114 captures
07 Jun 2011 - 01 Aug 2020
About this capture
September 6, 2015
RAMI G. KHOURI
WHAT DO WE LEARN FROM THE IRAN DEAL?
What lessons have we learned from the process behind getting the Iran deal through American congress? Perhaps not much new, but some clarity on old understandings of the relationship between the United States and Israel. READ MORE
WAR & PEACE OVER LUNCH II
Saudi Arabia and Iran could lead a bold diplomatic process to shape a Gulf-centric, Middle Eastern regional security architecture that is modeled on the Helsinki Process of a generation ago between the American- and Soviet-led camps. READ MORE
WAR & PEACE OVER LUNCH
A delightful lunch in which I disagree with the fundamental premise that our region is largely defined by the confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia. READ MORE
REPEATING HISTORY IN SYRIA
Just as Syria was created after World War One by negotiations among Western powers who decided the country’s composition and its leadership and power configuration, Syria today is being reconfigured in the image of other powers. READ MORE
HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENTS VISIBLE IN TURKEY-SYRIA
The events Monday transcend domestic Turkish issues. In fact, they reflect the convergence of at least five important new trends in the Middle East that touch on Turkey, the Kurds, Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and the Mideast policies of the United States and other foreign and regional powers. READ MORE
REMEMBERING HIROSHIMA, AMIDST HELL IN SYRIA
Mass killings by weapons of mass destruction matter more than ever in the Arab world because we seem to be the world’s most problematic arena for mass killings, refugee flows, and the use of violence by states and non-state groups that is rarely if ever subject to any accountability. READ MORE
WHERE THERE’S SMOKE, THERE’S SYRIAN DIPLOMACY
The best available option now is to seek an American-Iranian-Russian-Saudi agreement on basic principles to end the fighting. This would allow Syrians themselves to forge a political path towards…well, nobody knows towards what. READ MORE
VENTURING VERY FAR AFIELD, TO LEARN ABOUT HOME
Last month I ventured very far afield to read a tale of adolescent youth in ethnically mixed British society, whose main characters are two teenage British-Pakistani girls. READ MORE
CAN NATO MILITARIES GENERATE MIDEAST STABILITY?
The agreement between Turkey and the United States on a yet-to-be-defined plan to establish a sixty-mile-long Islamic State-free zone in northern Syria is at once decisive and dangerous. READ MORE
EU SEPARATES ISRAEL’S SECURITY FROM ITS SETTLEMENTS
Slow but continuing moves by the European Union — including two developments in the past week — place the Palestinian-Israeli struggle in the arena of international law, accountability and appropriate sanctions. READ MORE
GEN. ODIERNO SPEAKS HALF THE TRUTH NEEDED TO DEFEAT ISIS
The faster and more concretely the United States and Arab states play their parts in addressing the non-military issues that promote IS, the faster that 20-year horizon for destroying IS and everything it reflects will whittle down into a shorter time frame. READ MORE
IRAN IS DRAMA, BUT IRAQ IS DESTINY
Their cooperation with American and Iranian elements suggests that Iraqis are determined to keep trying to work together for the common good of their united, pluralistic country, rather than to fight each other for the right to rule small ethnic provinces. READ MORE
ISIS IS WEAK, BUT SO ARE ARAB STATES
The political and sectarian problems that prevent military coordination also plague the constructive political development of countries like Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, Lebanon, Palestine and others. READ MORE
HILLARY CLINTON SHOULD STOP LYING
The BDS movement that includes divestment and boycott moves by leading American churches and European banks and even some governments is not trying to delegitimize Israel. READ MORE
EGYPT, ISIS, ELVIS AND OTHER INSPIRATIONS
Anniversaries this week that inspire liberty, human rights, and the enjoyment of life. READ MORE
REFLECTING ON A WEEK OF TERROR
Identifying more honestly the combination of reasons that drive ordinary citizens into the arms of killers has stumped Arab and Western authorities for decades, though any Arab teenager could probably explain in five minutes what ails them, and channels some of them into criminal acts. READ MORE
SIGNS OF A MORE EFFECTIVE PALESTINIAN STRATEGY?
