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
- 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 […]
- Did President Trump Just Kill the Two State Solution? - The idea that the so-called “two-state solution” to the Israel-Palestine conflict was the only path to a resolution to the long running conflict has been a cornerstone of U.S. Middle East policy for over 20 years. The concept of two states for Palestinians and Jews was the basis for the original UN partition plan for […]
- UN Resolution 2334: Good, Bad or Indifferent? - The adoption by the UN Security Council on December 23, 2016, of Resolution 2334 addressing the situation in Israel and Palestine was, as a symbolic gesture, a game-changing and groundbreaking event. The resolution passed by a vote of 14-0, with the United States abstaining. The U.S. abstention was a break with decades of U.S. policy, […]