Turkey: Attempted Coup and the Future Of Erdogan
Sunday, July 17, 2016
Kaveh L. Afrasiabi
Without knowing much about the identity of the Turkish coup leaders, it is fairly certain that irrespective of their likely failed attempt, they have delivered a stunning blow to the presidency of Mr. Erdogan, who must now reckon with deep fissures within the country’s armed forces, which has a long tradition of political interventions.
Death Of A Humanist Filmmaker: Kiarostami And The Culture Of Peace
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Kaveh L. Afrasiabi
In retrospect, Kiarostami’s contribution to cinema may be summed up as restorative, restoring the once upon a time logic of filmmaking that was not insatiably wedded to profit-making but rather to truth and understanding in tune with a filmmic culture of peace, conceived as the antidote for the cinematic-induced alienation of contemporary man.
On the Ethical Conduct of Warfare: Predator Drones
Saturday, July 2, 2016
We are taking out citizens of Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Pakistan, which, alas, if research on 9/11 is well founded have never threatened us. So we really have no business being there at all. Yet to this day we continue to hear about the threat from al-Qaeda and from Osama bin Laden, who appears to have died in 2001. We are depriving the citizens of other countries of their life, liberty, and property with no semblance of due process. This means that our actions are not only in violation of international law, the UN Charter, and the United States’ Constitution but also violate basic human rights.
Terrorism in Istanbul and Necessity of International Action
Friday, July 1, 2016
So undoubtedly combating and uprooting this group must be given top priority by all governments of the region as well as the concerned international organizations. Admittedly in this region the governments have their own high responsibility to work out an efficient strategy for this.
Iran Must Avoid Simplistic Analysis of Brexit
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Kaveh L. Afrasiabi
Although officially the Islamic Republic of Iran has reacted properly to the historic Brexit vote, unfortunately some Iranian politicians and pundits have rushed to judgment by embracing the result, some going as far as portraying it as a "historic opportunity" for Iran, ostensibly because it weakens the European Union and lessens UK's American dependency. But, a more isolated and geopolitically-weakened UK is more likely to be US-dependent, rather than "independent," and it is sheer folly on the part of some Iran analysts to view the xenophobic, anti-immigrant pro-exit politicians in UK as more inclined to defy the US's will on Iran.
Brexit- Whistling Past the Graveyard
Friday, June 24, 2016
Graham E. Fuller
What an irony that Great Britain should be the one country in the world to deliver what could be the coup de grâce to the modern European order and to a meaningful Atlantic relationship. It is incredible that the population of the UK should have so thoughtlessly lurched into such a breathtakingly regressive, ignorant, narrow-minded and destructive act in our contemporary world. However good the 52% who voted in favor may feel about torpedoing this major experiment in the making of a new European world order, their heads are firmly implanted in the sand (if that is what it is) as to what the realities of contemporary global currents are. These realities come with our modern world. Disliking them will not make them go away.
Human Rights Double Standard: Iran and Saudi Arabia
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Shireen T. Hunter
Human rights is not the only area where Saudi Arabia gets a free pass for its misdeeds. Support for terrorism is another notable area where different standards are applied to its actions. This special treatment or Saudi Arabia has served neither that country nor the international community well. It has emboldened Saudi Arabia to continue its disregard for human rights and support for terrorist groups without fear of any retaliation. Worse, it has given Saudi Arabia license to intervene militarily in neighboring countries such as Bahrain, undermine the government in Iraq, and engage in the full- scale invasion of Yemen.
Turkey No Longer a Democratic Model for the Middle East
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Ambitions of Turkey’s President Erdoğan are damaging the nation’s standing with regional and international partners. Turkey was expected to offer a democratic model for other Muslim nations in the Middle East. Instead, the country under President Recep Erdoğan is displaying familiar authoritarian tendencies, with the Kurdish minority as a special target.
What happens when Arab autocrats are left to fend for themselves? Turmoil Galore
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
James M. Dorsey
Fact of the matter is that Saudi Arabia lacks the intrinsic building blocks to retain its regional leadership status on a level playing field. It lacks the assets that countries like Iran, Turkey and Egypt have irrespective of what state of political and economic disrepair they currently may be experiencing. Those countries have large populations, diversified industrial bases, battle hardened militaries that at least at times have performed, histories of empire and geography. Saudi Arabia has Mecca and money, the latter in lesser amounts given the fall in commodity prices and heightened expenditure. Turkey, Iran and Egypt figure prominently in China’s vision of One Belt, One Road, Saudi Arabia does not.
Oman: A Peaceful Oasis in a Flaming Region
Sunday, May 22, 2016
In the midst of such critical developments, Oman still appears as a peaceful oasis aloof from developments. When the other Gulf States opposed the US-Iran nuclear deal, Oman not only supported it but also hosted the secret talks between the two governments. Its neutral position gives the country a unique advantage as a mediator.