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Walid Phares



  • The Dubai Revolution

    by Walid Phares

    I knew the Emirates were at the center of Arab modernization and I knew Dubai was at the heart of Arab change towards a brighter future. But it was only when I met its clairvoyant leaders, walked under its magic towers, spoke to its diverse people and journeyed across its desert, that I understood how promising is its future for the Arab world.

    This is an article to illustrate this vision.


  • Post Warsaw summit, what next with Iran?

    by Walid Phares

    In these post Warsaw times, I recommend integrating the sanctions system within a more comprehensive strategy to bring change to Iran’s behaviour. Sanctions alone will take time and aren’t guaranteed. We should engage the internal opposition inside Iran and identify a new leadership for the opposition, comparable to Juan Guaido in Venezuela—and include a wider number of countries within the Warsaw process, including Indonesia, Brazil and India, to ensure a universal approach to the crisis


  • From Warsaw to Tehran, will freedom ring?

    by Walid Phares

    This week, the United States and Poland will jointly host a ministerial meeting to “promote peace and security in the Middle East” with a focus on Iran’s “destabilizing role in the region.” The international gathering to be held in Warsaw on February 13 and14 has already been portrayed by Tehran as a US led effort to further isolate and crumble the Ayatollah regime. This first of its genre conference, aiming at mitigating both the Iranian regime and all Jihadists in the region, is important and must be successful.


  • The US must support the democratic revolution in Venezuela for the sake of the Hemisphere

    by Walid Phares

    Make the case that the battle in Venezuela is between the people and this oppressive, illegitimate regime, with immense ramifications for the health, security, and freedom of millions of Venezuelans. And ensure that the vast coalition led by the US includes all possible countries from around the world, including Latin America, Africa, and Asia.


  • US policy towards Iran must focus strategically

    by Walid Phares

    Now that Iran’s civil society has risen, it is the moral obligation of the international community to not only express solidarity with the latter but also to provide support—within the limits of international law—so that Iran’s silent majority can bring about political change to that ancient country, ruled by dictators since 1979.

  • The Unknown and suppressed story of the last days of South Lebanon's "belt"

    by Walid Phares

     
    Imagine an Israeli withdrawal without a Hezbollah conquest, with local Lebanese police stations in charge of security and a stronger UNIFIL protecting the area. Then imagine a Cedars Revolution followed by a Syrian withdrawal with a south free from Hezbollah. Use your imagination and you would understand that the alternative to the May 2000 Hezbollah so-called liberation would have been an Israeli pullout, a Lebanese liberation of their own soil, growing into a Syrian pullout, followed by a gradual disarming of Hezbollah. Today, in 2015, Lebanon would have been celebrating the tenth anniversary of a country free from Syrian occupation and an armed Hezbollah with a fully independent Lebanese Army.

  • Sydney's Lesson: The Mutant Jihadists are coming

    by Walid Phares

     The "chocolate shop jihad" in Sydney demonstrates how jihad can mutate and strike from unexpected quarters. But it also demonstrates how weak the intellectual and political establishment is in preempting and countering the threat. All the West now has is law enforcement capacities. And the sad state of affairs has local law enforcement attempting to fix the mistakes committed by national political elites. 

  • Both Pope and Patriarch now worried about Middle East Christians; too little, too late?

    by Walid Phares

    The Christian communities in that part of the world as full citizens and their communities as independent, not as individuals living in fear and always "protected" by someone, whether regimes or foreign forces. It is reassuring to see the heads of the two largest denominations meeting in Constantinople and expressing concerns, but it would be more reassuring to hear them stating their support for freeing entire communities and for a freer Middle East, a Middle East where all peoples, whether Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Yazidi, Bahai, and even the nonreligious, can enjoy full liberty and peace. It is time to end the suffering once and for all... 