Two initiatives this week may well point the way towards a more effective path of political and diplomatic struggle that could overcome the constraints now suffered due to Palestinian fragmentation. READ MORE
GOOD GRIEF: ISIS CANNOT BE FOUGHT WITH FACEBOOK LIKES
ISIS and Al-Qaeda can only be fought by cutting out from beneath their feet the combination of policies and conditions in the Arab region that deeply offend and threaten ordinary citizens, and ultimately turn a very small number of them into ISIS recruits. READ MORE
TO OBEY THE LAW OR CONTINUE CRIMINAL ACTIONS?
Four very different approaches on to how to resolve situations of violence, atrocity, and occupation. READ MORE
THE U.S. SUPREME COURT WISELY UPHOLDS THE LAW
The Supreme Court's recent decision could prove consequential in the years ahead, as the political battle between Israelis and Palestinians continues to find its way into American courts. READ MORE
THE SPIRIT LIVES, IN GDANSK AND BEIRUT
Remembering the life and work of the late Samir Kassir, who was assassinated ten years ago in Beirut. READ MORE
ISIS ATTRACTS BECAUSE ARAB SYSTEMS REPEL
Along with strong military actions, the Arab world must take parallel political steps to defeat ISIS. READ MORE
IS JOINT MILITARISM REALLY THE ANSWER?
This is the moment to ponder whether excessive reliance on militarism as a response to political and ideological disagreements is in fact the appropriate solution, or actually one of the causes of the problems we face. READ MORE
ATTACK ISIS' DRIVERS TO DEFEAT IT
It’s not the war against ISIS that is “long,” it’s rather the conditions of inequity, oppression, imperial reach, state violence, and mass deprivation that have gone on for so long that they have finally erupted in the form of the terrible revenge called ISIS. READ MORE
NARROW ETHNO-NATIONALISM PLAGUES ALL IN THE MIDDLE EAST
The Middle East continues shifting toward increasingly narrow state identities and government policies that are defined by a combination of narrow ethnicity, increased militarism and religious conservatism. READ MORE
VULNERABLE, ABUSED CITIZENS LEAD TO UNSTABLE STATES
Arab societies are brittle, volatile, violent and fragmenting in many cases because there is no effective check on the exercise of power by indigenous or external powers, which leaves average Arab citizen totally exposed and helpless. READ MORE
GRASP THIS WINDOW TO HOLD KILLERS ACCOUNTABLE
A UN report that addresses the actions of Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza war is an opportunity to dare to move towards holding chronic killers accountable. READ MORE
THREATS AND RESPONSES IN THE GCC'S NEW MILITANCY
Will the GCC’s new militarism respond to the long list of perceived troubling regional threats as well as it already responds to the GCC’s need to safeguard its own national interests? READ MORE
OUR HOMEMADE WEAPONS OF OUR OWN MASS DESTRUCTION
Wildly flashing red lights telling us to stop building one-way highways to hell for tens of millions of our children who are denied the most important opportunity of their lives. READ MORE
A QUESTION ABOUT POLICY IN YEMEN
America’s top officials seem comfortable continuing an approach in Yemen even though in the same breath they acknowledge its dangerous consequences for the Arab world. READ MORE
IRAN ACCORD COULD SPARK MOMENTOUS REGIONAL CHANGES
The consummation of a full, multi-decade agreement on Iran’s nuclear program is likely to have monumental consequences across the entire Middle East. READ MORE
RARE COURAGE, RESPECT, RECIPROCITY DROVE IRAN DEAL
The agreed deal on Iran’s nuclear program that was reached Thursday represents a monumental achievement that affirms the power of reason and diplomacy over the ravages of fear and warfare. READ MORE
YEMEN'S WAR IS DEBATABLE, BUT PROBABLY HISTORIC
Simultaneous adjustments at national, regional and global levels have been taking place across the Middle East region since the end of the Cold War. The Saudi-Yemen situation is important because it captures developments at all three levels. READ MORE
FOUR ACTIVE ARAB WARS STEM FROM A COMMON MALAISE
Yemen is not really about the legally authorized use of force to ensure a calm Arab future. Rather, it is mainly a testament to the marginalization of the rule of law in many Arab countries in our recent past. READ MORE
