In 2003, as I began the first of a series of trips to the Middle East, I discovered something curious: what I was seeing and learning in my travels generally did not correspond with what was being fed to me by U.S. media sources. As the discrepancies between what I observed and what I “knew” from home became more obvious, I began, in 2006, recording my thoughts and experiences as they related to the dynamics of the Middle East region. By writing and posting a regular blog on my Memos from the Mountains blog site, I gave myself the opportunity to discern truth from fiction and to determine for myself what I actually believed was happening in Middle Eastern affairs. These blogs, along with comments offered by my readers, have proved to be a useful device as I work to understand all sides of what, at times, can be complex issues.
Recent Blog Posts
- What Can the Islamic Golden Age Teach Us about Migration and Diversity? - Over the epoch of recorded history, a number of periods have been labeled as “golden ages”, a label that identifies them as the best of their kind. The term “golden age” implies in some sense a period of growth and progress within a society. Scholars generally date the “Islamic Golden Age” from 750 CE beginning […]
- Trump Decertifying the Iran Deal Weakens U.S. Influence, Enhances Iran’s Position on the Global Stage - The decision by President Trump to not recertify Iran’s compliance with the requirements of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), despite a report by the International Atomic Energy Administration (IAEA) declaring that Iran is in compliance, brings the U.S. back into the 35 year war with Iran that has dragged on since the founding […]
- Trump’s Syria Dilemma - It is hard to see how the direction of the Trump administration’s policy toward defeating ISIS can have a positive outcome. During the presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump criticized President Obama as being “out of touch” with what it would take to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. He promised to unveil his “secret” and […]