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When Russia invaded Ukraine, it took itself off the map of Eurasian transport corridors linking China and Europe. At the same time, it breathed new life into moribund routes that would allow goods to travel across the Eurasian landmass without traversing Russia. It also opened the door to greater Russian connectivity with the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia. Thank you to all who have demonstrated their appreciation for my column by becoming paid subscribers. This allows me to ensure that it continues to have maximum impact. Maintaining free distributions means that news website, blogs, and newsletters across the globe can republish it. I launched my column, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, 12 years ago. To borrow a phrase from an early proprietor of The Observer, it offers readers, listeners, and viewers ‘the scoop of interpretation.’ If you are able and willing to support the column, please become a paid subscriber by clicking on Substack on the subscription button and choosing one of the subscription options.
When Prime Minister Victor Orban recently spelled out his vision of Hungary's frontiers, he joined a club of expansionist leaders such as Russia's Vladimir Putin, China's Xi Jinping, and members of the Indian power elite who define their countries’ borders in civilisational rather than national terms. Thank you to all who have demonstrated their appreciation for my column by becoming paid subscribers. This allows me to ensure that it continues to have maximum impact. Maintaining free distributions means that news website, blogs, and newsletters across the globe can republish it. I launched my column, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, 12 years ago. To borrow a phrase from an early proprietor of The Observer, it offers readers, listeners, and viewers ‘the scoop of interpretation.’ If you are able and willing to support the column, please become a paid subscriber by clicking on Substack on the subscription button and choosing one of the subscription options.
Temperatures in north-western Saudi Arabia, on average, seldom, if ever, drop below eight degrees Celsius except in the 2,400-metre high Sarawat mountains, where snow falls at best occasionally. However, that hasn't prevented Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from envisioning Saudi Arabia as competing for winter sports tourism.
President Joe Biden was not wrong when he declared that “justice has been served” with the killing of Al Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri in a US drone strike. The problem is that’s only half of the truth; the other half is that Mr. Zawahiri was more a has-been than a power to be reckoned with on the jihadist totem pole. In death, he may have scored his most significant achievement since becoming head of Al Qaeda as the symbol of the failure of decades of war in Afghanistan. Thank you to all who have demonstrated their appreciation for my column by becoming paid subscribers. This allows me to ensure that it continues to have maximum impact. Maintaining free distributions means that news website, blogs, and newsletters across the globe can republish it. I launched my column, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, 12 years ago. To borrow a phrase from an early proprietor of The Observer, it offers readers, listeners, and viewers ‘the scoop of interpretation.’ If you are able and willing to support the column, please become a paid subscriber by clicking on Substack on the subscription button and choosing one of the subscription options.
With Russia, Iranian assistance goes far beyond the supply of drones. Iran stands to gain substantially from being a key node in a Eurasian transport corridor that would help Russia circumvent US and European sanctions. Thank you to all who have demonstrated their appreciation for my column by becoming paid subscribers. This allows me to ensure that it continues to have maximum impact. Maintaining free distributions means that news website, blogs, and newsletters across the globe can republish it. I launched my column, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, 12 years ago. To borrow a phrase from an early proprietor of The Observer, it offers readers, listeners, and viewers ‘the scoop of interpretation.’ If you are able and willing to support the column, please become a paid subscriber by clicking on Substack on the subscription button and choosing one of the subscription options.
Eight years ago, Kazakh shrugged off Russian President Vladimir Putin's remarks suggesting he could pull a Ukraine on Kazakhstan. They did so again in January when Mr. Putin reiterated his denial of Kazakh nation and statehood while Russian troops massed on Ukraine’s border. Today, Kazakhs no longer discount Mr. Putin’s words.
Saudi Arabia’s little touted effort to overhaul its defense and national security architecture may be the United States’ best bet to rebuild relations with the kingdom in ways that imbue values and complicate the establishment of similar defense ties with China or Russia. Thank you to all who have demonstrated their appreciation for my column by becoming paid subscribers. This allows me to ensure that it continues to have maximum impact. Maintaining free distributions means that news website, blogs, and newsletters across the globe can republish it. I launched my column, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, 12 years ago. To borrow a phrase from an early proprietor of The Observer, it offers readers, listeners, and viewers ‘the scoop of interpretation.’ If you are able and willing to support the column, please become a paid subscriber by clicking on Substack on the subscription button and choosing one of the subscription options.
