Explosive Reporting From The New York Times

September 13, 2021

No serious reader of the news reflecting on how the knowledge we acquire of today’s world is disseminated through the media could deny that The New York Times is not just one of the world’s great newspapers, but also a cultural institution in its own right. That means it is skilled at playing...

9/11 and the American Collective Unconscious

September 10, 2021

A little more than a month ago, the most newsworthy controversy surrounding the imminent and highly symbolic 20th anniversary of 9/11 concerned the message by families of the victims that Joe Biden would not be welcome at the planned commemoration. They reproached the US president for failing to...

The Aftershocks of the Saudi and American Debacle in Afghanistan

September 09, 2021

Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan have a complex relationship. Their ties date back to the 19th century when Afghanistan became the first Muslim country to recognize the second Saudi state of 1824 to 1891. In 1930, Ibn Saud recognized King Nadir Shah’s rule in Afghanistan, in 1932, the two...

For Saudi Arabia, Iran Looms, Israel Beckons and the Taliban Cause Goosebumps

August 26, 2021

Prince Khalid bin Salman may not have planned it that way, but the timing of his trip to Moscow last week and message to Washington resounded loud and clear. By not postponing the visit, the Saudi deputy defense minister signaled that he was trying to hedge his kingdom’s bets by signing a...

Can Saudi Arabia Balance Social and Economic Change?

August 09, 2021

The World Bank issued a stark warning in its 2018 outlook for the Saudi economy: “The Kingdom likely faces a looming poverty problem.” The bank has since noted in its 2019 and 2020 outlooks that “while no official information is available on poverty, identifying and...

Personality and Ambition Fuel Saudi-UAE Divide

July 14, 2021

Personality and the conflation of national interests with personal ambition are contributing to the widening gap between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It was only a matter of time before Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) would want to go out on his own and no longer be seen...

Saudi Seeks to Replace UAE and Qatar

June 14, 2021

Saudi Arabia has stepped up efforts to outflank the United Arab Emirates and Qatar as the commercial, cultural and/or geostrategic hub in the Gulf. The Saudis recently expanded their challenge to the smaller Gulf states by seeking to position Saudi Arabia as the region’s foremost sports...

What Will It Take for MBS to Rehabilitate His Image?

April 28, 2021

On April 10, the Saudi Ministry of Defense announced the execution of three soldiers after what it called a “fair trial” in a specialist court. The men were convicted and sentenced to death for the crimes of “high treason” and “cooperating with the enemy.” Aside from the...

How the End of the Gulf Crisis Affects Sudan

April 09, 2021

Sudan has been at the center of the diverging interests of wealthy Gulf states for many years. Having been close allies of former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar had longstanding business, military and political interests in the country...

The Talented Mr. Bin Salman

March 04, 2021

Mohammed bin Salman is a charming fellow. The tall, dark and handsome Saudi prince known as MBS has seduced world leaders and eager pundits left and right. To his supporters, MBS became first in line to the Saudi throne by championing reform in a deeply conservative Gulf kingdom, taking on...

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