Category Archives: Hot Global Issues from Other Sources

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Islamophobia in the West: Playing into the Hands of ISIS

by Ehsan Ahrari on April 18, 2016, No Comments

Fear of Islam and Muslims has been a visible trend since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.  In Europe, this trend was given fictional respectability in the name of freedom of speech.  However, the same alleged commitment to freedom of expression was not applied to those who denied the Holocaust.  The point here is not that anyone should deny the Holocaust.  Rather, the point of emphasis here is the hypocritical application of the selective use of that practice and the related double standard.  The same hypocrisy was applied in various cartoons disrespecting the Prophet of Islam.  For those who only read how capable the Europeans can be about insulting or even hating other religions need no proof other than the frequent nefarious acts of insulting the Prophet and Islam through the drawing of these offensive cartoons. (more…)
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Is the ‘Dead’ Arab World Really Waiting to be Led by Iran?

by Ehsan Ahrari on September 15, 2015, No Comments

Reading Boualem Sansal’s recent interview in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, was a stimulating experience. In that interview, Sansal, after depicting the Arab world “in terms of history,” as “dead,” thinks that Iran “is well armed intellectually, scientifically and economically, and could one day lead Islam globally.” He is also of the view that “…soon the Sunni Arabs will accept the domination of Shi’ite Iran, because only Iran enjoys recognition from the West, and even instills fear in it.” He regards Iran’s nuclear program as “proof” of Iranian “capabilities.” He also regards “Western Islam” as a “serious rival” of Iran. Western Islam, in Sansal’s estimation, “too could one day compete for the right to lead the Muslim world.” (more…)
ARAB-IRAN RIVALRY BINYAMIN NETANYAHU BISHARA ASSAD C4I IRAN COUNTERTERRORISM EGYPT GREAT POWER RELATIONS HASAN ROUHANI HILLARY CLINTON HOT GLOBAL ISSUES FROM OTHER SOURCES INTELLIGENCE IRAN IRAN'S FOREIGN MINISTER IRAQ ISIS/ISIL/IS ISLAM ISLAMIC REVOLUTION OF IRAN ISRAEL JIHADISTS KING ABDULLAH OF SAUDI ARABIA LEVANT MIDDLE EAST MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA UNCATEGORIZED UNITED STATES US GLOBAL LEADERSHIP

Burying the Hatchet is the Precondition for US-Iran Rapprochement

by Ehsan Ahrari on August 13, 2015, No Comments

A lot of ink is being spilled analyzing the pros and cons of the recently concluded US-Iran nuclear deal between Iran and the 5+ 1 countries (4 permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany), and there is ample show of emotions about this deal involving different actors. The Arab states are upset because they concluded that its successful implementation would lead to an era of US-Iran rapprochement in which Iran, more than the Arab states, would be the focus of America’s attention. The Israelis are mad because they see the emergence of a nuclear Iran in the distant future as a result of it. More to the point, Israel’s Prime Minister , Benyamin Netanyahu, envisions that deal as the first historical step toward bringing about an end to Israel’s own preeminence, related to its nuclear deterrence in the region. A study prepared for the RAND Corporation addresses precisely that point when it notes, “Nuclear weapons would probably reinforce Iran's traditional national secu
AFGHANISTAN BISHARA ASSAD HOT GLOBAL ISSUES FROM OTHER SOURCES INTELLIGENCE IRAN IRAQ ISIS/ISIL/IS ISLAM PAKISTAN US GLOBAL LEADERSHIP

Anti-ISIS War Underscores the End of Western Dominance

by Ehsan Ahrari on October 9, 2014, No Comments

The emergence of ISIS/ISIL/IS is just one more example–albeit a significant one–of the passage of an era of Western dominance of the Arab/Muslim world.  President Barack Obama's anti-ISIS strategy (which is anything but a strategy) and his war on that entity in Syria and Iraq should be examined in that context.  The most prominent members of Obama's coalition to bomb ISIS are Arab monarchies of West Asia, whose very survival remains under constant threat not only from the Islamists, but also from the anti-authoritarian forces that played a crucial role in initiating the Arab Awakening in December 2010.  As much as the Arab Awakening has become a somewhat dormant force, its turbulence is still being felt on a daily basis in Yemen and Jordan.  As much as the Saudis succeeded in suppressing the rebellion of largely Shia masses against the Sunni rulers of Bahrain, no one really knows how stable that sheikhdom is likely to remain and for how long.  The Arab states are experiencing
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The Abbotabad Commission Report and the United States

