After thirty-six years of mutual satanization, it is easy to advance pessimistic arguments and to be doubtful about a future in which Iran and the United States will no longer be enemies. However, the nuclear negotiations and the prospect of a final nuclear accord demonstrate the fiction of the idea of permanent enemies destined to be in conflict with each other.
Leaving aside the fanatic fringe -- and it is just a fringe -- much of the world conflates "Muslim" and "Arab," although this is far from accurate. Many people seem willing to attribute the worst characteristics of a few to the many, and so the actions of a relatively small number of murderers can taint all 1.6 billion Muslims and 340 million Arabs.
Pakistan's Islamic parties have long wielded influence through street politics; political and, at times, ideological alliances with the army; and support to militant groups. They are key players that merit continued study. Vying for Allah's Vote examines their origins, ideologies, bases of support, and relationship with extremism and civilian rule.
Open borders, open markets, open McDonald's, Prada and Ferrari in Moscow, and one would think the melt and merge was complete. But any attempt at East-West assimilation stopped right there. What I understood more than anything is that the thaw relies on the West just as mush as the Russians themselves.