Middle East

Blurred Lines

Blurred Lines

The Middle East’s post-Ottoman borders are seen as an ugly embodiment of the way colonialism, nationalism and the 20th-century state dismembered the region. But the Middle East’s new political regimes solidified these lines in the sand with fortified borders.

Robert Fisk: A Conscience Adrift

Robert Fisk: A Conscience Adrift

Robert Fisk championed the underdog. He empathized with the victim. But those labels were applied solely on his terms. His views ran contrary to what I saw as a genuine yearning for decency and democracy.

The Talented Mr. Dahlan

The Talented Mr. Dahlan

How Dahlan ended up in Abu Dhabi at the side of a crown prince is still shrouded in mystery, although the likeliest explanation is that the connections of Mohammed Rashid, an Iraqi Kurd and the PLO’s former “money man,” paved the way.

Neri Zilber
For Lebanon There’s One Road out of Hell

For Lebanon There’s One Road out of Hell

Many people were baffled when President Michel Aoun recently said at a press conference that Lebanon could be on its way to hell. I, too, was baffled. How can we be on our way to hell if we had already arrived months ago?

Kareem Chehayeb
Among Syria’s Revolutionaries

Among Syria’s Revolutionaries

As protests against the brutal regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad grew in the early 2010s, the then-US ambassador to Syria. Robert Ford, met with two opposition leaders seeking American support for their causes.

Robert Ford
How Libya Became a Battleground for Foreign Powers

How Libya Became a Battleground for Foreign Powers

The first armed conflict of the Arab Spring is now a playground of intervening foreign powers out for themselves. It won’t be the last.

Tarek Megerisi
Legitimacy, Consent, and the Search for a Successor

Legitimacy, Consent, and the Search for a Successor

A century after the end of the Ottoman Empire, no successor to Istanbul’s sultan-caliph has emerged

Frederic C. Hof