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Saudi Arabia Will Finally Allow Women To Drive Alone

Saudi Woman Driving

Progress in Saudi Arabia, but there’s still a long way for this backward, discriminatory society to go.

Trump’s Muslim Speech Was A Change In Tone, But It’s Unlikely To Accomplish Anything

Trump Muslim Speech

President Trump’s speech on Islam was a change of tone. However, as critics noted, it was short on substance and is unlikely to accomplish anything.

ISIS Suicide Bombers Hit Inside Saudi Arabia

Saudi Bombing

The wave of Ramadan attacks continues, including a strike near the second holiest site in Islam.

Tensions Rise Between Saudi Arabia And Iran In Wake Of Saudi Executions

Saudi Iranian Flags

The execution of a prominent Shi’ite cleric has led to a rapid deterioration of the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Saudi Supreme Court Upholds Conviction Of Blogger For “Insulting Islam”

US Saudi Flags

Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a blogger sentenced to a decade in prison and 1,000 lashes for “insulting Islam”: DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court upheld an internationally condemned verdict against a liberal blogger who was publicly flogged after being found guilty of insulting Islam, state-linked news websites […]

Saudi Arabia Wants To Be The Head Of The U.N. Human Rights Council


Saudi Arabia is reportedly planning to make a bid to head the United Nations Human Rights Council: Saudi Arabia is reportedly planning to make a bid to head the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, in a move that has been described as the “final nail in the coffin for the credibility” of the HRC. Reports of […]

Saudi, U.S. Relationship Becoming More Tense

Obama King Salman

The relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia has seen better days.

Saudi King Salman Shakes Up Royal Family Succession

King Salman

Saudi Arabia’s new King has shaken up the Royal Family, and that could have interesting results.

King Abdullah Of Saudi Arabia Dies At 90, Crown Prince Salman Becomes King

King Abdullah

A big change in an important nation in the most volatile part of the world.

Obama’s Anti-ISIS Coalition Seems To Exist Only In His Mind


Despite the President’s assurances of an international coalition, the rest of the world doesn’t seem all that interested in joining the fight.

King Abdullah Warns the West


Is the West next in ISIS’s crosshairs?

Progress On Iran Nuclear Deal?

Iran Nukes

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

Massive Oil Discovery Puts Outback Town on World Energy Map


Will this new Australian oil discovery shake up world politics?

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.

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, […]

Saudi Defense Minister Named New Crown Prince


Only days after the death of Saudi Crown Prince Nayef, King Abdullah has named the country’s Defense Minister as the new Heir To The Throne: BEIRUT, Lebanon — Saudi Arabia’s Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, who was governor of Riyadh for nearly 50 years until his recent promotion to Saudi Arabia’s defense minister, was officially named crown […]

Saudi Crown Prince Nayef Dies


Saudi Arabia’s monarchy has suffered the loss of Crown Prince Nayef, the successor 88-year-old King Abdullah.

Led By Saudis, Arab Countries Increase Pressure On Syria


Earlier today, the Saudi King made his first public comments on the situation in Syria and used it as an opportunity to increase diplomatic pressure on the Assad regime: Syria came under new pressure on Monday from a widening clamor of criticism by Gulf Arab states over its brutal crackdown on a five-month-old antigovernment uprising, […]

Saudis Warn They’ll Go Nuclear If Iran Does


The Saudis seem to be sending a very clear signal to Iran, and the world: A senior Saudi Arabian diplomat and member of the ruling royal family has raised the spectre of nuclear conflict in the Middle East if Iran comes close to developing a nuclear weapon. Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief […]

Saudi Arabia Sends Troops To Bahrain To Help Crush Protests


As Steven Taylor noted earlier today, Bahrain is faced today with a new round of protests. Perhaps the most surprising developing is the first case of cross-national intervention in response to the uprisings: Saudi Arabia has moved decisively to bolster Bahrain’s embattled royal family, sending military forces across the causeway linking the two kingdoms after […]

Saudi Arabia Hoping To Bribe Its Citizens Not To Revolt


Is Saudi Arabia the next domino to fall in the Middle East? The Royal family is hoping that money will be enough to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Saudi King Slams Egyptian Protests


Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a shock, but the leader of one of the Arab worlds most repressive regimes isn’t exactly a fan of anti-government protesters: Saudi Arabia slammed protesters in Egypt as “infiltrators” who seek to destabilize their country Saturday while an Iranian official called on Egypt to “abide by the rightful demands of […]

Saudi Women Drivers


A top Saudi cleric says nothing in the Koran forbids women from driving cars.

