jerryking + middle_east   68

Behind Trump’s Termination of Iran Deal Is a Risky Bet - The New York Times
By DAVID E. SANGER and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICKMAY 8, 2018

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David_Singer  Middle_East  Mideast_Peace  Iran  nuclear  Donald_Trump 
may 2018 by jerryking
Robert F. Worth’s ‘A Rage for Order’ - The New York Times
By KENNETH M. POLLACKAPRIL 25, 2016
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Middle_East  Arab-Muslim_world  Arab_Spring  ISIS 
may 2016 by jerryking
The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru - The New York Times
By DAVID SAMUELSMAY 5, 2016

Ben Rhodes walks through the room, a half-beat behind a woman in leopard-print heels. He is holding a phone to his ear, repeating his mantra: “I’m not important. You’re important.”....As the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, Rhodes writes the president’s speeches, plans his trips abroad and runs communications strategy across the White House, tasks that, taken individually, give little sense of the importance of his role. ...Rhodes strategized and ran the successful Iran-deal messaging campaign, helped negotiate the opening of American relations with Cuba after a hiatus of more than 50 years and has been a co-writer of all of Obama’s major foreign-policy speeches. ...Like Obama, Rhodes is a storyteller who uses a writer’s tools to advance an agenda that is packaged as politics but is often quite personal. He is adept at constructing overarching plotlines with heroes and villains, their conflicts and motivations supported by flurries of carefully chosen adjectives, quotations and leaks from named and unnamed senior officials. He is the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign-policy narratives, at a time when the killer wave of social media has washed away the sand castles of the traditional press. His ability to navigate and shape this new environment makes him a more effective and powerful extension of the president’s will than any number of policy advisers or diplomats or spies. ....Price turns to his computer and begins tapping away at the administration’s well-cultivated network of officials, talking heads, columnists and newspaper reporters, web jockeys and outside advocates who can tweet at critics and tweak their stories backed up by quotations from “senior White House officials” and “spokespeople.....Watching Rhodes work, I remember that he is still, chiefly, a writer, who is using a new set of tools — along with the traditional arts of narrative and spin — to create stories of great consequence on the biggest page imaginable. The narratives he frames, the voices of senior officials, the columnists and reporters whose work he skillfully shapes and ventriloquizes, and even the president’s own speeches and talking points, are the only dots of color in a much larger vision about who Americans are and where we are going that Rhodes and the president have been formulating together over the past seven years. When I asked Jon Favreau, Obama’s lead speechwriter in the 2008 campaign, and a close friend of Rhodes’s, whether he or Rhodes or the president had ever thought of their individual speeches and bits of policy making as part of some larger restructuring of the American narrative, he replied, “We saw that as our entire job.”...The job he was hired to do, namely to help the president of the United States communicate with the public, was changing in equally significant ways, thanks to the impact of digital technologies that people in Washington were just beginning to wrap their minds around.....
Ben_Rhodes  U.S.foreign_policy  Communicating_&_Connecting  policy_tools  White_House  writers  strategic_thinking  storytelling  narratives  speechwriters  Obama  PDB  messaging  Syria  Iraq  Middle_East  novelists 
may 2016 by jerryking
The United States shouldn’t take sides in the Sunni-Shiite struggle - The Washington Post
By Fareed Zakaria Opinion writer

...the most significant trend shaping the region today is something different: Sunnis vs. Shiites. That sectarian struggle now infects almost every aspect of the region’s politics....Though there always was tension, Sunnis and Shiites did live in peace, for the most part, until recently.....The pivotal shift took place in 1979. The Islamic Revolution in Iran brought to power an aggressively religious ruling class, determined to export its ideas and support Shiites in the region.....Saudi Arabia is facing a series of challenges, from the Islamic State to domestic extremists. The country’s large and active social media are dominated by radical Islamists. And as oil prices plunge, government revenue has collapsed, and the nation’s generous subsidies to its people will be hard to sustain. The regime needs greater legitimacy.
Fareed_Zakaria  Sunni  Shiites  schisms  Middle_East  U.S.foreign_policy  frameworks  sectarian  religion  trends  Iran  Wahhabism  extremism  Yemen  geopolitics  Saudi_Arabia 
january 2016 by jerryking
What a Year of Job Rejections Taught Me About Pitching Myself
SEPTEMBER 09, 2015 | HBR | Nina Mufleh.
[send to Nick Patel]
After sending out hundreds of copies of my résumé to dozens of companies over the last year, I realized that I was getting nowhere because my approach was wrong....How could a career that ranged from working with royalty to Fortune 500 brands and startups not pique the curiosity of any hiring managers?

