February 7, 2013

The Coming War in the Middle East

Joel Rayburn, Defining Ideas

AP Photo

In the days of the Ottoman Empire, British diplomats referred to the Arabic-speaking territories of the empire as Turkish Arabia. It was these Arabic-speaking lands that Britain and France, in the aftermath of the First World War, divided into the modern Arab states we know today: Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon. Those arbitrary colonial boundaries have endured for the better part of a century, but the people within them have never fully acknowledged the legitimacy of the lines that British and French officials drew for them.


Tribal confederations that span the borders, adjacent river towns, minority co-religionist communities—in these places, people have continued to live as they had done for centuries, intermarrying, trading, fighting, and migrating with...

Read Full Article ››

TAGGED: Egypt, Arab Spring, Middle East


John F. Kerry had better bring his A-game when he takes the field as the new secretary of state on Monday. The “Arab Spring” may be headed for a fall in Egypt, threatening what remains of the Middle East’s... more ››
January 31, 2013
Arab Spring's Hits and Misses
Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post
The chaos at the second anniversary of the Tahrir Square uprising is only the latest and most vivid illustration that the Egyptian revolution is going off the rails. It has revived talk about the failure of the Arab Spring and... more ››
January 25, 2013
The Mirage of the Arab Spring
Seth Jones, Foreign Affairs
The Arab uprisings of 2011, once a great source of hope for democracy enthusiasts, have given way to sectarian clashes and political instability. The Middle East has not yet shed its authoritarian yoke, and the United States... more ››
Egypt is a tinderbox, as President Mohammed Morsi’s Islamist government vies for legitimacy with secular rivals. The streets of Cairo and other cities have run red with blood. Bashar Assad has plunged Syria into a horrific... more ››
January 26, 2013
Deja Vu on the Nile
The Daily Star
Thousands of people took to the streets of Egypt Friday to mark the second anniversary of the popular uprising that toppled the regime of President Hosni Mubarak. Many were busy chanting “the people want the fall of the... more ››