On August 4, only two days before the 75th anniversary of the dropping of world’s first atomic bomb, Beirut experienced its own Hiroshima. Exactly a month ago Turkey had its own tragedy when 6 were killed and 97 injured in a fireworks factory blast. Although the devastation and the death tolls are incomparable, underlying reasons are the same: mismanagement and negligence.
These, of course, are only part of the fundamental problem of the Middle East, the lack of democracy with its many subtitles. Prominently among them are: Okumaya devam et →
The Iraq-Iran war started on September 22, 1980. It lasted eight years. In August 1991 Iraq invaded Kuwait. A massive US-led military campaign forced Iraq to withdraw in February 1991. It was followed by years of no-fly zones, sanctions and the food for oil program. In March 2003 US invasion of Iraq toppled Saddam Hussein’s government, only to mark the start of years of violent conflict with different groups competing for power. In June 2004 Czar Paul Bremmer III handed sovereignty to the interim government headed by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. Okumaya devam et →
The Arab Spring began on December 17, 2010 in Tunisia as street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire to protest the arbitrary seizing of his vegetable stand by police. Mass protests forced President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to resign in January 2011, after 23 years in power and go into exile in Saudi Arabia.
In February 2011, mass protests forced Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to resign after three decades in power. Okumaya devam et →
The 74th regular Session of the UN General Assembly opens tomorrow in the wake of the drone attacks which knocked out more than half of Saudi Arabia’s oil output raising the risk of further regional confrontation. It will close on December 16 after thirteen weeks. World’s attention will focus on New York only during the week of “General Debate” which starts on September 24 because that is when world leaders are there to address the UNGA and hold their bilateral and group meetings. The rest will be business as usual. Okumaya devam et →
In a couple of years, the world could well be speaking of a decade of conflict in Syria in which regional and external powers were involved either directly or through proxies.
The Islamic State remains a threat. Thousands and thousands of jihadist fighters not only from those directly involved but also from distant countries traveled to Syria to take part in the fighting. Their return home has now become a security challenge. Specialist monitors at the UN have warned that a recent pause in international terrorist violence may soon end, with the possibility of a new wave of attacks before the end of the year. What this portends for the clash or dialogue of civilizations remains to be seen. Okumaya devam et →
President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria seems to have surprised even shocked many, particularly in Washington. His brief announcement left many questions unanswered. Had he been a consistent leader steering his administration in close consultation with a steady team of senior officials, explaining the rational of his policies using conventional methods instead of tweets, maintaining close consultation/cooperation with allies, the reaction could have been different.
In response to criticism he tweeted: “Getting out of Syria was no surprise. I’ve been campaigning on it for years…”
He was not the only one. This is precisely why David E. Sanger’s New York Times article of December 19 carried the title, “A Strategy of Retreat in Syria, With Echoes of Obama”, whom Mr. Trump has constantly reviled. Okumaya devam et →
Couple of weeks in the Turkish resort town of Bodrum is a wonderful break for those who can’t help being preoccupied with Turkey’s polarized internal politics and continuing regional turbulence. Yes, there was the United Nations General Assembly, uninspiring as usual, the discussion regarding President Trump’s address to the world there, the Idlib conundrum, the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Yemen and more. Sadly, however, all that has somehow become business as usual. But then came the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee hearings capturing an audience of millions not only in the U.S. but across the world (*). Okumaya devam et →
The following is from my summing-up of the year 2016 (*):
“The Ukraine conflict has led many analysts to frequently mention President Putin’s unpredictable tactics and actions if not policies. With Mr. Trump in the White House, world’s aggregate unpredictability will probably go up… Surely, one may understand a gradual shift of emphasis, setting of new priorities and a change in public discourse, but many already speculate on major changes to US foreign policy…”
What Federal Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on relations with the US at the Berlin Foreign Policy Forum on December 5, 2017 is particularly revealing in this Okumaya devam et →
President Trump has finally signed the Act which recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, fulfilling a campaign promise.
Was this a priority for his supporters? While the decision may enjoy broad bipartisan support in the Congress, his voters’ priorities seem to be different. A Brookings poll showed that 63 percent of all Americans oppose moving the Embassy to Jerusalem, including 44 percent of Republicans. Okumaya devam et →