As a marketer, I decided to re-frame the challenge. Instead of thinking as a job applicant, I had to think of myself as a product and identify ways to create demand around hiring me. I applied everything I knew about marketing and storytelling to build a campaign that would show Silicon Valley companies the kind of value I would bring to their teams.

The experiment was a report that I created for Airbnb that highlighted the promise and potential of expanding to the Middle East, a market that I am extremely familiar with and until recently they had not focused on. I spent a couple of days gathering data about the tourism industry and the company’s current footprint in the market, and identified strategic opportunities for them there.

I released the report on Twitter and copied Airbnb’s founders and leadership team. Behind the scenes, I also shared it by email with many personal and professional contacts and encouraged them to share it if they thought it was interesting — most did, as did some of the top VCs, entrepreneurs and many peers around the world....What I realize in hindsight is probably one of the most important lessons of my career so far. The project highlighted the qualities I wanted to show to recruiters; more importantly, it also addressed one of the main weaknesses they saw in me....What the report helped me do was show, not tell, my value beyond their doubts. It refocused my perceived weakness into a strength: an international perspective with the promise of understanding and entering new markets. And though none of the roles that I interviewed for in the last two months focused on expansion, by addressing and challenging the weakness, I was able to re-frame the conversation around my strengths....asking yourself a different version of that question is going to make you better prepared for any conversation with a recruiter, a potential client, or even a potential investor....not “What is my weakness?” but rather “What do they perceive as a weakness in my background?”
Airbnb  campaigns  career_paths  creating_demand  Fortune_500  founders  HBR  hindsight  inbound_marketing  job_search  Managing_Your_Career  Middle_East  networking  personal_branding  pitches  problem_framing  reframing  rejections  self-promotion  social_media  strengths  value_propositions  via:enochko  weaknesses 
september 2015 by jerryking
Contain and Amplify - NYTimes.com
MAY 27, 2015
Advertisement

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Thomas L. Friedman
Tom_Friedman  pluralism  Arab-Muslim_world  Middle_East  religious_tolerance  Syria  Yemen  Libya 
may 2015 by jerryking
Ten maps that explain Iran's power play in the Middle East - The Globe and Mail
PATRICK MARTIN, TONIA COWAN AND TRISH MCALASTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Apr. 15 2015,
geopolitics  Iran  Iraq  Lebanon  mapping  Middle_East  power_plays  Saudi_Arabia  Syria  Syrians  Yemen 
april 2015 by jerryking
Can we defeat the Islamic State? | Fareed Zakaria
September 11, 2014 | | By Fareed Zakaria.

Here are a few lessons to think about.
* Don’t always take the bait. In one of his videotaped speeches to his followers, Osama bin Laden outlined his strategy. “All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaeda,” he said, “in order to make [American] generals race there.”
The purpose of the gruesome execution videos was to provoke the United States. And it worked. We have to act against this terror group. But let’s do it at a time and manner of our choosing, rather than jumping when it wants us to jump.
* Don’t overestimate the enemy. The Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is a formidable foe, but the counterforces to it have only just begun. And if these forces — the Iraqi army, the Kurdish pesh merga, U.S. air power — work in a coordinated fashion, it will start losing ground.
* Remember the politics. Military action must be coupled with smart political strategy.
Fareed_Zakaria  Middle_East  lessons_learned  ISIS  Iraq  provocations  overestimation  politics 
september 2014 by jerryking
The Grand Strategy Obama Needs
SEPT. 10, 2014 | NYTimes.com | Vali R. Nasr.

What’s missing is a grand strategy — a road map not just for managing two crises but for ending them....But Eisenhower had a larger goal — not upsetting the delicate balance of power in the Cold War. Above all, he sought to avoid greater conflict, especially when he was trying to start arms control talks with Moscow.

