Facts Speak Louder Than Words

October 18, 2019

The impeachment narrative is going well at the moment. The Democrats in the House of Representatives are making daily headlines about both substance and process. They throw in a few Ukraine facts and witnesses that support the narrative and move on to the next process issue, resisted...

Turkey’s “Peace Corridor” Isn’t a New Idea

October 10, 2019

There is a strange irony to the latest Turkish offensive announced in northern Syria. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan couched it on his Twitter feed as a move that will “preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists.” Yet the creation of a “safe...

Erdogan Wants to Be Turkey’s Lone Strongman

May 22, 2018

The Turkish president may get his win next month, but when trouble comes, he'll own it. When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a presidential and parliamentary election on June 24 — jumping the gun by more than a year — the outcome seemed foreordained. After all, Turkey is...

How to Salvage US Interests in Syria

January 17, 2017

Short of a full military victory by one side or the other, there is no prospect of Syria being stitched back together soon. When it started in 2011, the Syrian protest movement against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria was entirely domestic and mostly peaceful. I was there and observed...

Kurdish Novelist Tackles Taboo Crimes Against Yazidis

August 03, 2016

In this guest edition of The Interview, Aras Ahmed Mhamad speaks to Kurdish novelist Nabard Fuad about his debut novel, Tuti. "Kurds did not write their own stories." "Kurds do not have a unified lexicon." "Kurds are scattered and are continuously oppressed." "Kurds are tribal and uneducated."...

A Sovereign Kurdistan Under International Law

March 16, 2016

What makes international law particularly relevant to Kurdistan is that in order to recognize one, we must recognize the other. The South China Sea is a contentious flashpoint for China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand, all of whom lay claim over the waters. If...

A Lesson in Democracy From Syria

March 11, 2016

There are two visions of a stateless society emerging from the crucible of civil war in Syria—one seeks to enslave the world, the other to free it. Despite what its name suggests, the objective of the “Islamic State” (IS) is the creation of a stateless society, a global caliphate that...

Equality is the Key to Peace in the Middle East

June 06, 2015

What is the root cause of conflict in the modern Middle East? The ideals of diversity and difference—the notion of a mosaic society—are amiable, but in reality these terms mean nothing without equality, without which there is no peace. As soon as one tribe regards itself as more prized than...

Turkmen: The Missing Piece in the Syria-Iraq Debate

October 13, 2014

The Turkmen across Syria and Iraq are stuck between sectarian conflict and Kurdish nationalism. Syria and Iraq are now one battleground involving local militants, governments and foreign jihadists. In this mix, ethnic Turkmen are the largest population that is seldom talked about. Yet with over...

My Name is Kurdistan

March 27, 2014

A unique perspective on the Kurds, experienced through a trip to Kurdistan. The prospect of Kurdistan as a homeland for the Kurds began with the colonial division of western Asia, which followed World War I. With the breakup of the Middle East that created new borders in the Levant, the Treaty of...

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