Author Archives: Nicola Nasser

Smashing the Abbas icon of Palestinian nonviolence

Indisputably, the 80-year-old President Mahmoud Abbas has established himself internally and worldwide as the icon of Palestinian nonviolence. His Israeli peace partners leave none in doubt that they are determined to smash this icon, which would leave them only with opposite alternatives the best of which is a massive peaceful intifada (uprising) against the Israeli occupation. Continue reading

Time for UN to shift mission in Yemen

Peace in Yemen will continue to be elusive unless the United Nations shifts its mission from sponsoring an inter-Yemeni dialogue to mediating ceasefire negotiations between the actual warring parties, namely Saudi Arabia & allies and the de facto representatives of Yemenis who are fighting to defend their country’s territorial integrity and independent free will, i.e., the Huthi-Saleh & allies. Continue reading

U.S. opens up to Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Syria, and Iran

The appointment of Robert Malley as White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf Region is not considered a sufficient indicator that there will be any radical change in U.S. strategy, despite the campaign launched against the U.S. by the Zionists due to its openness to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Syria and Iran. Continue reading

UN peace coordinator unwelcome by Palestinians

The PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) did not object to the appointment of new UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov, although he was described by Tayseer Khaled, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, as “persona non grata”—not trusted by the Palestinians and nor qualified for the job. Continue reading

Fighting ‘Islamic State’ is not Israel’s priority

Defying a consensus that it is a priority by the world community, comprising international rivals like the United States, Europe, Russia and China and regional rivals like Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia, Israel, like Turkey, does not eye the U.S.-led war on the IS as its regional priority. Nor fighting Israel is an IS priority. Continue reading

Israeli role in Syrian conflict brought into the open

Overtly, the Israeli superpower of the Middle East has been keen to posture as having no role whatsoever in the four-year old devastating conflict in Syria, where all major regional and international powers are politically and militarily deeply involved and settling scores by Syrian blood. Continue reading

Gaza bombings rock Palestinian reconciliation

It is ironic that the annual commemoration of the death of Yasser Arafat should turn into an occasion for rekindling the flames of internal strife. This was clearly the aim of last week’s bombings that targeted the homes of Fatah leaders in Gaza, as well as the podium for the commemorative ceremonies of Arafat, who strove to make Palestinian national unity one of the pillars of his political legacy. Continue reading

The endgame of the US ‘Islamic State’ strategy

Dismantling what the former US President George W. Bush once described as the Syria-Iran component of the “axis of evil,” or interrupting in Iraq the geographical contiguity of what King Abdullah II of Jordan once described as the “Shiite crescent,” was and remains the strategic goal of the US—Israeli allies in the Middle East unless they succeed first in “changing the regime” in either Damascus or Tehran. Continue reading

Iraqi hydrocarbon prize of U.S. invasion in danger

Excluding “boots on the ground” and leaving combat missions to local and regional “partners,” President Barak Obama and his administration say the United States keeps “all options on the table” to respond militarily to the terrorists’ threat to “American interests” in Iraq, which are now in “danger.” Continue reading

Antagonizing Palestinians, Australia lobs linguistic blunder snowballs

Reacting to antagonized Palestinian snowballing protests to her government’s decision on June 5 to reverse a 47-year-old bipartisan consensus on describing eastern Jerusalem as “occupied,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on June 13 denied any “change in the Australian government’s position.” Continue reading

Pope’s unbalanced neutrality in the Holy Land

Pope Francis’ “”pilgrimage” to the Holy Land last month proved to be an unbalanced impossible mission. The pontiff failed to strike a balance of neutrality between contradictory and irreconcilable binaries like divinity and earth, religion and politics, justice and injustice and military occupation and peace. Continue reading

The ‘revolutionary’ face of the Syrian conflict

Reports abound by international organizations about the responsibility of the Syrian government for the human rights violations in the ongoing conflict in Syria, now in its fourth year, but the responsibility of the insurgents has been kept away from media spotlight for political reasons. Continue reading

Israeli ties compromise Asian support for Arabs

Israel has carved economic inroads into Asia deep enough to compromise the traditional Asian political support for Arabs. If this trend continues, the growing economic Israeli-Asian relations could in no time translate into political ties that would neutralize Asia in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Continue reading

Survival is the Saudi dynasty’s keyword

Survival is the keyword to understanding the Saudi dynasty’s latest external and internal policies. These are designed to preempt change but paradoxically they are creating more enemies in a changing world order marked by turbulent regional geopolitics and growing internal demands for change. Continue reading

Assad is there to stay

Long gone are the days when the U.S.-led so-called “Friends of Syria” could plausibly claim that two thirds of Syria was controlled by rebel forces, that the Syrian capital, Damascus, was under siege and its fall was just a matter of time and that the days of President Bashar al-Assad were numbered and, accordingly, he “should step down.” Continue reading

Counterproductive reactive Saudi policies

Writing in The Washington Post on February 27, 2011, Rachel Bronson asked: “Could the next Mideast uprising happen in Saudi Arabia?” Her answer was: “The notion of a revolution in the Saudi kingdom seems unthinkable.” Continue reading

Egyptian historic breakthrough with Russia not a strategic shift yet

The recent two-day first official visit in forty years by an Egyptian defense minister to Russia of Egypt’s strongman, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, accompanied by Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, was indeed an historic breakthrough in bilateral relations, but it is still premature to deal with or build on it as a strategic shift away from the country’s more than three-decade strategic alliance with the United States. Continue reading