In other words, he had a long-term global perspective.

By contrast, American policy today sees the world in fragments — ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Russia in Ukraine. But those crises have something important in common: Both trace to political fragmentation in weak states living within unsettled borders. That leaves those states prone to internal dissent, and America’s recent minimalist posture has given these brewing troubles room to explode into crises....American grand strategy should identify these weak countries before they turn on themselves; bolster their political mechanisms for living together in pluralism; declare our unyielding opposition to any outside forces that would seek to divide them. America’s military strength could assure the third part. The rest is work for our political and diplomatic experts.
Obama  Ukraine  strategy  geopolitics  '50s  Middle_East  Russia  strategic_thinking  nation_building  failed_states  long-term  weak_states  diplomacy  grand_strategy  roadmaps  Non-Integrating_Gap  Dwight_Eisenhower  crisis  Vali_Nasr 
september 2014 by jerryking
The Shadow Commander - The New Yorker
SEPTEMBER 30, 2013 ISSUE

The Shadow Commander
Qassem Suleimani is the Iranian operative who has been reshaping the Middle East. Now he’s directing Assad’s war in Syria.

BY DEXTER FILKINS
Iran  Revolutionary_Guards  Qassim_Suleimani  Quds_Force  covert_operations  Syria  Middle_East 
august 2014 by jerryking
Zakaria: The Saudis Are Mad? Tough!
Nov. 11, 2013 |TIME | By Fareed Zakaria.

If there were a prize for Most Irresponsible Foreign Policy it would surely be awarded to Saudi Arabia. It is the nation most responsible for the rise of Islamic radicalism and militancy around the world. Over the past four decades, the kingdom's immense oil wealth has been used to underwrite the export of an extreme, intolerant and violent version of Islam preached by its Wahhabi clerics....Saudi Arabia was one of only three countries in the world to recognize and support the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan until the 9/11 attacks. It is also a major player in Pakistan, now home to most of the world's deadliest terrorists.... there was no doubt Saudi Arabia was supporting Wahhabi groups throughout Pakistan.


Saudi Arabia's objections to the Obama Administration's policies toward Syria and Iran are not framed by humanitarian concerns for the people of those countries. They are rooted in a pervasive anti-Shi'ite ideology.
U.S.foreign_policy  Middle_East  Saudi_Arabian  Fareed_Zakaria  Wahhabism 
november 2013 by jerryking
Celebrating the Misery of 'the head of the snake'
By MARCUS GEE, The Globe and Mail
Wednesday, September 12, 2001
9/11  anti-Americanism  Middle_East  Marcus_Gee 
march 2013 by jerryking
Hillary Clinton’s Diplomatic Legacy
February 11, 2013 | The New Yorker | by George Packer.

The criticism that there is no encompassing “Obama doctrine” misses the point. Geopolitics today is too complex, messy, and various to be bent to America’s will by an overarching doctrine like containment, or a massive initiative like the Marshall Plan, or a single breakthrough like Nixon’s trip to China. A doctrine was what put the country in a deep hole; climbing out required restraint, flexibility, and opportunism. A first-term Secretary of State with one grand strategic vision wouldn’t have matched the demands of the moment, which called for a fox, not a hedgehog....The standard debates in American foreign policy—realism vs. idealism, heavy footprint vs. light footprint—don’t get to the heart of the problem with Obama’s foreign policy. It’s not that diplomatic engagement is the wrong approach; it’s just that the President’s first four years have given us the idea of diplomacy more than the thing itself. In a forthcoming book, “The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat,” Vali Nasr, a former adviser under Hillary Clinton and the late Richard Holbrooke, argues that, from North Africa to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the White House has relied too much on the military and the C.I.A. (mainly in the form of drones) to guide policy: “These agencies’ solutions were not, and could never be, a substitute for the type of patient, long-range, credible diplomacy that garners the respect of our allies and their support when we need it.” In Nasr’s view, a White House that feared being called soft and wanted to keep intractable foreign entanglements out of the news turned to Clinton only after things had fallen apart, as in Pakistan at the end of 2011, when she moved to repair a relationship that had degenerated into outright antagonism.

