Mashreq–Worldwide Relations

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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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Disentangling Omar Mateen’s motivations in the Orlando shooting, at this point a major focus of the inquiry, is likely to be a complicated task. Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Orlando Shooting: Is It Islam or Western Homophobia?

On 12 June 2016, a mass shooting left 49 dead and 53 wounded in an LGBT+ nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Statistics show that the LGBT+ community is the minority whose members are most likely to become victims of hate crimes in the United States. More depressingly, over 80% of LGBT+ people killed in the US are queer people of colour, according to a report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. Someone who knew Pulse Club well was anonymously quoted online saying that calling it a “gay club” would be factually false: “What actually made this club unique is that it was explicitly for the entire LGBT+ spectrum. “A place…
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Saudi security forces take part in a military parade in preparation for the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. (AP)

What Happens When Arab Autocrats Left to Fend for Themselves?

It is a difficult task to explain everything about the Middle East in a short article. So what I am going to do is to present an important, yet sometimes provocative series of headlines for a more lively analysis. The first point is that the rise of Asia shares significant responsibility for the turmoil the Middle East is experiencing. What I mean to say with this is that popular wisdom has it that a war weary, indecisive and weak President Obama’s disengagement from the region lies at the root of nations with Saudi Arabia in the lead adopting more assertive foreign and defensive policies…
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Europe’s Refugee Crisis: Grapple With Complexity We Must

There is much to understand – but one way of approaching the refugee crisis is to think through the historical precedents, to consider whether they offer us pointers as to what the space is for political and public action.  This is not easy, as historical precedents are never quite the same as what is going on now.  But surely this is an area for analysis and debate that is currently lacking. Some have gone down this route. A recent excellent posting by Becky Taylor draws parallels between the public reaction to the Hungarian refugee crisis of 1956 and emerging signs…
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Muhesen Amren/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Zionists’ Crafted Geopolitical Tapestry

The on-going war in Syria and Iraq arrests the attention of the global powers and apparently much diplomatic struggle is being waged to handle the current crisis, which is readily declining the state artifices of both Syria and Iraq. This article attempts at investigating the historical linkage to the current situation. Weizmann and Ben-Gurion were willing to negotiate with Arab rulers in order to gain those rulers’ recognition of Jewish statehood in Palestine in return for the Zionists’ recognition of Arab independence elsewhere, but they would not negotiate with the Arab politicians in Palestine for a political settlement in their…
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Silhouette of soldier

Terrorism: Then and Now

The year 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the Irish Easter Rebellion. Throughout the year I will try to revisit some of the lessons of Ireland’s struggle for freedom. Bombs explode in a subway. The victims are everyday people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. What follows is outrage: Track down the perpetuators. The people who set off the bombs are monsters and inhuman fanatics, thunder the authorities. But the year is not 2016; it is 1883 during the “Dynamite War” waged by mainly Irish-American members of the Fenians against the English occupation of…
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