Barometer: US-Iran war prospects

Three weeks after the United States’ January 3 assassination of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, how likely is the eruption of a US-Iran shooting war, what paths might lead to it, and what factors might brake or reverse the trend towards war? Two weeks ago, I wrote about how, despite the extremely sharp escalation in tensions that … Continue reading Barometer: US-Iran war prospects

My current writing projects…

The first eight days of the year were taxing for me. I was super-eager to use my Middle Eastern and strategic-affairs smarts to try to understand/explain what was happening in Trump’s massive and very perilous showdown with the Islamic Republic of Iran. I was also helping family members deal with health crises. In the past … Continue reading My current writing projects…

Trump & Khamenei de-escalate. Political struggle inside Iraq continues.

It is less than 140 hours since Pres. Trump ordered the killing of Iran’s Qods Force chief Qasem Soleimani and Iraq’s Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Since then, the terrified world has watched as the leaders of Iran and the United States lobbed fierce rhetorical attacks against each other, leading to (quite rational) fears of a major … Continue reading Trump & Khamenei de-escalate. Political struggle inside Iraq continues.

World poised on post-Soleimani knife-edge. Possible off-ramp emerges?

With the decision he made late January 2 to kill the head of the Iranian “Qods Force”, Lt.-Gen Qasem al-Soleimani, Pres. Donald Trump set the United States on a course to an upheaval– certainly political and possibly also military– of truly global impact. The first reverberations of the heightened U.S.-Iran tensions have already been felt … Continue reading World poised on post-Soleimani knife-edge. Possible off-ramp emerges?

Two pieces on Mondoweiss, on Hindutva and Christmas

I had this piece published at Mondoweiss yesterday, which explored the many parallels between the militant form of excusivist ethno-sectarianism known as Hindutva, as practiced by Indian PM Narendra Modi. Then today, they ran this piece on the “Story of Christmas”, which was a re-run of the version I published under a different title at … Continue reading Two pieces on Mondoweiss, on Hindutva and Christmas

New piece on Syria & how the Washington ‘Blob’ still works to punish it

Earlier today, I published a new piece over at Medium, on how both wings of the bellophilic Washington “blob” are still working to punish and isolate the Syrian government, rather than providing real support to the peace/reform negotiations that have been (creakingly) underway in Geneva since October 30. (By “both wings”, I mean leaderships of … Continue reading New piece on Syria & how the Washington ‘Blob’ still works to punish it

Zelensky, his earlier t.v. show, Finland, etc.

Yesterday, I had my inaugural post up on the new Responsible Statecraft blog, which is the successor to Jim Lobe’s earlier Lobelog. The editor at RS gave it the (fairly earnest) title, “Can ‘Finlandization’ Help Ukraine Stave Off Conflict with Russia?”. I had earlier proposed something a little snappier. But the subject of how people– … Continue reading Zelensky, his earlier t.v. show, Finland, etc.

Trump’s impeachment: Why include “national security”?

I was delighted when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded to the whistleblower’s report of Pres. Trump’s fateful July 25 phone call with Pres. Zelensky by swiftly moving toward impeachment. Yesterday, she and her advisers produced just two Articles of Impeachment: One on “Abuse of power”, the other, “Obstruction of Congress.” The first Article deals with  … Continue reading Trump’s impeachment: Why include “national security”?

Discussing Palestine and the US radical movement of the 1960s & ’70s.

The smart, experienced Arab-American community leader and activist Abdeen Jabara and I are engaged in, I guess, a spirited discussion over at Mondoweiss of the value of Michael Fishbach’s latest book, The Movement and the Middle East: How the Arab-Israeli Conflict Divided the American Left. I spent a long time working on the review of … Continue reading Discussing Palestine and the US radical movement of the 1960s & ’70s.