Category Archives: The Middle East Revolts

Borders and Bodies

The world has recently seen what seems like a sudden eruption of violence and disorder, from civil war in Ukraine and Iraq and Syria to Israel’s invasion of Gaza.  There is also Boko Haram attacking young men and women in … Continue reading

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Should we vs. Can we?

My recent posts on staying out of Iraq have produced several interesting comments (click on the titles of the posts below then scroll down to see the comments and replies). Let me be clear — if I thought we could … Continue reading

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When it is vitally important to do nothing!

Disasters everywhere:  Syria is in flames, Iraq is collapsing, Afghanistan’s election is disputed with riots, Boko Haram is still unchecked in Nigeria, Libya is breaking up in slow motion, Buddhists (Buddhists!) are massacring Muslims in Sri Lanka, tanks and armored … Continue reading

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Terror comes to Egypt

In revolutions, there often comes a stage of “terror” involving purges, numerous executions, mass arrests, and disappearances. Terror arises at a time when a new government, brought to power by popular agitation, decides the time has come to destroy its … Continue reading

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Self-Promotion

To anyone who has been waiting (anyone?) — my latest book is now available at the terrific price of under $10 (even less for the Kindle edition). Revolutions: A Very Short Introduction (published by Oxford University Press) examines how revolutions differ … Continue reading

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Looking ahead for 2014

As we enter 2014, it is worth looking back at 2013 and giving thanks for things that went right! (1) The Eurozone avoided political or economic disaster.  Despite austerity policies damaging top-line economic growth, and leaving many European countries with … Continue reading

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Can Iran be Trusted (Yes, but…)

Like any other country, Iran can be trusted: to pursue its own interests, but no further. So the euphoria regarding the recent multi-nation agreement on Iran’s nuclear program should be stepped down. Many of the provisions seem to rely on … Continue reading

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Putin plays his hand well – but with what result?

President Vladimir Putin has skillfully taken advantage of the opening given, almost by accident, by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, for Russia to frame the debate on what to do about the civil war raging in Syria. Russia’s strategic … Continue reading

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Syria Classified Cable

“Starting this fire will be like a spark in a large store of gunpowder, with unclear and unspecified outcomes and consequences,” Khamenei told Iranian Cabinet members this week. “The U.S. threats and possible intervention in Syria is a disaster for … Continue reading

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Deaths in Egypt

I have seen reports in recent days of the death of democracy in Egypt (when was it ever alive — perhaps just barely?)  I have seen reports that the Arab Spring is “over,”  “dead” or “being reversed.” All of these … Continue reading

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