The Weapons of Saudi’s Siege on Qatar

Anyone who's ever worked in the Gulf isn't shocked that Qatar missed a deadline.  Badiin, badiin, "later, later," in the local parlance, as yet another meeting fails to happen. In light of that, we shouldn't be so surprised that the Qatar's been given something of an extension.  Reuters reports: Four Arab states refrained on Wednesday … Continue reading The Weapons of Saudi’s Siege on Qatar

Bahrain is (still) in crisis as the UN slams the island-kingdom

Bahrain is one of the world's smallest countries, and is the 5th most dense country on Earth.  It has a starkly visible Shi'a-Sunni divide - one that can be seen plainly from space, as poor Shi'a slums bump up against plush Sunni ones. It is also a critical Middle Eastern bellwether.  It was the first … Continue reading Bahrain is (still) in crisis as the UN slams the island-kingdom

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

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

The Arab League is useless. Abolish it. 

International organizations get a bad wrap these days; the EU gets knocked about by nationalists and the UN gets slammed for feckless dithering. But you'd be hard pressed to find a international organization more useless, more pointless, and less effective than the Arab League. It's done little for its storied history and given salve to … Continue reading The Arab League is useless. Abolish it. 

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?

Why Saudi Arabia Doesn’t Want Those 28 Pages Declassified

The answer, it may seem, is simple: yet another cover-up, yet another scandal brushed under the rug, more nasty men in the halls of power getting away with the terrible things they do. Such a narrative gives us a simple good vs. bad tale of morality, with evil Saudi princes laughing behind closed doors.  As … Continue reading Why Saudi Arabia Doesn’t Want Those 28 Pages Declassified

The Arab Spring in Review

Five years later, the dismal record of the Arab Spring is all too apparent.  Syria burns, Egypt's new Pharaoh goes from strength to strength, while the Gulf monarchs, having launched war in Yemen, have rarely seemed so lethal.  Democracy, it is clear, did not sweep in with the revolutions of the 2011-12. But that's no … Continue reading The Arab Spring in Review

Saudi Arabia vs. Iran: The Deeper Story

There are other shorter articles, and they do a fine job of covering the basics.  If that's all you're looking for, click on the link and consider yourself well-rewarded.  But if you desire more than tidbits, read on. Rapid review!  Saudi Arabia and Iran are quite angry at one another. More specifically, the elites of … Continue reading Saudi Arabia vs. Iran: The Deeper Story