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Uncommon Commentary

Agence Global

Le Monde diplomatique

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Richard Bulliet

Rami G. Khouri

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Immanuel Wallerstein

Food, fraternity and a suggestion for Tehran and Riyadh  
Saudi Arabia and Iran could lead a bold diplomatic process to shape a Gulf-centric, Middle Eastern regional security architecture that is modeled on the Helsinki Process of a generation ago between the American- and Soviet-led camps.
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Regional war and a joyful August lunch chat  
A delightful lunch in which I disagree with the fundamental premise that our region is largely defined by the confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
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Syria’s fate risks repeating the catastrophe of 1920  
Just as Syria was created after World War One by negotiations among Western powers who decided the country’s composition and its leadership and power configuration, Syria today is being reconfigured in the image of other powers.
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Free-trade treaties are anti-free trade  
We have never ever known a world of free trade. Protectionism has always been the dominant mode of economic relations between states.
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Kuwait, GCC again signal regional Arab challenges  
Unless we figure out the exact balance between political issues and personal troubles that explain the behavior of ISIS true believers, we will probably have to live with this situation for many years.
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Historic developments visible in Turkey-Syria  
The events Monday transcend domestic Turkish issues. In fact, they reflect the convergence of at least five important new trends in the Middle East that touch on Turkey, the Kurds, Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and the Mideast policies of the United States and other foreign and regional powers
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Remembering Hiroshima, amidst hell in Syria  
Mass killings by weapons of mass destruction matter more than ever in the Arab world because we seem to be the world’s most problematic arena for mass killings, refugee flows, and the use of violence by states and non-state groups that is rarely if ever subject to any accountability.
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Where there's smoke, there's Syria diplomacy  
The best available option now is to seek an American-Iranian-Russian-Saudi agreement on basic principles to end the fighting. This would allow Syrians themselves to forge a political path towards…well, nobody knows towards what.
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Greece: Who's to blame, and for what?  
Seeking state power brings with it certain very serious costs. One of these costs is that governments, all governments everywhere, are forced to make compromises in their dealing with the rest of the world. Eventually this leads to the kind of split that Syriza is undergoing now.
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Venturing very far afield, to learn about home  
Last month I ventured very far afield to read a tale of adolescent youth in ethnically mixed British society, whose main characters are two teenage British-Pakistani girls.
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