Mashreq–Worldwide Relations

Reconfiguring Orient-Occident Relations

  Exactly five hundred years ago, in 1516, the renowned English statesman and social philosopher Sir Thomas More published “Utopia”, a novel in which he pictured an imaginary island where a totally just government had created the perfect society. More, however, was under no illusion that paradise is attainable in this wicked world – which is why the two Greek words from which “Utopia” is constructed translate as “nowhere.” In the real world, where imperfect societies abound, it is certainly incumbent on everyone to strive to eliminate injustice and improve life for humanity in general. But it is also necessary…
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Has the Second Cold War Begun?

We are facing the possibility of a second Cold War – and if it happens, Isis will never be defeated. Every conflict during the Cold War was fought by armies or insurgents working on behalf of the Americans, Russians, or, occasionally the Chinese: Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Angola and the list goes on. These countries would use proxies again, but with a higher death count, in the 21st century At the risk of sounding a little foolish, there is, sadly, much evidence that World War Three has already arrived, though not quite in the way so many futurologists of the past imagined…
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A mural of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump outside a bar in Vilnius, Lithuania, in May. Image©: Mindaugas Kulbis/AP mpc-journal.org

A Trump-Putin Axis?

US President-elect Donald Trump admires Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. That much became clear during Trump’s presidential campaign, as did his intention when in office to repair the US’s damaged relations with the Russian Federation. At the moment the US and Russia, although both nominally combating Islamic State (IS) in the Syrian civil war, are so far from allies that they are very nearly belligerents. In September 2014 the Obama administration brought together a coalition of countries to undertake a twin-objective military effort in Syria: to defeat the rampant IS that had seized large swathes of the country, and to remove…
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UK Split over the Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia

Britain’s parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee is at daggers drawn with Britain’s Foreign Office. That is to say, the Members of Parliament who form the influential Select Committee that monitors foreign affairs have taken up cudgels against the government department, headed by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, responsible for formulating and implementing UK foreign policy.

End of Nations: Is There an Alternative to Countries?

End of Nations: Is There an Alternative to Countries?

Nation states cause some of our biggest problems, from civil war to climate inaction. Science suggests there are better ways to run a planet. Try, for a moment, to envisage a world without countries. Imagine a map not divided into neat, coloured patches, each with clear borders, governments, laws. Try to describe anything our society does – trade, travel, science, sport, maintaining peace and security – without mentioning countries. Try to describe yourself: you have a right to at least one nationality, and the right to change it, but not the right to have none.

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Plans for Redrawing the Middle East

This article first published by GR in November 2006 is of particular relevance  to an understanding of the ongoing process of destabilization and political fragmentation of Iraq, Syria and Yemen.  Washington’s strategy consists in breaking up Syria and Iraq. *      *      * “Hegemony is as old as Mankind…” -Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. National Security Advisor The term “New Middle East” was introduced to the world in June 2006 in Tel Aviv by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who was credited by the Western media for coining the term) in replacement of the older and more imposing term, the…
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Destabilising the Middle East: A Historical Perspective of US Foreign Policy - From 1953 when the CIA staged a coup in Iran to topple the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953 until the Obama administration’s endeavours to replace the Assad regime in Syria, destabilisation has been at the core of how the US policy toward the Middle East. US destabilisation policy is not a post-9/11 phenomenon that can be defaulted to the “war on terror” nor is it an aberration from US foreign policy and the mainstream media and various analysts claim.

Destabilising the Middle East: A Historical Perspective of US Foreign Policy

I wrote the first version of this essay in June 2014. Since then, I had over 4,000 hits on it in my blog. I decided to update it partly because of some elements of neo-isolationist proposals from the Republicans Party and presidential candidate Trump who claimed that Obama and Clinton were the founders of ISIS. More importantly, I see a downward spiral in US foreign policy whether the White House is under a Democrat or Republican administration.

A woman cries over the coffin of a suicide bombing victim during a commemoration ceremony in a mosque in Ankara, Turkey

How Radical Ideologies Thrive in Divided World

Terrorism and other attacks by disillusioned youth reinforce the need to rediscover equality as a human right. Forms of seemingly irrational violence within society and even sexualised or racial violence are dramatically on the rise worldwide. We see radicalisation and especially a turn to ideology in communities, societies and states. The common denominator is a type of thinking characterised by the feeling of “We against the Rest”. At the same time, people everywhere struggle with the loss of their identity in today’s “liquid modernity”, a concept coined by sociologist Zygmunt Bauman.

The woman behind the project, Sherin Khankan.

Who Is Behind the Mosque Run Entirely By Women

Her name is Sherin Khankan. Born in Denmark to a Syrian father and a Finnish mother, the well-known author and political commentator has started a new mosque in Copenhagen, Denmark. Named as ‘Mariam Mosque’, it is led entirely by women imams.

Lost Generation in Conflict Zones Image©: GETTY IMAGES

Lost Generation in Conflict Zones

  A catastrophic by-product of ongoing conflicts in the Middle East is a lost generation of unschooled children. These children find themselves, through no fault of their own, not only displaced but lacking the opportunity for proper schooling and thus, denied a chance to learn and develop the necessary skills to become fully functional members of society. This lost generation is the tragedy of our time. According to a 2015 report by UNICEF, the United Nations children’s agency, conflict in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has driven 13 million children out of schools. Unschooled children are not only a…
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