How Close Was Israel to Bombing Iran?

Israel’s former Defense Minister Ehud Barak claims Israel was poised to bomb Iran several times in recent years but kept encountering internal government resistance. But this new report may just be part of a continuing game of geopolitical chicken,reports Gareth Porter.

The Missed Lesson on Terrorism

Whenever there’s a terrorist attack – even a botched one like last week on a Paris-bound train – the debate turns to tightened security and retaliation. But a key part of a realistic campaign to reduce terrorism is to address underlying causes that fuel the rage behind the violence, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Many Reasons Why Lebanese Are in the Street

Current events in Lebanon revolving around uncollected garbage are really about several different issues that have merged into one, argues Rami G. Khouri.

Bibi vs. Barack: Who owns US foreign policy?

If Netanyahu succeeds in defeating Barack’s nuclear deal with Iran, it will cast a long, dark shadow over presidential contenders and the prospects for war or peace, notes William Greider.

Maliki, Now Is Time for Accountability

Iran-dominated government of Maliki pursued sectarian policies after U.S. troops left, maltreating the Sunni minority, and worsening grievances that allowed ISIS, a Sunni extremist group, to gain a foothold, writes Heshmat Alavi.

Israelis And Palestinians Cannot Make Peace On Their Own

No Israeli government, regardless of its political makeup, will be in a position to deliver the necessary concessions, especially in connection with Jerusalem and the disposition of the settlements, argues Alon Ben-Meir.

The Riddle of Obama’s Foreign Policy

For nearly seven years of his presidency, Barack Obama has zigzagged from military interventionist to pragmatic negotiator, leaving little sense of what he truly believes. Yet, there may be some consistent threads to his inconsistencies, writes Robert Parry.

Iraq’s Off-Point ‘Reforms’

After a US-engineered “regime change” comes the dreamy period of “reform” — redrawing organizational boxes, slashing government programs and “privatizing” national assets, but rarely a commitment to realistic compromise among rival ethnic and political forces, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes in Iraq.

Food, Fraternity and a Suggestion for Tehran and Riyadh

Saudi Arabia and Iran could lead a bold diplomatic process to shape a Gulf-centric, Middle Eastern regional security architecture that is modeled on the Helsinki Process of a generation ago between the American- and Soviet-led camps, says Rami G. Khouri.

Playing the Long Game on Iran

David Bromwich explores Obama's defense of his nuclear agreement with Iran, his barely veiled attack on his neocon and Republican opponents, and the way in which those who want to take down first the agreement and then Iran are playing not for tomorrow, but for what he calls the 'long game.'

Israeli-Hamas Truce: An Opportunity In Disguise

There are several reasons behind Hamas’ and Israel’ desire to establish a longer-term truce which further explains why it may well become inevitable, as it has many significant advantages to both sides, argues Dr. Alon Ben-Meir.

Seventy Years of Military Mediocrity

William J. Astore considers just what America’s future commanders are being taught in the country’s three elite military academies and wonders what a crew that has taken no responsibility for years of disaster in conflict after conflict has to offer anyone and why they are generally held in such high regard in this country.

Saudi Arabia and Iran: Volatile Political Geography of Oil and Minorities

The political geography of oil and minorities in Saudi Arabia and Iran highlights a fault line in the Sunni-Shiite divide at the core of violent transition in the Middle East. Disgruntled minorities demanding greater rights and an end to repression populate the oil-rich regions of the two countries that are the major protagonists in the Middle East's sectarian divide, writes James M. Dorsey.

Syria’s Fate Risks Repeating the Catastrophe of 1920

Just as Syria was created after World War One by negotiations among Western powers who decided the country’s composition and its leadership and power configuration, Syria today is being reconfigured in the image of other powers, stresses Rami G. Khouri.

Kuwait, GCC again signal regional Arab challenges

The current wave of terror attacks and the people who carry them out seem to reflect a new set of conditions and mindsets, related heavily to the ISIS phenomenon, writes Rami G. Khouri.

Double-Dip Oil Rout

Michael T. Klare explores just why cheap oil is actually bad news for the oil industry and potentially good news for the rest of us and what exactly it means in terms of the future of energy use and of this planet.

Iran Hawks Think We Can Impose Harsher Sanctions on Iran

Politicians often speak of sanctions in a vague and abstract way, but if we look at the details of how they have worked, it gradually becomes clear that most of them are already being blunted, argues Juan Cole.

The Syrian Catastrophe and The World's Deafening Silence

When 250,000 men, women and children are slaughtered and four million people become refugees languishing in camps, this is a catastrophe, insists Dr. Alon Ben-Meir.

Syria regime inaugurates park to honour North Korea founder
North Korea's ambassador to Syria says park is ‘an expression of respect and love’ that Syria has for Kim Il-Sung.
High sea temperatures threaten Qatar coral reef
New study reveals that water temperatures during fierce Gulf summer have passed 6 degrees celsius (97 farenheit).
Egypt suspends muezzin over Facebook mention in prayer call
Muezzin is accused of intoning ‘Prayer is better than Facebook’ in his early morning call for people to pray.
SZBA concludes first round of selection
New members introduced to Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s first reading panel meetings in Abu Dhabi ahead of selection nomination for its tenth edition.
Iran award-winning director defends religious epic ‘Muhammad’
‘Muhammad’, which is partially state funded, is being released on anniversary of birth of the eighth imam of Shiite Islam, Reza.
After beatings in Libya, young migrant dies on eve of Italy arrival
Somalian who survived beatings and forced labour in Libya dies on final stretch of his journey to Europe.
Journalist Zaina Erhaim gets Mackler award for 'courageous journalism'
Prize from Reporters Without Borders and Agence France-Presse is awarded to Zaina Erhaim, who lives and works in Aleppo, Syria.
No more prison for Iranian men who fail to pay dowry
Following passage of new law, husbands will no longer face jail for failing to pay dowries that can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.
‘Street workout’ draws onlookers at Gaza beach
Young Palestinians enjoy urban bodybuilding in Gaza even if streets are ill-equipped to accommodate sport.
“Bla Cinima” from cultural debate to daily struggle of Algerians
Ammar-Khodja's documentary film finds similarity between renovated cinema in Algiers with political situation in Algeria.
Migrants’ Night trip from Turkey’s Bodrum to Greece’s Kos
From beach at Fenerburnu on Bodrum peninsula it is tempting journey of just over five kilometres south on normally placid Aegean waters to Kos and EU.
Symbolic step toward Palestinian unity: West Bank football match back on
Shejaiya players visit Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque, Islam's third-holiest site, after crossing border.