What the hell happened in Abu Dhabi? (Or: The geopolitics of today’s terrorists)

The December 1 killing of an American teacher in Abu Dhabi was proper terrorism, but why her, and why Abu Dhabi? Herein we go!

The United Arab Emirates Goes To War (And for the rulers, all bets are off)

(Personal plug: Buy my most recent darkly comedic book, The Ultimate Survivalist's Guide to Suicide, on Amazon for free for the next five days!) It's a country of endless beaches, very pleasant winter weather, tax-free living, and massive hydrocarbon reserves.  A typical weekend can involve an all-you-can-drink brunch at a local five star followed by excessive … Continue reading The United Arab Emirates Goes To War (And for the rulers, all bets are off)

The Geopolitics of the United Arab Emirates (Or, A Study In How Small Places Avoid Getting Wiped Out)

As my home for four years, I got to know the United Arab Emirates quite well.  It was a strange, fucked up place full of wonders that shouldn't have been there, ranging from green parks next to sand dunes to Indian dancing girls hidden beneath swanky bars full of Emirati men leering un-Islamically while drinking … Continue reading The Geopolitics of the United Arab Emirates (Or, A Study In How Small Places Avoid Getting Wiped Out)

Saudi Arabia Clamps Down on Little Qatar (Or, How Not To Waste Billions Trying To Be Something You’re Not)

What's a Qatar, and why should you care?  First off, it's pronounced "Qatr," with no "-ar" sound, even though that's how it's written in English.  If you insist on saying "Qat-AR," do it in your backwoods. Anyway, with Qatar having the third largest proven natural gas reserves in the world, this is one tiny country … Continue reading Saudi Arabia Clamps Down on Little Qatar (Or, How Not To Waste Billions Trying To Be Something You’re Not)

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)

Saudi Arabia’s Panic Is Geopolitically Sound

If you've lived in the Persian Gulf for a while, seeing one of its countries throw a shit-fit on an international stage won't surprise you all that much.  You get used to that kind of ridiculous chaos; you see one dumb, doomed project connected to a badly-planned roundabout removal scheme merging into a seemingly nonsensical … Continue reading Saudi Arabia’s Panic Is Geopolitically Sound

The Geopolitical Game of the Persian Gulf (Or, how all the king’s men are increasingly screwed)

Iran's back in the news - deal or no deal, they ask?  Much of it hinges on internal factors nobody knows except the Iranian government's higher ups.  You can flip a coin and be just as likely to be right, so we won't bother. Across the Gulf, the shiekhs and kings (and one sultan) watch … Continue reading The Geopolitical Game of the Persian Gulf (Or, how all the king’s men are increasingly screwed)

The nation-state (and why it wants to kill)

So let’s go over precisely what a nation-state is.  It’s gotta be hyphenated for a reason.  The first word, nation, means a common cultural group – the nation of France loves wine, cheese, and hates the nation of England but not enough to go to war over it. When building a nation-state, the first thing … Continue reading The nation-state (and why it wants to kill)