk about a major new development in the flotilla story.
Turkish Regime Changes Sides, West Averts Eyes
Prof. Barry Rubin - 6/8/2010
Why have Israel-Turkey relations gone from alliance to what seems to be the verge of war? The foolish think that the breakdown is due to the recent Gaza flotilla crisis. The merely naive attribute the collapse to the December 2008-January 2009 Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip. Such conclusions are totally misleading. It was already clear-and in private every Israeli expert dealing seriously with Turkey said so-well over two years ago. For example, the Justice and Development (AK) party government did not permit a single new military contract with Israel since it took office. The special relationship was over. And the cause was the election in Turkey of an Islamist government.
Islamist Extremists Hit Israeli Soldiers with Iron Bars
Prof. Barry Rubin - 6/4/2010
"I have not yet begun to fight!" --Captain John Paul Jones 1779
"Don't Give up the ship!" -- Captain James Lawrence, 1813
"Damn the torpedoes! Full steam ahead!" --Admiral David Farragut, 1862
"You may fire when ready, Gridley!" --Commodore George Dewey, 1898
"Oh no! Israel stopped a ship near Gaza, the militants attacked the troops, and nine were killed. Our policy is untenable and we better give in." --President Barack Obama, 2010?
I hope the above turns out to be an exaggeration. Some minor changes--letting private groups send in goods over the border afte...
Gaza Flotilla's Leader Explains: It was a Jihadist Attack not a Humanitarian Operation
Prof. Barry Rubin - 6/4/2010
Bülent Yildirim, the main organizer of the Gaza Flotilla, explained at a Hamas rally in Gaza that the operation was no humanitarian effort but part of a global Jihad to overthrow governments and install Islamist dictatorships. He made no secret of that fact, as shown in the MEMRI translation and video.
The Glorious Actions of the 51st State
Jean Stanoevski - 6/3/2010
Way to go Israel! Hurray for the glorious nation! All terrorists must be smashed with no mercy! Including humanitarian convoys, ships with food, aid, medications etc. You never know what they carry with them.
Sympathy for the Devil and the Gaza Sea Confrontation
Prof. Barry Rubin - 6/1/2010
Is it so hard to guess the name? Is it so difficult to understand the nature of the game? Apparently so.
Flotilla: boisterous & violent condemnations
Elias Bejjani - 6/1/2010
Monday’s Israeli commando raid on the "Freedom Fleet" (the flotilla of six ships) that was led by the Turkish vessel, Mavi Marmara, in international waters off of Israel while on its way to the besieged Palestinian Gaza strip has generated a worldwide series of condemnations, protests, angry releases, threats, and violence, as well very active diplomatic contacts and consultations on very high levels.
Iran: Nuclear Blitzkrieg?
Alexander Maistrovoy - 6/1/2010
Is the civilized community ready to reconcile with the Iranian nuclear bomb? There is only one answer to the question: it is, because it has no other options. Years of peace initiatives, conferences, "good will gestures" and fruitless diplomatic shifts have taken their toll: Iran has passed (or is about passing) the line after which the creation of the nuclear weapon becomes an irreversible reality. And no sanctions – neither strong, nor soft – will change the situation.
The Middle East in May 2010
Prof. Barry Rubin - 5/26/2010
Why am I writing so much about U.S. policy and less about developments within the region itself lately? Because in a real sense not that much is happening right now in the region. A colleague remarked to me today that the world's political weather is set by the U.S. president. This seems very true right now.
Shameful: Libya on the UN Human Rights Council
Elias Bejjani - 5/18/2010
What an insult, a dire humiliation and a dismal disgrace to the essence, core and spirit of global human rights institutions, groups and efforts when a terroristic, fanatical, fundamentalist, and dictatorial country like Libya is elected by a majority of its fellow UN members to serve on the United Nations Human Rights Council.
U.S. Government Knows that Iran Helps al-Qaida
Prof. Barry Rubin - 5/15/2010
So what is this big development? Hard data showing that Iran has been helping al-Qaida. You remember al-Qaida, the group that staged the September 11 and many other attacks against Americans which have killed more than 3,000 of them. It is the only group in the world with which the current U.S. government sees itself at war.
Ahmadinejad Unveils His Grand Strategy
Prof. Barry Rubin - 5/10/2010
Whatever you think of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad he is not a stupid man. And he's also not acting like an intimidated one. During the latest UN meeting on nuclear issues, when the new International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)director-general urged Iran to "clarify" its activities, the camera showed Ahmadinejad laughing contemptuously.
How Has President Obama Been Weak and Lost Credibility Over Iran: Answering a Reader's Question
Prof. Barry Rubin - 5/9/2010
A reader asks [my summary]: Why do you and so many people in the Arabic-speaking world view President Barack Obama as weak regarding Iran. After all, he doesn't want to go to war with Iran or support an Israeli attack. And isn't the fault due mainly to the Europeans, Russia and China?
My response: There are a number of reasons for this but let me focus on three, which makes one think that the president is doing a Titanic job (not titanic, Titanic, see note below).