May 30, 2009

Kim Jong Il, the Second?

North Korea has been a minor obsession of mine for some time, but I

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 11:59 AM | Permalink | 8 Comments »

May 29, 2009

The Mother of All Myths

Dennis Ross, Special Advisor on Iran for the Secretary of State, has a book coming out next month that "inconveniently takes issue with the Obama Administration

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 11:36 AM | Permalink | 9 Comments »

May 27, 2009

The Future of Iraq, Part II

The Future of Iraq Part II.jpg

The first time I visited Baghdad, I only stayed for a week. The place stressed me out. The surge was only just then beginning, and though I never was shot at personally, I often heard the sound of gunfire in the background. One night, shadowy militiamen stalked me and a U.S. Army unit I was out on patrol with. Car bombs exploded miles away, but sounded as though they were detonated just a few blocks away. You have no idea, really, how terrifyingly loud those things are until you hear one yourself.

I left Baghdad and headed out to Anbar Province

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 1:35 AM | Permalink | 17 Comments »

May 26, 2009

Did Hezbollah Kill Hariri?

The German magazine Der Spiegel dropped one heck of a political bomb on Lebanon a few days ago when it reported that United Nations investigators are now fingering Hezbollah, rather than Syria, for the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri's assassination with a car bomb in downtown Beirut on Valentine

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 11:00 AM | Permalink | 3 Comments »

May 23, 2009

Did Hezbollah Assassinate Rafik Hariri?

According to Germany

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 12:09 PM | Permalink | 12 Comments »

May 22, 2009

Davos in the Desert

Dispatches from conferences in the Middle East don't tend to make interesting reading, but Jay Nordlinger managed to write five this week. He attended the World Economic Forum on the Middle East next to Jordan

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 11:49 AM | Permalink | 4 Comments »

May 21, 2009

The HuffPo’s Lonely Planet Foreign Policy

Roger Cohen seems to have invented a genre. At the very least he has imitators. Olivia Sterns just published a piece at the Huffington Post decrying Syria

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 9:44 AM | Permalink | 73 Comments »

May 14, 2009

Brace for a Hezbollah Victory

Brace yourself for a possible Hezbollah victory in Lebanon. On June 7, 2009, Lebanese voters will go to the polls, and even some in Beirut

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 11:24 AM | Permalink | 41 Comments »

May 12, 2009

The Future of Iraq, Part I

Future of Iraq Part Ix.jpg

During my last trip to Baghdad I tried to figure out if the worst in Iraq is over or if the dramatic reduction in violence is just a long lull. Half the Iraqis and half the Americans I spoke to were optimistic. The other half think Iraq is probably doomed. I have no idea who's right, and neither does anyone else. This is the first in a four-part series where I'll present both cases and let you decide what to think for yourself. We'll start with the good news.


Captain Todd Allison slipped off his helmet and tucked it under his arm as he and I walked on a dusty residential street in a Shia quarter of Baghdad.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at 1:40 AM | Permalink | 38 Comments »
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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