Black & White and Trump All Over (ForeignPolicy.com)

EVERETT, Washington — Maybe it was jet lag. But the scene seemed a bit surreal: the African-American hawker selling “Donald ‘Fucking’ Trump” buttons, the young Hispanic guy with the “Build a Wall” T-shirt, the grinning fellow of Chinese descent strategically placed behind the podium. I had stepped off a flight from the United Arab Emirates […]

Not All Islamists are Out to Kill Us (ForeignPolicy.com)

(July 19, 2016) The challenge Tweeted by Donald Trump’s military advisor, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, after the horrific Nice massacre was clear and direct. “In next 24 hours, I dare Arab & Persian world ‘leaders’ to step up to the plate and declare their Islamic ideology sick and must B healed.” The same day, Newt […]

A chessboard Middle East: Russia’s pawn is Syria (The Seattle Times)

 By Lawrence Pintak, Special to The Seattle Times — (Oct. 17, 2015) MODERN Syria is dead. Russia’s intervention into the bloody four-year conflict cements that reality. Now U.S. policymakers must plan for what comes next. And it’s not pretty. Officially, the Russians say they entered Syria to fight the radical Islamic State. But they come […]

Ask Romney This: What Will You Do About the Middle East? (CJR.org)

(Oct. 10, 2012) Over the final month of the campaign, CJR will run a series of posts under the headline “Ask Obama This” and “Ask Romney This,” suggesting questions that reporters should pose to the presidential candidates. The first installment focused on President Obama and his jobs plan. This one on Mitt Romney and foreign […]

Pakistan and the GOP Presidential Primary (The Seattle Times)

ISLAMABAD (November 23, 2011) — Mitt Romney said it’s close to being a failed state. Rick Perry argued that it’s not our friend and shouldn’t get American aid. I happened to be in Pakistan as the Republican presidential hopefuls debated relations with this troubled ally. The sound-bite culture of American politics tends to reduce the world […]

The Opportunity and Peril for the U.S. in Egypt’s Rebirth (The Seattle Times)

(Feb. 4, 2011) “The birth pangs of a new Middle East.” That was how then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice described Israeli bombing of Beirut during the 2006 war with the Shiite militia Hezbollah, which left more than 1,000 dead. Arab television juxtaposed that quote with a photo of a newborn baby, torn from its mother’s womb […]

The Princess and the Facebook Girl (Arab Media & Society)

Issue 5, Spring 2008 Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, there lived a beautiful princess. Hers was a fairytale existence of spectacular palaces and footmen with gleaming swords and, of course, a handsome prince. But this princess was sad, for the voices of her people were but a whisper. It was […]

Middle East Heading for a New Cold War? (Arab News)

CAIRO, 20 January 2007 — Bush administration efforts to forge a US-Arab alliance against Iran are threatening to produce a new Middle East Cold War, with dangerous implications for regional stability, US interests and American lives.Condoleezza Rice was in the region this week to lay the foundations for a united front with key Arab states […]

Cairo Ignores U.S. Request to Pull Plug on Jihadi TV in Iraq (CJR.org)

(Jan. 4, 2007) Sunni-Shia power politics and U.S.-Egyptian relations are at the center of a dispute over a satellite television station that is the latest weapon in the arsenal of Iraq’s insurgents. Al-Zawraa, an Iraq-based television version of the jihadi Web sites, is being broadcast across the Arab world by Nilesat, a satellite provider answerable […]

The Middle East: It’s all just too darned complicated (Daily News Egypt/Turkish Daily News)

First Published: October 2, 2006 Memo: To Arabs and Muslims Re: The Middle East It’s your own fault. That’s right, the Bush administration can’t be held responsible for the mess they have made of the Middle East. You Arabs and Muslims are to blame. How can anyone be expected to develop a policy for this […]