Welcome to Middle East Update. Enjoy a cup of tea, proper Turkish coffee, or shisha pipe while you’re here. Think of this as a café to discuss the latest goings on in the Arab Uprisings and beyond. We don’t have backgammon here, but there is occasional trivia.

The only rule is that I generally limit the topics to the Middle East and North Africa.

Basic reference material, such as maps and such can be added later here upon request, to assist familiarizing and helping you follow events.

Additional information may also be found in past articles by me:

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“War? What war? We’re in a war?”

We went just went through four debates and not one mention of the war in Afghanistan, actually very little discussion of it or the military through the whole election even though it does have a lot to do with our fiscal health.

What changed that a sex scandal and the R’s getting Benghazi all screwed up and now some of the R’s are somehow trying to implicate The President in some conspiracy, meanwhile Afghanistan goes on being ignored.

Meanwhile, actual Afghans face a difficult and perhaps bleak future because the way over-ambitious American project in their country is failing. And US veterans of the war struggle with PTSD and, often, addiction.

The European Union is suspending aid to the corrupt government Hamid Karzai. And, Taliban are raiding into the Bamyan area of the Shiite Hazaras with impunity because the Afghan government has not sent any of its 200,000 troops there to protect them.


The big story concerning Afghanistan is General John Allen and his sexy emails, that’s the news not this:

Reporter: A long march to progress in Afghanistan

From the You-Tube description:

Published on Nov 12, 2012 by EuroparltvEnglish

The future of Afghanistan shifts up the agenda. As European and international troops prepare to scale back in under two years, the question now is, can Afghans manage security, clean government and basic services for the people by themselves, even as the Taliban try to bomb their way back to power? What we don’t want, with withdrawal and disengagement of military intervention by the international community in Afghanistan, is a disengagement from long-term problems of development.


more…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jl-MFhmdR0s

I know, I know, Afghanistan isn’t part of MENA, I just wanted people to remember we are at war, it’s costing a lot of money and people are dying and getting injured. By the time we get to complete withdrawal the country will be going “War? What war? We’re in a war?”


Bito: The war is never far from some of us. As it becomes more and more likely we will leave and the situation will deteriorate, it becomes more imperative to me that my kids are safe.

Going to MO to meet the MO Girl’s family and to watch this brilliant young woman graduate from college in December – she’s my FIRST graduate. Then coming back with my Syrian daughter and her fiancee. After they leave, will host the Baby Girl and the Babiest Girl (Baby Girl’s younger sister). Plus assorted others, and Inshallah, the boy who is due back for school this spring.

So for some of us, it is not forgotten. Thank you so much for posting this video. Khirad is TOTALLY forgiven, as he has spent so much time and effort to educate us on ME issues.

See you all soon. – AB


Morning Khirad – I absolutely agree with your first post on increased engagement with people in and from the Mid East. I and my organization have been trying to do that for several years now, and there is no way that is not absolutely essential. I’m horrified by how many people are afraid of Muslims and will learn nothing of them, the culture, the variants of faith. Thanks for reminding us that familiarity breeds understanding, NOT contempt.