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This week’s front page editor

Julian Richards

Julian Richards is managing editor of openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Gassing and selective applications of a ‘Red Line’: lest we forget

The gassing of people is considered exceptionally inhumane, officially a categorical “red line” dividing good from evil. This belief now threatens to trigger an escalation with unpredictable consequences.

Wretched third anniversary of international intervention in Yemen: the Saudi-led coalition and humanitarian disaster. Part 2

Trump’s recent senior appointments suggest an increasingly virulent anti-Iranian strategy which certainly coincides with that of the current Saudi regime. Things could hardly be worse.

Fear of forgetting – heroines who changed history

Simone De Beauvoir and Gisele Halimi were indefatigable. They wrote to every responsible official in the judiciary, military and government – up to General de Gaulle. Lest we forget.

The Middle East’s new donors: rogues or team players?

Turkey and the Gulf monarchies in their savvy, if reactionary, use of aid have become important players in the international donors club.

You've kept your power, Arab rulers, but at what cost?

Let us never forget that those who make peaceful uprisings impossible will eventually make violent revolution irresistible. 

Not a Saudi ‘Arab spring’: Mohammad Bin Salman, a threat not a reformer [Part 2]

Mohammad bin Salman is now MENA’s main threat to peace, stability, and hope for democratization in the Arab world.

Western complicity is fuelling Yemen’s humanitarian crisis

A besieged and starved population has been pushed to the brink of famine. The UK, US and France need to re-evaluate their relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Not a Saudi ‘Arab spring’: Mohammad Bin Salman, a threat not a reformer [Part 1]

Putting “Mohammad bin Salman” next to “Arab Spring” is either an oxymoron or an antithesis.

Will Iraq’s PM embrace a Trump-inspired Saudi-sponsored drive to curb Iranian influence?

Trump-MBS strategy has not made significant headway. Will they succeed in escalating anti-Shia confrontation against Iran and its allies?

The return of authoritarianism is priming the Middle East for more conflict

How is the Saudi-Iranian rivalry overwriting the Arab Spring’s key messages?

Kurds’ choices: heed history or the US?

Who controls Syria’s borders? The US and Israel are encouraging Syrian Kurds to fight the regime and its allies for border control. The ensuing mayhem might unravel the Mideast and far beyond.

Safe spaces, bagpipes and houmous

“This is the safe space I was talking about… a totally open space people can feel safe in, because stories are shared, barriers are broken and everyone is welcome.”

All ‘hail’ the real king

The Saudi Monarch’s 4 November purge threatens the kingdom’s longstanding policy on dynastic rule, and paves the way for Salman’s abdication of power to his son Mohammed.

Contagion effect and the Saudi grand game in the Middle East

The willingness of Mohammed bin Salman to embark on a series of moves against Iranian power in the Middle East already shows evidence of severe miscalculation.

The Prince: on how many fronts can Mohammad bin Salman act simultaneously?

The Saudi crown prince moves towards concentrating absolute power in his own hands, while escalating tensions on several fronts.

The anti-Islamist campaign and Arab democracy

Egyptians, Libyans, Tunisians, and other Arabs deserve better than to be told that they must choose between extremism and chaos or autocracy.

Families of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government

Declassified evidence about the 9/11 attacks point to Saudi Arabia. But will justice be served?

Britain’s foreign policy: it's time for reform

With its prominent position in the arms trade, and the impunity it grants countries like Saudi Arabia, Britain is playing with fire.

Saudi women between online resistance and new physical realities

What role did collective action, and social media play in Saudi Arabia’s decision to lift its ban on women driving?

Human Rights Council condemns reprisals amidst unprecedented rate of cases in MENA region

One can only wonder how the HRC can maintain its credibility while its member states are actively working against the council’s very raison d’être of protecting human rights.

Turning weapons on a toddler

In Awamiya, a Shia-majority town in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province, a three-year-old boy has been shot and killed amid demolition and the shooting of civilians. Here, his mother speaks.

Race to the sea: Qatar and the balance of power in the Middle East

If the Qatari crisis is not managed rationally, then it is likely to compound the present risks in the regional balance of power, with consequences for all states in the region.

Qatar crisis: a broader consolidation of power

Despite the real tension and rivalries, there is far more that unites Qatar and surrounding countries than what separates them.

A Corbyn-led government should start by scrapping the Prevent Strategy

Corbyn wants to talk about and address the causes of terrorist violence? This will require scrapping the Prevent Strategy.

Behind The Saudi-Qatari spat and the fragmentation of the GCC

The sanctions on Qatar aim to force the government of Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to alter its foreign policy – particularly regarding its warming relations with Iran.

Lebanon in the eye of the regional storm

Hizbollah’s proven armed capability in Syria, Israel’s perceived political defeat in 2006, coupled with a possible US and Saudi green light, may make confrontation inevitable.

Trump in the Middle East: context and consequences

Trump’s regional approach to “peace” and stability and the new regional order, aims to ensure the normalcy of relations between Israel and its Arab neighbours, especially the wealthy ones.

What obsessing about you-know-who causes us to miss

24 key national security issues that neither the Washington elite nor the media consider worth their bother.

Uncomfortable assumptions about security: the UK vote on support for Saudi Arabia

Pervasive and problematic assumptions about the UK’s security lie at the heart of parliament’s recent decision to continue to support Saudi Arabia, despite accusations of war crimes in Yemen.

Saudi foreign policy under Salman: same goal, different threat perceptions

An in-depth look at the transformations of Saudi foreign policy since the ascension of Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz to the throne.

Debunking the myths that underpin Britain's arms exports to Saudi Arabia

The five main arguments for the UK to keep exporting arms to Saudi Arabia all hold little water.

With a more enterprising Russia, cards are reshuffled in the Arab world

A new power structure is emerging in the Middle East as Russia uses its intervention in Syria to position itself as an important partner for regional powers as diverse and opposed to each other as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel and Iran.

The regional implications of the fall of Aleppo

The lesson Arab autocrats are likely to learn from Syria is simple: under the current international climate the use of severe repression is effective.

Kingdom of arbitrary detention: how Saudi Arabia shuts down its most vocal critics

The institutionalised repression practiced by Saudi authorities is exposed by the fight led by one of the Kingdom’s most respected human rights organisations, the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA).

Months later, Saudi still silent on stranded migrants

Until Saudi Arabia takes ownership of the crisis, it will remain responsible for the egregious human rights abuses tens of thousands of migrants are forced to endure each day.

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