Removing the Fig Leaf from the Sunni Regimes


The diplomatic ramifications of the latest Wikileaks leaks are just starting to emerge and may place some countries in very embarrassing positions.

Iranian Nuclear Scientist Defects to USA

Shahram Amiri Defects

The defection of a top Iranian nuclear scientist has confirmed what we already knew. An award-winning Iranian nuclear scientist, who disappeared last year under mysterious circumstances, has defected to the CIA and been resettled in the United States, according to people briefed on the operation by intelligence officials. The officials were said to have termed […]

Unruly Passengers Disrupt Northwest Flight 243


Yet another incident aboard Flight 243 from Amsterdam to Detroit. Sources tell Fox 2 that a flight from Amsterdam into Detroit Metropolitan Airport was held on the tarmac after landing because of unruly behavior by some of the passengers.The source says four men from Saudi Arabia were saying something in Arabic that alarmed four on-board […]

U.S. Tightens Airport Screening for Foreigners


The Obama administration has announced that citizens traveling to the United States from 14 countries will undergo more intensive airport security screening.   Eric Lipton for NYT: Citizens of 14 nations, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, who are flying to the United States will be subjected indefinitely to the intense screening at airports worldwide that […]

Released Gitmo Inmates Planned Detroit Bombing


It appears that the Detroit terror plot was fomented by people formerly held at Gitmo: Two of the four leaders allegedly behind the al Qaeda plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines passenger jet over Detroit were released by the U.S. from the Guantanamo prison in November, 2007, according to American officials and Department of […]

Advice from the Saudis on Afghanistan


In this morning’s Washington Post Prince Turki al-Faisal of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, former director general of their intelligence service and also their former ambassador to the United States offers President Obama some advice on how to proceed in Afghanistan with which I find I am in almost complete agreement. His advice consists of […]

Saudi Family Sues Djinn in Sharia Court


A Saudi family has filed a lawsuit against a djinn for harassment in a sharia court: A family in Saudi Arabia has taken a genie to court, alleging theft and harassment, according to local media. The lawsuit filed in Shariah court accuses the genie of leaving them threatening voicemails, stealing their cell phones and hurling […]

The Pope Picks Our Ambassadors Now?


I glossed over yesterday’s news that the Vatican blocked Caroline Kennedy’s appointment as U.S. ambassador for a variety of reasons.  Regular commenter Tlaloc emailed me, though, making a good point: [T]he Vatican refuses to accept any ambassador who is not explicitly pro-life including anti-ESC research (such as Doug Kmiec).  Various voices on the right have […]

Former Gitmo Inmate Now al Qaeda Leader

Abu Sufyan al-Azdi al-Shahri Photo

There has been quite a bit of blogospheric reaction to the news that two former inmates at Gitmo appeared in an al Qaeda video: Two men released from the US “war on terror” prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have appeared in a video posted on a jihadist website, the SITE monitoring service reported. One of […]

Crime Pays

The Saudis have reportedly paid a $3 million ransom for their supertanker that’s been held by Somali pirates for the last several months: MOGADISHU, Somalia — A Saudi-owned supertanker held by pirates off the coast of Somalia for two months has been released for a ransom of $3 million, according to one of the pirates […]

Pulling Out: Debating Middle East Disengagement (Neg. Rebuttal)


Since this is my last entry in the debate, I’d like to thank Bernard Finel for what I think has been an excellent, interesting, and informative debate. I’ve accomplished what I set out to do when I was moved to propose this debate: I’ve established that complete disengagement with the Middle East (the resolution of […]

Pulling Out: Debating Middle East Disengagement (Aff. Cross)


Question 1 (Finel): You write: “I believe the evidence speaks clearly: the increased U. S. engagement in the region has overall been a stabilizing force.” What is the precise benefit to the United States of this increased stability? Are American interests in the region more or less secure today as a result? Or is this […]

Pulling Out: Debating Middle East Disengagement (Neg. Cross)


Question 1: What evidence do you have that reducing our “footprint” and “fingerprint” will result in a reduction of radicalism in the Middle East? BERNARD FINEL: Obviously, it is impossible to prove a hypothetical, so there is no direct evidence to support my contention that reducing our visibility will reduce radicalism. Indeed, I don’t think […]

Pulling Out: Debating Middle East Disengagement (Affirmative)


On January 23, 1980 President Jimmy Carter enunciated what became known as the Carter Doctrine. He stated, “An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by […]

