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In Depth: Middle East, Syria and Lebanon

19 Sep 2016

Unstable, Unruly, and Reprobate: The Middle East Today

Tehran and Riyadh compete to expand their regional influence by maneuvering troops, funds, and surrogates in the midst of war, faltering economies, ethno-sectarian tension, jihad, and refugees.
3 Jan 2012

Arab Spring or Islamist Winter?

The number of genuinely liberal democracies to emerge soon in the Arab world is likely to be one or zero.
7 Jun 2013

Is the Sunni Saudi Kingdom Next?

While Syria’s neighbors are nervous about the war spilling into their own countries, Saudi Arabia's leaders fear that the Saudi jihadists now fighting in Syria will bring their training home to overthrow the kingdom.
18 Aug 2014

No Winners in Unhinged, Disintegrating Syria

If there’s any hope for Syria, it will only come after all sides realize no one is winning the current conflict, or will win, and that the republic established in 1946 is no more.
19 Jun 2013

Syria’s Endgame: Prospects Dim, Options Narrow

The revolution to remove Assad has metastasized into a grotesque sectarian war among the Sunni majority, the ruling Alawite minority, and a host of other uncertain players.
28 Feb 2012

Non-Interventionist David Rieff is Wrong on Syria

Especially after Libya, non-interventionists like David Rieff must do more than simply recall the failures of the Iraq War when considering Syria.
3 Jul 2014

Can Hezbollah Sustain Assad and Itself?

With the fighting in Iraq drawing large numbers of skilled Shia militiamen back home, Hezbollah might be forced to send even more aid to the Assad regime, weakening security at home.
27 Jun 2012

Assad Delenda Est: The Case for Aiding Syria’s Rebels

if nearly every Sunni Arab in the country votes for them, which can’t possibly ...

14 May 2013

Farce: Iran Assumes Presidency of UN Disarmament Group

Iran, the world's premier proliferator and terror sponsor, will soon preside over the UN’s Conference on Disarmament — a move that further stretches the UN's credibility. Canada and the US protest.
10 Jun 2011

Fool Me Twice: How the United States Lost Lebanon—Again

US failures in Lebanon in the '80s have always given heartburn to policy veterans. It hardly reassures that recent generations have not done much better.

1 Jul 2010

The Broken Link: What Peace Won't Fix

New Republic correspondent and World Affairs blogger James Kirchick argues against the folly of linkage—i.e., the assumption that fixing the peace process will somehow cure all of the Middle East's other ailments.
18 Mar 2012

The Great Ideological Battleground, Redux

I've seen so far, my initial analysis seems sound. This country is more ...

1 Feb 2012

Arab Spring or Islamist Winter?

these countries have in common with each other is that they’re in turmoil ...

7 Jun 2013

Is the Sunni Saudi Kingdom Next?

While Syria’s neighbors are nervous about the war spilling into their own countries, Saudi Arabia's leaders fear that the Saudi jihadists now fighting in Syria will bring their training home to overthrow the kingdom.
26 Oct 2008

Lebanon’s Enemy Within

to Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Seniora: “Lebanon will be the last Arab country ...

4 Apr 2005

Help Support Democracy in the Middle East

those who live in a beautiful, diverse, and sophisticated country fight ...

4 Feb 2010

Israel Threatens Assad with Regime Change

in the Middle East anyway. Not a single Arab country — unless you consider Gaza ...

19 Feb 2013

Free Syrian Army Threatens Hezbollah in Lebanon

reasons the organization has never tried to conquer the rest of the country ...

24 Mar 2013

Lebanon's Pro-Hezbollah Government Collapses

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati was selected by Hezbollah, but he turned out not to be the ally they envisioned. Now that he has resigned, leaving the country without a government, Lebanon seems increasingly closer to collapse.
27 Oct 2005

Rogue States

Turkish Cypriot half is a rogue state recognized by only one single country ...

11 Oct 2005

Syria’s Interior Minister “Kills Himself”

actually killed himself. This country is rife with conspiracy theories, ...

15 Feb 2011

A Sneak Preview of The Road to Fatima Gate

of all places, an Arabic-speaking country. Bashar al-Assad and his ruthless ...

3 Jun 2005

Remembering Samir Kassir

and his country. UPDATE: See Michael Young’s obit for Samir in Reason ...

10 Apr 2012

The Lost City

and Iran were back in the saddle. They don’t govern the country directly, ...

