THOMAS PIKETTY’S ERRORS REGARDING INEQUALITY BADLY NEED CORRECTION IN THE ERA OF TRUMP

By | Critical Essays, Islam, Middle East | No Comments

  The Trump victory in the United States was a reaction, at root, to the real and perceived costs of globalization: inequality and immigration flows. Now that he is in office, there are serious possibilities of disruptive changes to the global trading system, as we saw with his instant dismissal of the Trans Pacific Partnership. For Xi Jinping, head of state of the world’s most mercantilist country, to stand up at Davos and extol free trade, while Donald Trump, head of the supposedly most ideologically free trade state on the planet vowing to set up tariff barriers has been a…

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 IRANIAN AMBITIONS IN ARABIA PRE-DATE MOHAMMED

By | History, Islam, Middle East, Opinion pieces for the press | No Comments

  The growing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia – already at war by proxy in Syria and Yemen – need to be better understood by those making Western security policy. We are too easily distracted by the obvious and too little inclined to think deeper and longer about what is going on. The struggle between Persians and Arabs dates back a very long way and it has had outcomes in the past that may offer clues about what might unfold in the Middle East in the years ahead. Certainly, this is a clash between a Sunni Arab power and…

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GETTING GAZA IN PERSPECTIVE

By | Middle East, Opinion pieces for the press | No Comments

  If we are to make balanced judgements about the Israeli incursion into Gaza, we must be able to put it in sober perspective. Three things make that very difficult: pictures of the death and injury of women and children; evidence of the overwhelmingly superiority of Israeli arms compared with those available to Hamas; and the belief that the Arab population of Gaza (and for that matter on the West Bank of the Jordan) are refugees, deprived of their homes, oppressed and bullied by Israel. If you start simply from one or more of these premises, without putting the situation…

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EFRAIM’S KARSH’S TOUR DE FORCE ON EL-NAKBA

By | Critical Essays, Geopolitics, Islam, Middle East | No Comments

In four decades of reading about international affairs and Middle Eastern geopolitics, I do not think I have come across a work of history that more fully illuminated the true sources of Palestinian terrorism and irresolvable conflict with the realities of Israel than does Efraim Karsh’s Palestine Betrayed. If ever a book merited the description tour de force, this is it. The pity of it is that only those who are already favourably disposed to the state of Israel are likely to so much as read it – and most of those will probably skim it, not really absorbing the…

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