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

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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?

Trump’s Nuclear Deal Decision Showcases His Cultural Presidency

Why, you might ask? When there seems so little to gain, when allies are angry, when sanctions are surely not to be as strong as they were in the prelude to the Iran nuclear deal, would Trump do such a thing? The arguments against pulling from the deal were legion, and quite frankly convincing.  Allies … Continue reading Trump’s Nuclear Deal Decision Showcases His Cultural Presidency

Reformers vs. Revolutionaries: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Gird Themselves for Change

On May 19, Iranians will have an election - as elections go in Iran, that is.  The candidates have been vetted and no one is about to murmur a word against the current Islamic Republic; speech and politics in Iran must fit into neat little boxes approved by the Supreme Leader.  Yet that is not … Continue reading Reformers vs. Revolutionaries: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Gird Themselves for Change

The Weird Worries of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the UAE’s De Facto Ruler

There he is again, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, stirring up all sorts of trouble on the global stage. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, has been putting his fingers into too many pies lately.  From mercenaries in Yemen to bombing runs in Libya to cozying … Continue reading The Weird Worries of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the UAE’s De Facto Ruler

Iran is becoming a better place (but don’t take that for granted)

While America's upcoming election fills many with worry, the Islamic Republic of Iran has a quiet yet meaningful election all its own.  The results shoved aside the hardliners who have for so long dominated Iran's many branches of the Islamic Republic, stuffing the all-important Assembly of Experts with relatively moderate forces poised to elect a … Continue reading Iran is becoming a better place (but don’t take that for granted)

The Iran Deal Heralds a New Middle East (Not necessarily a better one, but certainly a new one)

All hail the Iran nuclear deal!  The naysayers have nayed, the yay sayers have yayed, and even the implacable Republicans of America's Congress will soon be faced with reality, for there is a deal. What brought us to this?  Well, geopolitical conditions in the Middle East made this not only the smartest course, but also … Continue reading The Iran Deal Heralds a New Middle East (Not necessarily a better one, but certainly a new one)

The Case that Iran Isn’t Crazy (Or: No Revolution Lasts Long Unless It Plays By Geopolitics)

I've been having it out with plenty of folks lately regarding the Iranian nuclear deal.  Last week's speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the American Congress summarized pretty well why there are doubts about the deal, which would leave Iran's nuclear program intact but short of weaponizing. Essentially, it boiled down to ideology … Continue reading The Case that Iran Isn’t Crazy (Or: No Revolution Lasts Long Unless It Plays By Geopolitics)