ISIS vs. Al-Qaeda Infighting In Idlib Province In Syria Is A Sign of Things To Come

From Reuters: A suicide bomber rammed a car laden with explosives into a gathering of jihadist rebels near the rebel-held northwestern Syrian city of Idlib on Wednesday, killing and injuring scores, rebel sources said. They said the blast ripped a textile factory where members of Hayat Tahrir al Sham, an alliance of rebel groups whose … Continue reading ISIS vs. Al-Qaeda Infighting In Idlib Province In Syria Is A Sign of Things To Come

Assad’s Big Push To Recover His Eastern Border

Bashar al-Assad hadn't had control of his Iraqi frontier for years.  It's a major headache; it's allowed Sunni rebels to supply themselves from Anbar, a favorable route for Gulf states hoping to keep the war going.  It's also allowed the Islamic State to slide supplies from its shrinking Iraqi domains to its shrunken Syrian ones. … Continue reading Assad’s Big Push To Recover His Eastern Border

Trump Is Now A Real American President

"Real" is not the same as "good."  "Real" means he is finally coming to understand America as a geopolitical entity. America is not a sports team; it is not a business.  It is not a hero or a villain in some movie.  It is a nation-state.  Its state is vast, made up of millions of … Continue reading Trump Is Now A Real American President

Andrey G. Karlov is Not Franz Ferdinand

The high-profile killing was everything one could want from a public assassination.  Cameras were live; the Western media, less prone to state censorship, watching.  The assassin even had a chance to deliver a short speech that was straight to the point, and then was promptly killed by Turkish security services.  From the standpoint of political … Continue reading Andrey G. Karlov is Not Franz Ferdinand

Aleppo has fallen. Now what?

"I am waiting to die or be captured." That is the farewell message of one of the handful of remaining anti-Assad activists in Aleppo.  As the Assad regime now triumphs a murderous, four year long victory, the question of what comes next must be asked. Syria is a ruined country.  It was a state imposed … Continue reading Aleppo has fallen. Now what?

The Middle East in the Age of Trump

  (A billion apologies for the delay!  I'm upstate New York and being near a computer has been a bit difficult.  Also, there's also an issue uploading images, so this update will go without until I can fix that when I return to Brooklyn!) We should of course discount rumors that Trump will be deposed … Continue reading The Middle East in the Age of Trump

If This Is Cold War 2.0, Then the Russians Are Winning

Sequels are so often disappointing; I'd love to meet someone who thought Independence Day 2 was an improvement.  So it is with so-called Cold War 2.0: it can certainly feel meaningless, as Moscow doesn't hope to raise a hammer and sickle above the White House. Perhaps it's better to refer to it as Cold War 1.5, a … Continue reading If This Is Cold War 2.0, Then the Russians Are Winning

As Syria’s Cease Fire Fails, It’s Time To Break Some Stereotypes

Even last week, as I went about analyzing the Russian and American motives behind the most recent go at peace in the Syria civil war, I was hesitant to triumph success.  I doubt many are shocked; maybe John Kerry is heartbroken, but certainly this wasn't beyond the realm of expectations. So while anybody paying attention … Continue reading As Syria’s Cease Fire Fails, It’s Time To Break Some Stereotypes

The long, the short, and the medium of the Syrian peace deal

We should all retain a hefty dose of skepticism whenever someone uses the words "Syria" and "peace" in a sentence.  Having becoming the world's geopolitically favored proxy battleground, Syria's civil war may not stop upon the say-so of Washington and Moscow. There is, of course, the intractable, and resolutely murderous, Islamic State, whose entire recruitment … Continue reading The long, the short, and the medium of the Syrian peace deal

If Assad Captures Aleppo, Then What For the West?

Behind the Islamic State's murderous campaign of jihadi chaos, past the shattered European Union, veiled by America's police shootings, protests, and mass shootings, lurks the skulking husk of the Syrian government, still barrel bombing, gaining ground, suddenly, quietly, reconquering Syria. What a difference a year makes.  Once Assad was clearly on the ropes: his depleted … Continue reading If Assad Captures Aleppo, Then What For the West?