Today in Middle Eastern history: Bahrain’s Bloody Thursday (2011)

Today marks the anniversary of Bloody Thursday, one of the largest of the several crackdowns carried out by the Bahraini government against opposition protesters over the past several years. It should be noted that Bahrain’s Arab Spring protests started out, on February 14, as a call for democratic reform and improved treatment for the country’s… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: Bahrain’s Bloody Thursday (2011)

Shithole update #2 (Asia/Africa): January 11-12 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN A Friday morning Taliban attack on a police outpost in Farah province killed three Afghan police officers. US forces on Thursday reportedly bombed an Afghan government-aligned militia in Nangarhar province after one or more members of that militia opened fire on US special forces troops amid some kind of argument. At least 13 militia… Continue reading Shithole update #2 (Asia/Africa): January 11-12 2018

Today in Middle Eastern history: Bahrain’s Bloody Thursday (2011)

The violence that marked Bahrain’s response to the Arab Spring has gone relatively unnoticed by the rest of the world. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, in comparison with the chaos and/or violence that followed the Arab Spring in Syria, Libya, or Egypt, Bahrain’s violence has been relatively minor. For another thing,… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: Bahrain’s Bloody Thursday (2011)

Today in Middle Eastern history: Hosni Mubarak resigns (2011)

It’s now been five years since Hosni Mubarak stepped down in the face of massive Arab Spring protests against the incompetence and repression of his regime. You’ll be forgiven if you haven’t noticed, because Egypt is pretty much right back where it started in early 2011, except that “Sisi” is slightly easier to spell than… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: Hosni Mubarak resigns (2011)

Today in Middle East history: the Arab Spring makes its mark (2011)

The Arab Spring began on December 17, 2010, when a Tunisian street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire on the streets of Sidi Bouzid to protest his perceived mistreatment at the hands of a city inspector. The city inspector was probably just doing her job, but Bouazizi’s self-immolation set off a national protest… Continue reading Today in Middle East history: the Arab Spring makes its mark (2011)

How can your strategy collapse when you don’t have a strategy to begin with?

Vox informs us that “American strategy in Syria is collapsing,” and while they’re right, I think they’re overselling things by describing what we’re doing in Syria as a “strategy.” The Obama administration hasn’t had a coherent strategy on Syria from the beginning of the civil war there, and really didn’t have a coherent strategy for… Continue reading How can your strategy collapse when you don’t have a strategy to begin with?

Arabian frights

Still unpacking the past few days of erratic diplomacy coming out of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). First came the refusal to accept their election to the UN Security Council after they had actively campaigned for the seat, then the announcement that the kingdom would “reassess” its strategic relationship with the United States. David… Continue reading Arabian frights