I2-U2, the Indo-West Asian quad, has boasted its first success with the acquisition by Indian billionaire Gautam Adani of Haifa Port. Thank you to all who have demonstrated their appreciation for my column by becoming paid subscribers. This allows me to ensure that it continues to have maximum impact. Maintaining free distributions means that news website, blogs, and newsletters across the globe can republish it. I launched my column, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, 12 years ago. To borrow a phrase from an early proprietor of The Observer, it offers readers, listeners, and viewers ‘the scoop of interpretation.’ If you are able and willing to support the column, please become a paid subscriber by clicking on Substack on the subscription button at www.jamesmdorsey.net, and choosing one of the subscription options.
US President Joe Biden’s controversial pilgrimage to Jeddah is part of a broader and more complex geopolitical puzzle with multiple Gulf and Red Sea littoral states attempting to hedge their bets and play rival global and regional powers against one another.
Turkey maintains a sword of Damocles over Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO. The sword matches Saudi and Emirati efforts to pressure US President Joe Biden to take greater account of their concerns about Iran and fortify the United States’ commitment to Gulf security during his visit this week to the kingdom. Saudi Arabia and the UAE will likely take heart from Turkey’s initial success in getting its way in NATO, particularly considering a US failure in recent years to respond to attacks by Iran and/or their Yemeni Houthi allies on critical oil and other infrastructure in the kingdom and the Emirates. Thank you to all who have demonstrated their appreciation for my column by becoming paid subscribers. This allows me to ensure that it continues to have maximum impact. Maintaining free distributions means that news website, blogs, and newsletters across the globe can republish it. I launched my column, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, 12 years ago. To borrow a phrase from an early proprietor of The Observer, it offers readers, listeners, and viewers ‘the scoop of interpretation.’ If you are able and willing to support the column, please become a paid subscriber by clicking on Substack on the subscription button and choosing one of the subscription options.
At the core of a US policy debate over the merits of President Joe Biden's pilgrimage, this week to the Middle East lies the question of how best to ensure regional stability and protect United States interests. Lost in the debate is whether the cost of maintaining stability by supporting autocratic rule is lower in the long term than the upfront expense of adhering to human rights principles, pluralism, and transparent and accountable governance that would initially alienate Middle Eastern partners. Thank you to all who have demonstrated their appreciation for my column by becoming paid subscribers. This allows me to ensure that it continues to have maximum impact. Maintaining free distributions means that news website, blogs, and newsletters across the globe can republish it. I launched my column, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, 12 years ago. To borrow a phrase from an early proprietor of The Observer, it offers readers, listeners, and viewers ‘the scoop of interpretation.’ If you are able and willing to support the column, please become a paid subscriber by clicking on Substack on the subscription button (jamesmdorsey.substanck.com)and choosing one of the subscription options.
In many ways, the Black September attack on the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972 discloses little about the evolution of the targeting of sporting events by political and religious militants even though it remains to date the incident with the greatest number of fatalities. If anything, the Munich attack was never replicated in scale and drama. It introduced a post-World War Two period in which secular nationalists rather than religious militants dominated the targeting of sporting events, executives, and athletes. That may have been different if plans for attacks by religious militants had not failed or been foiled. Interestingly and more as a result of local circumstances, successful attacks on sporting events and personalities since Munich have struck a balance between having been perpetrated by secularists and religious militants. This is true even if political violence since the 1980s increasingly has been perpetrated by religious rather than secular militants.
Peter Oborne NBN Interview

Peter Oborne NBN Interview

2022-07-0301:01:46

Launched 12 years ago, my column, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, offers, to borrow a phrase from an early proprietor of The Observer, ‘the scoop of interpretation.’ The column continues to have significant impact. It is republished by news websites, blogs, and newsletters across the globe. Maintaining free distribution is key to maintaining the column’s impact. However, to do so, I rely on those readers who value the column and its impact by voluntarily becoming paid subscribers. If you are able and willing to support the column, please become a paid subscriber by clicking on Substack on the subscription button and choosing one of the subscription options. If you prefer, you can also make a donation. Thank you for your continued interest, readership, and support. Peter Oborne’s The Fate of Abraham: Why the West is Wrong about Islam (Simon and Schuster 2022) is as much a history of US, British, and French attitudes towards Islam and Muslims as it is about a relationship that was almost doomed from the outset. Not because of inherent problems with either the essence of the West or the essence of Islam but due to prejudice, bias, and, certainly in the 21st century, politicisation and weaponization of religion on both sides of the divide. Nonetheless, the book sketches how many of the Western and non-Western policy assumptions about Islam echo past fears, prejudices, and debates that that have fuelled a widening gap and Islamophobia. Oborne, the scion of a military and old-style politically conservative family, is passionate but well-documented, well-researched, and well-argued, in his description of the United States, France, and Britain’s encounters with Islam and Muslims, who initially were either subjects with very different experiences of colonialism or slaves. Although these encounters vary widely, Islam, whose adherents were often not granted full and equal recognition in society, has in Oborne’s telling in the 21th century replaced replaced communism as the enemy in the post-Cold War and post 9/11 era. Based on extensive historical research and investigative journalism, Oborne debunks myths and distortions of the truth. In doing so, he is clear about where he stands in the debate on whether non-violent political Islam poses a threat. Terms that have become fashionable such as Islamism and non-violent extremism constitute in his mind part of the vocabulary developed to force Muslims into a cultural straight jacket. With a well-put together list for further reading and spiced with historical nuggets, Oborne’s book is a valuable and important contribution to discussions about Islamophobia, political Islam, and the relationship between the United States, European countries, and Islam – a relationship that is likely to co-shape the 21st century world order. This interview was first published by New Books Network Dr. James M. Dorsey is an award-winning journalist and scholar, a Senior Fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute and the author of the syndicated column and blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer.