Obama and Clinton wanted to “pivot” away from the Middle East, toward the Pacific, but a bloody hand keeps reaching out to pull America back.
George_Packer  George_Marshall  U.S.foreign_policy  legacies  diplomacy  Middle_East  Mideast_Peace  Obama  Hillary_Clinton  geopolitics  Pakistan  complexity  messiness  restraint  flexibility  opportunism  U.S._State_Department  grand_strategy  Vali_Nasr  CIA  drones  Marshall_Plan  foxes  hedgehogs  long-range  books 
february 2013 by jerryking
On the Jewish Question - WSJ.com
November 26, 2007

On the Jewish Question

By BERNARD LEWIS
Middle_East  Mideast_Peace  Bernard_Lewis 
september 2012 by jerryking
Hostage to Fortune - WSJ.com
September 6, 2006 | WSJ |By ROBERT D. KAPLAN
Robert_Kaplan  Middle_East  Iraq 
july 2012 by jerryking
Bush Dreams of Changing Not Just Regime but Region - WSJ.com
March 21, 2003 | WSJ | By ROBERT S. GREENBERGER and KARBY LEGGETT | Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
Middle_East  G.W.Bush 
july 2012 by jerryking
Arabs and free trade -
13 May 2003 |The Globe and Mail A.18 | editorials

The decades-old Arab economic boycott of Israel is a "cut off your nose to spite your face" kind of measure -- hurtful to Israel's Western-oriented economy but equally damaging to Arab economies, which would benefit from trade with the Middle East's strongest player.

In a sense, though, the boycott is standard fare among Arab countries. They don't simply close their borders to Israeli products; they close them to each other's products, too. Arab states have some of the global economy's highest tariff barriers, averaging 20 per cent or more. Many, including Saudi Arabia, are not even members of the World Trade Organization.

It has been almost 30 years since the oil embargo against the West, which proved to be the high-water mark for Arab economic influence. Since then, Arab countries have failed to diversify, even into oil-related products such as petrochemicals. Dependence on fluctuating oil revenues has only grown. Meanwhile, according to the International Monetary Fund, many Arab countries maintain greater state control over their economies than existed in the old Soviet bloc.

Per-capita incomes, unsurprisingly, are declining. The gross domestic product of the entire Arab world is less than Spain's, and only four-fifths of Canada's. Last year, Arab countries received less foreign investment than did Sweden.
ProQuest  editorials  Middle_East  Arab-Muslim_world  boycotts  decline  global_economy 
july 2012 by jerryking
Spread Freedom In The Mideast
October 10, 2001 | WSJ | by Natan Sharansky
The democratic world must not only destroy the empire of terror, it must also seek to expand the very freedom our enemies want to destroy.
Mideast_Peace  9/11  Middle_East 
july 2012 by jerryking
The West Must Act Now or Rue the Day - WSJ.com
August 29, 2006 | Letters to the editor

"What we have in the Middle East is not a clash of civilizations but a maelstrom of irrationalism. The West has been incapacitated by appeasement, corruption and denial because many people suffer from an aversion to conflict. On the other hand, you have an Islamic world in decline where its most anti-social elements project on to others their feelings of inadequacy while denying any guilt of their own for the situation their culture is in. Unfortunately, these radicals have intimidated the majority of Muslims into acquiescence for their terrorist views and actions."
letters_to_the_editor  Shelby_Steele  Middle_East  guilt  decline 
june 2012 by jerryking
Who's falsifying?
12 Dec 2001 | The Globe and Mail A.18. | Ismail Zayid.
It is Ed Morgan (letter -- Dec. 11) and not Rick Sautin who is indulging in falsified history. The homeland of Moshe Dayan and Yitzhak Rabin was not, in June of 1967, "under attack by its surrounding countries." It was Israel that planned and initiated that war against Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Israel's own leaders at the time testify to that, confirming that Gamal Abdel Nasser had no intention of attacking Israel.
ProQuest  Rick_Salutin  1967  Israel  Middle_East  Mideast_Peace  Arab  Six-Day_War  war  conflicts  letters_to_the_editor 
june 2012 by jerryking
A Historian's Take on Islam Steers U.S. in Terrorism Fight - WSJ.com
February 3, 2004 | WSJ | By PETER WALDMAN | Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
A Historian's Take on Islam Steers U.S. in Terrorism Fight
Bernard Lewis's Blueprint -- Sowing Arab Democracy -- Is Facing a Test in Iraq....Bernard Lewis, Princeton University historian, author of more than 20 books on Islam and the Middle East, is the intellectual author of what is referred to as the the Lewis Doctrine. Though never debated in Congress or sanctified by presidential decree, Mr. Lewis's diagnosis of the Muslim world's malaise, and his call for a U.S. military invasion to seed democracy in the Mideast, have helped define the boldest shift in U.S. foreign policy in 50 years. The occupation of Iraq put the doctrine to the test--and it failed...."The Lewis Doctrine posits no such rational foe. It envisions not a clash of interests or even ideology, but of cultures. In the Mideast, the font of the terrorism threat, America has but two choices, "both disagreeable," Mr. Lewis has written: "Get tough or get out." His celebration, rather than shunning, of toughness is shared by several other influential U.S. Mideast experts, including Fouad Ajami and Richard Perle.

