Featured Saudi Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. © Fayez Nureldine / AFP

A Coup in the House of Saud?

What has been an open secret across the Arab world is not a secret anymore even in the US: What happened last month in the deep recesses of the House of Saud with the ascension of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, aka MBS, was in fact a white coup. Nearly a month ago, as I’ve …

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The Korean Matrix

South Korea wants to talk to North Korea. The Defense Ministry in Seoul proposed to talk at the border village of Panmunjom, while the Red Cross proposed separate talks to discuss family reunions. So South Korean President Moon Jae-in has made up his mind — after his inauguration on May 10 and Pyongyang's ICBM test on July 3. Pyongyang may also be inclined to talk — as it …

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The Sun King and The American Friend

So what did Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron really talk about throughout their effusive buddy-buddy Parisian act?This being France, let’s start where things matter: gastronomy. Yes, that dinner at Alain Ducasse’s overpriced Jules Verne restaurant at the Eiffel Tower. Cool window table with a view. Only the principals, along with wives Melania and …

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The New Silk Road Will Go Through Syria

Amid the proverbial doom and gloom pervading all things Syria, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune sometimes yield, well, good fortune. Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with hundreds of Chinese specialists in infrastructure investment. It was a sort …

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Putin and Trump Stage-Manage a Win-Win Meeting

From the start, the “positive chemistry” in the Mother of All Sit-Downs was a given. The format – with only the four principals, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and two translators – prevented any leaks. What was originally scheduled for 35 minutes went on for 2 hours …

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A photo taken on February 9, 2017 shows construction work on the Hong Kong Link Road (HKLR) of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB) in Tung Chung, Hong Kong. Photo: AFP / Anthony Wallace

Hong Kong’s Role for Next 20 Years? Silk Road ‘Super-Connector’

It was 20 years ago today. Oh, those were heady, exciting days, informally regulated by a clock in Beijing’s Tiananmen counting even the seconds left for Hong Kong’s return to the motherland. They were ominous days, too. At the Foreign Correspondents Club in Hong Kong, temporarily propelled to the center of the universe, booze-driven Western …

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House of Saudi Cards: The Inside Story

Just when geopolitical practitioners were betting on regime change in Qatar – orchestrated by a desperate House of Saud – regime change ended up happening in Riyadh, orchestrated by Warrior Prince, Destroyer of Yemen and Blockader of Qatar, Mohammad bin Salman (MBS). Considering the impenetrability of that desert petrodollar family oligarchy impersonating a nation it’s up to …

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