Israel Faces Growing Fallout Over a Hamas Hit

It’s always possible that someone besides Mossad carried out the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a top Hamas military commander, in a Dubai hotel in January. Israel has refused to comment; on Monday Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman explained the silence by saying there is “no proof” Israel was responsible. But the Dubai police insist they are […]

Iran’s Opposition: Confrontation or Compromise?

Iran typically marks the Feb. 11 anniversary of the 1979 overthrow of the U.S.-backed Shah with massive official parades, rousing anti-American speeches and often the unveiling of some new piece of military or aerospace hardware. This year could be different, as the regime and the opposition Green Movement lock horns in a contest for ownership […]

Could a Sunni Candidate’s Ban Imperil Iraq’s Election?

Like the knee-jerk decision to dismantle the Iraqi army, the U.S. decision in 2003 to ban members of the former ruling Baath Party from joining the new Iraqi government was one of the biggest blunders of the early American occupation of post–Saddam Hussein Iraq. It instantly alienated an entire spectrum of civil servants and politicians, […]

Will Dubai’s Financial Problems Spread?

The rulers of the United Arab Emirates city-state of Dubai have for months breezily dismissed concerns about Dubai World, the government’s main holding company for investments and real estate developments. “We are not worried,” said Dubai’s Emir, Sheik Mohammad bin Rashid al-Maktoum, at a press conference two months ago, despite the fact that Dubai has […]

Beneath Lebanon’s New Political Deal, a Fear of Violence

It’s been an almost endless summer in Lebanon, with beach weather and relative political harmony continuing well into November. The only thing marring what could have been a perfect year for a country more accustomed to serving as a battleground in regional power struggles was the fact that Lebanon has had no government since parliamentary […]