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Uncommon Commentary

Agence Global

Le Monde diplomatique

The Nation

Richard Bulliet

Rami G. Khouri

Peter Kwong

Vadim Nikitin

Patrick Seale

Immanuel Wallerstein

Complexities and perplexities in the Arab world  
That it is Russia and the United States who are signaling future developments in Syria is not a good sign of a stable situation to come.
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Aleppo’s frightening reminder of wider threats, and older glories  
The most frightening thing is that Aleppo is only the tip of the Syria iceberg, which itself is only the latest example of daily savagery and urban wars across many parts of the Arab world.
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Intriguing opportunity and dangers of ground forces in Syria  
This week’s most intriguing sign of things to come was the official announcement that Saudi Arabia is willing to provide ground forces to fight “Islamic State” (ISIS) in Syria.
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How can a 2-state solution calm our troubled region?  
“As the wider Middle East continues to be gripped by a relentless wave of extremist terror, Israelis and Palestinians have an opportunity to restore hope to a region torn apart by intolerance and cruelty.” — Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General
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A Left electoral strategy? France and the United States  
A political campaign in France similar in many ways to that of Bernie Sanders in the United States seems to have begun. But it is also quite different because of the structures of the electoral institutions of the two countries.
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Fear trumps facts in this U.S. presidential year  
Fear trumps fact in American presidential primaries. This is mostly domestic emotional exhibitionism at this stage, and not genuine foreign policy-making, so we should just enjoy the show and not worry about the nuttiness.
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On January 25, we recall beloved Egypt, and ourselves  
Egypt captures the significant and troubling trends that define most of the Arab region. These we must understand, treat, and alleviate through rational debate and practical political developments before they destroy more of our countries.
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The full dangers of refugees and migrants are within us  
How should we view and respond to the growing flow of refugees and migrants from, within, and beyond the Middle East? Is this mainly a temporary humanitarian challenge?
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Finally, a sensible — but difficult — path to reducing terrorism  
The main difference between the US and UN approaches is that the UN correctly focuses on addressing the underlying drivers of violent extremism and terrorism, while the US government tends to downplay or ignore those critical underlying causes.
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Saudi-Iranian Collaboration: A Forgotten Story  
Saudi Arabia and Iran have collaborated closely in the past. It is not at all inconceivable that they may do so again in a relatively near future.
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