Middle East

African Coups

2 February 2022 African Coups By Gwynne Dyer Military coups are back in fashion in Africa. There have been over 200 attempted coups in the continent since 1960, about half of them successful, but in the past two decades they had dropped to only two a year. Last year saw six, however, and there have …

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Syria: The Autumn Offensive

“Idlib Province is the largest al-Qaeda safe haven since 9/11,” said Brett McGurk, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, so you wouldn’t think that the United States would object to the Syrian government reconquering it. Especially since US forces in Syria have no way of reaching Idlib, in the country’s northwestern …

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Iran: Here We Go Again?

“The people behind what is taking place think they will be able to harm the government,” said Iran’s First Vice-President, Eshaq Jahangiri. “But when social movements and protests start in the street, those who have ignited them are not always able to control them.” And the question is: which people did Jahangiri actually mean, and …

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The Islamic Wars of Religion

On Friday, Saudi Arabia’s Sunni Muslim rulers beheaded their country’s leading Shia Muslim cleric, Sheikh Nimr Baqr al-Nimr, on charges of seeking “foreign meddling” in the kingdom. On Saturday, an angry crowd of Iranians – all Shia Muslims, of course – attacked the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran. And Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, …

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2015 Year-Ender

If historical ingratitude were a crime, most of the people writing year-end pieces this month would be in jail. This year was not like 1919, when 3 percent of the world’s population died of influenza, or 1943, when the Second World War was killing a million people each month, or 1983, when we came very …

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