The Future of Piracy (Updated)


We’re beginning to see the future of piracy unfold in the seas south of the Horn of Africa. Somali pirates have captured an oil tanker belonging to Saudi ARAMCO: JIDDA, Saudi Arabia: Pirates captured a Saudi-owned supertanker loaded with more than $100 million worth of crude oil off the coast of Kenya, seizing the largest […]

Tooth Fairy Diplomacy

Pat Lang isn’t happy with the signals coming from the nascent Obama Administration about the new administration’s prospective policies with respect to the Middle East: Words can not express my disappointment if this is the foreign policy that the Obama Administration will follow in the Middle East. The “Abdullah Plan” is not a plan. It […]

Iranian Nukes Breakthrough? (Updated)

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Iran Nukes Photo

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his gang of mullahs are said to be “seriously considering” the latest EU 5+1 proposals on resolving the international standoff on the Iranian nuclear program and are telling President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to pipe down. Warren Strobel: Iran’s senior diplomat said Tuesday that Tehran was seriously considering a new offer from six […]

John Bolton Slams Korea Nuke Deal


John Bolton, President Bush’s former UN ambassador, is not at all pleased with last week’s deal with North Korea on the nuclear stalemate. With much fanfare and choreography, but little substance, the administration has accepted a North Korean “declaration” about its nuclear program that is narrowly limited, incomplete and almost certainly dishonest in material respects. […]

Ann Dunwoody First Woman Four-Star General

General Ann Dunwoody Photo

Ann Dunwoody has been nominated for a fourth star, making her the first woman to achieve that rank in American history. “This is an historic occasion for the Department of Defense and I am proud to nominate Lt. Gen. Ann Dunwoody for a fourth star,” said Defense Secretary Robert Gates. “Her 33 years of service, […]

High Gas Prices Our Own Fault

High Gas Prices Our Own Fault

George Will joins the Blame America crowd on the issue of high oil prices. Responding to Chuck Schumer’s suggestion that we block arms sales to Saudi Arabia until it “increases its oil production by one million barrels per day,” which would cause the price of gasoline to fall “50 cents a gallon almost immediately,” Will […]

Reasons the Saudis Refused

Blogospheric commentary on President Bush’s failure to persuade the Saudis to pump more oil in an attempt to lower prices has largely centered on glee at the president’s discomfiture or outrage at the temerity of the Saudis (depending on which side of the political fence you sit on) and, as John Burgess notes, Saudi-bashing. There […]

U.S. Foreign Policy in the Post-Bush Era


Fareed Zakaria argues that John McCain’s foreign policy would be bellicose whereas Barack Obama’s would be conciliatiatory but, as Dave Schuler notes, both are “confrontational” and “interventionist,” just with slightly different priorities. Zakaria points to a recent McCain speech: Not only does it declare war on Russia and China, it places the United States in […]

Saudi Woman Killed for Chatting on Facebook


“A young Saudi Arabian woman was murdered by her father for chatting on the social network site Facebook.” The Guardian‘s Damien McElroy: The unnamed woman from Riyadh was beaten and shot after she was discovered in the middle of an online conversation with a man, the al-Arabiya website reported. The case was reported on a […]

Energy Independence Is Stupid (Updated)


One of the things that annoys me is the periodic nonsense about becoming energy independent. This idea that we can “wean ourselves off of oil” is just utter nonsense. The reason for this is that if there were economically viable alternatives to oil as a source of energy that source would be in use today […]

Saudi, Sharia Laws Applied in US Courts


Particularly in light of the fooforaw following the Archbishop of Canterbury’s statement about the inevitability of Sharia law in the UK, this piece from The Volokh Conspiracy on the application of Saudi Sharia law in Texas and Minnesota is interesting, to say the least! The issue is not actually whether Saudi law applies in Texas […]

Saudis Loosen Women’s Shackles


Various media are reporting on some serious reforms in Saudi Arabia, starting with giving women permission to drive. The story, so far sourced only to a correspondent of the UK’s The Telegraph, but being widely picked up, says that the government has bowed to the inevitable and is in the process of writing regulations and […]

Most Saudis Oppose al Qaeda

Most Saudis Oppose al Qaeda

A recent survey of Saudi Arabian adults finds a complicated view of America, terrorism, and freedom. Most Saudi Arabia citizens interviewed in a poll oppose terrorism and want closer ties with the United States. But many Saudis remain opposed to making peace with Israel, according to what researchers call an unprecedented survey of the kingdom. […]

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