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Taliban Making Gains In Afghanistan

afghanistan_flag_map

As Afghanistan’s political factions continue to squabble, there are some indications that the Taliban are having some success on the battlefield: MAHMUD RAQI, Afghanistan — Taliban fighters are scoring early gains in several strategic areas near the capital this summer, inflicting heavy casualties and casting new doubt on the ability of Afghan forces to contain […]

Americans Divided On Israel’s Actions In Gaza

US Israeli Flags

A new poll shows that Americans are divided over Israel’s actions in Gaza, but this most likely will not impact relations between the two countries.

U.S. Evacuates Embassy In Tripoli Amid Renewed Violence

Libya

Add Libya to the list of the world’s trouble spots.

Afghan Political Deal Falling Apart?

afghanistan_flag_map

It was just about two weeks ago that the various political faction in Afghanistan seemingly resolved the crisis that had developed in the wake of a Presidential election that was clouded in allegations of fraud with a political deal that would result in changes to the way Afghanistan’s government works. Now, though, it appears that […]

Israel Rejects Temporary Cease Fire Plan As Gaza Conflict Continues To Rage

Gaza Attack 2

Hopes for a temporary respite in the Gaza conflict faded away today.

F.A.A. Halts Flights From U.S. To Israel For 24 Hours

US Israel Flags

The Federal Aviation Administration has halted all flights from the U.S. to Israel for 24 hours in response to a rocket attack near Ben Gurion Airport: Major American airlines stopped flying to Israel on Tuesday after a rocket fell near Ben-Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv, and after the Federal Aviation Administration told the carriers […]

Iran’s Nuclear Program And The Incentives Created By U.S. Policy

iran-nuclear-weapons

George Will has come under criticism for pointing out what seems to be an undeniable fact.

A Partisan Divide Over Israel? Not Really.

U.S. Israeli Flags

Recent polls notwithstanding, Republicans and Democrats remain largely in lockstep when it comes to U.S. policy toward Israel.

Israel Begins Ground Operations In Gaza

Gaza Rockets

The next phase of Israel’s attack on Hamas has begun.

Hamas Rejects Egyptian Cease Fire Deal Israel Had Accepted

Gaza Rockets

An effort yesterday to bring about a cease fire in Gaza came to naught when Hamas rejected the proposal.

It Looks Like Nouri Al-Maliki Has Lost The Kurds, Assuming He Ever Had Them

Iraq Map

Iraq continues to fall apart.

Israel Intensifies Attacks On Gaza, Hints At Ground Invasion

Gaza Attack

Things look to be going from bad to worse in Gaza.

Egypt Sentences Muslim Brotherhood Leader To Life In Prison

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The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood has been sentenced to life in prison by an Egyptian Court: The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Mohamed Badie, was sentenced on Saturday to life in prison for inciting violence in street protests last year, an Egyptian television channel reported. Egypt’s ONTV reported that the presiding judge, Hassan Farid, said […]

Well, So Much For That Unity Government In Iraq

Iraq Map

At least for now, it doesn’t appear that efforts to form a unity government in Iraq are going anywhere: BAGHDAD — Sunnis and Kurds walked out of the first session of the Iraqi Parliament on Tuesday, imperiling efforts to form a new government in the face of a bitter offensive by Sunni militants. After the […]

Israel Hits Hamas In Response To Discovery Of Dead Teenagers

Israel-Palestine-Flags

Not surprisingly, the discovery late yesterday of the bodies of three dead teenagers, one of whom holds dual Israeli and American citizenship, has lead to retaliation against Hamas: The Israeli air force has launched a series of air raids on the Gaza Strip, hours after the bodies of three settlers were found in the occupied […]

The Return Of Ahmad Chalabi?

Ahmad Chalabi

With the political future of Iraq in the balance, an old name with a tarnished past is reemerging:  BAGHDAD — He took millions of dollars from the C.I.A., founded and was accused of defrauding the second-biggest bank in Jordan and sold the Bush administration a bill of goods on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. […]

Sarajevo and Europe, 100 Years Later

Gavrilo Princip

A century later, the shots fired in Sarajevo 100 years ago still echo.

Egypt Sentences Three Journalists To Prison

egypt-flag

In yet another sign of just what the future of Egypt is likely to look like, three al-Jazeera journalists have been sentenced to prison for allegedly collaborating with the Muslim Brotherhood: CAIRO — A judge on Monday convicted three journalists of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood to broadcast false reports of civil strife in Egypt. […]

Maliki Responding To Iraq Crisis In Worst Possible Way

nouri-al-maliki

Iraq’s Prime Minister seems to be responding to the uprising in his country in a way guaranteed to make it worse.

U.S. Moves To Evacuate Some Embassy Personnel From Baghdad

Iraq Map

The United States plans to evacuate some personnel from the massive, sprawling U.S. Embassy in Baghdad: ERBIL, Iraq — The American Embassy in Baghdad plans to evacuate a substantial number of its personnel this week in the face of a militant advance that rapidly swept from the north toward the capital, the State Department announced […]

Insurgents Continue Advance Toward Baghdad

Iraq Map

It’s sure beginning to look like a civil war in Iraq, albeit a rather one sided one at the moment.

As Militants Advance, Iraqis Look To U.S. For Help

Iraq Map

The Iraqi government seems to be panicking.

Insurgents Linked To Al Qaeda Capture Iraq’s Second City

iraq-mosul-map-876140

Things only seem to be getting worse in Iraq.

El-Sisi Takes Office As Egypt’s New “Elected” President

travel-suitcase

The General who led the military coup that overthrew President Mohammed Morsi last July is now Egypt’s President: CAIRO — Egypt’s former army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was sworn in on Sunday as president for a four-year term, assuming the highest office of a deeply polarized nation that has been roiled by deadly unrest and an […]

New Dictator Wins Egyptian Presidential Election

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Different name, same result in Egypt.

