The Vienna deal has been signed and likely will soon be ratified, which raises the question: Will any government intervene militarily to stop the nearly inevitable Iranian nuclear buildup?
But there also is a grand idea and it calls for explanation. As a man of the left, Obama sees the United States historically having exerted a malign influence on the outside world.
The Middle East witnessed something radically new two days ago, when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia responded to a plea by Yemen's president and led a 10-country coalition to intervene in the air and on the ground in the country.
The recent bulldozing by the Islamic State (ISIS) of the ancient cities of Nimrud, Hatra, and Korsabad, three of the world's greatest archaeological and cultural sites is just this group's latest round of assaults across the large area under its control.
Population shifts resulting from Syria's four-year long civil war have profoundly changed Syria and its three Arabic-speaking neighbors: Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan.
In a widely praised January 1 speech, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visited Al-Azhar University to address the country's religious leadership, saying the time had come to reform Islam.
I unreservedly condemn Edward Snowden's massive release of important U.S. government secrets. Once they're out, though, it makes no sense to ignore the information now available.
In a remarkable but thus-far unnoticed address on Dec. 5, Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, the crown prince of Bahrain, candidly analyzed the Islamist enemy and suggested important ways to fight it.
We who follow the Islamist movement fell off our collective chair on Nov. 15 when the news came that the United Arab Emirates' ministerial cabinet had listed the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as one of 83 proscribed terrorist organizations, up there with the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS.
I offer a summary and paraphrase of my discussion held with two senior members of the permanent bureaucracy in the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs during a recent visit to Stockholm. Our affable but pointed discussion focused on the Middle East, on which we agreed on almost nothing; I might as well have been in Sudan or Syria's MFA.
Egypt, famed for millennia as the "breadbasket of the Mediterranean," now faces alarming food shortages. A startlingly candid report in Cairo's Al-Ahram newspaper by Gihan Shahine, entitled "Food for Stability" makes clear the extent of the crisis.
The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, appeared at an hour-long on-the-record event at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York yesterday afternoon. The complete — if not entirely coherent — transcript of the English-language simultaneous translation can be found here
In a televised address on how to address the Islamic State this evening, President Barack Obama declared the organization variously known as ISIS or ISIL to be "not Islamic."
What role does religion play in American attitudes towards Israel? An analysis by Frank Newport, the editor-in-chief of Gallup Inc., reviews 14 annual Gallup polls from 2001 to 2014 in which respondents answer the same question.
The Obama administration has brought an accused Libyan terrorist named Ahmed Abu Khattala to Washington for trial. His saga reveals how the government views the Islamist threat, and it's discouraging. Fortunately, a much better alternative exists.
Until now, Islamist rule has implied violence and dictatorship; can it evolve into something decent?
On a recent Sunday in Paris, I had the opportunity to witness an anti-immigration street protest. The approximately 600 participants followed started next to the catacombs in Place Denfert-Rochereau, walked a 1.9 km route in about 1½ hours along two broad boulevards, and ended at the Place d'Italie, where they spent an equal length of time listening to speeches.
According to a sensational report by Awad Mustafa in Defense News, not only has Tehran signed an agreement with the United Arab Emirates over three disputed islands in the Persian Gulf, near the Strait of Hormuz, but it has also reached a possibly even more important accord with the government of Oman. Both of these agreements have vast implications for the oil trade, the world economy, and Iranian influence.
The "Joint Plan of Action" signed with Iran by the so-called P5 1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S.) on Nov. 24 in Geneva caused Shiite Arabs to celebrate, Sunni Arabs to worry, and Saudis to panic. The Saudi response will have far-reaching and unpredictable consequences.
That the socialist French government of François Hollande just blocked a bad deal with Tehran, emerging as the hero of the Geneva negotiations, is on one level a huge surprise. But it also follows logically from the passivity of the Obama administration.
The Republic of Cyprus has entered the maelstrom of the world's most volatile region thanks to new-found gas and oil reserves combined with an erratic Turkish foreign policy and a civil war in Syria. Even as leaders of this Mediterranean island show skill dealing with these novel threats and opportunities, they need support from a strong U.S. Navy, something not now available.
Here's advice to the members of the United States Congress as they are asked to endorse an American-led attack on the government of Syria. Target Iran.
Warfare is a very serious business whose first imperative is to deploy force to win – rather than to punish, make a statement, establish a symbolic point, or preen about one's morality.
But now, with Barack Obama, the United States has slid into shocking irrelevance in the Middle East, the world's most turbulent region. Inconstancy, incompetence, and inaction have rendered the Obama administration impotent.
"Lunacy." That's how Danny Danon describes Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to hand over 104 killers to the Palestinian Authority as a "goodwill gesture."