Step back and calmly contemplate the geopolitical shift taking place in the Middle East. Does anyone realize what's happening beyond what the headlines read? The answer is may be.
The Mullahs in Iran have reason to celebrate. After 36 years, Iran has reclaimed its role as the definitive power in the Middle East, a truism it has known all along since regional geopolitics changed as a result of the 1991 Iraq War.
The restrictions were imposed in 2011 after the government of Bahrain violently put down the democracy movement there, and followed up with systematic human rights abuses. Not enough has changed in the past four years to justify a change of course.
Saudi Arabia is a classic rentier state. In exchange for the absolute acquiescence of its 29 million subjects, the ruling al-Saud family provides services such as housing, health care, education, and a variety of subsidies -- all funded by the country's substantial oil wealth.
Arab media face major hardships with journalists on the receiving end of gross violations at the hands of authorities, armed groups, militias and others.
It was the summer of 2002. The Bush administration's top officials knew that they were going into Iraq in a big way. They were then in planning mode, but waiting until fall to launch their full-throttle campaign to persuade Congress and the American people to back them.
The Economist recently highlighted the contrast between post-revolt Asian societies and Middle Eastern and North African societies in the woes of a pro-longed, messy and bloody transition that is pockmarked by revolt and counter-revolt, sectarianism, the redrawing of post-colonial borders, and the rise of retrograde groups as revolutionary forces.
If the United States would tone down its policy in the Middle East and the broader Islamic world, radical Islamists would not go away -- they have always been there -- but they would be far less likely to attack U.S. targets -- as the example of Lebanon indicates.
Imagine if a generation of children could be saved from deadly malnutrition. Imagine if this generation were able to go to school instead of suffering with hunger.
Even when refugees do manage to find safety, they still face a daily struggle to find food and obtain other basics of life. Children suffer the most and are at risk of deadly malnutrition.
Last month, US officials traveled to Oman and held "secret" talks with a Houthi delegation. Both sides discussed the implementation of a ceasefire and a political transition in Yemen.
There are now 12.9 million people in Yemen living in hunger-- almost half of the population. This number has risen dramatically since the outbreak of fighting between the Houthi rebels and the Saudi Arabia-backed coalition.
The military strategies of the United States and its regional allies focused on bombing campaigns, support for local militias, and inherently weak military forces to fight potential ground battles, have failed to defeat rebel forces in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya.
Poverty is a pervasive concern in high fertility countries. The world has made progress in reducing severe poverty, but it's been exceedingly slow in countries where population growth rates remain high. While family planning can reduce demographic vulnerability, developing countries also require other forms of assistance.
The political capital invested by the Obama administration and the Rouhani government gives us good reasons to be not only "cautiously optimistic" but "optimistic" regarding the Iranian nuclear crisis.
The fighting in Yemen is not just destroying the fabric of that nation; it has broader implications for the region. While Iran denies direct involvement, it gives military aid to the Houthis. Meanwhile, for ordinary Yemenis, they can only hope that a miracle happens in Geneva so they can start to rebuild their shattered lives.