Featured News

An Incomplete Justice

The verdict delivered Thursday against Charles G. Taylor for crimes against humanity ends a saga that began on Christmas Eve 1989, when Mr. Taylor and a group of Libyan-trained followers invaded Liberia, igniting a regional conflagration that eventually engulfed parts of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast. Although Mr. Taylor’s conviction, by a speci...    read more 

America’s Syria Abdication

Little more than a year into their terrible ordeal, the Syrians are a people unillusioned. “We have been forsaken by the world,” a noted figure of the opposition recently told me in Istanbul. Days later, in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Antakya, in a tent city a stone’s throw from their tormented homeland, [&hellip...    read more 

Adonis, the Syrian Crisis, and the Question of Pluralism in the Levant

More than a century after its genesis, Arab national identity remains a vexing question for many Middle Eastern writers and intellectuals. In its 20th century heyday, it frequently overshadowed any alternative identity frameworks. Its vocal proponents dismissed any alternative, non-Arab identities, placing their ideological convictions over any other competi...    read more 

The New Anti-Semitism

Not long ago, the Economist ran an unsigned editorial called the “Auschwitz Complex.” The unnamed author blamed serial Middle East tensions on both Israel’s unwarranted sense of victimhood, accrued from the Holocaust, and its unwillingness to “to give up its empire.” As far as Israel’s paranoid obsessions with the specter ...    read more 

Egypt’s Dance with Democracy Bears Watching

One of the great conceits of my profession (i.e., political scientist) is the claim made that democracies will never choose to make war on one another. This “Democratic Peace” hypothesis has been treated as proven fact by U.S. presidents ever since Woodrow Wilson explained World War I as a campaign to “make the world safe [&hellip...    read more 

America’s Alibis for Not Helping Syria

There are the Friends of Syria, and there are the Friends of the Syrian Regime. The former, a large group-the United States, the Europeans and the bulk of Arab governments-is casting about for a way to end the Assad regime’s assault on its own people. In their ranks there is irresolution and endless talk about [&hellip...    read more 

International Law and the Hamas-Fatah Doha Deal

Hamas, the Islamist group that has de facto control of the Gaza Strip, is an arm of the international Muslim Brotherhood. It is a terrorist organization that is ideologically committed to the destruction of the State of Israel. To quote from article 8 of its Covenant (1988), “[j]ihad is its path and death for the [&hellip...    read more 

Might Is Right in Syria

In the early 1940s, France—by then a stunted and drained superpower—was no longer calling the shots in international affairs. And it was doing less so in the Levant. Britain was the dominant superpower and by default the artisan of what became the modern Middle East and its Arab sovereign-states system. The Middle East polities we [&hellip...    read more 

The Libyan Non-Model

It is a good thing that Moammar Qaddafi is gone, even if by barbaric means. So what did we learn from the 2011 misadventure, given that some are advocating much the same sort of action against Syria and Iran? Answer: Not much. 1. Small is easy. The bombing of Libya was billed as an idealistic [&hellip...    read more 

The Threat of Boko Haram and the Continuing Crisis in Nigeria

In Nigeria Boko Haram has struck again, this time more violently. On 21 January 2012 the city of Kano was hit with more than 30 bombs during just a few hours. At least 178 people died and hundreds were injured. [1] The city was traumatized. Its residents were subjected to terror and the nation was [&hellip...    read more