Readers of this space know that this Canuck is an admirer of President Obama. An easy call even if the President did not possess his many admirable qualities, given the sad state of his opposition, with knee-jerk abysmalism, and an always tried, never true policy of ‘well, shit, we’re not him’ its ragged, pathetic battle cry.… [Read more]
People all across the Middle East and the world are wondering when will the violence in Syria end. The destruction of the Spire in Aleppo, one of the oldest religious sites in the world, is yet another example of what civil war can do to a country, its people and its society.
Thousands upon thousands of innocent citizens of the ancient civilization have been forced to flee their homes and families as the assaults by both sides in the ongoing civil war have left the once thriving society in ruins.… [Read more]
Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, and the tyrannical theocracy of Iran may not agree on a lot of things. Pipes may even style himself an opponent to the very existence of the velayat-e faqih regime. But there is one important thing the two parties do agree on – that the brutal Assad regime of Syria is currently worth supporting.… [Read more]
As we pass the 10th anniversary of the American overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime, it seems the mainstream media has temporarily awoken from its longstanding coma regarding Iraq coverage. Yet the coverage still focuses on the wrong issues — rehashing the crimes of the past or dabbling in ridiculous counterfactuals instead of addressing what is happening in the country right now.… [Read more]
The old adage “generals always fight the last war, especially if they’ve won it” applies not only to the military and war, but to almost all aspects of human conflict and interaction, such as diplomacy. Paradigms often change right underneath the noses of so-called “experts” or policymakers.
In regards to foreign policy, in the late ’90s, while everyone was staring through the prism of the Soviet-U.S.… [Read more]
Al Jazeera: When many Americans hear that name a nefarious image comes to mind. Adjectives like anti-American, antisemitic, jihadist, and terrorism spring about the fearful American psyche. And boy were we reminded of this within the past few months.
For example, during Defense Secretary Nominee Chuck Hagel’s confirmation hearing, the brainless and spineless wonder Sen. Ted Cruz chastised the former moderate Republican senator and Purple-Heart-recipient for speaking ill of the United States during a 2009 interview on Al Jazeera, a network the moronic Cruz described as “a foreign network, broadcasting propaganda to nations that are hostile to us.”
To clarify, the grave sin Hagel committed in Cruz’s simple mind was his nuanced agreement with a caller on the Al Jazeera program that the United States is often perceived as a bully and that this perception should be altered in order to improve U.S.-Middle East relations.… [Read more]
As much as I cringe whenever I hear someone spout that “all politics is local,” this clichéd idiom often rings true. Microanalyses of regional and societal happenings are indispensable. Yet this advice sometimes wrongly plays the role of replacement to macroanalyses rather than complement. While in-depth reports on specific countries or regions are important, ignoring regional context can often be disastrous, especially in areas, like the Middle East, where ethnic, religious, ideological, and economic identities readily cross state borders.… [Read more]
Democracy, loosely defined as for the people by the people, has long been a fantasy of developed countries for the Middle-East and North Africa. Though it would be heart-warming to think that this goal is purely altruistic, this is not the case. There are economic motives to consider amongst many other variables which contribute to the pressing desire to spread democracy.… [Read more]
It is not spoken of much today but I vividly remember the Summer of 2005; Israeli soldiers physically removed Jewish settlers from the Gaza territory. The settlers, resisting with screams and kicks, cursing the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) soldiers. One memory will never escape my mind; it is that of a settler holding his infant out of the window from the top floor of his home threatening to drop the baby if the soldiers took another step towards his home.… [Read more]
Though it is difficult to precisely state Mitt Romney’s policy on Syria, it appears from the recent Biden-Ryan debate that his current desire is to be more hawkish and directly arm the Syrian rebels. I must say here that Romney and Paul Ryan appear to be trying their best to hurt this country with such plans.… [Read more]
All over the world, from Morocco to Indonesia, the Muslim world is protesting and rioting in the wake of a disturbing anti-Muslim film, produced by the misguided, for who knows what reason. When you look at the problem it sounds so simple, so unbelievable to the average American: people rioting, killing and storming American embassies because someone disrespected the prophet Muhammad.… [Read more]
With the recent attacks on American and Western embassies across the Muslim world, most of the narratives in the mainstream media have been focused on conflict between the West and the “Muslim world.” Yet, this exaggerated conflict is often given precedence over another trending clash in the Middle East—one with more serious ramifications for the region.… [Read more]
Most everyone is aware that heroin is a problem in the Middle East. However, not everyone realizes that the Middle East produces more of the drug than any other place on Earth, or that the market there is run mostly by the Taliban and Al Qaeda (different organizations with similar goals who compete for these ends) — which is a major source of income for both sides.… [Read more]
Lately it seems that a war between Iran and Israel is nothing but inevitable, and by proxy of alliance it would mean the U.S. would extend its military hand in aid of Israel, if not declaring an all out war on Iran itself.
Iran, who has a notorious record of supporting the radical Shia organization Hezbollah (who is a known terrorist clique), has been at odds with the United States since the Iranian revolution of 1979 when the Shah of Iran was forced to flee the country, which subsequently transitioned Iran into the Islamic republic we know and love today.… [Read more]
Whenever we hear the words, terrorist or bombing our minds immediately revert to Arabs. The picture that one conjures in his/her mind is usually that of a tan-complexioned man with a turban wrapped around his head. This is the image mainstream media has programmed into the brain computer of the masses, quite effectively. We especially think this when it’s involving the region of the Middle East.… [Read more]
In one of this week’s top bad ideas, the U.S. is selling unarmed surveillance drones to Iraq. Let me list the reasons why this is something we should not do.
1. Drone use is ethically questionable to start with, and there isn’t much of a step, technologically-speaking, from surveillance drones to the ones used for warfare. … [Read more]
Israel prides itself on being the “only Democracy in the Middle East,” a claim that would be completely laughable if it weren’t such a disgrace. It is definitely a claim which directly contradicts a series of actions perpetrated by the government.
Nobel Prize-winning German author Gunter Grass, Israel’s latest recipient of “democratic treatment” was recently barred from Israel as a result of a poem he wrote criticizing Israel’s nuclear weapons program as well as Germany’s sale of submarines to Israel. … [Read more]
It’s April Fool’s Day in the United States!
How very appropriate given the amount of sheer foolishness we’ve been subjected to this past week. Let’s start the recap with Justice Scalia; he ought to be ashamed of himself. His statement comparing medical insurance coverage to people being forced to eat broccoli was a lousy analogy at best and exceptionally disingenuous at worst — but not surprising at all.… [Read more]
In a world of headlines that change from hour to hour, it is a struggle to keep up even with the volatile ‘now’. Everything needs to be condensed in sound bites and judged in isolation rather than correlation. However, from time to time, it is imperative that we look back — to at least the recent past — to determine how it shaped the ‘now’.… [Read more]