Israel and Saudis cannot be amused at the Obama-Putin pirouette

The Cuban Missile Crisis produced great scholarship. A classic of the period, 'Essence of A Decision' by Prof. Grahame Allison, is a study of decision making in the Kennedy administration during a crisis when the world came close to a nuclear collision.   By that reckoning, research proposals must be in the process of being cleared as to who ordered the two ballistic missiles towards Syria which Russian intercepts brought down in the Mediterranean? The whole episode is frightening.

Sow the wind in Syria, reap the whirlwind in Turkey

For two and a half terms Erdogan and Abdullah Gul kept up a plausible manner: they were non ideological, moderate Muslims. Yes, there was an occasional skirmish on trifles like headscarves for women but no serious threat of a Shariah flag being hoisted on a nation restored by Ataturk. Why, then, did Erdogan manage to shuffle off the moderate image which had caused his reputation to rocket sky high? First, the constitution does not allow a Prime Minister more than three terms. Thus, Erdogan saw the end of the road for himself in internal politics. He will probably try swapping jobs with Abdullah Gul in 2014-15. But will people let him? After all, 70 percent are opposed to conflict with Syria.

Washington and Moscow trying to square a circle in Syria

After 70,000 Syrians have paid with their lives in the foreign induced conflict in Syria, why has the American perspective changed? Even so, it was nice to see Secretary of State, John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, embrace each other two weeks back in Moscow.

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