Today in History: the Crusades approach their ironic apogee (1203)

Today marks the 812th anniversary of the day that the Fourth Crusade, fourth of a series of pan-Christian military expeditions meant to drive Muslims out of the eastern Mediterranean and bring its holy sites under Christian control while also providing breathing room for the hard pressed Byzantine Empire, captured Constantinople and sent the Byzantine Emperor… Continue reading Today in History: the Crusades approach their ironic apogee (1203)

Saudi-watching in the wake of the nuclear deal

Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that risks losing ground as the fallout from the Iran deal settles, as more Iranian oil hits the market and as Iran gets more money to put toward the two countries’ regional rivalry. Plus, let’s not forget, Saudi King Salman has been on the job for only about… Continue reading Saudi-watching in the wake of the nuclear deal

The place to start working with Iran

With the nuclear deal in pocket, it’s understandable that people are talking about the future of the US-Iran relationship. It’s especially understandable when Iranian and US interests in the Middle East overlap on so many issues: ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the stability of the Iraqi government in general, dealing with Syria’s civil war, Hezbollah-Israel,… Continue reading The place to start working with Iran

Major victory for Hadi’s forces in Yemen

Forces loyal to Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi have reportedly retaken control of the southern Yemen port city of Aden, according to VP-in-exile Khaled Bahah. The Houthis are denying that they’ve lost the city, but it seems pretty clear that no more than about 10% of the city, max, is still in Houthi hands. Some top… Continue reading Major victory for Hadi’s forces in Yemen

Your periodic Sinai upda-HOLY CRAP WHAT THE HELL?

Wilayat Sinai, the ISIS affiliate that is currently engaged in an armed conflict with the Egyptian armed forces in the Sinai and has started lobbing rockets into southern Israel to escalate things further, attacked an Egyptian coastguard vessel in the Mediterranean today and set it on fire. How it set that ship on fire is… Continue reading Your periodic Sinai upda-HOLY CRAP WHAT THE HELL?

Next up, Chancellor Merkel will kick a puppy

German Chancellor Angela Merkel essentially made a Palestinian teenager cry on German TV today by compassionately explaining to her that Germany is about to deport her and her family back to, well, wherever, I guess, on account of “politics is hard sometimes.” Watch: There are lots of refugees out there, and if Germany accepts one… Continue reading Next up, Chancellor Merkel will kick a puppy