A central Lewis theme is that Muslims have had a chip on their shoulders since 1683, when the Ottomans failed for the second time to sack Christian Vienna. "Islam has been on the defensive" ever since, Mr. Lewis wrote in a 1990 essay called "The Roots of Muslim Rage," where he described a "clash of civilizations," a concept later popularized by Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington. For 300 years, Mr. Lewis says, Muslims have watched in horror and humiliation as the Christian civilizations of Europe and North America have overshadowed them militarily, economically and culturally."
historians  Bernard_Lewis  terrorism  U.S.foreign_policy  Middle_East  Mideast_Peace  humiliation  blueprints 
may 2012 by jerryking
Baba Ganoush - The Best In The World! Recipe - Food.com - 67570
Baba Ganoush - the Best in the World!

By Mimi Bobeck

Added July 26, 2003
recipes  Middle_East  baba_ganoush 
may 2012 by jerryking
The Company Way - WSJ.com
April 9, 2003 | WSJ | By JOHN MICKLETHWAIT and ADRIAN WOOLDRIDGE
privately_held_companies  Iraq  Middle_East 
may 2012 by jerryking
There Be Dragons - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: February 28, 2012
Tom_Friedman  Middle_East 
february 2012 by jerryking
U.S. Sees Iran Attacks as Likely if Israel Strikes - NYTimes.com
By THOM SHANKER, HELENE COOPER and ETHAN BRONNER
Published: February 29, 2012
Iran  nuclear  Middle_East  Persian_Gulf  Israel  retaliation 
february 2012 by jerryking
Correspondent's Voice Was Critical to Understanding the Middle East - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 19, 2012, 6:24 P.M. ET

Correspondent's Voice Was Critical to Understanding the Middle East


By FARNAZ FASSIHI
Middle_East  journalists  obituaries 
february 2012 by jerryking
The New Cold War
May 14, 2008 | New York Times | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN.

The next president is going to be a cold-war president — but this cold war is with Iran...As the May 11 editorial in the Iranian daily Kayhan put it, “In the power struggle in the Middle East, there are only two sides: Iran and the U.S.”

For now, Team America is losing on just about every front. How come? The short answer is that Iran is smart and ruthless, America is dumb and weak, and the Sunni Arab world is feckless and divided...Ehud Yaari, one of Israel’s best Middle East watchers, calls “Pax Iranica.” In his April 28 column in The Jerusalem Report, Mr. Yaari pointed out the web of influence that Iran has built around the Middle East — from the sway it has over Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, to its ability to manipulate virtually all the Shiite militias in Iraq, to its building up of Hezbollah into a force — with 40,000 rockets — that can control Lebanon and threaten Israel should it think of striking Tehran, to its ability to strengthen Hamas in Gaza and block any U.S.-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace.

“Simply put,” noted Mr. Yaari, “Tehran has created a situation in which anyone who wants to attack its atomic facilities will have to take into account that this will lead to bitter fighting” on the Lebanese, Palestinian, Iraqi and Persian Gulf fronts. That is a sophisticated strategy of deterrence...Alas, the right question for the next president isn’t whether we talk or don’t talk. It’s whether we have leverage or don’t have leverage.

