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Michael Jansen
By Michael Jansen - May 14,2014
During a recent visit to the US, I discovered that several relatives I used to consider “genetic Republicans” now back the Democratic Party even though they are not convinced that President Barack Obama is doing a good job. “Genetic Republicans” are peopl
By Michael Jansen - May 07,2014
From 1949 until January 1979, the US recognised Taiwan as the legitimate government of China because the politicians in Washington could not bring themselves to accept that their right-wing Chinese nationalist friends had lost the war with the communists led by Mao Zedong. Taiwa
By Michael Jansen - Apr 30,2014
Having failed to find a “moderate” Syrian insurgent faction, the US seems to have encouraged a young commander to create one to receive a shipment of TOW anti-tank missiles, in the desperate belief that others could break with the radical fundamentalist factions that
By Michael Jansen - Apr 23,2014
During my recent visits to Beirut and Damascus, unidentified sources I interviewed revealed uncomfortable truths that the Western powers and their allies are determined to conceal or ignore. The hullabaloo raised about Syria’s declaration that it intends to hold its presid
By Michael Jansen - Apr 09,2014
The lifting of a militia blockade on two of Libya’s oil terminals has eased the crisis in that country and ended Tripoli’s threat to dispatch forces to Benghazi. The terminals at Zueitina, south of Benghazi, and Hariga, to the east, have been handed over to the gover
By Michael Jansen - Apr 02,2014
The triumph of Turkey’s fundamentalist Freedom and Development Party (AKP) in local elections is bad news for both Syria and Cyprus. The AKP’s success is certain to embolden Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to stand for president in the country’s first presi
By Michael Jansen - Mar 26,2014
Baghdad has been rated as one of the world’s worst cities to live in, alongside Bangui in war-torn Central African Republic and the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, which has not yet recovered from a massive earthquake in 2010. Baghdad, once the capital of the Abbasid empir
By Michael Jansen - Mar 19,2014
Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour argued in an interview aired this week that the country had made progress in implementing the roadmap drawn up in the wake of the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi last July. He said ratification of the new constitution in January was
By Michael Jansen - Mar 12,2014
The “Ides of March” was a turning point for the Arab region as was March 15, 44 BC, the day Julius Caesar was assassinated. This event began the transformation of the Roman Republic into the dictatorial Roman Empire. In 2011, Syria followed Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and
By Michael Jansen - Mar 05,2014
During the 1950s and 1960s, Turkey was proclaimed the success story of this region. Experts argued that the country had transformed itself from the powerhouse of the Ottoman Empire to a secular, modernising, democratic, Western-oriented republic. But two factors were ignored: t



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