For Ali Khamenei, Trump Isn’t a Solitary Clown

Jan 20, 2020

The hardest part of publishing articles in the news is drafting the story’s headline. Headlines serve two essential purposes: to give a general idea of the subject that the article exposes and to trigger the reader’s curiosity or interest. Because the headline must be pithy, the second...

Trump’s Anti-Politics and the Assassination of Iran’s General Soleimani
Jan 16, 2020

Trump’s Anti-Politics and the Assassination of Iran’s General Soleimani

In Bahrain, Justice Is Still a Far-Off Goal
Jan 15, 2020

In Bahrain, Justice Is Still a Far-Off Goal

The US in the Middle East: A Triumph of the Will
Jan 13, 2020

The US in the Middle East: A Triumph of the Will

Sultan Qaboos Brought Light and Modernity to Oman

Sultan Qaboos Brought Light and Modernity to Oman

Jan 13, 2020

Despite knowledge of his illness, I was stunned and saddened by the death on January 10 of Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman. I had come to know Sultan Qaboos, who ruled Oman for 49 years, as an American diplomat. I served two assignments in Oman, as deputy chief of mission between 1998 and 2001, and...

Who Stands Up for Iran Standing Down?

Who Stands Up for Iran Standing Down?

Jan 10, 2020

At his speech on January 8 following the Iranian missile attack on Iraqi bases hosting American forces, US President Donald Trump announced, with his usual tone of self-congratulation, that "Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for...

The US Will Never Leave the Middle East

The US Will Never Leave the Middle East

Jan 10, 2020

A large number of people seem to believe that World War III has begun with the drone strike that killed Iran's Quds Force commander, General Qassem Soleimani, on January 3. On December 27, a US military contractor was killed in a rocket attack in Iraq, and the US responded with a bombing...

When Presence Becomes Absence in the Middle East

When Presence Becomes Absence in the Middle East

Jan 06, 2020

History is constructed out of symbolic moments. As the year 2020 and a new decade begin, US President Donald Trump has provided the iconic gesture destined to ensure that future memories of both the year and the decade will be focused on his towering personality. How Will Iran Respond to...

The UK Election: What About Foreign Policy?

The UK Election: What About Foreign Policy?

Dec 09, 2019

In the frenzy and fury of yet another UK election that whirls and swirls around Brexit, our politicians are dancing in a conga line of counter-accusations, misinformation and outright lies. Savvy political pundits and sage pollsters assess and debate the direction of travel of the conga line. And...

Iran’s Implosion Would Bring Chaos to Eurasia

Iran’s Implosion Would Bring Chaos to Eurasia

Dec 04, 2019

The last time Iranians staged a revolution, they overthrew the oppressive Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who ruled his country from 1941 to 1979 with an iron fist. Pahlavi was a staunch US ally, but his reign left millions disgruntled due to unemployment, corruption, soaring inflation and...

Saudi Repression Strong as Ever But Aims Lower

Saudi Repression Strong as Ever But Aims Lower

Nov 26, 2019

Thanks to the gruesome murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, everyone who may have previously been indifferent to the brutally repressive nature of the Saudi regime should have no illusions about its absolute commitment to repression. Before the Khashoggi assassination, readers...

Has MBS Emerged Intact After His Crimes?

Has MBS Emerged Intact After His Crimes?

Nov 11, 2019

It was first reported and initially denied by Saudi authorities. Then it was acknowledged as a “rogue” operation gone wrong. For the past year, every honest observer has clearly understood that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), ordered and most likely even stage-managed...

Welcome to the New Middle East

Welcome to the New Middle East

Nov 06, 2019

The fallout from the September attack on Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil facilities is continuing to reverberate throughout the Middle East, sidelining old enmities — sometimes for new ones — and re-drawing traditional alliances. While Turkey’s recent invasion of northern Syria is...

Qatar’s Links to Terrorism: The War of Narratives

Qatar’s Links to Terrorism: The War of Narratives

Oct 21, 2019

As Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates continue their blockade of Qatar, the pair often justify their campaign by accusing Doha of sponsoring terrorism. Most analysts have cast this claim as hypocritical, given Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s history of links to extremist groups from...

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