Here I Stand

President Barack Obama speaks about the breakthrough in the Iranian nuclear deal in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on Thursday, April 2, 2015. World leaders, he said, had come to a “historic understanding” on a possible deal to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
President Barack Obama speaks about the breakthrough in the Iranian nuclear deal in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on Thursday, April 2, 2015. World leaders, he said, had come to a “historic understanding” on a possible deal to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

A rare point of agreement between the critics and advocates of a deal with Iran starkly captures the nature of my own disaffection with it and with the current state of affairs in our world. The point simply put is this: the deal is being inked with Syrian, Iraqi and Yemeni blood.

Continue reading “Here I Stand”

Random Observations on Some Recent Developments

A Scene from Dr. Strangelove.
A Scene from Dr. Strangelove.

Iran

Iran will never give up its nuclear program. To them, having nuclear capabilities and a few warheads and missiles on the side is meant tom inoculate them against foreign dabbling. Iranian officials believe that, unlike Saudi Arabia whose breakup will come largely due to mismanagement on part of the ruling establishment, the only way the Iranian establishment they could face serious domestic troubles will come as a result of clandestine activities supported by Western governments. Having nuclear weapons will prevent that possibility, so they think, even as American drones and intelligence operations are busy destabilizing Pakistan, which has long been a nuclear power.

Continue reading “Random Observations on Some Recent Developments”

Slouching Forward! — Few Notes on the Global Order

After years of reluctance, President Barack Obama appears to have finally re-embraced America's critical role in shaping the Global Order. Will his actions match his rhetoric? Or, will he once again succumb to his ideological inhibitions?
After years of reluctance, President Barack Obama appears to have finally re-embraced America’s critical role in shaping the Global Order. Will his actions match his rhetoric? Or, will he once again succumb to his ideological inhibitions?

The competition that America and Western Europe are facing on a global level from Russia and China, and the local level from a host of countries including Iran, India, Korea, Brazil, etc., is not meant to change the nature of the game, that is, the game of power projection through military and economic might, including operating viable nuclear programs, exercising control over energy sources and routes, involvement in arms production and sales, and engaging in imperialist actions under different guises and while offering all different sorts of justifications.

Continue reading “Slouching Forward! — Few Notes on the Global Order”

The Smart Thing To do

No matter how dismal things may look today, Syrian will thrive again. (Photo of the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan)
No matter how dismal things may look today, Syrian will thrive again. (Photo of the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan)

The reason why the Assad regime survived for so many decades, and why in particular it has survived for the last three years, has little to do with how smart its leaders are. Cruelty and Machiavellian tactics are signs of intelligence. Moreover, the Assads simply came to grasp, in time, an obvious fact about their position, namely that they have become in charge of a country where change in leadership and system of governance requires consent from a variety of regional and international actors, and is not a purely domestic affair. They also understood that regional and international rivalry will make consensus in regard to change in Syria well-nigh impossible to achieve, a fact that gave them ample leeway to do what they wanted internally, and to occasionally engage in some regional adventurism of their own.

Continue reading “The Smart Thing To do”