When I recently visited Bahrain, the TSA agent reviewing my passport looked at me curiously and asked me, "Why did you visit Bahrain?" Simple answer: The Kingdom of Bahrain is a great extension to a Dubai or an Abu Dhabi trip. The flights are inexpensive and under an hour.
The decision by King Salman bin Abdulaziz not to attend the summit two days before it convened was a political decision with serious implications, no matter how much U.S. and Saudi diplomacy try to downplay it and claim there is no message behind the king's absence.
Ultimately, each time we go to the movies, we, the audience, make a choice for better or worse cinema. We make a decision that influences what gets made, what gets produced, what is distributed and shown.
It behooves Americans not only to pause and consider their war dead, even if just doing so by pondering the anonymous tale of a single lapidary name, but also to think about a contemporary society where the whole concept of such binding sacrifice is equally dead.
Bahrain finds itself in an increasingly untenable position. If it misplays its hand, or events in the region outpace the government's ability to manage domestic politics, the Bahraini government could find itself facing a dire crisis in the near future.
The playing field of transnational efforts against corruption is becoming more aggressive and arguably more effective judging by the number of high-profile multi-jurisdictional prosecutions or investigations of key players.
A new multi-polar world has emerged over the past 30 years that has shattered the post-WW II paradigm and structure, and the near hegemony of the US whose economic, financial and military power is waning.
We are at a potential cusp, a transformational moment in the Gulf and the Middle East where détente with Iran could radically change the geopolitics and economics of the region. The opportunity should not be missed.
As the conflict in Syria rages on, with no respite in sight, desperation is hitting Syrians hard. And there are many around to take full advantage of it. But to actually receive a message offering Syrian brides showed me just how bad the situation has now become.
Whereas the UAE has constantly strived to lessen the economic impact of the UN sanctions on the Iranian people and has repeatedly stated that it will not impose non-UN sanctions on its northern neighbor, Iran has shown very little goodwill towards the UAE or its Gulf neighbors.