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

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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

Little Bahrain and Its Very Big Problems

Sex! Drugs! ATM bombs!  A long-running violent uprising against the government!  What's not to love? When I first visited Bahrain in February 2011, just a few weeks before the mass uprising that would happen later that month, immigration stamped my passport with a big, "BUSINESS FRIENDLY BAHRAIN" before waving me through the mostly empty airport. … Continue reading Little Bahrain and Its Very Big Problems

Saudi Arabia’s Power Play (Or, the Childishness of Kings)

I've let my contempt for Saudi Arabia's current governing system be known - several times.  This is because it's a personality-centric system driven by personalities that most of you wouldn't want to invite to dinner.  In such systems, psychology matters when understanding certain events.  Let's take a walk through, shall we, and understand Saudi state … Continue reading Saudi Arabia’s Power Play (Or, the Childishness of Kings)