by Ehsan Ahrari on July 23, 2013, No Comments

The Abbotabad Commission Report, in some corners of Pakistan, is depicted as "scathing," while another school of thought calls it a mere whitewash.  The fact of the matter is that it is both.  It is scathing in its criticism of some security institutions and practices, such as the lack of coordination.  However, its only whitewash is either ignoring or soft-pedaling the real culprit, the possible involvement of the higher ups in either approving the presence of Usama Bin Laden (UBL) in Pakistan or  being a party to it.  (more…)
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The Third Presidential Debate and the Changing World of Islam

by Ehsan Ahrari on October 23, 2012, 1 Comment

Presidential debates are a chore for a sitting president. He has to share the podium with an opponent who has little-to-no experience in foreign policy. That places the incumbent president incessantly on the defensive. For President Barack Obama, that specific aspect of the challenge was particularly onerous, because of his poor performance in the first presidential debate. Thus, he was under enormous pressure to be aggressive in criticizing the ever-changing policy positions of his Republican opponent, former Governor Mitt Romney. At the same time, Obama had to be careful not to sound angry or petty. Romney's challenge was of a significantly different nature. Since he performed admirably during the first debate, he was expected to continue the same performance in the following debate. However, he knew full well that Obama was not going to be docile during the second round. In the second debate, Obama managed to get under Romney's skin quite often in his attempt to underscore policy
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The Emerging Global Realignments

by Ehsan Ahrari on December 27, 2011, No Comments

For the students of international affairs, the notion of power realignment is an old one.[1]  When it really happens, the erstwhile great powers, or even the superpowers, are likely to encounter pleasant or unpleasant surprises.  The year 1991 was one such occasion, when the communist superpower imploded, thereby freeing a number of nations of Eastern/Central Europe and Eurasia, triggering a series of rounds of NATO "enlargement," and, most importantly, creating a "unipolar moment."  The United States remained the only superpower.  The period between 2008 and 2011 is both unique and somewhat similar to that of 1991.  It is similar in the sense that it is also bringing about the decline of the United States.  It is unique in the sense that, unlike the rather quick implosion of the Soviet Union, America's decline is a long and drawn out process and potentially reversible. (more…)
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Afghanistan: The Enduring Battlefield of the ‘Weak’ and the ‘Strong’

by Ehsan Ahrari on October 9, 2011, 1 Comment

India and Pakistan are two strange countries in a number of ways.  I will mention only one such trait here, to get the discussion going.  Despite India's denial to the contrary, Pakistan is its chief obsession.  Pakistan feels similarly toward India, but it has many reasons to feel that way.  First, on the scale of economic development, these two countries are really a world apart.  Despite India's intricacy as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious state, it is relatively trouble free, while Pakistan is a simmering cauldron of sectarian and ethnic hatred.  The Takfiri extremism – which was prevalent in Egypt, post-Saddam Iraq, and Saudi Arabia – has found a home in Pakistan throughout the first decade of the 21st Century.  India is envisaged worldwide as a secular democracy and an up-and-coming cradle of modern education and technological development, while Pakistan is a place where Islamist-driven obscurantism is running rampant.  In view of these contrasting featur
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The Impending Power Shift is Not All Good News for PRC and All Bad News for U.S.

by Ehsan Ahrari on September 16, 2011, 1 Comment

The rise and fall of great powers appear very clear only in retrospect.  However, while it is happening, even the most imaginative scenario-builders are nagged by the looming uncertainty and the gnawing thought about whether they are witnessing a permanent or even a long-term trend, or whether they are watching only a "tempest in a teapot."  This is how I feel while witnessing the ostensible decline of the United States.  Unlike a number of strategic thinkers, I do not link the start of the seeming decline of the lone superpower to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  On the contrary, I relate it to the economic miasma that has been lurking over its horizon since 2008, and the related worsening mood inside the United States that is preventing members of the Democratic and Republican parties to agree on middle-of-the road compromises – which had long been one of the hallmarks of American political culture – to cure its economic decline. (more…)