Why Turkey’s Erdogan Stumbled

Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

In his rise to power, Turkish President Erdogan won popular support by showing independence in foreign affairs but then got caught up in his own grand ambitions, including support for violent “regime change” in Syria, setting the stage for an electoral rebuke, as ex-CIA officer Graham E. Fuller explains.

The Dangers of Religious Primitivism

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

By stirring up the Middle East – from Western exploitation of oil to Zionist expulsion of Palestinians – Christians and Jews set in motion today’s “clash of civilizations” with Islam and launched all three religions on a path toward dangerous primitivism, a threat to humanity’s future, writes Lawrence Davidson.

The Pope’s Global Warming Warning

Pope Francis. (Photo from Casa Rosada)

Jeb Bush and Rick Santorum are among the Catholic Republicans who have cited Church teachings on abortion as guiding their political positions, but now are objecting to Pope Francis issuing an encyclical on the dangers of global warming, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

An Urgent Reassessment of Jesus

Jesus delivering his Sermon on the Mount as depicted in a painting by Nineteenth Century artist Carl Heinrich Bloch.

Many Christian churches opt for comforting their parishioners – with reassuring ceremonies, banal sermons and even appeals to popular nationalistic sentiments – rather than challenging them with the tough calls from Jesus for social justice, a grave failure, says Rev. Howard Bess.

The Danger of Resurgent Anti-Semitism

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security meeting with senior Israeli Defense Forces commanders near Gaza on July 21, 2014. (Israel government photo)

Anti-Semitism ranks as one of the vilest of bigotries, especially considering the West’s disgraceful history of persecuting and killing Jews. Any resurgence deserves full-throated condemnation. But the current danger is that Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians is fueling an ugly comeback, warns Alon Ben-Meir.

Letting Scientific Knowledge into Religion

Michelangelo's depiction of God creating Adam, Sistine Chapel, Vatican City.

Ancient religions used myths to explain the mysteries of the universe to primitive people, making up stories that modern humans know to be imaginative but false. The problem, however, is that many people still anchor their world views in these old fables, as Rev. Howard Bess describes.

How Discrimination Breeds Radicalism

One of the families featured on TLC's 2011 series, "All-American Muslim"

The radicalization of young Muslims has similarities to anger among other disaffected groups frustrated over the lack of economic and other opportunities. This problem is especially acute in European nations without much history of immigration and assimilation, says Alon Ben-Meir.

Did Money Seal Israeli-Saudi Alliance?

President Obama and King Salman Arabia stand at attention during the U.S. national anthem as the First Lady stands in the background with other officials on Jan. 27, 2015, at the start of Obama's State Visit to Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza). (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Special Report: The odd-couple relationship between Saudi Arabia and Israel may have been sealed with more than a mutual desire to kiss-off Iran. According to an intelligence source, there was a dowry involved, too, with the Saudis reportedly giving Israel some $16 billion, writes Robert Parry.

Saudis Pour Oil on the Mideast Fire

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Saudi Arabia, now in alliance with Israel and with tacit U.S. approval, is dragging the Middle East into a nightmare of sectarian conflict, pitting its own warplanes and Sunni terrorists against Shiites, Christians and other minorities as part of a misguided competition with Iran, as Anthony F. Shaker describes.

How Washington Adds to Yemen’s Nightmare


Exclusive: Tangled in corrupt old alliances, such as with the Saudi monarchy, the Obama administration has now joined a war in Yemen that pits some of the region’s most anti-democratic forces and Al-Qaeda against a home-grown rebel movement with limited backing from Iran, as Jonathan Marshall describes.