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The United States intervened militarily in Syria under the premise of the “war on terror” and the fight against ISIS, but their presence is actually helping the Syrian government. (More…)

There are moments when I am tempted to start a sub-blog that would comprise commentaries on op-eds David Brooks publishes in the New York Times. Partly this stems from the delicious Schadenfreude that one experiences while watching this leading journalistic light of moderate conservatism try to cope with Donald Trump burning the Republican Party to the ground. (More…)

My father’s birth certificate tells us that he was born in Germany in the Westphalian town of Hörde, on the 15th of December 1877, the son of Herz Weinberg, and of  Johanna Weinberg née Alsberg both of the “Israelitisch”  faith. (More…)

As an EU–Turkey agreement on refugees nears collapse, Preethi Nallu and Iason Athanasiadis report from the Greek island of Lesbos on how the deal never fully stopped the deadly voyages and has left survivors of such tragedies in agonizing limbo. (More…)

Following the first Gulf War, the United States focused on preventing security and economic disruptions by Iran and Iraq, as their bitter rivalry throughout the 1980s shook the Persian Gulf region, threatening global energy supplies, and international shipping lanes.   (More…)

Farah is a young woman living in Syria’s capital city, where she faces the daily struggles of trying to maintain a normal social and professional life in a country being ripped apart by war. (More…)

It is well-known that there are currently 2.4 million people in US prisons and jails. What is less-known is that they write and are producing a new wave of American literature. (More…)

The British media was gripped by the image of Russian warships passing the UK coast on Friday. The flotilla was making its way through international waters to Syria. (More…)

You might as well be in Istanbul. So thick is Berlin’s Turkish cultural overlay, you’d be forgiven for thinking there was nothing separating the Bosphorous from east Germany. In spite of its critics, Berlin’s decidedly Middle Eastern public sphere helps ward off what would otherwise be a more provincial, poverty stricken city still struggling to overcome the legacy of Communism, and the Nazi era. (More…)

As ISIS comes under increased attack in some of the region’s most fertile lands, Middle East agriculture researcher Eckart Woertz discusses how the militant group shrewdly chose to export a renewable resource. (More…)

I’ve been reading Alexander Sedlmaier’s Consumption and Violence: Radical Protest in Cold War West Germany. I picked it up after seeing it in the Cambridge University Press catalog, and only subsequently did I realize that I’d seen Sedlmaier give quite an interesting presentation at a German Studies Association conference in New Orleans long ago. (More…)

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made it clear she wants to hold a second independence referendum. The prospect of Scotland breaking away from the Union was predicted by many Remain commentators. Ironically, the nationalist core of the Leave vote could be responsible for the end of the United Kingdom. (More…)