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Archive for the tag “Islamists”

The Vatican And The Gulf Have A Common Enemy

The pope’s visit was advertised as the UAE’s gift to the many thousands of Catholic guest workers, including nearly 700,000 from the Philippines alone. That was only part of its purpose. Freed from any obligation to Islamists, and faced with the promise that those Islamists would work implacably to end the monarchies, the Gulf States have everything to gain from embracing the West, opening further, and reaping the benefits of cooperation against Islamists. The visit was not a concession to Christianity but a strategic calculation, and a canny one at that.

Read Here – The Atlantic

Saudi Arabia Vs. Russia in Syria

After deploying its ground and air assets across Syria, Russia entered into an agreement with the Shiite leaders of Iran and Iraq to coordinate military efforts. At the podium of the United Nations, Russian President Vladimir Putin looked as if he had pulled off a masterful power play in the Middle East. But Putin seems to have forgotten the dangers of the neighborhood he seeks to dominate. More importantly, he is ignoring Russia’s recent history of meddling in the Muslim world. If past is prologue, things could get bloody.

Read Here – The National Interest

The Saudi Succession Sudoku

To some Western analysts, Salman’s moves also appeared to stress a pendulum swing to the so-called Sudairi block of the Al Saud, the seven brothers born to Abdulaziz by his favorite wife, from a group of princes long led by the late Abdullah.

Read Here – Reuters

New King, Old Ideas?

Just as King Abdullah pledged massive new public expenditures to push back against the Arab Spring, Salman offered an estimated $30 billion in handouts to a wide range of Saudi social groups, including military officers, public employees, students, retirees, the poor, and disabled.

Read Here – National Interest

War Of Ideas: A View From The UAE

Islamists are fond of saying that “Islam is the Answer.” This was a motto promulgated by the Muslim Brotherhood, and also by Shi’a militant movements in Iraq. Many of the rest of us have asked: what was the Question? Islam is our religion, and it is a deep and powerful influence over our lives. And for many of us it is the answer to our spiritual and existential needs. However, when it is reified by Islamists and used as a promotional tool for their lust for power, then we need to push back.

Read Here – Foreign Policy Research Institute

Nawaz Sharif And His Baggage

If Sharif has learned any lesson from his previous two stints as prime minister, it should be that his chances for serving a full five-year term in office will depend on his establishing a modus vivendi with Pakistan’s powerful military establishment. His prospects for establishing civilian control over the military and intelligence agencies, however desirable in theory, will probably prove as dismal in this third term as they were in his first and second.

Read Here – The Diplomat

Eye Of The Storm For U.S.-Pakistan Relations

Following one of the worst periods in the history of the relationship between the United States and Pakistan, several encouraging developments have taken place in recent months. Unfortunately, we are passing through the eye of a Pakistani storm that is almost sure to whip up again in 2013, if not sooner.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

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