Military Stimulus: US Selling Tens of Billions in Arms to Middle East Countries

By: Thursday December 29, 2011 11:35 am

Maybe this is the new big plan for the economy: sell as many weapons to the Middle East as possible. Let a million Rosie the Riveters bloom. That this buildup endangers an entire region, one holding the keys to the current energy infrastructure of the world, is just a sidelight to this, I guess. First, [...]

Iran’s Threats to Close Strait of Hormuz Would Have Major Economic Implications

By: Wednesday December 28, 2011 11:09 am

Economic forecasts as well as year-end “what to look for” lists cannot possibly take into account unexpected scenarios that could lead to economic catastrophe or international incidents. The death of Kim Jong-il is conceivably one of these unpredictable events on the foreign policy side. The Iranian threat to close off the Strait of Hormuz would [...]

Hillary Clinton Makes Smart Power Case on Syria

By: Wednesday August 17, 2011 9:30 am

I actually agree with much of Hillary Clinton’s assessment of the Administration’s Syria policy. “It’s not just brute force, it’s not just unilateralism, it’s being smart enough to say: ‘You know what? We want a bunch of people singing out of the same hymn book,’ ” said Clinton, who appeared with Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta [...]

Report: US Convinces Saleh to Not Return to Yemen

By: Monday August 8, 2011 12:10 pm

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been convinced to stay out of Yemen by US officials, according to the Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Saleh, who has been recuperating in Saudi Arabia from wounds sustained in an assassination attempt at his palace mosque months ago, has left the hospital. However, he has not returned to Yemen, [...]

Saudis Pull Ambassador to Syria, In Major Development

By: Monday August 8, 2011 9:30 am

The uprising in Syria may have reached a tipping point. The Arab League has ended its silence on Bashar al-Assad’s brutal repression of protesters and condemned the violence, expressing “growing concern and serious distress” at the attacks. But more important, Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador, a crucial vote of no confidence in the Assad regime: [...]

Yemen: Is Saleh About to Return?

By: Thursday June 23, 2011 1:43 pm

CNN reported that the injured, exiled President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, would return to the country as early as tomorrow. Saleh’s senior adviser Ahmed Al-Soufi made the statement. But the State Department was unaware of any return, and the Pakistani news outlet Dawn contradicted this earlier in the week. Wounded Yemeni President Ali Abdullah [...]

Confusion High in Yemen As Celebrations Assume Ouster of Dictator Saleh

By: Monday June 6, 2011 7:08 am

The situation in Yemen, where President Ali Abdullah Saleh was rushed to Saudi Arabia for surgery after a rocket attack, gets more and more confusing. Saleh had what everyone claims is successful surgery to remove shrapnel, but the Yemeni people are acting as if he’s fully removed from the scene. Yemenis are celebrating in the [...]

Yemen: Saleh Travels to Saudi Arabia for Medical Treatment

By: Saturday June 4, 2011 12:48 pm

Apparently the blast that injured President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen was pretty bad. The BBC reports that he has shrapnel lodged near his heart, as well as second-degree burns to his chest and face. That would explain why his statement yesterday was on audio tape and not video. In that audio address, Saleh blamed [...]

The Saudi Counter-Revolution

By: Friday May 27, 2011 9:10 am

G-8 leaders pledged $20 billion in support of the Arab uprising in a communique. That same communique acknowledged that member nations did not follow through on their prior pledges of aid to Africa. All of the successful Arab revolutions thus far have been in Africa. I’m not expecting much out of that $20 billion. The [...]

Saudis Told Bush Administration About Oil Speculation as Far Back as 2007

By: Thursday May 26, 2011 9:15 am

The CFTC’s move against oil speculators who criminally profited from driving up prices in 2008 has put into sharp relief the current state of the oil markets, and the role of speculation. But according to some Wikileaked documents, Saudi Arabia told the US as far back as 2007 that speculation was artificially spiking prices, which [...]

Yemen: Saleh Refuses to Sign Deal Again, Gulf Mediators Suspend Operations

By: Sunday May 22, 2011 3:26 pm

If the situation in Yemen weren’t serious, it would almost be comical. The trajectory of events is familiar. The Gulf Cooperation Council, an entity dominated by Saudi Arabia, comes up with a deal for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to leave power after 30 days, with elections soon after, in exchange for legal immunity from prosecution [...]

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