North Korea has had a relatively short and somewhat complicated relationship with the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). In the period after the Korean War, when North and South Korea were engaged in a bout of diplomatic one-upmanship to see which could gain the most embassies around the world, Pyongyang largely steered clear… Continue reading North Korea and the GCC
Imagine this new TV series coming to HBO in 2016. The planet faces an unprecedented peril. The international community brings together a team of experts, each one with a different specialty: the scientist, the general, the computer geek, the engineer, the spook. It’s their job to avert catastrophe. In the pilot episode, we see each… Continue reading Syria: Mission Possible?
In the bad old days of the Cold War, the left and the right used to play a nasty game called “Who’s Your Favorite Dictator?” Right-wing ideologues supported authoritarian leaders like Augusto Pinochet of Chile while left-wing ideologues rhapsodized over Communist leaders like Fidel Castro of Cuba. One side embraced the shah of Iran and… Continue reading Authoritarian Symps
The Palestinians of Gaza are guilty of that new post-Cold War misdemeanor: voting while Muslim. The punishment for this crime has been eight years of economic hardship, international isolation, and periodic Israeli bombardments. Like the Algerians in 1990 and the Egyptians in 2012, Gazans went to the polls in 2006 and voted for the wrong… Continue reading Mowing the Lawn in Gaza
It’s chaos these days in Libya. Rival militias have carved up the country and the major cities. The security situation has deteriorated to such an extent that legislators in Tripoli recently had to abandon their parliament building for a former royal palace. There they managed to elect a new prime minister—a 42-year-old businessman, the fifth… Continue reading Coup Fever
The people have spoken. They have elected a government. No, wait, I hear the angry shouts of a demonstration in the streets. “We are the people,” they are crying. The crowd is getting larger and larger. They are pressing against the gates of parliament and the presidential palace. And now the government has fallen. The people… Continue reading Who Are the People?
In order to get into the European Union, Croatia needs the support of each one of the current 27 members. So far, 20 countries have ratified Croatia’s EU accession treaty. As long as the other seven countries do the same, Croatia will become a member on July 1, 2013. In December, as a final sweetener,… Continue reading Croatia on the Brink