Tag Archives: Middle East


Neocons: They Are Alive and Itching for War!

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 24, 2014, No Comments

If you thought that the American neoconservatives (aka "chicken hawks") of the George W. Bush administration–persons who brought us the Iraqi invasion based on a mission to destroy the imaginary arsenal of weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussain was hiding–you would be wrong. They are very much alive and are coming back through cyberspace and the airways trashing President Barack Obama's handling of Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.  When they are reminded of the atrocious mess originally created in Afghanistan and Iraq by Bush and these very same neocons, they deny this linkage and then quickly proceed with their warmongering rhetoric.  A factor to keep in mind about these neocons is that none has actually fought in a war.  However, their palpable penchant for war–as long as someone else's son or daughter is going to die in it–has rightly earned them the pejorative depiction "chicken hawks." Their proclivities are very much alive; they are itching for another war. (mo

The Helen Thomas Incident

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 8, 2010, 1 Comment

Helen Thomas, the veteran journalist who covered the White House for fifty years, and who was serving as a columnist for the Hearst newspapers, was forced to resign from her job for saying on camera that the Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go back to where they came from: Germany, Poland, and America. She apologized for saying that and rightly so. She was wrong in her opinion, but being wrong should not be a deadly offense. (more…)

Sayonara, Yoshida Doctrine; Hello, Hatoyama Doctrine; Whither U.S.-Japan Ties?

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 31, 2010, No Comments

When the global dialogue about an ostensible power shift to Asia from the West was heating up, no one was imagining that Japan would be reassessing its historical ties with the United States. The Yoshida Doctrine – named after Japan's post-World War II Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida – was expected to be the cornerstone of that country's foreign policy. Toward the end of the first decade of the 21st Century, a new Hatoyama Doctrine – named after its current Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama – seems to be emerging, while Japan might be bidding sayonara to the Yoshida doctrine. (http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a713704248&db=all) (more…)

While Iran Awaits Another Revolutionary Change

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 18, 2009, No Comments

There is something about revolutionary change that keeps us from recognizing it while it is happening.  Only when it picks up its pace beyond control that we wake up from our slumber of ignorance and recognize that something really "big" is either happening or about to happen.  Such is the case in Iran today.   (more…)

The Shia-Sunni Power Play in the Middle East

by Ehsan Ahrari on May 25, 2009, 1 Comment

The continuing public spat between Hezbollah and Arab states is a mixture of old and new styles of power play.  The "old" part implicitly involves Iran--the chief supporter of Hezbollah--while the new aspect of this power play is between the antiquated monarchies and the nexus between Iran and Hezbollah.  Iran is the "rising power" of the Middle East, while the Sunni Arab states belong to the category of "declining" powers.  Hezbollah's status will be determined most significantly after the impending elections in Lebanon.  As an example of how the U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East is more of an expression of continuity than change (despite President Barack H. Obama's rhetoric of "change') Vice President Biden was dispatched to Lebanon to influence the outcome of the Lebanese elections, an action that is likely to backfire and, in the process, only enhance the political clout of Hezbollah.    (more…)

Thinking about Israel’s Unthinkable Image in Palestine

by Ehsan Ahrari on March 1, 2009, No Comments

A London Times dispatch reads:  "Tony Blair makes his first trip to the Gaza Strip."  In the growing global economic meltdown, the world has forgotten the suffering of the Palestinians who became victims of Israel's "war" against Hamas.  How can there be a war between the most well equipped military of the Middle East and a state which does not even have an armed force of any credibility.  But this is the era of asymmetric war, and Hamas did launch rockets or missiles on Israel.  Those terror weapons did not cause much damage, but they provided a "justification" for Israel to let loose its military wrath on the civilian Palestinians. (more…)

A Wrong-Headed Drumbeat on Iran

by Ehsan Ahrari on September 22, 2008, No Comments

America's presidential election debates are driven by a regular fear-mongering drumbeat on Iran.  Both Barack Obama and John McCain are involved in it.  Iran is frequently described as a source of regional turbulence and a sponsor of terrorism.  A similar type of drumbeat on Iraq led to America's "war of choice."  Those–especially the critics of George W. Bush's style of unilateralism that resulted in his decision to invade Iraq–who think that Democrats somehow will not fall into the same type of wrong-headed decision regarding Iran are patently wrong.    (more…)

The Birth Pangs of A Multipolar World Order

by Ehsan Ahrari on August 27, 2008, No Comments

The confluence of the waning months of the Bush presidency–when the lameduck factor is looming large– the continued insistence of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that the U.S. set a timetable of withdrawing from Iraq, the Russian invasion of Georgia, and the forced resignation of General Pervez Musharraf–President Bush's favorite strongman in Pakistan–are creating a new buzz globally.  That buzz can be highlighted along the lines that "Washington is forced to watch other powers shape events," that a superpower is reborn (in reference to Russian military action against on Georgia), that a new world order is emerging, and that America's decline will not easily be reversed.   (more…)

The “End” or The “Return” of History: When Will History Make Up Its Mind?

by Ehsan Ahrari on August 26, 2008, 2 Comments

There is something imprudent about strategic thinkers when it comes to history.  For some reason, for some of them, it has to come to an end when an idea experiences a temporary–but significant–success.  But when that idea appears to fail, they make an equally rash extrapolation, and start talking about the "return" of history.  Francis Fukuyama became ebullient regarding the "end" of history when the Soviet Union–the archetype of communist totalitarianism–collapsed.  For him, the triumph of liberal democracy in a dialectical sense was an end of history, where no idea emerged as a superior one.  Robert Kagan, in his new book, The Return of History and the End of Dreams, argues that history did not come to end when the Soviet Union imploded or when the Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989.  The triumph of liberal democracy–which then appeared as a shining example of success–proved illusory.  In this sense, he sees a "return" of history.  The end of dreams might be another h

The ‘Straitjacket’ of the American Presidency

by Ehsan Ahrari on July 27, 2008, No Comments

In the presidential debates between the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, Barack Obama, and that of the Republican Party, John McCain, the Middle East and South Asia stand out prominently.  The four issues of discussion are: America's continued presence in Iraq, relations with Israel, dealing with Iran, and the future modalities of American actions in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  However, regarding the Middle East more than about South Asia, American presidential candidates are required to wear a straitjacket that prevents them from taking bold actions once they win the presidency.  However, as in the context of every rule, there are exceptions in this one also.  Former President Jimmy Carter was an exception, for he succeeded in getting out of that straitjacket as President and presided over the conclusion of the Camp David Agreements in 1979.  No American President since was able to take off that straitjacket and accomplish a similar outcome, even though President Bill