When you have leverage, talk. When you don’t have leverage, get some — by creating economic, diplomatic or military incentives and pressures that the other side finds too tempting or frightening to ignore.
Lebanon  Iran  U.S.foreign_policy  Tom_Friedman  nuclear  Hezbollah  incentives  deterrence  Middle_East  Mideast_Peace  Cold_War  leverage  ruthlessness  influence  Palestinian  Iraq  Persian_Gulf  multiple_stressors  grand_strategy 
january 2012 by jerryking
Canada can help stop this march to the abyss
Aug 1, 2006 | The Globe and Mail pg. A.15 | Michael Ignatieff

Hezbollah's strategy is to lure Israel into an escalation of violence that will radicalize the Arab world and cause Israel to lose its remaining international support. The terrible tragedy in Qana, which claimed more than 50 lives, is thus a victory for Hezbollah. But that is not all. Hezbollah then hopes to draw Israel into a wider conflict that would result in its ultimate destruction. In this terrible struggle, Israel cannot win, Hezbollah cannot lose and Lebanon perishes.
ProQuest  Michael_Ignatieff  Lebanon  Israel  Hezbollah  Canada  legitimacy  Arab-Muslim_world  Middle_East 
october 2011 by jerryking
Middle East prisoner exchange creates as many controversies as it resolves - The Globe and Mail
patrick martin
KOBAR, WEST BANK— From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011
Patrick_Martin  Middle_East  Mideast_Peace  Hamas  Fatah 
october 2011 by jerryking
Obama’s Peace Tack Contrasts With Key Aide, Friend of Israel - NYTimes.com
By HELENE COOPER and MARK LANDLER
Published: May 21, 2011

Dennis Ross is the most senior member of a coterie of American diplomats
who have advised presidents stretching back to Ronald Reagan. Unlike
many of his colleagues, Mr. Ross has thrived in Republican and
Democratic administrations.

“Dennis is viewed as the éminence grise, a sort of Rasputin who casts a
spell over secretaries of state and presidents,” said Aaron David
Miller, a Middle East expert who has worked with him over several
administrations and says he is an admirer. “But in the end, it’s the
president who makes the ultimate decisions.”

Denis R. McDonough, the deputy national security adviser, said: “Dennis
brings to the discussion a recognition of the vital importance of peace
to the parties, but also to the United States. He’s in many ways
dedicated much of his professional life to getting there.”
Dennis_Ross  obama  Mideast_Peace  King_Addullah_II  Palestinians  diplomacy  éminence_grise  Middle_East 
may 2011 by jerryking
1967: A critical year for Obama’s presidency - The Globe and Mail
KONRAD YAKABUSKI | Columnist profile | E-mail
WASHINGTON AND JERUSALEM— From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 20, 2011
1967  Arab-Muslim_world  Middle_East  obama  U.S.foreign_policy  Six-Day_War  Benjamin_Netanyahu  Konrad_Yakabuski  Mideast_Peace 
may 2011 by jerryking
The Weekend Interview With Paul Wolfowitz: The bin Laden Raid and the 'Virtues of Boldness' - WSJ.com
May 7| WSJ | By JAMES TARANTO.

In early September 2001, when he was deputy defense secretary, Paul Wolfowitz had breakfast at the Pentagon with a group of congressmen. His boss, Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, "was talking about the difficulties of predicting the future and the dangers of surprise," Mr. Wolfowitz recalls. "He said, 'You know, historically every time we think the threat has gone away, something comes along and surprises us.'" Mr. Wolfowitz's next meeting was interrupted by the news that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Soon after, the Pentagon was evacuated after being hit by another hijacked aircraft.

Recent months have brought new surprises, as a wave of pro-democracy demonstrations has swept across the Arab world. Then, this week, President Obama announced that al Qaeda's leader was dead.

