A major news story of the year has been the accord reached between U.S. and Iranian negotiators that allows Tehran to advance its nuclear ambitions and have its sanctions lifted. Richard Ritenbaugh speculates that the agreement follows American President Barack Obama's stated desire to redistribute from those who have to those who do not, and this time he is redistributing international power.
An entire region of the world—cutting a swath across North Africa and through the Middle East to the Arabian Sea—is aflame with protest and revolution. David Grabbe analyzes the unrest throughout the Arab world, concluding that, while the geopolitics of the area have not substantially changed, Iran may benefit the most from the ongoing turmoil.
Most Westerners tend to simplify their perception of the situation in the Middle East by using dichotomies: Israel vs. Arabs, Jew vs. Muslim, Western vs. Islamic, etc. However, as David Grabbe explains, it is not that simple, particularly on the Muslim side, where multiple factions exist.
Martin G. Collins: While suffering under the tyrannical, secular regime of Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi people were more personally free from the murderous, religious radicals of the various Islamic sects. ...
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