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Speak Victorian, Think Pagan

Last Build Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2012 22:05:02 +0000


From Belletrist to Blogger: What progress, and the internet, has done to public intellectualism

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 22:03:27 +0000

I wrote this essay on my personal blog, but when it was retweeted by Adam Elkus, our old friend of Rethinking Security, I thought maybe the (remnant) audience here might appreciate it, or have some feedback. → From Belletrist to … Continue reading

Are the Gulf Countries “Realist Anomalies”?

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 09:46:26 +0000

Stephen Walt, writing in Foreign Policy, is titled “The curious case of small Gulf states” and asks if the UAE, along with countries such as Qatar, Bahrain, and Brunei are realist anomalies: The puzzle is this: How is it possible … Continue reading

Big Things Have Small Beginnings

Mon, 12 Nov 2012 03:45:44 +0000

What led to the revelation of the affair that brought down General Patraeus? Turns out it was a Lebanese-American Florida housewife… Jill Kelley, a 37-year-old mother of three, became close with the disgraced for CIA director when he was serving … Continue reading unveiled

Wed, 05 Oct 2011 02:49:16 +0000

CA patron saint Robert D. Kaplan has an official home on the web! Check out to learn about his history, see all his articles and books, and to contact his assistant.

Interview with Edward Luttwak

Thu, 08 Sep 2011 10:45:31 +0000

Interview here with the always wise and insightful Edward Luttwak. A rather humorous selection: There have been many different explanations given over the past 10 years for the strength of the American-Israeli relationship, ranging from the idea that Israel has … Continue reading

History of Tokyo subway lines map

Fri, 29 Jul 2011 17:42:35 +0000

Shared by +Andrew Wright

Genocide in Sudan, Part 2? The Worst Case Scenario for Southern Sudan Independence

Sun, 19 Jun 2011 15:30:52 +0000

Sudan is scheduled to be cleaved in two, as previously posted on here, here and here. While many are celebrating this as a great move for freedom, the problem from the beginning has been deciding where Southern Sudan begins, as … Continue reading

RIP Patrick Leigh Fermor

Mon, 13 Jun 2011 22:56:50 +0000

One of Robert Young Pelton’s favourite authors — and I am certain referenced by Robert Kaplan — Britain’s greatest travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor has died. He was eulogized this week by none other than Christopher Hitchens. UPDATE: Kaplan on … Continue reading

Expanding the GCC

Tue, 17 May 2011 18:52:07 +0000

I previously described the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) as the future EU of Arabia. It is certainly the most successful multinational cooperative body outside the EU, and is made up of the six monarchies of the Gulf: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, … Continue reading

Osama’s Will, Arabic Names, and Romanization of Arabic

Thu, 12 May 2011 05:35:59 +0000

Osama’s “Will” was recently released by a Kuwaiti newspaper. The title of the document is misleading — a will, as a document that distributes assets and property, is not recognized in Islam, as inheritance must take place in accordance with … Continue reading

Koizumi Yukon: Canadian General Election 2011

Tue, 03 May 2011 16:46:10 +0000

Yesterday was the 41st Canadian General Election to elect members to the House of Commons of Canada in which the conservative government won what I would call a Koizumi-esque victory. The election saw a number of historical firsts, and may … Continue reading

How Osama Bin Laden was found and killed

Mon, 02 May 2011 09:35:31 +0000

It was announced several hours ago that Osama Bin Laden was killed in a raid on his private compound on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. The raid was almost a year in the making, but the raid itself was over … Continue reading

The 2011 Geography of the Mexican Drug War

Wed, 27 Apr 2011 18:41:21 +0000

STRATFOR has a status update on the Mexican drug cartel wars, with an interesting animated map on developments over the past year. The full report is only for subscribers, but the most important point in the summary report is: all … Continue reading

Another connection between the Royals in Jordan and Britain

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 12:56:06 +0000

Last year, I wrote about how Jordan’s King has an English mother. Now, we see a somewhat similar reversal — the newest member of the British Royal Family, and the likely future queen, spent two-and-a-half years as a young child … Continue reading

How a lone hen turkey saved our relationship with the Saudis

Wed, 20 Apr 2011 06:55:50 +0000

This is a story from more than six months ago being noticed in the Middle East — how a lone hen turkey on Bush’s ranch saved our relationship with then Crown Price and Regent of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Abdul … Continue reading

In Defense of Dubai

Sun, 17 Apr 2011 06:51:13 +0000

Reuters has as one of its “pictures of the day” a photo of Sunil. Sunil is a 14 year-old working at a brick quarry in western India. He is paid two Indian rupees ($0.04) for each brick he carries out … Continue reading

Kuwait House of National Memorial Museum, Part 1

Mon, 11 Apr 2011 12:28:42 +0000

Kuwait is not well known for its tourism. Indeed, I have heard it called one of the most boring countries you can visit. (When I visited, I was most excited by the ruined oil fields.) Yet one of the country’s … Continue reading

OPEC, Evil Genius Cartel?

Tue, 05 Apr 2011 12:06:53 +0000

I was somewhat surprised to see this recently appear in a report on the future of energy published by HSBC. In a summary of that report just provided to me: OPEC plays a tantalising game of making oil just about … Continue reading

Fourteen Centuries of the Arab Homelands

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 12:08:02 +0000

In my trip to Lebanon last year, I spotted in an Arabic language school this timeline of the Arab world since the growth of Islam. The chart was published in the late 1980s, and the timeline goes up from 530 … Continue reading

Trip to the Enclave of the Enclave

Tue, 22 Mar 2011 10:04:44 +0000

I previously posted on the pages of these blog an explanation of the enclave of an enclave (or is that an enclave of an exclave?), by which a small part of the UAE, called Nahwa, is located in a small … Continue reading

The British Evacuation of Japan and Bahrain, compared

Sat, 19 Mar 2011 19:43:23 +0000

This is rather amusing. Britain has warned all of its citizens to evacuate, and flights have been chartered to evacuate citizens back to Britain. Enough flights have been chartered to bring 17,000 nationals back to the motherland. Now let’s look … Continue reading

The Educators

Thu, 17 Mar 2011 17:49:54 +0000

Henry Kissinger and Donald Rumsfeld are the two most reviled men to have served in the position of Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense. Yet the irony — and majestic genius — of the careers of both men is … Continue reading

The ingredient in Mummia is…

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 00:06:05 +0000

In 1867, a jar was found in a Paris pharmacy with the inscription “Remains found under the stake of Joan of Arc.” The jar contained a blackened human rib, carbonized wood, a piece of linen and a cat femur–the later … Continue reading

Where can an international lawyer go adventuring?

Wed, 09 Mar 2011 04:31:27 +0000

As some readers may know, Curzon is a lawyer — qualified in the US, but working first in Japan and now in Dubai. A common question that I’ve heard through my years of practice is, “How do you practice law … Continue reading

Al Karama, the lost capital of the UAE

Sun, 06 Mar 2011 07:35:05 +0000

Abu Dhabi is known as the political capital of the United Arab Emirates, and has held that position for the 39 years that the country has existed. But it wasn’t supposed to be that way. Under Article 9 of the … Continue reading