"The most striking thing is that even before Osama bin Laden was killed, he seemed largely irrelevant to the Arab Spring," Mr. Wolfowitz says.......The Arab Spring is a source of satisfaction to Mr. Wolfowitz, whose advocacy of democracy promotion as a "fundamental point of strategy" made him a demon figure for the antiwar left. .......Wolfowitz is now an outside critic of the administration in power......He says that pro-democracy sentiment in the Mideast caught President Obama by surprise as early as June 2009........ President Obama then cited the Iraq war and declared: "No system of government can or should be imposed [on] one nation by any other." To Mr. Wolfowitz, that is a straw man: "We did not go to war in Afghanistan or in Iraq to, quote, 'impose democracy.' We went to war in both places because we saw those regimes as a threat to the United States." Once they were overthrown, what else were we going to do? "No one argues that we should have imposed a dictatorship in Afghanistan having liberated the country. Similarly, we weren't about to impose a dictatorship in Iraq having liberated the country.".......World-wide, he says, democracy had been "in constant retreat" since the end of World War II. "If you looked around the world in 1981, you could say free, democratic institutions are a luxury that only the developed world enjoys—that is to say, the Anglo-Saxon world plus Western Europe plus Japan."

That began to change when Ronald Reagan came to Washington......The 1980s and '90s saw democratic advances elsewhere in East Asia as well as in Latin America, Eastern Europe and parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

By the end of the 20th century, the Arab Middle East had become an outlier—the least democratic region in the world........ has the Arab Spring occurred because of the Iraqi experience or in spite of it? When I ask Mr. Wolfowitz, he is hesitant: "It's a fascinating question, and one should probably simply . . . say it's in the category of the unknowable."........Yet Mr. Wolfowitz tempers his criticism with forbearance. "I think there's a learning curve," he says. "I think they're climbing up the learning curve." He takes encouragement in the president's "gutsy call" of sending men to finish off bin Laden in person rather than dispatching him with a missile. "Obama has just made the toughest decision of his presidency, arguably," Mr. Wolfowitz says. "It wasn't a simple decision. . . . He was in a position where he'd have to take responsibility for it if it went badly. It's gone well. I hope he's learned some of the virtues of boldness."
'80s  '90s  Arab_Spring  boldness  democracy  Donald_Rumsfeld  Middle_East  Obama  OBL  Paul_Wolfowitz  Ronald_Reagan  SecDef  straw_man  unknowables 
may 2011 by jerryking
If Not Now, When? - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: February 22, 2011
What’s unfolding in the Arab world today is the mother of all wake-up
calls. And what the voice on the other end of the line is telling us is
clear as a bell:

“America, you have built your house at the foot of a volcano. That
volcano is now spewing lava from different cracks and is rumbling like
it’s going to blow. Move your house!” In this case, “move your house”
means “end your addiction to oil.”
Middle_East  uprisings  oil_industry  alternative_energy  Tom_Friedman  addictions 
february 2011 by jerryking
Is the Middle East the new land of opportunity? - Fortune Finance
February 16, 2011 9:05 am

Before the uprising in Tahrir Square, young entrepreneurs had been
creating their own opportunities throughout the Middle East and North
Africa. For investors brave enough to overcome the existing political
strife, the pay-offs could be huge.

By Christopher M. Schroeder
angels  investing  Middle_East  Egypt  start_ups  investors  uprisings 
february 2011 by jerryking
Pivotal Time for America's Mideast Interests - WSJ.com
* FEBRUARY 12, 2011 By GERALD F. SEIB
Starting on the day in 1977 when former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat
made a dramatic flight to Israel to start making peace, American policy
in the region has been built on the premise that Egypt was at least the
titular leader of a bloc of moderate, pro-Western Arab states. Those
states, including Jordan, Morocco and the Persian Gulf sheikdoms, have
provided a semblance of stability, at least a cold peace with Israel, a
bulwark against Islamic extremism and a free flow of oil.