7 Nov 2011

Sixty Two Days

a nuclear-armed Iran would put all those countries in even greater danger than ...

19 May 2013

How to Become a Dictator

Bashar al-Assad has kept an iron grip on power, like his father Hafez, by perpetuating his mythic profile as Syria's indispensable ruler, without whom the country would undoubtedly descend into the abyss of sectarian war and ethnic cleansing.
10 Dec 2006

Deal or no deal?

for Damascus could very well be Damascus being told to quit using the country ...

16 May 2011

Don’t Even Try Defecting to Lebanon

systems. The country very nearly recovered its sovereignty and reverted ...

14 May 2013

Why the Syrian War Could Last Ten Years

most of inland Syria — the flat, dry country where the Sunni dominate. ...

27 Feb 2007

Seymour Hersh Botches Lebanon (and Egypt)

Michael J. Totten's blog Lebanon is the most complicated country I have been to by far. Lebanese politics are as complex and bewildering as any you will find anywhere — and that’s doubly true when you add ...

23 Oct 2006

Berri Crosses Lebanon’s Red Line

“moderate” ally, one of Bashar Assad’s point men in the country, said what he ...

10 Mar 2013

The North is Ready to Blow

Lebanon always seems ready to erupt in violence, but with the civil war in neighboring Syria raging on, conflict seems even closer.
7 Feb 2013

Shooting at the Neighbors

in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli , the second largest in the country ...

7 Oct 2005

Palestinians and Weapons Smuggled Into Lebanon

of this country’s sovereignty. The Daily Star also reports that Parliament has ...

14 Nov 2006

Iran Wants Lebanon Now

battleground for countries more powerful than itself. Just about every group in the country allows itself to be used as a proxy by some nation or other, and so ...

24 Oct 2006

Argentina (Finally) Charges Iran and Hezbollah

Hezbollah foreign security service chief, Imad Fayez Moughnieh. In a country ...

19 Jun 2013

Syria's Fight to the Death

he says, “is to look at the social tissue of these countries ...

29 Jul 2006

Al Qaeda Heading to Lebanon – And Why Israel Needs to Help Reconstruct Lebanon

is conditional…Assistance to rebuild a devastated country is a wise choice. Okay then, ...

14 Jul 2006

My Friend is a Refugee

on this very subject. Israel has lost him. And he has lost his country . You’ve made this country unliveable for the people fighting to disarm Hezbollah. ...

10 Jun 2013

Hezbollah's Vietnam

in the 1980s and 1990. And “Vietnam” (the metaphor, not the country) is supposed ...

9 Mar 2012

Hezbollah's Relentless Rage

but they’ve never come close to threatening the country’s existence. ...

8 Feb 2013

Assessing Israel's Strike on Syria

The details of last week’s strike in Syria remain unclear, but a few preliminary conclusions can be drawn—including that Hezbollah could threaten to drag Lebanon into the Syrian war.
2 Jan 2012

Strong Horse, Weak Horse

the Kurds, they are fragmented and live as minorities in more than one country ...

24 Jun 2013

Hezbollah's Disneyland

Hezbollah has buit a museum-theme park atop a mountain in Lebanon dedicated to its "victorious" exploits against Israel. Conspicuously missing from this propaganda playland however are the terror group's monstrous attacks against civilians.
30 Aug 2012

Syria's War Spills Into Lebanon

but the two countries still function to an extent as a single political unit. ...

4 Jul 2012

Chasing Demons from the Middle East to the Balkans

Ethnic divisions and tensions take on different forms across the world. What is universal, however, is our obligation to not stand by while sectarian slaughter wipes out millions.
5 Jun 2005

From Damascus to Beirut

that the country they’ve chosen as their unwilling satrapy is the one Arab country ...

23 Jul 2012

Assad Delenda Est

in the country votes for them, which can’t possibly happen. There’s no reason ...

14 May 2013

Farce: Iran Assumes Presidency of UN Disarmament Group

Iran, the world's premier proliferator and terror sponsor, will soon preside over the UN’s Conference on Disarmament — a move that further stretches the UN's credibility. Canada and the US protest.
9 May 2013

The New Black Hole of the Eastern Mediterranean

Michael J. Totten's blog Until awfully recently, Lebanon was the country in the Eastern Mediterranean that acted as a gravitational black hole that sucked in the neighbors. The Israelis, the Syrians, the PLO, ...

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