THE UNITED STATES SHOULD NOW RESPOND TO THE ARAB PEACE PLAN
The Obama administration is doing something that no other American administration has ever dared to do, which is to confront and challenge Israel in public on the core issue in the Arab-Israeli conflict. READ MORE
ONE ARENA AND TWO PLAYERS
After a strong victory by Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party and a consolidation of rightwing sentiments, Israeli-American relations is the critical arena, and the European and Palestinian leaderships are the two pivotal actors to watch. READ MORE
FOUR MIDDLE EAST CITIES TODAY MIGHT DEFINE OUR FATE
The fate of this region remains in the hands of its people. How current events in Tikrit, Cairo, Tel Aviv and Tehran play themselves out will shape our fate for generations to come. READ MORE
SYRIA REFLECTS WIDER, OLDER ARAB TROUBLES
The Middle East is likely to endure many years of dislocation and violence until local authorities re-establish order that is based on a more credible social contract among citizens who feel they belong to a state. READ MORE
DRAMA BECOMES FARCE IN U.S.-ISRAELI TIES
Netanyahu just tore up the rulebook, and nobody is quite sure what will happen next in U.S.-Israeli relations. An unsanctioned, thriving Iran that is not a nuclear threat would force a new balance of power in the Middle East. READ MORE
ANOTHER BLOW TO THE FARCICAL 'PEACE PROCESS'
All concerned should be braced for some bad things to happen in the arenas of security, political rhetoric, administration, finances and economy, and physical and psychological well-being of citizenries on both sides of the Israel-Palestine conflict. READ MORE
THE BATTLE FORCES AGAINST ISIS REMAIN INCOMPLETE
If ISIS and other such movements are to be defeated, we need to see tangible signs of change in the way Arab societies are governed. READ MORE
A MILESTONE IN UNITED STATES-ISRAEL RELATIONS
The fact that we now see strong, public criticisms of Netanyahu from the belly of the Israel-loving beast that is the U.S. Congress suggests that a significant political and historical marker has been passed. READ MORE
SISI'S JOINT ARAB MILITARY IDEA IS STUNNINGLY IDIOTIC
The idea of joint Arab action for common security needs is a good one in principle, but given the legacy of Arab military actions at home and abroad, it makes no sense whatsoever, on many counts. READ MORE
HONESTY AND DISHONESTY IN FIGHTING VIOLENT EXTREMISM
Unusual for American senior officials speaking about the Middle East or Arab-Islamic dynamics, a case of refreshingly accurate, honest and relevant talk from a U.S. president. READ MORE
ONLY FOOLS CONFUSE RELIGION WITH CRIMINALITY
Declaring that Islam is at war with itself, or that we witness a battle for the soul and heart of Islam, is vulgar, reductionist and essentialist. READ MORE
REP. JOHN YARMUTH MATTERS AND DESERVES OUR RESPECT
The American representative will not be attending Netanyahu's speech to the U.S. Congress. It's worth understanding his reasons. READ MORE
YEMEN AND THE AGONY OF THE MODERN ARAB ERA
While Yemen is a telling lesson in how not to practice stable statehood, it also requires more urgent attention because it poses real and major danger to others in the region and the world. READ MORE
JORDAN TODAY REFLECTS ARAB STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
Jordan’s dilemma, which is on full display today, is that its strengths are also its weaknesses. READ MORE
TUNISIA, BAHRAIN, EGYPT OFFER REAL CHOICES
Tunisia, Bahrain and Egypt show us the options we face. I honor and choose Tunisia, as I suspect do most of the 360 million Arabs who can speak freely, if they are not in jail and have not had their citizenship revoked. READ MORE
NO SUCCESSION DRAMA, BUT PLENTY OF REGIONAL DRAMA
Regional and foreign policy is the arena where traditional conservative Saudi values and operating methods run up against the challenges of modern geopolitics and aggressive initiatives by many other states and non-state actors. READ MORE
ISRAEL VS. HEZBOLLAH-SYRIA-IRAN
Because of the tangled dynamics of Hezbollah’s relations inside Lebanon and around the Middle East, the Israeli attack in Syria — an almost routine event in the last few decades, sadly — actually hit three targets in one, namely Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. READ MORE
SHOULD WE WELCOME, FEAR OR IGNORE THE QUARTET?