  • The Free Iran we can work with

    by Walid Phares

    The Iranian national resistance was able to show the world that despite systematic criticism and regime propaganda efforts, there is an alternative that has popular support and is capable of challenging the medieval regime currently ruling the country. In short, there is another Iran that continues to flourish and grow in exile. The choice is up to the United States and the West: Continue to feed the ambitions and the life of the Jihadi regime in Tehran—or help its alternative replace it with a pluralistic, secular and peaceful government.


  • Washington’s strategic mistake in Iraq: Abandoning Iran's exiled opposition

    by Walid Phares

    Though MEK was removed from old U.S. and European terror lists, which had handicapped the resistance group, Iran’s offensive against them proves that Washington’s abandonment of this organized force in Iraq is turning into a victory for the Ayatollahs. Free from an active challenge to their power, whether it be inside or outside the borders, the Iranian regime is now concentrating on consolidating its domination in Iraq—and from that country, its influence in Syria and Lebanon. Washington’s strategic error is enormous…it would be the equivalent of the British removing General De Gaulle and his Free French Forces from England while Hitler was preparing for his onslaught

  • The Khomeinist Dome: Iran's Larger Nuclear Strategy

    by Walid Phares

    The Khomeinist dome is about preparing for the nukes before they are displayed and claimed. It is about signaling to the West that once the greater Iranian power is asserted, there will not be a first indefensible bomb. Rather, Iran will jump to the level of unstoppable power with a vast network of retaliation as deterrence will have been achieved. Unfortunately, Western posture towards Tehran has only helped in the building of the dome: sanctions worked but were limited, all Iran’s other military systems were unchecked, and its interventions in the region unstopped. Worse, a nuclear deal with the U.S. injected time and energy into the regime’s veins.

  • Arab moderates' ‘Iran problem’ is in Washington

    by Walid Phares

    "Without any guarantees, the United States began lifting sanctions and the White House threatened to veto any new sanctions leveled by Congress. Predictably, the Khomeini regime resumed its build-up of strategic weapons, mainly missiles, and continued meddling in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and most worrisome to the Gulf, in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen" 

  • THE LOST SPRING IS COMING

    by Walid Phares

    My new book of 2014 is taking analysis and projections even further. It explains why the West and the United States failed to predict the Arab Spring and why they failed to handle it effectively. The book also addresses the direction these upheavals are headed and how to correct U.S. policy before irreparable catastrophe strikes the region. From bloody and expanding civil wars in Syria, Iraq and Libya to the fight against terror in Egypt, Lebanon and Tunisia; from genocide in Sudan, Darfur and beyond to the persecution of Christian and ethnic minorities and the rise of al Qaeda and Hezbollah; so much in the region appears hopeless, but one must also recognize the emergence of reformers, women, minorities and civil societies.

  • Iran' Nuclear Deal: Washington’s greatest mistake

    by Walid Phares

    Washington’s “new beginnings” in the region moved American Mideast policy in a backward direction on two major tracks. The first derailment was to partner with the Muslim Brotherhood, not the secular NGOs, in an attempt to define the future of Arab Sunni countries. The second was to engage the Iranian regime, not its opposition, in attempt to define future relations with the Shia sphere of the region. These were strategic policy decisions planned years before the Arab Spring, not a pragmatic search for solutions as upheavals began. Choosing the Islamists over the Muslim moderates and reformers has been an academically suggested strategy adapted to potential interests—even though it represents an approach contrary to historically successful pathways.  In June 2009, President Obama sent a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader asking for “engagement.” This move, coupled with Obama’s abandonment of the civil revolt in Iran that same month, sent a comforting message to the ruling Khomeinists: The United States is retreating from containment and will not support regime change in Iran. That undeniably emboldened Tehran to go on the offensive in the region after less than a decade of status quo.


  • A Miracle on the Nile

    by Walid Phares

    A miracle on the Nile has been accomplished this week. Tens of millions of Egyptian citizens voted.

  • A King for the oppressed—Not a King for the oppressors

    by Walid Phares

    As Americans and humanity celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy of justice, equality and freedom, there are millions around the world who continue to suffer discrimination and oppression of the kind the African American pastor and leader struggled against.