West Asia

The Sunni-Shia imbroglio in the Middle East

Sunni leaders in the Middle East are concerned that their own minority Shia populations may grow more assertive in view of developments in Iraq.The oil-rich eastern regions of Saudi Arabia host a substantial Shia population, while Kuwait, another oil-rich country counts thirty percent of its population as Shia.


My Lai on the Euphrates: Destroying Iraq in order to save it

Despite the fact that the Democrats are right in demanding eventual withdrawal, there is an underlying tone of self-righteous paternalism in all this which implies that after all the US has "done" for Iraq, the time has come for Iraqis to stop free-loading on their American saviours.


Asia's interest in the Middle East - The Straits of Hormuz

The United States recently led the first multinational naval exercise in the Persian Gulf to practice interception of ships suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction. Iran responded by holding its own military manoeuvres near the mouth of the Gulf, the third such show of strength this year.


What everyone needs to know about Hezbollah

There is a misunderstanding in Israel and the United States that Israel can militarily rid  Lebanon of Hezbollah, or the Party of God. Instead of inaccurately dismissing Hezbollah as nothing but "terrorist" and relying soley on military muscle, Israel and the United States need to back negotiations that are rooted in a more nuanced understanding of the force they are out to destroy. 


Why the Middle East conflict matters

As the conflict between Hizbollah and Hamas on the one side and Israel on the other rages on, the impact of the conflict on Asia has been negligible. Nontheless, Israel's aggresive policies in South Lebanon and in the Gaza Strip are likely to leave a lasting impact on Asia's Muslim populations. 


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