Islamophobia in the West: Playing into the Hands of ISIS

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. Continue reading “Islamophobia in the West: Playing into the Hands of ISIS”

The Underpublicized Maneuvers of the GCC States

Leave it to two Israeli writers to make a point, which is mostly missed inside the United States, regarding the diplomatic adroitness and political savviness of the States of the Persian/Arabian Gulf. When Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu came to the United States last March and tried to embellish the mutuality of interests between the Gulf States and Israel toward the then impending US-Iran nuclear deal, everyone thought that a political nexus between Israel and the Gulf States was in the process of sprouting. Continue reading “The Underpublicized Maneuvers of the GCC States”

Heading Toward Failure: A Coalition of the “Reluctantly Willing”

As the Obama administration is busy forming a coalition to fight-eradicate the Islamic State (IS) or (ISIS/ISIL), the evolving coalition that gathered last week in Paris was a far cry from the one put together by George H. W. Bush in 1991 to fight and expel Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait.  Today’s participants of the coalition of the “reluctantly willing” are probably thinking, but not voicing, that defeating the IS will be a difficult, if not impossible, challenge for a variety of reasons.

Continue reading “Heading Toward Failure: A Coalition of the “Reluctantly Willing””

So Long, 2013; Welcome 2014…I Think!

Happy new year to all my global friends and contacts!

2013 has been an okay year for the United States, in terms of its foreign policy in the Middle East and in the Asia-Pacific.  Continue reading “So Long, 2013; Welcome 2014…I Think!”

The Synonymity Between Dispensability and Decline

In his second inaugural address in January 1997, President Bill Clinton stated, “America stands alone as the world’s indispensable nation.”[1]  Since then, that phrase has been used on a regular basis.  America, as an indispensable nation, underscores its dominance in resolving conflicts of all portions since the end of World War II.    It has been a major enabler of global economic stability and prosperity of Western Europe and Japan, and, most important of all, it contained the former Soviet Union–playing a crucial role in bringing about its eventual implosion.  Continue reading “The Synonymity Between Dispensability and Decline”

The Emerging Brave New World and Eroding American Hegemony: Lessons for China

As much as China watches and learns from the patterns of the military preparedness, modernization, and foreign policy behavior of the United States, the past several weeks of the Arab “Awakening” and America’s responses to it should be eye opening lessons for it.  The most important lesson is how to preserve political clout – if not dominance – under the newly emerging brave new Arab world. Continue reading “The Emerging Brave New World and Eroding American Hegemony: Lessons for China”

The Politico-Cultural Basis for the Arab Fear of Iran

Authoritarian regimes are notorious about keeping their real policies and the personal predilections of their rulers as state secrets.  Whenever they speak in public, their words are carefully chosen and they almost invariably do not reflect much about the real policies of their respective countries.  In this regard, WikiLeaks‘ disclosures about the Saudi perceptions of Iran and what measures the Saudi King wanted the United States to take against Islamic Republic are truly educational for students of current affairs, as well as for future historians.  King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was reported to have advised General David Petraeus and the then U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, that the United States should crush the head of the snake by attacking Iran.  He was referring to his fears about the potential emergence of Iran as a nuclear power.  King Abdullah, during a meeting with President Obama’s Counterterrorism advisor, John Brennan, also expressed his deep apprehension of the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, by stating “I don’t trust that man.”  For those who are immersed in the strategic affairs of the Middle East, King Abdullah’s comments also reflect long-standing politico-cultural antagonisms between the Arabs and the Persians (Iranians). Continue reading “The Politico-Cultural Basis for the Arab Fear of Iran”

Defiant Iran Has Its Achilles’ Heel

It is hard to say that there is an “open season” on berating, hating, and ridiculing Iran in the West, because that season has never ended since the Iranian revolution of 1979.  Despite all the odds against it, Iran remains a formidable Middle Eastern state with a lot of clout and popularity stemming from its support of the Palestinian cause and for supporting the Hezbollah Lebanon, a political as well as a paramilitary organization that withstood the fury of Israeli attacks during the July-August 2006, a reality that remains intensely popular in Arab streets.  Still Iran’s Achilles’ heel remains the growing unpopularity of its government from within.

The Islamic Revolution brought an end to the rule of “America’s Shah.”  Even President Jimmy Carter, who has evolved as America’s best ex-president, attempted to encourage the Iranian Army to bring an end to the revolution.  Carter’s successor, Ronald Reagan, openly sided with Iraq in its aggression against the Islamic Republic.[1]  Iran has long been depicted as a “pariah” or a “rogue” state by Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.  Bush’s Secretary of State, Condy Rice, in her quest for new phrases of affront, once characterized it an “outpost of tyranny.”  Continue reading “Defiant Iran Has Its Achilles’ Heel”