A Kumbaya Moment for the Middle East? Hardly.

A Kumbaya Moment for the Middle East? Hardly.

In his new film Taxi, Iranian director Jafar Panahi is having a conversation with his young niece. They’re sitting in the cab Panahi is driving. The Iranian government has banned the director from making films, so he’s ostensibly found an alternative means of making...
The Middle East’s New Nakba

The Middle East’s New Nakba

After midnight on August 15, 1947, India and Pakistan became separate countries. What should have been a joyous occasion — a celebration of independence from three centuries of British colonial rule — quickly turned into one of the greatest tragedies in modern...
Increased Militarization in Iraq Will Contribute to ISIS Problem

Increased Militarization in Iraq Will Contribute to ISIS Problem

Phyllis Bennis, Director of IPS’ New Internationalism project, joins Al Jazeera English and discusses how the extremely sectarian actions of the Iraqi government, supported by the United States in the fight against ISIS, have contributed heavily to a failed...
ISIS Unites the World

ISIS Unites the World

During the Cold War, science fiction writers and politicians like Ronald Reagan imagined that the threat of an invasion from outer space could break down ideological barriers and unify the world. The arrival of giant bug-eyed creatures bent on death and destruction...
Iraq has deadliest month

Iraq has deadliest month

Phyllis speaks to Huffpost Live on the escalating violence levels in Iraq and how they relate to regional wars and U.S. involvement. Segment starts around the 15:30...
Syria and the Monarchs: A Perfect Storm

Syria and the Monarchs: A Perfect Storm

The Obama administration’s decision to directly supply weapons to the Syrian opposition may end up torpedoing the possibility of a political settlement. It will almost certainly accelerate the chaos spreading from the almost three-year old civil war. It will also...
On the Brink of Another War

On the Brink of Another War

President Barack Obama stands on the brink of engaging the United States in another war of choice in the Middle East. Ostensibly because the Syrian regime crossed Obama’s self-declared “red line” by using chemical weapons, Washington will deliver small arms, including...
Trouble on the Other Side of the Euphrates

Trouble on the Other Side of the Euphrates

Millions of Iraqis made national history last month when they voted in provincial elections secured entirely by the Iraqi army and police. For a country that was in the depths of a vicious sectarian civil war only six years ago, merely defending a nationwide vote is a...
The Somaliazation of Syria

The Somaliazation of Syria

As Syria’s civil war enters its third year, the country’s humanitarian crisis worsens each day and the Levant grows increasingly vulnerable to the conflict’s spillover. In mid-February, the United Nations reported a death toll “nearing...
Postcard from Lebanon

Postcard from Lebanon

Conversation on the streets of Beirut since the bombing in October has a familiar vocabulary, one reminiscent of 2005 when Rafic Hariri was assassinated. The blast that detonated in Ashrafieh, a largely residential and Christian neighborhood in Beirut, killed seven...
The Wahhabi War on Indonesia’s Shiites

The Wahhabi War on Indonesia’s Shiites

Indonesia’s Shi’a minority is under heavy attack. Men, women, and children have been assaulted, schools damaged, and villages burned to the ground. Many have been killed. It is becoming increasingly clear that Saudi Arabia’s intolerant brand of...
Harirism Exposed

Harirism Exposed

Saad Hariri—the Saudi-born son of the late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri—has been on something of a speaking tour lately. The billionaire former prime minister has repeatedly tried to make the case that Lebanon’s incumbent government has put...
Syria and the Dogs of War

Syria and the Dogs of War

Cry “Havoc,” and let slip the dogs of war;That this foul deed shall smell above the earthWith carrion men, groaning for burial Julius CaesarAct 3, scene 1William Shakespeare “Blood and destruction,” “dreadful objects,” and...
Staunching Syria’s Wounds

Staunching Syria’s Wounds

Almost 18 months after the onset of popular democratic protests, the Syrian revolution increasingly resembles a bloody marathon with no clear finish line on the horizon. Unlike the “lightning” revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, where strongmen were...