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In Depth

Dark Signs in the Persian Gulf

By Graham Fuller* — The political and economic assault against Qatar by a Saudi-led coalition so far shows no signs of succeeding in bending Qatar to its will. More seriously, it raises ominous signals for the future of geopolitics in the Arabian Peninsula. That future may have less to do …

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Trump Pulls the Plug in Syria

By Graham E. Fuller Every once in a while President Trump manages to get something right. This time it is the decision to call off the broad US covert assistance to the Syrian opposition forces fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Asad. Asad has been notoriously brutal in putting down the …

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The Summer of Our Discontent: Sects and Citizens in Lebanon and Iraq

MAHA YAHYA for CARNEGIE — Lebanon’s and Iraq’s political systems are based on sectarian and ethnic power-sharing. In summer 2015, both countries faced popular protests demanding better governance. These protests began over poor service provision but escalated into opposition to the countries’ overarching power-sharing systems. These demonstrations were framed as nonsectarian, …

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Hersh’s Big Scoop: Bad Intel Behind Trump’s Syria Attack

Legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh is challenging the Trump administration’s version of events surrounding the April 4 “chemical weapons attack” on the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun – though Hersh had to find a publisher in Germany to get his information out. In the Sunday edition of Die Welt, Hersh reports that his …

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Trump—Blundering into European Truths

by Graham E. Fuller * — President Trump’s ignorant, oafish and crude foreign policy style rivets our attention, arouses our indignation. But the drama of the diplomatic mayhem he wreaks while traveling abroad also distracts from recognizing more serious underlying problems of US policy— deep negative trends that predate Trump. Focusing on …

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Chinese Uyghur colonies in Syria a challenge for Beijing

By Christina Lin* — A reporter for Dubai-based Al Aan TV recently aired an undercover story on Idlib province – the Syrian “rebel” opposition stronghold that is supported by the US and other Western governments – and the site of the recent alleged chemical attack that prompted direct US missile strikes against the Syrian …

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Questions About Terrorism

Exclusive for THE LEVANT NEWS – By General(ret) Elias Farhat* —     Executive summary i-There is much talk about terrorism, but little action. Some of the measures taken have not been sufficient , while others either raise suspicions as to their real aims or are clearly supportive of terrorist …

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Destroying Turkey’s Promise

by Graham E. Fuller — Nearly all the indicators coming out of Turkey continue to be bad—for Turkey and for nearly everybody else. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to be the only one profiting from the ongoing dark course of events. Taking advantage of an unexplored and murky coup attempt …

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Balfour’s legacy: The destruction of Palestine

by Dr Salman Abu Sitta Author Salman Abu Sitta addressed the UK’s House of Lords on 28 March to discuss the Balfour Declaration and its consequences on the Palestinians. This year marks a century since the document was signed and the future of the State of Palestine was sealed. Below is …

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Islam, Orientalism, and Intellectual History

Islam, Orientalism, and Intellectual History: Modernity and the Politics of Exclusion since Ibn Khaldun By Mohammad R. Salama *** Reviewed by Ziad Hafez ———————————————– London, I.B.Tauris, 2011, 274 pages ISBN 978 1 84885 005 7 (US$99)   This is a major book to have in one’s library in general and …

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“American War”— An Apocalyptic Novel of Our Times

by Graham E. Fuller — It’s hard these days to avoid glimmers of an apocalyptic future, domestic and international, breaking into our daily consciousness. President Trump represents its most obvious face today, but its roots go back at least to a blinkered American triumphalism emerging from the fall of the …

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TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE U.S. ESCALATION IN SYRIA

  By Sobhi Ghandour — It is difficult to predict what the president of the world’s greatest nation will do when he has no previous political or governing experience and when he is known for his changing points of view and his reliance on the logic of business elites and deal-making …

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Asad vs Regime of Warring Jihadis

SANA SANA / REUTERSAssad during an interview with a Croatian newspaper. Damascus, Syria. April 6. by Graham E. Fuller — How should we understand U.S. President Donald Trump’s cruise missile barrage last week against a Syrian airbase? In one sense, it might be a tactical triumph for his administration: cruise missile attacks …

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How do we recognize the Arab Identity

By Sadek Jawad Sulaiman — The Arabs are defined by their culture, not by race; and their culture is defined by its essential twin constituents of Arabism and Islam. To most of the Arabs, Islam is their indigenous religion; to all of the Arabs, Islam is their indigenous civilization. The …

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The Arab Gulf states plan to ‘win’ the war in Yemen

By Peter Salisbury – The Levant News – The last thing the world needs is another Middle Eastern country torn to pieces and racked by sectarian violence, in which radical Islamist groups vie for control. After two years of fierce fighting, Yemen’s civil war, which pits northern Shia rebels and …

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Lebanese president provokes outcry with Hezbollah comment

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem – Appeared first in Al-monitor Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s description of Hezbollah’s weapons as complementary to those of the Lebanese army provoked strong reactions on the part of the United Nations, the March 14 coalition and the Future Movement, which is headed by Lebanese Prime Minister …

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Palestine in the Age of Trump

By Rashid Khalidi* for The New Yorker — With the advent in Washington of an Administration with radical new priorities regarding Israel, and a disdain for Palestinian rights, Palestine is facing a daunting reality. In recent years, ascendant political currents in America and Israel had already begun to merge. We …

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An inauguration—into what?

by Graham E. Fuller — With the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States, it’s hard to know where first to focus attention. Rage and righteous indignation on all sides are mounting. There is more than enough blame to go around for how the US …

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Obama Belatedly Says No to Israel

If President Obama had confronted Israel over its illegal settlements earlier, he might have really achieved something, but his U.N. abstention as he heads out the door is better than nothing, observes Marjorie Cohn. By Marjorie Cohn for Consortium — For the first time in his eight-year presidency, Barack Obama …

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Iran’s Revolutionary Guards position for power

By Babak Dehghanpisheh for Reuters | BEIRUT — Iran’s Revolutionary Guards look set to entrench their power and shift the country to more hardline, isolationist policies for years to come following the death of influential powerbroker Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Former president Rafsanjani long had a contentious relationship with the …

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Trump-Putin Frenzy

by Graham E. Fuller* — I cannot recall a period in which the US public debate across the media has reached such implacably partisan and toxic proportions. The issues are indeed important—particularly the specific case of Russian involvement in helping make public the activities of the Democratic National Committee—information that …

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