Category Archives: Sociopolitical Observations

Slouching Forward! — Few Notes on the Global Order

The competition that America and Western Europe are facing on a global level from Russia and China, and the local level from a host of countries including Iran, India, Korea, Brazil, etc., is not meant to change the nature of the game, that is, the game of power projection through military and economic might, including operating viable nuclear programs, exercising control over energy sources and routes, involvement in arms production and sales, and engaging in imperialist actions under different guises and while offering all different sorts of justifications.

After years of reluctance, President Barack Obama appears to have finally re-embraced America's critical role in shaping the Global Order. Will his actions match his rhetoric? Or, will he once again succumb to his ideological inhibitions?
After years of reluctance, President Barack Obama appears to have finally re-embraced America’s critical role in shaping the Global Order. Will his actions match his rhetoric? Or, will he once again succumb to his ideological inhibitions?

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The Smart Thing To do

The reason why the Assad regime survived for so many decades, and why in particular it has survived for the last three years, has little to do with how smart its leaders are. Cruelty and Machiavellian tactics are signs of intelligence. Moreover, the Assads simply came to grasp, in time, an obvious fact about their position, namely that they have become in charge of a country where change in leadership and system of governance requires consent from a variety of regional and international actors, and is not a purely domestic affair. They also understood that regional and international rivalry will make consensus in regard to change in Syria well-nigh impossible to achieve, a fact that gave them ample leeway to do what they wanted internally, and to occasionally engage in some regional adventurism of their own.

No matter how dismal things may look today, Syrian will thrive again. (Photo of the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan)
No matter how dismal things may look today, Syrian will thrive again. (Photo of the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan)

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The Lesser Evil

So the group that could pose the greatest danger to America is Khorasan, a terror group whose leader Muhsin Al-Fadhli, used to live in Iran up until 2012, along other members of the Al-Qaeda, before finally relocating to Syria. Intelligence reports say that Al-Fadhli used to raise funds from various GCC donors, especially Kuwaitis, to help support Al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria.

Dead, but still relevant!
Dead, but still relevant!

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We Are Fate!

In response to both Hisham Melhem and Juan Cole:

First of all, there was no Arab civilization in the 19th and 20th centuries. Arabs have long become subsumed under the Ottoman Civilization, a staunchly Turkish entity despite its ethnic diversity, and they had long ceased to be significant contributors to the basic operations of that entity, except as fodder, that is, as conscripted soldiers and farmers.

New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, April 2003.

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The Persecuted!

The author of this op-ed, Mr. Rich Ghazal, an ordained deacon in the Syriac Orthodox Church, makes some excellent points about the plight of the Middle East’s Christian communities, that is, until he gets to those two paragraphs that capture the real message that he and the IDC conference organizers wanted to deliver to President Obama and the American people at large: preserve the Assad regime.

"In Defense of Christians" Summit was a three day event that took place in Washington, D.C. between September 9-11, and included a meeting with President Obama.
“In Defense of Christians” Summit was a three day event that took place in Washington, D.C. between September 9-11, and included a meeting with President Obama.

The first paragraph:  Continue reading