Meet Egypt’s New Military Dictator

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is a name we’re likely to be seeing in the news for some time to come.

Ukrainians Head To The Polls, Except In The East

Ukraine presidential election

Ukrainians are voting today in the first national elections since the pro-Russian Government of former President Viktor Yanukovych was toppled amid public protests that filled the streets of Kiev and others cities, but a large part of the country may not be voting at all: KIEV, Ukraine — Ukrainian voters streamed to the polls on Sunday […]

Pope Endorses Palestinian State In West Bank Visit

Pope Palestine

Before Pope Francis departed on his trip to Jordan, the West Bank, and Israel, there was much speculation that he’d end up stirring up some news in the area, and it turns out that speculation was correct: BETHLEHEM, West Bank — Arriving here on Sunday, Pope Francis made an impassioned appeal for an end to […]

Why Is Thailand’s Military Coup A “Coup,” But Egypt’s Wasn’t?

Thai Coup

Diplomatic word games.

Hosni Mubarak Convicted Of Embezzlement In Egypt

Mubarak in Court

Former Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak was convicted by an Egyptian Court of embezzlement charges related to his time in office: CAIRO — A criminal court here convicted former President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday of diverting millions of dollars in public money for his personal use in a case that rights advocates say could also now […]

Kerry Apologizes After Warning Israel Could Become An ‘Apartheid State’

john-kerry-finger-wag-syria

Open mouth, insert foot.

Nearly 700 Sentenced To Death In Egypt

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An Egyptian Court has sentenced nearly 700 people associated with ousted former President Mohammed Morsi  to death: MINYA, Egypt — A judge in Egypt on Monday sentenced to death 683 alleged supporters of the country’s ousted Islamist president, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, the latest in mass trials that have drawn international condemnation and […]

Iran Says It Will Begin Dismantling Some Nuclear Materials

Iran Nukes

Iran has promised to roll back parts of its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Ariel Sharon, Israeli General, Defense Minister, Foreign Minister, Prime Minister, Dead At 85

Ariel Sharon

After eight years in a coma, Ariel Sharon has passed away.

So Far, The Military Coup Looks Like It Will Be A Disaster For Egypt In The End

Mideast Egypt

Nearly six months later, it’s hard to find any good in the July military coup in Egypt.

What Should We Think About the Syrian Civil War?

travel-suitcase

As Syria enters its third year of civil war, Marc Lynch summarizes the findings of a workshop he convened at George Washington University’s Project on Middle East Political Science. Participants included civil war scholars, Middle East scholars, and Syria specialists. The prognosis for the Syrian civil war isn’t particularly good: The fragmentation and infighting of […]

American Studies Association Israel Boycott is Righteous but Wrongheaded

ASA-boycott-Israel

While I concur with the “intent, justice, legality, and morality” of the decision, I nonetheless oppose it.

On Iran, Diplomacy Beats Containment, And Containment Is Smarter Than Military Action

Iran Nukes

There are many choices in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program there are many choices, but some are better than others.

No, The Iranian Nuclear Program Deal Isn’t Like Munich

Iran Nukes

The opponents of the temporary deal reached in Geneva have been making some ridiculous historical analogies.

U.S., World Powers, Reach Temporary Nuclear Deal With Iran

iran-nuclear-weapons

Small steps from both sides in the Iranian nuclear negotiations, but too early to say that we’ve reached a solution.

Deal On Iranian Nuclear Program Falls Apart, And That’s Mostly Not A Good Thing

Iran Nukes

Thanks largely to France, this weekend’s efforts to reach an interim deal on Iran’s nuclear program fell apart.

Progress On Iran Nuclear Deal?

Iran Nukes

Signs of some progress in the talks over Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Swiss Report Supports Theory Yasser Arafat Was Poisoned, But Doesn’t Prove It

Yasser Arafat

Was Arafat poisoned? A new report raises some questions, but answers none of them conclusively.

Syrian Chemical Weapons Equipment Destroyed Says Syria

travel-suitcase

The Syrian regime has declared its ability to make chemical weapons destroyed.

A U.S.-Saudi Rift, Or Just A Saudi Temper Tantrum?

US Saudi Flags

Relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia seem to have soured in recent years.

Political Science and the Syrian Civil War

travel-suitcase

If the Syrian civil war is like other civil wars, it’s not ending any time soon.

Car Bomb Injures Six Members Of Egyptian Military

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A car bomb injured six members of the Egyptian military today, raising fears of a rising insurgency: CAIRO — A car rigged with explosives detonated outside a military intelligence headquarters in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia on Saturday, wounding at least six military personnel and highlighting the rise in militant attacks on security forces […]

Saudi Arabia Turns Down Seat On U.N. Security Council

Security Council Summit on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has turned down an invitation to take one of the ordinarily coveted rotating seats on the United Nations Security Council, citing as their primary reason the failure of that body to do anything about the situation in Syria: LONDON — Assailing what it called double standards at the United Nations, […]

Violence Continues To Hit Egypt

egypt-flag

Some three months after the coup that deposed Mohammed Morsi and imposed military rule, violence in Egypt seems to have increased, and this weekend we saw yet another indication of that fact: CAIRO — Deadly violence against the government broke out around Egypt on Monday as health officials raised to 53 the number said to […]

Iraqi Kurds Vote in Regional Elections

travel-suitcase

Via the AFP:  Iraq’s Kurds vote amid rows, regional tensions Iraq’s Kurds voted Saturday in their first election in four years as their autonomous region grapples with disputes with Baghdad while fellow Kurds fight bloody battles in neighbouring Syria.The election for the region’s parliament comes as the turmoil roiling the Middle East has raised renewed […]

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