Conflict update, November 2

Iraq Let’s start in Mosul, where the possibility of an Iraq-Turkey war immediately following the conclusion of the Iraq-ISIS war got considerably bigger today, when it became clear that Turkey has been deploying what sure looks like an invasion force along its Iraqi border. Ankara insists that it’s just preparing for “eventualities,” like, I guess,… Continue reading Conflict update, November 2

The craziest thing you’ll read, well, maybe ever

Apologies for the late content; it’s been a busy day culminating in a vet visit for our dog–she needed to get pre-op blood work done before she gets…fixed (don’t tell her). In lieu of anything new and exciting from me, I’m going to steer you to what is honestly one of the nuttiest stories I’ve… Continue reading The craziest thing you’ll read, well, maybe ever

The United States is showing…restraint?

It’s now been a few days since US cruise missiles destroyed three Yemeni radar installations controlled by the Houthis and their pro-Saleh allies in retaliation for two attempted missile strikes against a US destroyer in the Red Sea. Well, yesterday the other shoe dropped: The UN special envoy for Yemen has announced the plan for… Continue reading The United States is showing…restraint?

Academia at its finest

There’s a wonderful tribute to the long-deceased University of Chicago scholar Marshall Hodgson in The New York Times Magazine today. Hodgson founded the year-long Islamic history course that Chicago still offers to this day, and the text he wrote to accompany it, the three-volume Venture of Islam, is still required reading for that course. The… Continue reading Academia at its finest

Off to the great people-boiling pot in the sky

Uzbekistan’s president for life, Islam Karimov, either already has or is about to learn that the “for life” part of that title is the real deal. Karimov, known among other things for (allegedly) executing political prisoners by boiling them, has apparently suffered a brain hemorrhage and there are conflicting reports as to his continued existence.… Continue reading Off to the great people-boiling pot in the sky

Actions speak louder than words

Al-Monitor’s Akiva Eldar notes that the presidential campaign (and Hillary Clinton’s need to appease big money Likudnik donors like Haim Saban) doesn’t seem to be tempering the Obama administration’s willingness to criticize illegal Israeli settlement activity: Top US administration officials are not in the habit of shooting announcements from the hip, especially when it comes… Continue reading Actions speak louder than words

What about all these other al-Qaeda affiliates?

J.M. Berger, at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, has a smart piece on where al-Qaeda’s other affiliates might be heading now that Jabhat al-Nusra tronc Xfinity SyFy Xe whoever they are have decided to cut ties, even superficially, with the mother ship. He argues that even if there’s no practical change to Nusra’s relationship with… Continue reading What about all these other al-Qaeda affiliates?