I hope you are all well. There’s much to discuss and I have many updates for you but I’ll try to be brief. For the past 2 weeks I’ve been busy both moving into my new home and preparing for my prospectus. In about a month I’ll be flying back to Michigan for about a week’s stay in order to meet with faculty, present and defend my prospectus for my dissertation. Because of the move and setting up a new home nearly from scratch, I haven’t been able to blog as much as I’d like. For the past years, I’ve lived what was seemingly a life out of bags. I’ve had to move so much because of school that I’ve always avoided accumulating things, especially furniture, often finding housing that was fully furnished. Thus, moving into a house without any furniture has both been fun because I get to set up a home from beginning to end and exhausting because picking out furniture and assembling things and then changing minds about what was purchased can be draining. Thus far, however, I feel fortunate and I’m happy with the way the house is unfolding.
As for the world bigger than my own… I’m happy with the election results mostly because I’m happy that Romney and Co. did not win, but I’m far less excited about the Drone Warrior President than I was in ’08. It’s worth mentioning, however, that I am happy that Netanyahu lost with the demise of the Romney campaign as the former threw in his lot with the latter (isn’t in nice that foreign leaders think they have a right to try to intervene in our electoral process?). What’s more, I do feel that Obama’s re-election creates an opportunity to find a solution to the impasse over Iran’s nuclear program. As a 2nd term president, Obama is more inclined to take chances on big issues now that he’s not worrying about re-election. Furthermore, with Iran’s own presidential elections around the corner, it’ll be easier for Obama to make an agreement with Iran without Ahmadinejad. Although A-jad has little authority in Iran especially when it comes to foreign policy, he’s nevertheless the poster boy for the regime. It’ll be easier for a US-Iran rapproachment without A-jad serving as president. Also, keep in mind that Iran is far more likely to compromise when it is vulnerable (per my Tehran Bureau article written a couple months ago), and it is certainly very vulnerable as Iran’s influence in region, especially considering the war in Syria, is on a downward spiral. In sum, I’m hopeful about Iran-US relations after A-jad is voted out in June.
As for the war in Syria, there should not be any doubt that significant elements within the rebellion are outright al-Qaeda nutjobs… here is a video of a rally in Syria where foreign jihadis praise bin Laden, hoist the al-Qaeda banner, and call for the slaughter of all Alawites. The biggest tragedy of the Syrian chapter of the Arab Spring, besides the immense loss of life and the widespread destruction of a beautiful nation that I had the good fortune of visiting in ’08, is the that the legitimate demands of the people who rose up non-violently in March ’11 has been poisoned by these sectarian clowns and their foreign patrons, namely the despotic regimes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Despite all that has transpired, if I had to choose between the Assad dictatorship and the al-Qaeda-Saudi-Qatari conspiracy, I’d side only with the poor people who are getting shafted by both. Long live what was once a revolution!