The Quartet was a good idea that initially aimed to expand the circle of major parties that lent their weight to achieving a negotiated peace. That never happened for several reasons. READ MORE
PROBLEMS IN PARIS AND KHARTOUM
A bad week in the continuing saga of an Arab world in search for decency, democracy and development, which remain elusive despite the proven thirst for these things across the region. READ MORE
INSIGHTS FROM THE KOUACHI BROTHERS’ CRIMES AND LIVES
The lives, attitudes and actions of the Kouachi brothers reflect many other elements beyond freedom and blasphemy. It is time to get more serious about the real drivers of tension and violence that plague the multinational, transcontinental universe in which the Kouachi brothers lived. READ MORE
PROTESTS CAUSE AMERICANS TO TAKE NOTICE
When normal life and the economy are disrupted briefly, America takes notice. The status quo seems to endanger young black men in the first instance, but many other Americans sense they could be losers also. READ MORE
TIME FOR SERIOUS PALESTINIAN LEADERSHIP
Serious issues of national fate require serious leadership, and Abbas does not fit that bill any longer. READ MORE
A MOMENT TO RECALL THE CORROSION THAT THREATENS EGYPT
The Al-Jazeera journalists must be freed, but so also must the Egyptian and Arab people be freed from the crippling, deadly grip of military rule. READ MORE
WHAT TO WATCH FOR AT THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL
An important debate will soon take place at the UN Security Council on draft resolutions to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. We should pay attention. READ MORE
HOW FARES THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR?
The more the GWOT continues, the greater seems to be the expansion and impact of the very terror groups it seeks to defeat, with ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra being the most recent examples. READ MORE
THE ANGELS AND DEVILS OF OUR LAST FOUR YEARS
We know today about both our angels and our devils, and they will battle for our souls for some years to come. We have become normal countries, in the early years of our painful birth. READ MORE
IMPERIAL CRIMES IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE MIDDLE EAST
Is the United States the shining republic, or just another banana republic? Is this a moment of pride or shame for Americans? Right now, it seems to be a bit of both, but how it emerges in the longer term remains to be seen. READ MORE
MORE SIMPLISTIC NONSENSE FROM THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
Until Arab, Western and other foreign rulers accept that their policies were the main underlying reason that allowed ISIS and other such movements to come into being, statements such as John Kerry’s this week will only meet with ridicule and disbelief. READ MORE
THE UNIVERSAL HORRORS OF KILLING WITH IMPUNITY
The United States reminds us now that killing with impunity is a terrible crime and a national failure, wherever it happens — Ferguson, New York City, the occupied Palestinian territories or elsewhere. READ MORE
EGYPT IS SAD, BUT STILL HARD TO READ
The acquittal of former President Hosni Mubarak last weekend marks a symbolic nail in the coffin of the uprising and revolution that overthrew his government in February 2011. It is tempting but reckless to make definitive judgments about the meaning of the extraordinary stages of Egyptian political life since then. READ MORE
OBAMA’S DANGEROUS EMBRACE OF WAR
Ignoring the US public’s sentiments, presidents continue to use the country’s enormous capabilities to wage war around the world at will — usually create more havoc and generating new dangers that did not exist previously. READ MORE
IMPORTANT LESSONS FROM THE IRAN NEGOTIATIONS
Decisive yet sensible leadership among those involved in the talks has been able to triumph over extremist ideological positions of domestic foes, and scare tactics of perturbed foreign parties like Israel and Saudi Arabia. READ MORE
ONLY ACTIVE CITIZENS CAN SAVE THEIR PRECARIOUS STATES
The precarious status of half a dozen countries, which run the risk of collapsing or fragmenting into smaller units, is a defining issue of the Arab world today. READ MORE
IS JERUSALEM THE LAST BATTLE?
