Salafists Gaining Ground

The main impact of US intervention in the Middle East has been to destabilize, polarize, and radicalize the region. Especially, it has fomented a vast, multi-country, new sectarian civil war between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. On each side, the most sectarian forces have gained from the conflict. And benefiting the most have been fanatically intolerant … Continue reading “Salafists Gaining Ground”

Are We On the Brink of World War III?

Several commentators have pointed to the similarities between the pre-World War I era and our own. While every historical analogy is, by definition, inexact, they are right to raise the alarm. In 1914, Europe was divided into two camps: the Entente, consisting of Britain, France, and Russia, and the Central Powers, predominantly Germany and the … Continue reading “Are We On the Brink of World War III?”

Is Middle East Peace a Mirage?

With the truce in the week-long Gaza war, Barack Obama is being prompted by right and left to re-engage and renew U.S. efforts to solve the core question of Middle East peace. Before he gets reinvolved in peacemaking, our once-burned president should ask himself some hard questions. Is real peace between Palestinians and Israelis even … Continue reading “Is Middle East Peace a Mirage?”

Middle East Peace Remains Elusive

Jimmy Carter recently made news by traveling to Palestine two weeks before a U.S. presidential election and berating Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama, an American president of his own party, for — despite their rhetoric to the contrary — virtually abandoning the “two-state solution” for peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Carter additionally … Continue reading “Middle East Peace Remains Elusive”

New Poll Finds Shifts in US Public Opinion Toward Middle East

The attacks on U.S. embassies in Libya and Egypt last month shocked and scared Americans, but the majority of Americans nevertheless recognize that the violence was the work of extremist minorities and not the majority of the population, according to a new poll. The poll, conducted by the University of Maryland, was released on Monday … Continue reading “New Poll Finds Shifts in US Public Opinion Toward Middle East”

The ‘Secret’ Revolution That Could Set the Middle East Aflame

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was unequivocal in her condemnation. “We have confronted the Russians about stopping their continued arms shipments to Syria,” she said in remarks earlier this year. “They have, from time to time, said that we shouldn’t worry; everything they’re shipping is unrelated to their actions internally. That’s patently untrue.” In the … Continue reading “The ‘Secret’ Revolution That Could Set the Middle East Aflame”

Is It Time to Come Home?

Is it not long past time to do a cost-benefit analysis of our involvement in the Middle and Near East? In this brief century alone, we have fought the two longest wars in our history there, put our full moral authority behind an “Arab Spring” that brought down allies in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen, and … Continue reading “Is It Time to Come Home?”

The New World Disorder

After his great victory in Desert Storm, George H.W. Bush went before the United Nations to declare the coming of a New World Order. The Cold War was yesterday. Communism was in its death throes. The Soviet Empire had crumbled. The Soviet Union was disintegrating. Francis Fukuyama was writing of “The End of History.” Savants … Continue reading “The New World Disorder”

The Natural Map of the Middle East

“Apart from political maps of mankind, there are natural maps of mankind. … One of the first laws of political stability is to draw your political boundaries along the lines of the natural map of mankind.” So wrote H.G. Wells in “What Is Coming: A Forecast of Things After the War” in the year of … Continue reading “The Natural Map of the Middle East”

Widespread Muslim Skepticism of US as Democracy Advocate

Despite continuous assurances that the United States favors democratic rule during the 18-month-old “Arab Spring,” majorities or pluralities in six predominantly Muslim countries see Washington as an obstacle to their democratic aspirations, according to a new survey released Tuesday. Indeed, Saudi Arabia is generally seen as a stronger advocate of democracy than the U.S. in … Continue reading “Widespread Muslim Skepticism of US as Democracy Advocate”