The future of our time: Rewriting ‘Westphalianism’

Interesting times: the new definition.

Past master. (Image via Outside the Beltway)
Past master. (Image via Outside the Beltway)

Reading Henry Kissinger’s typically well-considered and intelligent article for the Wall Street Journal this weekend (“A Path out of the Middle East Collapse”), I had a growing sense that it isn’t so much a prescription for the future as a description of the past.

The sense began with the first paragraph, in which Kissinger defines the scope of what’s collapsing, and dates it only to 1973, when the U.S. moved to stabilize the Middle East during the Yom Kippur War.

But far more than recent U.S. policy on the Middle East is collapsing today.  What we’re seeing is more like the collapse of “Rome” itself:  the organization of Western power as a Europe-centric territorial phenomenon, setting unbreachable boundaries north, south, and west of a restless and perennially “unorganizable” Middle East. Continue reading “The future of our time: Rewriting ‘Westphalianism’”


Muslims take Manhattan: 2014 Muslim Day parade


Guns for peace, pre-confiscation. (Image: pakayhall, Vigilant Squirrel Brigade)
Guns for peace, pre-confiscation. (Image: pakayhall, Vigilant Squirrel Brigade)

New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!

Obama brother update: Hamas link, Jewish link

Children of Abraham.

Malik Obama in Yemen in 2010
Malik Obama in Yemen in 2010

Malik Obama is Barack Obama’s Kenyan half-brother, and has been known for some time to have problematic connections, including – according to Saudi press reporting – an official role with the Islamic Dawa Organization, and close links to Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir and the Muslim Brotherhood. Continue reading “Obama brother update: Hamas link, Jewish link”

Euphrates corridor: Jihadis, and territorial gains, metastasizing

Emerging war of position.

There’s always a risk in putting data points out there without having prepared the way for them, by starting with a comprehensive analytical piece.  (Well, technically, I did the fundamental analysis back in 2009, when I posted the “Next Phase of World War IV” series, whose theses have been borne out by the Arab Spring and other developments since.)

That said, I am trusting readers to understand that what we have here is an emerging trend, whose course is not set in stone, but whose potential impact is very far-reaching.  The basic element of the trend is Sunni jihadis gaining control of territory in the Middle East, as they are currently doing in Iraq and Syria. Continue reading “Euphrates corridor: Jihadis, and territorial gains, metastasizing”

The crown in the gutter: Saudis, Lebanon, and Middle Eastern realignment

No, really. ALL bets are off in the Middle East.

The end of the year is a hard time to write about developing trends.  There’s a lot to say, long-term projections to be made, the natural urge to lay out the scope of likely developments over the next 365 days.  But there’s also the sense of endings, and a preference for brevity.  One wants to put the right period to the passage we have just made.

For now, I’ll go with brevity.  The Saudis have decided to fund a big arms buy for the Lebanese armed forces, to the tune of an unprecedented $3 billion.  The vendors will be Continue reading “The crown in the gutter: Saudis, Lebanon, and Middle Eastern realignment”