It was interesting to watch President Trump’s speech to the assembled notables of the Arab and Islamic world today. Besides the obvious climb down from his anti-Muslim rhetoric during the campaign, the most striking aspect of the speech was the clear realignment of US policy in the region in favor of our long standing Sunni allies. The Obama administration had moved the US away from its traditional allies, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt in his overtures to Iran which culminated in the deal over Iran’s nuclear program. The question still remains as to why he did this. Did he believe that an overture to Iran was his Nixon moment and that his legacy would be that of a peacemaker towards one of America’s most hostile enemies? If that is the case then he was merely deluded. Continue reading →
Given the ongoing jihad that the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, Jamaat Al Islami, Jamiat Ahli Al Hadith and other Islamic organizations have declared against the west it is interesting to note that nothing much has changed in respect of the beliefs, ideologies and actions of these contemporary holy warriors compared to their various antecedents.
The roots of this ideology goes back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad but the contemporary jihadi movement is most heavily influenced by the Hanbali jurist Ibn Taymiyyah (1263-1328) who rejected the idea that the so called greater Jihad referred to the interior moral struggle of believers. Continue reading →
One of the possible consequences of the US nuclear deal with Iran will be for Saudi Arabia to start to develop its own nuclear capability. The deal with Iran, if adhered to does not stop Iran from eventually developing nuclear weapons merely pauses that development. During this period it gives the Saudis time, if they choose to begin a program of their own.
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The current visit of President Barack Obama to Saudi Arabia and the GCC has highlighted a number of elements of confusion in US policy towards the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia has been a longstanding strategic ally of the United States in the region, albeit with reservations when it has pursued its singular interests. However, so has our ally Israel, which has consistently put its own interests first when they have clashed with US policy interests. They have consistently defied all US attempts to halt the expansion of the settlements in the West Bank. Their lack of co-operation with fair-minded efforts by various administrations to create some workable structure to diminish, if not resolve the dispute with the Palestinians in pursuit of their own objectives is hardly the action of a friend. In fact, they have gone so far as to have actually launched a sanctioned military attack on a US Naval vessel which resulted in the deaths of 34 US servicemen and the wounding of 171. Continue reading →
One thing that can always be relied on in the politics of the Middle East is that nothing is fixed and that the politics, alliances and downright collusions are as shifting as the sands of the Rub Al Khali.
This week the Bahraini foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmad Al Khalifa came out with a statement that Iran was the biggest threat to peace and stability in the region. This is not surprising coming from a mouthpiece of the Sunni minority government in Bahrain but it is instructive of the hardening of the sectarian divide in the region. He went on to declare, in lockstep with the Emiratis and the Sa’udis that they now considered the Iranian proxy Hizbollah to be a terrorist organization. Continue reading →
These chilling words were spoken by Adolf Hitler in 1944. Yesterday, another enemy of humanity unleashed a horrific attack in the City of Light. However, the difference between Adolf Hitler and Ibrahim Al Baghdadi is that Hitler ultimately believed in the superiority of Western Civilization and sought to destroy only elements of Western Culture, such as Bolshevism, whereas at the heart of the ideology that Baghdadi and the Islamic State espouses is the destruction of the West in its entirety. Continue reading →
The fluid and unfortunate civil war in Syria is becoming more complex almost daily. The insertion of Russian forces into the conflict augurs ill for any return to stability in the region and portends more suffering for the Syrian people. The Russians are intent on propping up the regime of Bashar Al Assad and protecting their only client in the Middle East. Their intervention is a clear signal that the Assad regime was in trouble. Despite their professions that they want to stop the advance of ISIS, one can be certain that they will also try to defeat other opposition forces that threaten the regime, particularly ones that may potentially be aligned with the United States. It is obvious that Putin knows that Obama is weak and he will take full advantage of this fact. Continue reading →
As the senate battle over the Iran nuclear deal heats up with the pro Israeli Democrat Charles Schumer coming out against it, our fearless leader is attempting to foist yet another fantasy on the American people. I have to ask, is he delusional, stupid or some kind of crypto Shi’i fifth columnist?
His latest statement, “The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy or some form of war – maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon. He went on to say that without a deal that a future president would have, “one option: another war in the Middle East.” Continue reading →