Living in a political vacuum, Palestinians in Jerusalem have only themselves to rely on to defend their lands and rights, and in cases of extreme threats and violence used against them, they resort to violence such as we are witnessing these days. READ MORE
IMPRESSIVE CITIZENSHIP IN PROFESSOR HORN’S CLASS IN BOSTON
Public officials in the United States who seek sensible advise on how to govern should attend a few sessions of Professor Denise Horn’s introductory class on International Affairs and Globalization at Northeastern University in Boston. READ MORE
PRESIDENT RIVLIN’S IMPORTANT, INTRIGUING GESTURE
One of the few times in recent memory that a senior Israeli official makes a personal gesture that touches the core of Palestinian pain. READ MORE
EGYPT FOLLOWS U.S. AND ISRAELI FAILED STRATEGIES
When heavy-handed anti-terror actions demean, kill, injure or ruin the lives of civilians, some of these civilians end up joining the militant groups, simply to exact revenge against those who attacked them. READ MORE
LESSONS FROM THE HISTORIC TUNISIAN ELECTIONS
The Tunisian elections were the most significant domestic and national political development in the history of the modern Arab world since its creation a century ago. READ MORE
THE RULE OF LAW TRIUMPHS — SORT OF — IN THE USA
Punishing a few hired gunmen while ignoring the responsibility of the political leadership of the United States and Great Britain that waged this criminal war in Iraq in the name of their entire nations is a gross abdication of responsibility. READ MORE
ISIS IS THE LATEST OF MANY DIFFERENT ISLAMISMS
ISIS, like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Hamas, Gamaa Islamiya, non-violent Salafists, militant Salafist-Takfiris, Al-Qaeda and others before it, is a symptom of, and a reaction to, deeper ailments in Middle Eastern society. READ MORE
REFUGEES THEMSELVES CAN CRACK THIS TOUGH NUT
An ICG report, “Bringing Back the Palestinian Refugee Question,” is a timely and convincing reminder of why the Palestinian refugees must be central actors in the quest for a negotiated resolution of their conflict with Israel. READ MORE
NEW HARE-BRAINED AMERICAN IDEAS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Why does the United States repeatedly discard the relevance of human nature and history when it unleashes its guns and goes into action around the world? READ MORE
THREE QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE UNLEASHING THE MILITARY
If any foreign power asked about the legitimacy, the efficacy, and the consequences of its military involvement in other countries before actually launching such militarism, it might be possible to minimize the negative consequences that we have experienced in the Middle East in recent decades. READ MORE
HOW TO ASSESS FRAGMENTING ARAB STATES
Seven issues gauge the real power and longevity of non-state actors, alongside the dilution of state authority. These seven are Identity, Sovereignty, Territoriality, Service-delivery, Legitimacy, Nationality, and Statehood. READ MORE
DESPERATE NETANYAHU STICKS TO OLD LIES
The repeated mistake Netanyahu makes—or perhaps it is a deliberate lie—is to see any movement or rhetoric in the Middle East that references Islamic values as a dangerous threat. READ MORE
PALESTINE’S MORAL FORCE NEEDS DIPLOMATIC POWER
Abbas is making decisions on his own without consulting widely among all Palestinians, and he is using the ICC as a threat, when it should be a central component in any Palestinian strategy that seeks to hold Israel accountable to the international rule of law. READ MORE
CREATING OR EVADING THE GATES OF HELL?
Three principal developments in and around the Arab world: The combined American-Arab Gulf states air strikes in Syria, the control of the Yemeni capital by Houthi rebels, and the meeting in New York between the Saudi Arabian and Iranian foreign ministers. READ MORE
SHAMEFUL HAMAS-FATEH BEHAVIOR MUST STOP
That Hamas and Fateh do not consummate a unified Palestinian government does not only reflect irresponsibility and incompetence on their part, but in view of the difficult context for Palestinians as a whole it is nothing less than a crime. READ MORE
THE RELUCTANT POSSE
It is not surprising that when the threat becomes really serious, Arab leaders wait for the United States to save their skins. READ MORE
POLARIZATION AND SOLIDARITY COEXIST IN ARAB SOCIETIES
Why is it that otherwise rational men and women cannot sit down together and hammer out agreements on fair power-sharing, representation, decision-making, and accountability? READ MORE
HARD TO BE CONFIDENT IN THE COALITION-TO-COME
Several troubling aspects of the American-led military plan to defeat the “Islamic State” READ MORE
WE DO NOT NEED A RERUN OF THE WAR ON TERROR
The GWOT, with its armed invasions, regime changes, drone fleets and other means, has only sustained and even expanded the Al-Qaeda/“Islamic State” phenomenon, because the twin drivers of Arab-Asian autocracy and foreign aggression remain virtually untouched. READ MORE
STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES IN THE PALESTINIAN INITIATIVE
Abbas is behaving more like a parent who promises his or her children a birthday surprise than a responsible leader who has been handed responsibility for the fate of some eight million Palestinians entering their fourth generation of exile, occupation and refugeehood. READ MORE
PANIC OR A COMING OF AGE IN THE GULF?
