FX – Middle East – reading and listening

Israel: Two views from the Palestinian side, illustrative in some ways of posturing vs. action, and the limits on both. On a separate note, I’m still looking for a good analytical article on Israel’s crackdown on Jewish extremists – a topic very much worth watching, and something that has been a long time coming. (Too long?)

A Dirt Road in Gaza, Devised by Hamas as a Message to Israel

In The West Bank, A Rough Start Doesn’t Deter New Arab TV Channel

Iran:

Iran Deal Sparks Potential Arms Race In Region

Ex-Mossad Chief Supports Iran Nuclear Deal

Allison – 9 Reasons to Support the Iran Nuclear Deal – The Atlantic

Fallows – Why the Iran Deal’s Critics Will Probably Lose – The Atlantic

Value of Iran Sanctions Relief Is Hard to Measure

Comments: If you think the subsequent conventional arms race is going to be something, ponder the nuclear arms race likely with no deal – Saudi Arabia in particular in the latter one. The short missile response times mentioned are an echo of the reasons for our own Cuban Missile Crisis (I’m old enough to have done ‘duck and cover’ drills in grade school – and today is the Hiroshima anniversary). If you don’t know what the Mossad is, you should, and the positions mentioned are a good comparison of the practical vs the political in Israel internally. The next two articles provide excellent analysis of both the international and domestic components of the arguments about the agreement. Finally, a discussion of Iran’s economic benefits from the agreement – something very much in dispute.

Turkey: If the ‘what’ was Turkish military attacks on PKK positions, the story behind the story is the ‘why’ or ‘why now’ – and here’s the answer. Is it a ‘tail wagging the dog’ situation?

Turkey’s Push Into War Is Seen as Erdogan’s Political Strategy

Libya: As in Syria, knowing what we want to accomplish and what we can accomplish are two different things.

Libyan force became lesson in limits of American power

Lebanon: One of the most complex places in the Middle East, with a unique combination of problems. Here’s one.

Amid Political Dysfunction, Beirut Residents Suffer The Stench Of Garbage

On a broader note, how we handle foreign policy decisions. Where the ‘what’ we want to accomplish meets the ‘how’ question. Remember the saying about what happens when you know how sausage is made?

How the Obama White House runs foreign policy

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