Bombing Syria Now Will Save Lives Later

Thus begins the Great Hand-Wringing.  The United Kingdom's out; Congress is demanding the president explain himself; everyone wants to wait on the UN weapons inspectors before making a decision.  It's all quite understandable, considering, well, this.  But holding back won't save anyone.  Here's why. This is not Iraq in 2003, for God's sake Everyone likes … Continue reading Bombing Syria Now Will Save Lives Later

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The Arab Spring Isn’t Dead (Because That Was Never A Good Term For It)

There are some lamenting the death of the Spring after last's weeks butcheries in Egypt.  It seems, after all, that Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, the Morsi-appointed commander of the Egyptian armed forces, has turned back the clock to at least 2011, and perhaps even earlier, as his troops secure streets, impose curfews, and return the military back … Continue reading The Arab Spring Isn’t Dead (Because That Was Never A Good Term For It)

The Role of Trauma in Building a Nation-State

In the abstract of geopolitical discussion, it's easy to forget that, when you talk about states breaking or nations splitting, you're talking about large groups of people suffering unbelievable trauma.  I just watched this, from Aleppo in Syria, which details what seems to be a ballistic missile strike in a neighborhood (and it's just as … Continue reading The Role of Trauma in Building a Nation-State

It’s Time to Break Putin

There are plenty out there who are pissed about Vladimir Putin giving Edward Snowden asylum, but only a few who are noticing it as part of the wider pattern of Russia under Putin.  Since winning election in 2000, Putin's Russia has been slowly positioning itself back to an aggressive great power, ready to expand empire … Continue reading It’s Time to Break Putin

Egypt’s Gone Up In Flames After All

Typically, this blog gets updates only on Mondays and Fridays (USA time until I'm back in the Middle East), but today's events in Egypt warrant a brief update. I've written before about how Egypt will have neither a Syrian-style civil war nor a stable government for a long time.  The actions today fit right into … Continue reading Egypt’s Gone Up In Flames After All

Get Ready for an Angry China

Once upon a time, a lot of people were panicking that the Soviet economy was going to outgrow the American one.  It didn't.  It didn't for three reasons: the Soviet model was terrible and encouraged inefficiency, the Soviets were tied down by numerous expensive military commitments all over the world, and Soviet geography made industrialization … Continue reading Get Ready for an Angry China

Al Qaeda is Jason Voorhees

Virtually every movie of the Friday the 13th movie should have been the last.  And yet, despite the best efforts of both lucky teenagers and determined writers, Jason Voorhees just keeps coming back.  Why?  Because a hardcore group of people out there keep demanding to see him. Al Qaeda is not so different.  Bin Laden … Continue reading Al Qaeda is Jason Voorhees

Put Assad Down for the Win (If you can call it that)

Sometimes, it's good enough just to survive.  Saddam Hussein decided to trumpet his "victory" over Iran by building a massive pair of arches in central Baghdad.  Not being dead or out of power was a big win considering that Saddam had bit off much more than he could chew by invading his larger and stronger … Continue reading Put Assad Down for the Win (If you can call it that)