Full of sound and fury

There are two ongoing situations dominating recent events in Syria. One is the month-long rebel advance north of the city of Hama, led by Jaysh al-Fatah (the partnership between Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra Fatah al-Sham that captured Idlib province from Bashar al-Assad last summer), Jund al-Aqsa (a Nusra offshoot), and elements of the Free… Continue reading Full of sound and fury

Where does Uzbekistan go from here?

With the passing of lovable, people-boiling autocrat Islam Karimov late last month, Uzbekistan has entered uncharted territory. Karimov was, after all, the only head of state the country has had since the fall of the Soviet Union. Per Foreign Affairs, the mechanics of the succession appear to be in place, and it’s fairly clear who… Continue reading Where does Uzbekistan go from here?

Changing BFFs

Tayyip Erdoğan was in St. Petersburg today, bro-ing it out with fellow sort-of-democratically-elected autocrat Vladimir Putin: Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russian trade sanctions on Turkey would be phased out “step by step”. “The priority is to get back to the pre-crisis level of co-operation,” he told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in St Petersburg.… Continue reading Changing BFFs

Stealing money from Bad countries is OK, right?

Eli Lake, whose credibility fell off a wall and shattered sometime around 2003 and still hasn’t been put back together, despite the best efforts of all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, is very mad today because the United States is sending military aid to Iran (when we should be sending cruise missiles… Continue reading Stealing money from Bad countries is OK, right?

Right tosser of the day, innit?

It’s UKIP Grand Wizard village idiot party leader Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader, a prominent member of the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, took aim at Obama ahead of the president’s visit to Britain next week, during which he is expected to express support for the remain camp. “Mercifully, this American president,… Continue reading Right tosser of the day, innit?

A necessary step, but will it matter?

Word broke yesterday that Iran would be invited (with US approval) to participate in the next round of international talks over ending the Syrian civil war. The Guardian is calling this a “significant shift” in US policy, and I guess it is, but it’s one that was long overdue. You can’t get a political settlement… Continue reading A necessary step, but will it matter?

Hamas may need a new sponsor

Remember a couple of weeks ago, when Saudi King Salman took a somewhat surprising meeting with Hamas’s political leadership? Well, it seems that Hamas might have had good reason for meeting with the chief regional rival to their ostensible Iranian patrons: Iranian aid to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas has drastically decreased, a senior Hamas… Continue reading Hamas may need a new sponsor