The UAE air attack in Libya clarifies a major shift underway in the worldviews and self-perceived roles of leading Arab states, who now throw their weight around the Middle East in a direct manner they never did previously. READ MORE
THE RIDDLE OF CITIZEN VIEWS ON ARAB STATEHOOD
Citizens will rebel against their central state if they do not feel that their needs are being met equitably, or that they are being mistreated by the government and its military forces. READ MORE
ISRAELI PROPAGANDA STARTS TO WEAR THIN
More and more governments and observers around the world have realized that Hamas and Hezbollah have nothing to do with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, rejecting Israeli propaganda. READ MORE
IRAQ IS THE NEW PROVING GROUND FOR ARAB STATEHOOD
Islamic State-type rule has no more chance of giving Arabs a decent life than did the centralized police state or the corrupt sectarian state that Arabs have endured for decades. Iraq is the place now where this issue will be put to the test. READ MORE
ZIONISM VS. ARABISM, NOT HAMAS IN GAZA
It is easier for American-Israeli propagandists to highlight Hamas’ militancy rather than to grapple with the fact that all Palestinians — and most of the world, actually — support the demands that Hamas has articulated and that have been negotiated by the all-inclusive Palestinian delegation in Cairo. READ MORE
REVIVED PLO IS NOW A TOP PRIORITY
The most important political action the Palestinians should take now is to rapidly reconstitute the institutions of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), so that Palestinians speak with one voice and benefit from the total backing of the eight million or so Palestinians around the world. READ MORE
A CEASEFIRE WOULD BECKON REAL LEADERS TO ACT
If any real leaders and statesmen and women exist out there who can respond to this challenge, now is the time to stand up and act. READ MORE
FROM BIBLICAL WARS TO JUSTICE FOR ALL
This round of attacks by Israelis and Palestinians may prove to be most significant for pushing all concerned to seek a permanent resolution of this conflict, rather than letting it fester in 19th Century colonial mode. READ MORE
WASHINGTON ABSURDITY, ARAB HELPLESSNESS
Washington’s quest for a ceasefire in Gaza while wholeheartedly supporting and arming Israel’s onslaught against Palestinian civilians reflects the frightening extent of bankrupt Arab diplomacy and the true nature of the US government siding with Israel. READ MORE
A CENTURY OF ZIONIST-PALESTINIAN WARS
Exiled and subjugated communities like the Palestinians behave in ways that seem strange to middle class consumers in faraway lands. This can only be understood by appreciating the nature of “resistance” and the allure of “liberation.” READ MORE
LESSONS FROM THE RENEWED ATTACKS IN PALESTINE AND ISRAEL
This is the tragedy of what happens when determined warriors and mediocre political leaders on all sides meet in the arena of clashing nationalisms. READ MORE
LOCAL SENTIMENTS, AS ALWAYS, WILL SHAPE THE MIDDLE EAST
This eclectic, unpredictable, wildly gyrating human will to survive that treats borders, invading armies and local rulers as just one more threat to resist or one more party with which to make a deal. READ MORE
FAILURES EVERYWHERE IN WESTERN ASIA
Moving decisively to bolster legitimate local forces breeds success; moving gingerly to identify people who will friend you on Facebook is really stupid. READ MORE
No Exit: The Politics of Garbage in Lebanon
What Do We Learn from the Iran Deal?
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