September 23, 2017

Yemen’s War Redrawing the Middle East’s Fault Lines

Aid agencies are warning that the Yemen war is turning into a humanitarian crisis.

Saudi Arabia's ongoing war in Yemen does more to highlight the kingdom's isolation than its power. Read More »

US-Iran N. Deal a Game Changer for the Region?

Secretary State John Kerry during a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif in Vienna in Oct. 2014.   (Photo by Javad Zarif

The US-Iran deal opens new possibilities for the nuclear-armed India and Pakistan. If US and Iran can bury the acrimonious past, why cant Islamabad and New Delhi chart the same way when it comes to weapons of mass destruction. Read More »

Saudi Arabia’s Long History of Meddling in Yemen

Houthi rebels are believed to be backed by Iran. (Photo via video feed)

The Saudis are reluctant to send ground troops to fight the Houthis on Yemeni soil. But recent conflicts -- in Iraq, Syria and Libya -- show that air power alone is not enough to win a decisive victory. And the longer this conflict drags on, the more likely that the Houthis will gain wide popular support as the defenders of Yemen's independence against an aggressive and meddling neighbor. Read More »

The Moral Hazard of the US-Israel Relationship

(Photo by James Emery, Creative Commons License)

The US has little ability to curtail, let alone stop, Israel's expansion into the West Bank. It will complain and threaten certain actions to the UN or the International Criminal Court (ICC). All of these will be to no avail, certainly not during the remainder of President Barack Obama's term, says one analyst. Read More »

Netanyahu’s Victory Is Just as Bad as It Looks

(Photo by IsraelinUSA, Creative Commons License)

The only silver lining to the Israeli prime minister's surprisingly strong reelection victory is that Washington and Brussels might finally get fed up with him. Read More »

Dangers of Journalism’s New Age

(Photo via video stream)

One of three Al Jazeera journalists has been released from Egypt, and about time too. No such luck for the other two, however, who remain behind bars. Their continuing plight illustrates just how dangerous journalism can be in unstable countries, and how much more dangerous it can be when the line between politics and publication is blurred. Read More »

Saudi Arabia Using Oil as Weapon

(Photo by olle svensson, Creative Commons License)

With ongoing proxy wars in Syria and Iraq, Saudi Arabia risks instigating an oil war with Russia and Iran -- a war that the kingdom can perhaps win in the short term. But like sectarian conflict, Saudi actions threaten to spark a conflagration that can spin out of everyone's control. Read More »

US Boots on Ground in Middle East: How Many Are There?

(Photo by  The U.S. Army, Creative Commons License)

Americans may reasonably ask if some Middle Eastern countries with estimated armies of around 3 million are unwilling or incapable of marshaling forces sufficient to defeat 30,000 ISIL fighters, why should America put “more boots on the ground”? Read More »

Pope Francis: Back to the Middle East

Pope Francis (L) and the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians demanded an end to persecution of religious minorities in Syria and Iraq on Sunday and called for dialogue with Muslims, ending Francis’ three-day visit to Turkey. (Photo by Selahattin Sevi, via Today's Zaman)

Pope Francis is desperately attempting to preserve Christianity as a viable faith in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. He realizes that it is vital that he and Christians have the support of the Turkish government and its Islamist president in this endeavor. Read More »

Kuwait Sentences Bidoon Children to Illiteracy

More than 1,000 stateless children in Kuwait are not allowed to go to school. “Your silence on preventing Bidoon children access to education is a crime,” reads the placard on the left. The other one reads: “I have a dream. But I am Bidoon.” (Photo shared on Twitter by @nawaf_alhendal)

The Kuwaiti state refuses to issue birth certificates to stateless children, denying their very existence from the moment of their birth. The Bidoon issue is a long-standing one in Kuwait, but the government is now using different tactics to isolate and ostracize members of this group. Read More »