Archive for September 2012

Super Stability: A Reason for Israelis to Rue the Chinese Curse of Having to Live in “Interesting Times”

    I don’t know whether you have thought about it, but when it comes to areas like foreign affairs or defence, or even a whole slew of domestic issues in Israel, Israelis have recently been deluged by a flood of spin and often baseless speculation in the world media. For example, almost every Western […]

The “Arab Spring” Is Going The Same Way As “The Golden Age of Islamic Science”—And For The Same Reasons

  When the rebellions in the Arab world broke out, most commentators were quick to declare that an “Arab Spring” had come to the Middle East. There was a widespread assumption in the West that the Arab world would soon be engulfed by demands for the institution of liberal democratic governments in most, if not […]

Some New Middle East Strategic Equations

Instead of discussing each country and political entity separately, in this article I would like to look at the current situation thematically. My thesis is that the media have been so preoccupied with day-to-day events, that most of the pundits and commentators have failed analyze and methodically examine where the countries in the region are […]

Middle Eastern Political Behaviour is Spreading World-Wide

  Over the years, one of the greatest problems I have faced is trying to explain to folks abroad that politics in the Middle East operates on different premises than it does in their countries—and so so-called “solutions” concocted in Washington or Brussels may be of no value because they fail to deal with what […]

The Trivialization of the Zionist Experiment

  January 2012   After covering and analyzing events in the Middle East for more than 45 years, I have learned that it is often the very things that the media fail to cover that drive events in this region. This truism applies equally to Israel and the Arab states.   Take the series of […]

Saudi Arabia: Where Money Is Expected To Buy Anything And Everything

One of the hardest things about being an analyst is figuring out what I don’t know. Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was made the butt of innumerable jokes when he told a press conference in 2002 that:   [T]here are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are […]

Syria: At War With Itself

  A year ago, mass demonstrations had spread throughout Syria, but the situation had not yet degenerated into the widespread violence we see today. At the time, pundits and analysts were predicting President Bashar Assad’s imminent fall—just as they are doing today.   However, despite all the events that have taken place the past year, […]

Syria: Tribalism

Note: This lecture was first delivered in August 2011, but has certainly stood the test of time One of the most frustrating things for me as I read through the press reports about the revolts in the Arab world is the failure of journalists and commentators to put the events into some sort of historical […]