What victory looks like to the Americans — and to the Iranians

Step back from the day to day media coverage and tactical details of the Iran-U.S. confrontation. Ignore the tanker attackers and whether or not they were a false flag (they almost surely weren't), blow past the Rouhani statements and the Trump tweets, fret less about E3 press releases and Russian hot air about defending Iran. … Continue reading What victory looks like to the Americans — and to the Iranians

Why is Erdogan risking so much for Istanbul’s mayoralty?

It had almost an immediate cost in cash. Worse, the Europeans expressed worry, the Turkish opposition screamed electoral theft, and the Americans - well, the Americans have yet to take a firm position, but don't be surprised when Washington suddenly discovers its democratic scruples when it serves U.S. interest. The decision by Turkey's electoral board, … Continue reading Why is Erdogan risking so much for Istanbul’s mayoralty?

Was there a coup attempt in Jordan?

Haaretz is emphatic: Jordanian King Abdullah II fired several senior officials over the past week following reports of a plot to destabilize the kingdom, including the general intelligence chief, the king’s adviser on policy and information and several other senior advisers. Citing a Kuwait newspaper, Al-Qabas, Haaretz describes a potential plot by the Hashemite Kingdom's intel … Continue reading Was there a coup attempt in Jordan?

Here’s what the hell is happening in Israel’s elections

It's nationalist vs. nationalist. On Tuesday, April 9, Israelis will go to the polls to decide the fate of indicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A towering figure in Israeli politics, wily Bibi is throwing everything and the kitchen sink towards staying in power - including by allying with the worst of the worst in Israel's … Continue reading Here’s what the hell is happening in Israel’s elections

American identity is key to understanding U.S. geopolitics

Go back to 2015. In the politically placid Obama years, the trends seemed logical, forwarding-looking, and strategic. America was pivoting to Asia, for China's rise was clearly a much greater threat to U.S. power than whatever might happen in the Middle East. It was signing a nuclear deal with Iran, for to have balance in … Continue reading American identity is key to understanding U.S. geopolitics

Despite Trump, America is still going to rival Russia

Helsinki was, by virtually every American political measure, a disaster.  Only the Trump base - the very people he need not convince - were unaffected.  Their commitment to Trump is a fascinating phenomenon in and of itself, as is Trump's willingness to preach to this particular choir even at the expense of actual governance. But … Continue reading Despite Trump, America is still going to rival Russia

Yemen, As Simple as Possible

The biggest battle of Yemen's most recent civil war is underway, and honestly, there's good reason not to know much about what's going on. From Reuters: Arab coalition troops stormed the airport in Yemen’s main port Hodeidah on Tuesday and captured large areas of the compound in battles with Iran-aligned Houthis, a Yemeni military source, … Continue reading Yemen, As Simple as Possible

What the hell is going on between America and Iran?

What in the hell is happening between America and Iran? It's been easy to get lost in the details. A complicated deal, the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Protocol of Action, just had one of its key members, the United States, pull out.  This has been painted as both stupid and brave, by the usual suspects.  America's … Continue reading What the hell is going on between America and Iran?