Killing Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr

It’s hard to believe that Saudi Arabia, currently heading up the UN Human Rights Commission, started 2016 with the beheading of 47 prisoners. When was the last time the head of a global human rights commission executed 47 people in one day? The crude symbolism of who was executed and who wasn’t was supposed to Read more about Killing Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr[…]

Preview: Liquidating Syria, Fracking Europe

What might one day be remembered as the Great Syrian Migration for its scale, or the Syrian Exodus for its epic and tragic character, is currently referred to as the European migration crisis. The proto-genocidal war in Syria, and even the pressures of four million refugees on Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey are by any measure Read more about Preview: Liquidating Syria, Fracking Europe[…]

Media Evolution on the Eve of the Arab Spring

Nine months before Mohammed Bouazizi’s self-immolation, the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University hosted a symposium on Arab media. Much (and not much) has changed in the region’s media landscape since. Understanding the structural and functional characteristics at a historical juncture ahead of the uprisings can help us comprehend what precipitated (and inhibited) the ensuing changes. The Read more about Media Evolution on the Eve of the Arab Spring[…]

How Putin Outmaneuvered Obama in Syria & Ukraine

It’s hardly their first priority with the threat of war looming, but Ukrainians will be paying a lot more for their heating oil next winter. Not only has Russian supplier Gazprom rescinded its wholesale discount to Ukraine, but the termination of consumer heating oil subsidies is a condition of the IMF loan negotiated by the Read more about How Putin Outmaneuvered Obama in Syria & Ukraine[…]

Global repercussions of U.S. strikes in Syria and the role of China

During the U.S. debate on military strikes on Syria in response for the chemical attacks on the Damascus suburbs, SISMEC Director Leila Hudson was interviewed by reporter Ao Huang of the Shanghai daily Oriental Morning Post about the global repercussions of U.S. strikes and in particular the role of China.  Here is an English transcript Read more about Global repercussions of U.S. strikes in Syria and the role of China[…]

Syria: Doing the Right Thing

SISMEC Director Statement Putting the question of Syrian military strikes to Congress can be interpreted either as a humiliating backdown by President Obama or a considered, principled and dynamic maneuver in the face of domestic and international challenges. If Congress chooses to turn and walk away from the red line on chemical weapons use, it Read more about Syria: Doing the Right Thing[…]

A Tale of Two Consulates

Even Coppola couldn’t whip this one up… It’s been the weirdest of times, for sure. L’affaire Petraeus has shed some light on the military-intelligence complex that generally avoids the myopic scrutiny of the public. It’s not the lack of transparency nor the vicious post-election politicizing, but rather the feckless improvisation behind the skirts of the Read more about A Tale of Two Consulates[…]

Syrian Hunger Games

May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor… The Assad regime’s contempt for the international community’s limp response to its continuing atrocities is not only arrogant but coldly calculated. A former brigadier general in the Syrian army, Akil Hashem, asserts that: “According to my sources, the regime actually regulates how many should be killed per Read more about Syrian Hunger Games[…]

Website Launch: Message from SISMEC Director Dr. Leila Hudson

Welcome to the new SISMEC website! With heartfelt thanks for the efforts of our webmaster ST McNeil and the whole SISMEC crew, I am delighted to launch our latest endeavor, hoping that it will make our work available to an ever widening audience. We’ve had a busy fall and winter and look forward to an Read more about Website Launch: Message from SISMEC Director Dr. Leila Hudson[…]