Trump and the ‘Management of Allies’

President Trump’s emerging foreign policy is a jumble of mixed messages and bad optics, raising questions about how well he can manage allies, let alone adversaries, writes ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke.

George W. Bush’s Horrific Legacy

As part of the drive to drive President Trump from the White House, some “never-Trumpers” are rehabilitating George W. Bush as a relative “moderate” and thus whitewashing his war crimes, notes Lawrence Davidson.

Erdogan’s Ottoman Visions in Syria

Erdogan has taken giant steps, ranging from military adventures in Syria and Iran to symbolic ones such as ordering the Turkish national anthem to be played on modified drums and brass instruments, making it sound royal rather than presidential, coming straight out of the Ottoman past, writes Sami Moubayed.

Ethics of Survival Rule the Day in Syria

The sectarian make-up of society certainly accounts for some of the fear that made people do or turn a blind eye to horrific things but it does not explain the individual acts that, collectively, have worked in the regime’s favour, ponders Stephen Starr.

For Egypt, Libya Border Remains Major Security Challenge

Huge arms stockpiles have fallen into the hands of various militias, including groups with ties to al- Qaeda and ISIS, since the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi was overthrown in 2011, writes Ahmed Meghid.

Much Ado About One Thing

In many ways, Erdogan went to Washington with a mission impossible: There was no way to make Trump revoke his decision, prompted resolutely by the Pentagon, to arm the Syrian Kurds. All he could do was grumble in a news conference about it, in subtly threatening terms, explains Yavuz Baydar.

Trump’s Value-Free Foreign Policy

No autocrat or authoritarian-minded regional leader was denied the chance to meet and greet the US president, observes Rashmee Roshan Lall.

Can Middle East Intelligence Services Trust the White House?

Trump appears to have just made up his own mind to share the information, says Tom Regan.

Misjudging Assad at the Expense of Syrians

Ever since Assad assumed the presidency on the death of his father, Hafez Assad, in 2000, American politicians have underestimated the Syrian leader’s political skill, ability to keep powerful foreign backers on his side in the conflict and, last not least, his utter ruthlessness, writes Bernd Debusmann.

Reviving Israeli-Palestinian Talks Now Will Go Nowhere

Distrust remains one of the most daunting problems that continues to haunt both sides and has become engrained in the minds of nearly every Israeli and Palestinian, as neither has made any effort to mitigate it, says Alon Ben-Meir.

US Steps Up its War in Syria — and Maybe Beyond

Even with the additional weaponry, the SDF faces a tough battle to retake Raqqa, writes Ed Blanche.

Making Trump an Endless War President

A politically embattled President Trump is under pressure to reverse his campaign promise to finally bring U.S. troops home and instead commit to open-ended wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, writes Gareth Porter for Middle East Eye.

The Glorious Return of Condi Rice

The failure to impose meaningful accountability on the Iraq War’s architects allows them to return as “wise” advisers to be consulted by media outlets and today’s politicians, as with Condoleezza Rice, notes James W Carden.

The Globalization of Misery

As with an earlier election in Holland in which a similar right-wing candidate lost, this is being presented as potentially the high-water mark of what’s now commonly called “populism” in Europe, notes Tom Engelhardt.

European Union’s Democracy Dilemma

The European elites want the European Union as a means for controlling the Continent’s economies, but that often requires overriding the popular will of nation states, a dilemma for “democracy,” explains Andrew Spannaus.

The Price: The End of Iraqi and Syrian Woes and the Vanishing of ISIS

Apparently, like their predecessors in the Sykes-Picot era, the superpowers have found that re-fragmenting and re-dividing the region further would better serve their strategic interests, explains Fadi Elhusseini.

Trump the Hawk

Syria, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia: Donald Trump is prepared to take military action in, and against, them all. It thrills him, and pleases his supporters. It is also already causing chaos with unforeseeable global chain effects, argues Michael T Klare.

An Online Interpol to Crack Down on Social Media Criminality?

A media outlet is assumed to be in control of its content, something that social media platforms are not, observes Rashmee Roshan Lall.

 
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