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Giorgio Cafiero
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Entries by Giorgio Cafiero

The Death Sentence That Could Inflame Sectarian Tensions Across the Middle East

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 2:42 PM

Last October, Saudi Arabia's Special Criminal Court sentenced Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr -- a popular Shi'ite cleric and outspoken political dissident -- to death.

This was not an ordinary criminal trial, even considering Saudi Arabia's liberal use of capital punishment. Among other charges, the prosecutor sought to...

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Bahrain's Daesh Dilemma

(6) Comments | Posted January 15, 2015 | 1:41 PM

Daesh's commitment to establishing a "caliphate" in the Muslim world has unsettled the Persian Gulf's Arab monarchs, who are justifiably concerned about the ramifications of Daesh's rise to power in Iraq and Syria. The group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has called on its sympathizers to wage violent attacks throughout the...

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The U.S. Just Lost a Client State in West Africa. What Happens Now?

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 12:54 PM

Late last month, longtime Burkina Faso president Blaise Compaore resigned under public pressure and fled to neighboring Coite D'Ivoire.

Compaore's abrupt expulsion -- which ended his 27-year rule -- was a significant achievement for the hundreds of thousands of Burkinabes who took to the streets to demand...

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Kingdom of Slaves

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 1:58 PM

Since FIFA picked Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, the tiny and uber-rich Gulf emirate has increasingly come under scrutiny for its failure to protect the human rights of its burgeoning foreign workforce.

Qatar's 1.8 million foreign workers--who vastly outnumber the country's 300,000 native citizens--are frequently...

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In South Sudan, China Peacemaker Role Marks a First in Its Diplomacy

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2014 | 6:07 PM

This summer marked the third anniversary of South Sudan's independence, yet few of its citizens had reason to celebrate. As the youngest member state of the United Nations, South Sudan has endured a bloody civil war since December that has virtually shut down its oil-based economy.


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Bahrain's Jihadist Dilemma

(0) Comments | Posted July 19, 2014 | 1:51 PM

In recent years Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have waged crackdowns on local Muslim Brotherhood (MB) movements and their alleged sympathizers under the banner of combating "global terrorism." These governments claim that the MB's rhetoric, espousing peaceful democratic reform, is disingenuous, and that it is actually committed to...

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Saudi Arabia's Sectarian Challenge

(3) Comments | Posted June 14, 2014 | 5:32 PM

Last month, two Saudi Shi'ites received death sentences for allegedly committing crimes that caused no deaths or injuries, marking the harshest punishments issued by Saudi Arabia's government against Shi'ite activists in the Eastern Province (EP) since sectarian unrest erupted in this strategically vital region of the Kingdom during 2011. In...

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Why MH370 Will Not Change Chinese/Malaysia Relations

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 9:51 AM

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has prompted Chinese citizens to pressure their government to react harshly to Malaysia's perceived incompetence. Purtrajaya's lack of transparency on the subject, and Beijing's sensitivity to domestic populism, have fueled the angry rhetoric Chinese officials have directed toward their Malaysian counterparts. Yet, in...

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The UAE's Preservation of the Status Quo

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 11:47 AM

Co-written with Sufyan Bin Uzayr

Since the revolutions that swept across the Middle East in 2011, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government has arrested dozens of Emirati and Egyptian nationals allegedly linked to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Declaring the MB a threat to the UAE's ruling order, social fabric, and...

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As Europe Reconsiders Russian Gas, Qatar Waits in Wings

(7) Comments | Posted April 26, 2014 | 5:52 PM

Co-written with Sufyan Bin Uzayr

Throughout the Ukraine crisis, European Union (EU) leaders have become more vocal about their interest in reducing Europe's consumption of Russian natural gas. As a result, Qatar -- the world's number-one provider of liquefied natural gas (LNG) -- is well positioned to play a more...

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Assad and the Palestinians

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 3:33 PM

The three-year old Syrian crisis presents dire dilemmas for Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and in refugee camps across the Middle East. Given Syria's traditional role as a sponsor of Palestinian resistance movements and a home to hundreds of thousands of refugees, Palestinian leaders are understandably torn between...

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How China Benefits From the Ukraine Crisis

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 5:57 PM

As the West and Russia face off over Crimea, China is well positioned to exploit a strategic opportunity given the escalating tension between Washington and Moscow. As has become China's modus operandi in the chess game of foreign affairs, Beijing's calculated silence on the Ukrainian crisis is based on several...

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What MH370 Says About Malaysia's Challenge

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 8:47 PM

The Malaysian government has been widely criticized for a lack of perceived transparency in releasing information related to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines 370. This is undoubtedly part of the reason why Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak went to such lengths at Monday's press conference to state that the Malaysian...

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The Geopolitics of Gay Rights in Uganda

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 11:10 AM

Last week's passage into law of the controversial anti-gay bill in Uganda puts the country among an elite club of nations noteworthy for their backpedaling on human and civil rights. Kampala has experienced widespread condemnation for its action, and funding from the World Bank and two European governments has already...

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Burkina Faso's 'West African Spring'

(0) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 9:00 PM

Sustained anti-government rallies in Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela have captured the attention of millions. But large pro-democracy demonstrations in Burkina Faso last month largely escaped the Western media's radar.

Since January, tensions have flared between the West African country's authoritarian government and the impoverished masses yearning for democratic reforms. Depending...

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Turkey and Iran's Growing Alliance

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 5:23 PM

Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan's visit to Iran last month symbolized a pivot toward Tehran and a shift in Ankara's Middle East foreign policy. Declaring a desire to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with Iran in combating terrorism, and driven by Turkey's evolving policy toward Syria, Erdoğan's trip highlighted Ankara and Tehran's...

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Egypt, Israel and al-Qaeda

(1) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 8:42 AM

Amidst the turmoil that has ensued throughout post-Mubarak Egypt, al-Qaeda (AQ) has established a stronghold in the Sinai from where jihadists routinely target Egypt and Israel. In turn, Egyptian and Israeli security forces have increased cooperation to address the Sinai's security challenges, underscoring that the bilateral relationship remains intact. While...

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Turkey and Iran's Growing Alliance

(0) Comments | Posted February 21, 2014 | 5:37 PM

Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan's visit to Iran last month symbolized a pivot toward Tehran and a shift in Ankara's Middle East foreign policy. Declaring a desire to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with Iran in combating terrorism, and driven by Turkey's evolving policy toward Syria, Erdoğan's trip highlighted Ankara and Tehran's...

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Can China and India Coexist in Myanmar?

(0) Comments | Posted February 21, 2014 | 11:29 AM

"As in the past, so in the future, the people of India will stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Burma, and whether we have to share good fortune or ill fortune, we shall share it together." These were Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's words in 1948, on the...

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Hamas and Hezbollah Agree to Disagree on Syria

(0) Comments | Posted January 31, 2014 | 1:18 PM

Born of a common struggle against Israel and nourished by common benefactors in Syria and Iran, Sunni Hamas and Shiite Hezbollah have long been natural allies despite their sectarian differences. Ever since the early 1990s, when Israel exiled Hamas' leadership to Lebanon, the two groups have cultivated an alliance that...

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