Middle East

How the Saudis and Israelis Fooled Trump

William O. Beeman

The Saudi government is continually looking for some acceptable justification to suppress this Shi’a minority, which Riyadh believes threatens the stability of the kingdom. The designation of Shi’a as heretics aids in cementing this justification. However, the Saudi rulers have gone one step further. They have tied the interests of their Shi’a citizens to Iran, creating a false narrative of Iranian hegemony. 

Why ISIS Beheadings Won’t Stop U.S. Missiles

Sandip Roy

Obama might talk tough and promise to be “relentless, but the cold hard truth is the US does not care that much about freelance journalists anywhere in the world. It didn’t ask for them to be there, unlike the US ambassador killed in Benghazi, Libya. Forget the government, freelancers don’t even have news organizations that truly have their back. Even a major news organization cannot save you from fanatics hell-bent on making an example out of you as Daniel Pearl discovered in Pakistan. 

A Sunni-Shi’a War in the Middle East? Not Likely

William O. Beeman

The success of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in capturing large territories in Syria and Northern Iraq, and now threatening Baghdad, has raised once again the specter of a Sunni-Shi’a war in the Middle East. Such a scenario is possible, but unlikely. That’s because Sunni and Shi’a believers throughout the world are divided into many factions living under different social conditions and with different religious, social and political agendas. 

The Disintegration of Iraq Has Begun

William O. Beeman

ISIS is a mature Sunni Muslim movement started in 2000. The government of Iraq and its troops are largely Shi’a Muslim. The territories now conquered by ISIS are also Sunni. There is only one conclusion that fits the facts of the success of the ISIS conquest: The Sunni residents of Northern Iraq are aiding ISIS in the takeover. Thus the ISIS “conquest” is not that at all—it is rather a full-scale revolt of the Sunni population against the Shi’a government.

 

President Obama’s Syria Strike Poses Challenge to Backers

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The even more long-range political peril is to further taint Democrats in the eyes of liberals and progressives as a party that is just as willing to wage war as the GOP. All three are important considerations for Obama. They take on even more significance given that polls show Americans overwhelmingly oppose any involvement in Syria, masses of demonstrators have already taken to the streets in protest of a strike, and some Tea Party-affiliated GOP congressional reps have screamed loudly against the war drums. And GOP Senate war hawks want nothing less than an all-out attack to remove the Assad regime.

From Salman Rushdie to Sam Bacile: Why Fanatics Are Easily Offended

Sandip Roy

A mysterious man in California hires a soft porn director and tricks some low-rent actors into making a trashy movie about the Prophet Muhammad. Now an Iranian foundation ups the price on Salman Rushdie's head saying that if he had been killed earlier for blasphemy, this newest anti-Islam film would never have been made. We are expected to believe that Salman Rushdie is the slippery slope that has led to Sam Bacile. The logic is so ludicrously tortured that it should be the butt of jokes. Instead it turns deadly serious and leaves a US ambassador and others dead in Libya and a gathering storm of mobs from Pakistan to Yemen.

Obama’s Middle East Dilemma

George Abraham

The killing of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi, Libya, on the anniversary of September 11 should provoke a similar examination of the Obama presidency. Here was a quintessential ambassador – an Arabic speaker, popular among ordinary Libyans, who had worked with the revolutionaries to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi – killed in the line of duty.  It was a colossal failure, marking a nadir in a presidency that boasted a break with Bush-era unilateralism and a promise to “commit ourselves to an effort – a sustained effort – to find common ground” with the Muslim world. 

From Arab Spring to Autumn Rage: The Dark Power of Social Media

Andrew Lam

Nakoula/Bacile is currently in hiding and may in fact be fictitious. Much evidence now points to him as a Egyptian Coptic Christian, who allegedly holds grudges against Islam. On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that Nakoula was convicted two years ago on federal charges of financial fraud. The jury is out on who instigated the violence against U.S. workers in Libya, resulting in the death of the American ambassador and three other personnel. The attack was carefully planned, it was reported, and not the mere work of angry protesters 

Lessons From the Failure of U.S. Propaganda in the Middle East

Christopher Moraff

Unfortunately, U.S. policymakers today seem content to follow the same disastrous path they have for more than half a century. Until the implementation of fundamental changes in U.S. policy in the Middle East — including a draw-down of militarization in the region and, even more importantly, support for a comprehensive and unbiased resolution to the issue of Israeli-Palestinian conflict —America’s rhetoric of freedom, equality and democracy will continue to fall on deaf ears.

Subscribe to RSS - Middle East