Category Archives: The Middle East Revolts

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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The Arab Spring comes to Iran — again

A month ago, observers were stunned as a dark-horse reform candidate, Hassan Rouhani, was declared the winner of the presidential election in Iran. I haven’t commented yet because this was a surprise to me, and I wanted to try and … Continue reading

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Too late now to intervene in Syria

Readers of this blog know that I have long advocated US intervention in Syria’s conflict – short of sending in ground troops, but to include establishing humanitarian aid corridors, liberated zones, no-fly zones, and weapons to rebel groups.  The main goal of … Continue reading

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Turkey — what now?

A few days, ago, I gave my view on the causes of the street demonstrations and riots in Turkey. Since then, commentators have struggled to find analogies — is this a Turkish version of the Arab Spring?  Or something else? … Continue reading

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