Sunday, May 21, 2017

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- May 21, 2017

Mustafa Akyol and Wajahat Ali, New York Times: ‘This Wasn’t a Speech About Islam’

Two of our opinion writers, Mustafa Akyol in Istanbul and Wajahat Ali in the Washington, D.C. area, watched President Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia this morning and discussed what they thought it means for the Middle East, American foreign policy and Muslims around the world.

Wajahat Ali: “Assalam Alaikum.” I mean that sincerely. President Obama opened his remarks in Cairo in 2009 — which this speech was obviously meant to echo — with the universal greetings of peace used by more than one and a half billion Muslims.

I retained a morsel of hope that President Trump would use his “Islam” speech in Saudi Arabia as a corrective measure — if not a 180 shift — for his previous anti-Muslim statements, and his use of Muslims as a political piñata to advance a white-nationalist, anti-immigrant agenda. I hoped he would actually be inspired by the beauty and spiritual depth of our respective religions, Islam and Christianity, specifically using this platform to reach out to Muslims through shared narratives of hopes, verses from the Quran and Bible, personal stories of his positive interaction with Muslims and the rich benefits and contributions of diverse American Muslim citizens.

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Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- May 21, 2017

The real reason Saudis rolled out the reddest of red carpets -- Peter Bergen, CNN

Why North Korea Keeps Launching Missile Tests and What Trump's Going to Do About It -- Tom Porter, Newsweek

Why America Shouldn't Buy North Korea's Empty Threats -- Robert Kelly, National Interest

Why Israel Thinks Trump Is Focusing on the Wrong Enemy in Syria -- David Wainer, Bloomberg

The Scramble for Post-ISIS Syria Has Officially Begun -- Uri Friedman, The Atlantic

With latest airstrikes, US signals to Iran: Containment is back -- Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan

Brooding Iran hardliners say they must still be heard after Rouhani win -- Bozorgmehr Sharafedin, Reuters

Iranians Re-Elect a Fake Reformer in a Fake Election -- Eli Lake, Bloomberg

Kabul: There is no guarantee of security -- Sandra Petersmann & Birgitta Schülke-Gill, DW

China's Threat Of War Against Philippines Is Baseless Scare Tactic -- Anders Corr, Forbes

Can J-nomics Save South Korea’s Economy? -- Lee Jong-Wha, Project Syndicate

Can a consensus candidate be found to challenge Egypt's Sisi? -- Mohamed Saied, Al-Monitor

Zambia: One of Africa’s most stable democracies is quietly drifting into authoritarian rule -- Nic Cheeseman, Quartz

Venezuela’s self-made crisis: Its descent into dictatorship, civil war and chaos demands an immediate response -- Mark L. Schneider, Washington Times

Montreal, you look good for 375 -- Konrad Yakabuski, The Globe and Mail

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