Did Burkina Faso’s army just troll everybody?

Way back in 2000, the Burkinabé constitution was amended to limit presidents to two five year terms in office; previously they could be elected to unlimited seven year terms. This should have marked the end of President Blaise Compaoré's time in office, since he had seized power in a coup all the way back in … Continue reading Did Burkina Faso’s army just troll everybody?

Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure can buy most anything else

If you're at all familiar with Arabic society, you know that it has some roots in the pastoral nomadic lifestyle of the Bedouin, who have herded sheep, goats, and camels around the Arabian peninsula and into the Syrian and Egyptian deserts for as long as people have been keeping written records in and about that … Continue reading Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure can buy most anything else

Iran talks approach crucial deadline to, ah, agree to keep talking, probably

So we're officially less than a week away from the November 24 deadline for the Iran-P5+1 nuclear talks to bear some fruit, and the final round of talks before that deadline has begun in Vienna, so I thought it might be worth summing up where things stand right now and looking at what to expect … Continue reading Iran talks approach crucial deadline to, ah, agree to keep talking, probably

G-20 leaders have hissy fit while Ukraine keeps burning

The chilly reception that Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly received at this weekend’s G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, could have been predicted a month ago, when Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced his plan to “shirtfront” (Australian rules football slang for roughing an opponent up) Putin regarding July’s downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 near … Continue reading G-20 leaders have hissy fit while Ukraine keeps burning

What does “being good on Israel” mean?

The Woodrow Wilson Center's Aaron David Miller speculates that a President Hillary Clinton would be better for the U.S.-Israel relationship than Obama has been. On this I completely agree with him, though I suspect we'd disagree about whether that relationship is working to the benefit of either party at this point. Miller cites Clinton's experience … Continue reading What does “being good on Israel” mean?