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Archive for January, 2008

Bush’s Saudi success

From Bernard Haykel I’m in Riyadh and the sense I get from the Saudis is that the Bush visit was a success for the President in two ways. First, Bush was told that while the Gulf States’ leaderships are against an attack on Iran, preferring instead diplomatic and UN-based initiatives, they would not stand in [...]

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GAO misleads on Iran sanctions

From Matthew Levitt There are no foolproof metrics by which to measure the impact of sanctions, whether related to proliferation, terrorism or other issues. On that discreet point the recent GAO report on the impact of Iran sanctions gets it right, and its recommendation that more be done to assess the impact of sanctions is [...]

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Bush begs the Saudis

From Gal Luft President Bush’s appeal to the Saudis to increase oil production is more pitiful than understandable. At $100 a barrel, the United States bleeds over a billion dollars per day in order to finance its petroleum import needs. The result: ballooning trade deficits, growing unemployment, a weakened dollar and crumbling financial institutions like [...]

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From Michele Dunne President Bush’s January 16 stop in Egypt was so short that the press kept forgetting to mention it in discussing the schedule for his Middle East trip, noting that he would spend the last two days in Saudi Arabia. President Mubarak found an opportunity to zing Bush early in their joint press [...]

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The American footprint

From MESH Admin When President Bush set out for the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, he might have been briefed on the U.S. military footprint in the region. A useful inventory is provided in a November paper by James A. Russell, a Gulf analyst and senior lecturer in the Department of National Security Affairs, [...]

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From Walter Laqueur Detail from Eugène Delacroix, The Fanatics of Tangier, 1837-38. It is not “the West against the rest.” Throughout human history, civilizations have coexisted and competed, and there is no good reason to assume that this will change in the foreseeable future. True, there is still considerable resistance to accepting such obvious facts [...]

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Clashing civilizations revisited

From Josef Joffe Last Sunday’s New York Times Book Review ran an essay by Fouad Ajami, in which he doubts his own 1993 critique of Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations. Prompted by that reflection, we invited MESH member Josef Joffe to revisit Huntington’s thesis. Civilizational conflicts will supersede ideological conflicts. This is the key idea [...]

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