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"Security Arc" forms amidst Mideast terror

Map of 'Security Arc' by S. Narwani, E. Adaime, A. Amacha

Many observers are correct in noting that the Middle East is undergoing yet another seismic shift - that the Russian-brokered destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, a US-Iranian rapprochement, the diminished strategic value of Saudi Arabia and Israel, and a US withdrawal from Afghanistan will all contribute to changing regional dynamics considerably.

Deal or No Deal, Iran's Stock Keeps Rising

The recent high-drama nuclear negotiations in Geneva were riveting, to be sure. Old foes shuttled between conference rooms, chatted amiably in corridors, colluded to guard the sensitive details of their discussions from an eager global media.

Every utterance from officials, every smile, grimace and gesture made its way onto the twitter feeds of foreign policy wonks and commentators, mostly frustrated by the lack of substance to report.

Forget Democrazy, Give Me Safe Borders

Almost three years after the Arab Spring began its region-wide sweep - ostensibly in search of democratic change - scant attention has been paid to one of its most dangerous consequences: the fraying of borders.

Weapons, militias, foreign Special Forces, smugglers, gangs and crooks now regularly traverse borders from the Levant to the Maghreb to the Persian Gulf. And these territorial infractions across Yemen, Libya, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and other states will inhibit prospects for “democracy” more than any single development in the region.

Questions Plague UN Report on Syria

By Sharmine Narwani and Radwan Mortada

A senior United Nations official who deals directly with Syrian affairs has told Al-Akhbar that the Syrian government had no involvement in the alleged Ghouta chemical weapons attack: "Of course not, he (President Bashar al-Assad) would be committing suicide.”

Yes, Syria and Hezbollah Will Hit Israel if US Strikes

Informed insiders have confirmed that Syria and Hezbollah plan to retaliate against Israel in the event of an American-led military attack on Syria. Says one: “if even one US missile hits Syria, we will take this battle to Israel.”

An official who spoke to me on the condition that neither his name or affiliation is published, says the decision to retaliate against Israel “has been taken at the highest levels within the Syrian state and Hezbollah.”

Why attack Israel after a US strike?

"Bandar ibn Israel"

The recent acts of political violence in the Middle East’s Levant are not unrelated.

Car bombings in the predominantly Shia southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh; twin bombings targeting Sunni mosques in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli; an alleged chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus blamed on the Syrian government; a secret IDF operation across the Lebanese border foiled by Hezbollah; rockets lobbed by an Al Qaeda-related group into Israel; an IDF airstrike on a pro-Damascus Palestinian resistance group base in Lebanon…

Why Western media frames civilian areas as “Hezbollah strongholds”

Beirut was thrown into turmoil on Thursday evening as a terrorist attack against residents of Dahiyeh - a southern suburb of the Lebanese capital and a predominantly Shia neighborhood - threatened to draw the country into a region wide crisis.

As conflicting news reports began to eke out in the immediate aftermath of the city's deadliest car bombing in eight years, there was a disconcerting congruity in headlines beaming out from western capitals - and it had nothing to do with facts.

In lock-step, western media was calling the scene of the crime a “Hezbollah stronghold”:

Arabs, Beware the "Small States" Option

At the heart of all politics lies cold, hard opportunism. New circumstances, changed alliances and unexpected events will always conspire to alter one’s calculations to benefit a core agenda.

In the Middle East today, those calculations are being adjusted with a frequency unseen for decades.

FreedumbAndDemocrazy

Freedom and democracy. How I have come to loathe this phrase. Two-lofty-words-and-a-conjunction bandied around by handmaidens of Empire: verbal grenades that can gut entire nations. When I hear “freedom and democracy” I instinctively look for cover - just as “Allahu Akbar” yelled loudly enough can now make Arabs and Muslims hit the ground fast.

“Freedom and democracy” is the battle cry for every single western regime-change operation I can remember. Operations that leave innocent civilians dead, cities destroyed - anarchy, corruption and criminality in their wake.

The US's Afghan Exit May Depend on a Syrian One

Washington’s options in Syria are dwindling - and dwindling fast.

Trumped up chemical weapons charges against the Syrian government this month failed to produce evidence to convince a skeptical global community of any direct linkage. And the US’s follow-up pledge to arm rebels served only to immediately underline the difficulty of such a task, given the fungibility of weapons-flow among increasingly extremist militias.

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