It’s a good time, almost 12 years after the world soccer body, FIFA, awarded Qatar the 2022 World Cup hosting rights and five months before the tournament, to evaluate the campaign to reform the country’s erstwhile onerous labor system and accommodate fans whose lifestyles violate restrictive laws and/or go against deeply rooted cultural attitudes. Launched 12 years ago, my column, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, offers, to borrow a phrase from an early proprietor of The Observer, ‘the scoop of interpretation.’ The column continues to have significant impact. It is republished by news websites, blogs, and newsletters across the globe. Maintaining free distribution is key to maintaining the column’s impact. However, to do so, I rely on those readers who value the column and its impact by voluntarily becoming paid subscribers. If you are able and willing to support the column, please become a paid subscriber by clicking on Substack on the subscription button and choosing one of the subscription options.
Geopolitics is written all over Saudi religious soft power efforts. Nowhere more so than when it comes to Israel and Jews because of the growing importance of security cooperation with the Jewish state and the influence of the Israeli lobby in the United States, the kingdom's most important yet problematic security partner. Launched 12 years ago, my column, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, offers, to borrow a phrase from an early proprietor of The Observer, ‘the scoop of interpretation.’ The column continues to have significant impact. It is republished by news websites, blogs, and newsletters across the globe. Maintaining free distribution is key to maintaining the column’s impact. However, to do so, I rely on those readers who value the column and its impact by voluntarily becoming paid subscribers. If you are able and willing to support the column, please become a paid subscriber by clicking on Substack on the subscription button and choosing one of the subscription options. If you prefer, you can also make a donation. Thank you for your continued interest, readership, and support.
When Egyptian football legend Mohammed Aboutreika came out swinging against homosexuality in late 2021, he touched a raw nerve across the Muslim world. The tit-for-tat between Mr. Aboutreika and supporters of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights laid bare a yawning gap.
China could be entering choppy Middle Eastern waters. Multiple crises and conflicts will likely shape its relations with the region’s major powers, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey.
The question for Saudi Arabia and Pakistan is not whether either country will recognise Israel but when and who will go first. Welcome to The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer or Mideastsoccer newsletter. I’m James Dorsey, an award-winning scholar, journalist, and columnist. In this newsletter, I talk about everything from geopolitics, relations between the Middle East or West Asia and the rest of Asia, big power rivalry and its impact on the Middle East and Eurasia, religious soft power rivalry, and the politics of sport. At times, I host authors of interesting and relevant books. I launched The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer 12 years ago. It offers, to borrow a phrase from an early proprietor of The Observer, ‘the scoop of interpretation.’ It continues to have significant impact and are republished by news websites, blogs, and newsletters across the globe. It’s used in class rooms and serves many as a tool for understanding the complex world we live in. Maintaining free distribution is key to maintaining the column’s impact. However, to do so, I rely on those readers who value the column and its impact by voluntarily taking out a paid subscription. Please consider becoming a paid subscriber by going to https://www.jamesmdorsey.substack.com or making a donation at http://www.jamesmdorsey.net so I can keep distributing the column for free to achieve the widest distribution possible. Paid subscribers additionally get on request individual and/or group briefings and Q&A sessions at their convenience. I’m always happy to answer questions, respond to comments, and provide insights based on my knowledge, understanding and extensive network that will further help readers make sense of the world around them. Thank you for your continued interest, readership, and support.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al-Baqr, a man known for his pithy retorts, pretended to quiver in his pants. Hindu nationalists had called for a boycott of the Gulf airline after Qatar took India to task for derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammed and Muslim worship by two spokespeople of the country’s ruling party.
US and European acquiescence in Turkey's long-standing refusal to honour Kurdish ethnic, cultural, and political rights has come home to roost with Turkish opposition to Finnish and Swedish NATO membership.
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