The future of that model became much less certain with Friday's change
in Egypt.
Gerald_Seib  U.S.foreign_policy  Middle_East  Persian_Gulf  national_interests  Arab_Spring 
february 2011 by jerryking
China, Twitter and 20-Year-Olds vs. the Pyramids - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
February 5, 2011
The forces that were upholding the status quo in the Arab world for so
long — oil, autocracy, the distraction of Israel, and a fear of the
chaos that could come with change — have finally met an engine of change
that is even more powerful: China, Twitter and 20-year-olds. ...Egypt’s
government has wasted the last 30 years — i.e., their whole lives —
plying them with the soft bigotry of low expectations: “Be patient.
Egypt moves at its own pace, like the Nile.” Well, great. Singapore also
moves at its own pace, like the Internet. ....The Arab world has 100
million young people today between the ages of 15 and 29, many of them
males who do not have the education to get a good job, buy an apartment
and get married. That is trouble. Add in rising food prices, and the
diffusion of Twitter, Facebook and texting, which finally gives them a
voice to talk back to their leaders and directly to each other, and you
have a very powerful change engine.
Singapore  China  Middle_East  Arab-Muslim_world  Egypt  Tom_Friedman  competitiveness_of_nations  Arab_Spring  sclerotic  young_people 
february 2011 by jerryking
A New Era in Mideast History - WSJ.com
* FEBRUARY 1, 2011

Now Dawning: The Next Era of Middle East History

*
By GERALD F. SEIB
Middle_East  Egypt  Gerald_Seib 
february 2011 by jerryking
Just Knock It Off - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: October 19, 2010
Tom_Friedman  Middle_East  peace 
october 2010 by jerryking
Israelis Debate Striking Iran Without U.S. Consent - WSJ.com
APRIL 21, 2010 | Wall street Journal | By CHARLES LEVINSON.

Officials, Seeing Impending Policy Split With U.S., Debate Prospect of a Military Strike Without Washington's Consent
Israel  Iran  U.S.foreign_policy  Middle_East 
april 2010 by jerryking
Book Review: Holy Warriors and The Crusades - WSJ.com
MARCH 13, 2010 | Wall street Journal | by Robert Louis Wilken who reviews Holy Warriors By Jonathan Phillips
Random House, 434 pages, $30 and The Crusades By Thomas Asbridge Ecco, 767 pages, $34.99
book_reviews  christianity  history  islam  Middle_East  religion 
march 2010 by jerryking
Rocco Forte looks to the Middle East - WSJ.com
JANUARY 18, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By WILLIAM LYONS. but
he admits the recent expansion couldn't have come at a worse time
economically. "It is probably the most challenging period I have ever
known," he says. "Immediately after the collapse of Lehman Brothers the
impact was dramatic. We saw a 25% drop in sales across the group with
some hotels dropping as much as 40%."
hoteliers  luxury  hotels  travel  challenges  Middle_East 
march 2010 by jerryking
A Canadian model for the Gulf - The Globe and Mail
Aug. 31, 2009 | Globe & Mail | Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi.
Canada's most important export to the Middle East is hope in the form of
substantial number of Canadians of Arab heritage who have chosen to
return to the region. Canada's secular and modern education system,
coupled with tolerance and respect for people of diverse cultures,
continues to produce moderate Arabs, Muslim and Christian alike, who
despite their relatively small numbers are leaving a lasting positive
impression on the Arab world.
Middle_East  Arab  expatriates  Diaspora  exporting  Canada  Canadian  tolerance 
september 2009 by jerryking
June, 1967, may yet prove the beginning of a solution
Marcus Gee. The Globe and Mail. Toronto, Ont.: Jun 1, 2007. pg. A.21
Marcus_Gee  Middle_East  Israel  1967  Six-Day_War 
may 2009 by jerryking
Risky Business - HBR.org
September 2008 | Harvard Business Review | The Editors. an
article about investment strategies in the Persian Gulf—“Where Oil-Rich
Nations Are Placing Their Bets.” The authors—Rawi Abdelal, Ayesha Khan,
and Tarun Khanna—persuasively argue that there’s a world of difference
between what the Gulf countries are actually trying to achieve and what
Western leaders imagine they’re aiming for. “Seven Ways to Fail Big,”
by Paul Carroll and Chunka Mui, has an ambitious agenda: to categorize
the bad strategic bets that companies make and to identify
decision-making processes that will help other companies avoid similar
failures. The key process is appointing devil’s advocates with enough
clout to stop a bad decision in its tracks.
big_bets  HBR  risks  magazines  decision_making  Persian_Gulf  Middle_East  failure  devil’s_advocates  petro-dictators  petro-politics  thinking_big  strategic_bets  taxonomy  red_teams 
may 2009 by jerryking

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