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ISIS and al-Qaeda: Similarities and differences

There is a fervent Saudi attempt to isolate the phenomenon of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and to regard it as a phenomenon unrelated to elements in contemporary Arab political culture...

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Why the US war on ISIS will fail

Yet another global war was announced by the US. The US has not really ever taken a break from declaring global wars since the end of World War II. Its war on communism was more than that: it was a...

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Which Islam?

Western media are aghast: why can’t “Islam” condemn the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and expel it from “Islam.” For Western media, Islam is an office with fancy headquarters where bureaucrats...

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Syrian wars of proxy

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The US and Israel are to blame for Arab misery: let me count the ways

It is the season of the revival of the “Arab Mind”: propagandists for Saudi princes around the world are peddling the same message contained in the racist book, The Arab Mind. Propagandists of Saudi...

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Biden’s Omission

It is said in Arabic: take their secrets from their minors, and we can also take the administration’s secrets from its minors, i.e., Joe Biden. Joe Biden is infamous for not being smart, and is well...

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Western awards for the natives

Western governments love to give awards and grants that bestow honors and legitimacy to selected groups and individuals. In the Middle East, the West prefers the award-giving business in order to pick...

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Audacious Gulf policies and military adventures: the case of the UAE

There is a new audacious conduct by Gulf countries. The previous generation of Gulf rulers were all cautious and reserved even if they were engaged in covert operations alongside the US or Israel (like...

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Radical Reform in Islam: Shaykh `Abdullah Al-`Alayli

Beirut has been commemorating the 100th birthday of Shaykh `Abdullah al-`Alayli. This cleric, dubbed the “red cleric” by his reactionary enemies, was the first cousin of my grandfather. We grew up...

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Some determinants of Iranian foreign policy in the Arab East

Iranian foreign policy has become far less shaped by the Islamic ideology of the Islamic Republic’s founder. Its policies are now similar to those of the other regimes of the region that are...

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Jeffrey Feltman’s children: The jihadis of Lebanon

One of the most under (or un) reported stories about the Middle East is the story of the rise of jihadi groups in Lebanon over the last decade. All American correspondents in Beirut are too...

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Justifications for Israel’s founding: transformation of Richard Cohen

When I came to the US back in 1983, Richard Cohen (The Washington Post columnist) was considered one of the most liberal voices on the subject of Israel. He used to be a rare liberal who was willing to...

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The NYT’s unsubtle war on fairness in covering the Arab-Israeli conflict

In a few articles over the last few days, The New York Times’ hostility to the Palestinian people and their just cause was revealed to all. First, there is a note from Public Editor Margaret Sullivan....

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Mubarak’s verdict: ancien Arab regimes as new regimes

Make no mistake about it. The Sisi court which reversed previous court and government decisions in Egypt regarding the culpability of Hosni Mubarak and his family in cases of murder and corruption did...

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Before Edward Said: a tribute to Fayez Sayegh

Long before there was Edward Said, there was a man named Fayez Sayegh. He was one of the most visible spokespersons of the Palestinian cause in the West. There is very little about him on the web (he...

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Arab world’s reactions to the CIA torture scandal

The Arab world has reacted to the CIA torture scandal in two ways: 1) the regimes were completely silent. Neither the Syrian regime (the only regime that now stands in opposition to the Saudi-US...

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The end of electoral appeal in the Arab world

For too long, the totem of elections was sold to the people in the Middle East—those who live outside the pro-US tyrannical regimes in particular. In the decades of the Cold War, the whole premise of...

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Henry Kissinger’s world view of the Middle East

In his new book “World Order,” Henry Kissinger reveals the extent to which classical Orientalism lives on the mindset and worldviews of thinkers, writers, journalists, and scholars. New scholarship on...

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Addressing Hezbollah’s “corruption”

There is always a story or an angle about Hezbollah that gets the attention, first, of the Saudi media, and then consequently of the Western media. Readers of Arabic are struck by how the themes,...

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The Left and Islamophobia: Remarks About Michael Walzer’s Essay in Dissent...

There is so much to say about the crime against Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical newspaper, AND the ensuing affair. Much has been said already, and protests were held, and pens were brandished all...

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