The sweeping purges and mass arrests since last month’s failed military coup in Turkey have confirmed many of the worst fears about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. They are the most recent in a long history of abuses. Over the last few years, Mr. Erdogan has harshly repressed the Turkish press and civil society, supported extremist militant groups in Syria, broken off a promising peace process with his country’s Kurdish nationalists, and worked relentlessly to change his country’s Constitution so he can rule as a quasi-dictator.
From Washington’s point of view, Turkey has become as much of a headache as an ally.… Seguir leyendo »
If there is one country on earth where the cry “Death to England” still carries weight — where people still harbor the white-hot hatred of British colonialism that once inflamed millions from South Africa to China — that country would be Iran. And that is what the leaders of Iran must have been counting on when screaming militiamen, unhindered by the police, poured into the British Embassy in Tehran to vandalize it on Tuesday.
Most Iranians, like most people anywhere, would deplore the idea of thugs storming into a foreign embassy. Nonetheless, some may have felt a flicker of satisfaction. Even an outrage like this, they might have said, is a trifle compared with the generations of torment Britain inflicted on their country.… Seguir leyendo »
Whether the Iranian government actually sought to hire Mexican gangsters to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asserted at a dramatic press conference last week, remains uncertain. Conspiracy theories are swirling, but as evidence emerges it may become possible to decipher this bizarre-sounding plot.
Whatever the truth, it unfolded against a riveting background. Escalating tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia are part of a new “great game,” one of the farthest-reaching geopolitical conflicts in the world. The prize could be hegemony over the Middle East.
Today the region looks strikingly similar to the way it looked after World War II.… Seguir leyendo »