Tag Archive for Middle East


Hitting Saudi Arabia Where It Hurts

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)

Exclusive: Though faced with a global terrorism crisis, Official Washington can’t get beyond its neocon-led “tough-guy-gal” rhetoric. But another option – financial sanctions on Saudi Arabia – might help finally shut down the covert supply of money and arms to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, writes Robert Parry.

The Mideast’s Humpty Dumpty Problem

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

Western powers – most recently the United States – have smashed up the Mideast so thoroughly that many of the options now under review in Official Washington go from bad to worse but almost certainly can never put the region back together again, writes ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

A Plea for Mideast Policy Realism

Former U.S. Ambassador Charles W. "Chas" Freeman. (Photo credit: Chasfreeman.net)

Over the past two decades, a neoconservative-driven foreign policy has led to strategic disaster after disaster, but neocon belligerence continues to dominate Official Washington, a dilemma that former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas W. Freeman addresses.

Muslim Memories of West’s Imperialism

French diplomat Francois George-Picot, who along with British colonial officer Mark Sykes drew lines across a Middle East map of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, carving out states with boundaries that are nearly the same as they are today.

Special Report: American politicians know little about history, so they lash out at people from formerly colonized Third World nations without understanding the scars that the West’s repression and brutality have left on these societies, especially in the Muslim world, as historian William R. Polk explains.

Sanders’s Screwy Mideast Strategy

Saudi King Salman bids farewell to President Barack Obama at Erga Palace after a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Out of fear of offending the power centers of Official Washington, Democrats won’t or can’t formulate a coherent foreign policy. Even Sen. Bernie Sanders says the solution to Mideast chaos is more Saudi intervention when Saudi intervention in support of Sunni extremists is the heart of the problem, writes Sam Husseini.

Mideast Glimmers of Hope

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry takes a walk in a park between meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, on Nov. 8, 2013, that focused on limits on Iran's nuclear capabilities. (State Department photo)

Despite Israel’s reliance on a dominated U.S. Congress as a last line of defense for its bomb-bomb-bomb-Iran strategy, other regional and global forces are moving quickly to reshape the Middle East’s geopolitical reality in a more positive way, as ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller discerns.

The Disastrous Neocon Mindset

A Predator drone firing a missile.

The neocon mindset, which envisions U.S. military force remaking the Mideast at the point of a gun or the warhead of a drone, has confronted a string of disasters and faces a new challenge from President Obama’s successful diplomacy with Iran, but the mindset will likely survive, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Why Many Muslims Hate the West

An image of a Crusader killing a Muslim.

Exclusive: Many Americans and Westerners are baffled by the violent rage expressed by many Muslims, but the reasons for their anger are real, deriving from a “deep history” of anti-Islamic wars and colonial exploitation of the Middle East, as ex-U.S. diplomat William R. Polk describes.

Time to Rethink US Mideast Policies

President Obama speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside the White House on May 20, 2011 (White House photo by Pete Souza)

U.S. policy toward the Middle East carries an extraordinary burden of strategically outdated and politically overweight baggage, from oil deals with Saudi Arabia to emotional ties to Israel. What’s needed now is a thorough reexamination of what’s in the U.S. national interest, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Iran Deal’s Strategic Payoff

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei speaks to a crowd. (Iranian government photo)

A successful nuclear deal with Iran could mean an expanded Iranian role in blocking Islamic State advances in Iraq and Syria, but the potential U.S.-Iran cooperation alarms Israel and Saudi Arabia – which may explain President Obama’s silence on the topic, examined by Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.