Christopher Allbritton

Worries For Iraq

Iraq is a well-worn and tiresome topic here in the Gulf emirate and many have made up their minds already as what is going to happen. But despite White House statements that every year is a make-or-break year for that poor country, I really do believe 2008 will be a crucial one for Iraq.

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Another Road To Damascus

If Syria’s sitting down at the table, as it’s indicated it will do at next week, it’s a safe bet that the fate of two key parts of the region — the Golan and Lebanon — are up for discussion.

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Turkey’s Game of Chicken

Still, there’s little doubt that Turkey is royally pissed off and resentful of the United States and have decided to warn the Americans with what they see as a legitimate security measure to protect their borders…. The Turks figure that the KRG and its American backers will choose to crack down on Kurdish rebels if they’re faced with the prospect of a Turkish invasion and the collapse of the Kurdish economic miracle in the north – much of which relies on trade with Turkey and Iran.

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War Without End, Amen

Last week I talked about the alternate ways of dealing with Iran in the Middle East, one that didn’t involve violent confrontation. The idea was to bow to reality and negotiate with Iran, smoothing the lines of friction by bowing to some of its demands, while getting some changes in

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Water and Oil Mix in the Gulf

The flotilla of Coalition ships — including the Australian frigate the HMS Anzac, the American guided missile destroyer Chung-Hoon and the logistical ships the RFA Bedivere (Royal Navy) and the USS Rushmore, as well as nimble patrol boats and Coast Guard cutters — patrol around the two Iraqi oil terminals just off the coast of Iraq, where the Shatt al-Arab and the Khor Abd Allah waterways dump millions cubic meters of silt-heavy freshwater into the salt sea of the Gulf every second…. The Iranian Navy gets some respect from Aiken and other commanders, who told me that when passing through the bottleneck to the Gulf called the Strait of Hormuz, a passing Iranian Navy ship presented colors and her sailors saluted, holding fast to naval traditions the world over.

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Busy Signal in Beirut

Disappointed, Lebanon’s Internet users howled — especially on the forum boards of Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement, an anti-government, middle-class group of people who stood up to Syria through much of the 1990s and first half of this decade…. Without the infrastructure, remaining businesses that depend on communication will flee, meaning there’s less revenue for the state, perpetuating its weakness and making it unable to find or impose a political solution on its non-state and foreign rivals.

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