Playing the Al-Qaeda card to the last Iraqi

International, regional and internal players vying for interests, wealth, power or influence are all beneficiaries of the “al-Qaeda threat” in Iraq and in spite of their deadly and bloody competitions they agree only on two denominators, namely that the presence of the U.S.-installed and Iran–supported sectarian government in Baghdad and its sectarian al-Qaeda antithesis are the necessary casus belli for their proxy wars, which are tearing apart the social fabric of Iraqi society, disintegrating the national unity of Iraq and bleeding its population to the last Iraqi. Continue reading

Cornering a brave Palestinian man of peace

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stands now at a crossroads of his people’s national struggle for liberation and independence as well as of his political life career, cornered between the rock of his own rejecting constituency and the hard place of his Israeli occupying power and the US sponsors of their bilateral negotiations, which were resumed last July 29, despite his minesweeping concessions and backtracking “on all his red lines.” Continue reading

The Saudi bull in an Arab china shop

Obsessed with the “Iran threat,” which leads to its warmongering in Syria, Saudi Arabia is acting like a bull in a china shop, wreaking regional havoc in an already Arab fragile political environment and creating what George Joffe’ of Cambridge University’s Centre of International Studies, on December 30, called the “second Arab cold war,” the first being the Saudi-led cold war with the Pan-Arab Egypt of Gamal Abdul Nasser, since the 1960s. Continue reading

Kerry’s switch from mediator to antagonist

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was scheduled to start his ninth trip of shuttle diplomacy between Palestinian and Israeli leaders on this December 11. However, the bridging “security arrangements,” which he proposed less than a week earlier on his last trip, have backfired and are now snowballing into a major crisis with Palestinian negotiators who view Kerry’s “ideas” as a coup turning the US top diplomat from a mediator into an antagonist. Continue reading

Insurgency responsible for civilian plight of Syrians

Creating a humanitarian crisis in Syria, whether real or fabricated, and holding the Syrian government responsible for it as a casus belli for foreign military intervention under the UN 2005 so-called “responsibility to protect” initiative was from the very eruption of the Syrian conflict the goal of the US-led “Friends of Syria’ coalition. Continue reading

Obama’s ‘big prize’ to earn Nobel Peace Prize

Indeed, US President Barak Obama has gone a long way to earn his Nobel Peace Prize, which was prospectively and in advance awarded in 2009 to the 44th president of the United States while less than eight months in office. Continue reading

Syria, Egypt reveal Erdogan’s ‘hidden agenda’

The eruption of the Syrian conflict early in 2011 heralded the demise of Turkey’s officially pronounced strategy of “Zero Problems with Neighbors,” but more importantly, it revealed a “hidden agenda” in Turkish foreign policy under the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Continue reading

Libya almost imploding; status quo unsustainable

More than two years on since the “revolution” of Feb. 2011, the security crisis is exacerbating by the day threatening Libya with an implosion charged with potential real risks to the geopolitical unity of the Arab north African country, turning this crisis into a national existential one. Obviously the status quo is unsustainable. Continue reading

Saudis fight a lost battle against change

The ongoing aggressive Saudi policy for a militarized “regime change” in Syria is more an expression of internal vulnerability, trying hopelessly to avert change outside their borders lest change sweeps inside, than being a positive show of leadership and power, but Syrian developments are proving by the day that the Saudis are fighting a lost battle against change. Continue reading

Drying up ideological wellsprings of Arab-Israeli conflic

Gradually, awareness that de-Zionization of the US and European foreign policy, as well as the internal policies of the State of Israel, has become a prerequisite for peace in the Middle East is steadily taking roots in Israeli and world public opinion and consciousness. Continue reading

Israeli factor in Syrian conflict unveiled

More than two and a half years on, Israel’s purported neutrality in the Syrian conflict and the United State’s fanfare rhetoric urging a “regime change” in Damascus were abruptly cut short to unveil that the Israeli factor has been all throughout the conflict the main concern of both countries. Continue reading

Rapprochement with US reinforces Iran hand in Iraq

Iran seems successful in turning the Iraqi “strategic” agreement with the US into a tactical one, while it is succeeding in turning its own tactical accords with Iraq into a strategic bondage of the country. Continue reading

‘Arab Spring’ degrades into sectarian counterrevolution

The blind sectarian rampage, which has been waging a war on worship mosques, churches and religious shrines have become a modern Arab trademark phenomenon, since what the Western media called from the start the “Arab Spring” overwhelmed the Arab streets. Continue reading

The shortest path to peace in Syria

Because “defensive alliances which have fixed and limited objectives are often more durable,” the “Syria-Iran alliance has survived” more than three decades of unwavering and insistent US-led military, economic, diplomatic and media campaign to dismantle it, but it is still enduring “because it has been primarily defensive in nature” and “aimed largely at neutralizing . . . Israeli capabilities and preventing American encroachment in the Middle East.” Continue reading

Jordan invites US targets for Syrian retaliation

Situated at the crossroads of several regional crises, including the Palestinian-Israeli and Iraqi conflicts, Jordan has been in the eye of the Syrian storm for more than thirty months, and managed to navigate safely so far, but the reportedly imminent US strike is pressuring the country between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the antagonists of the war on Syria. Continue reading