Growth trends and population forecasts have played a significant role in the political landscape of the Middle East, especially over the thorny question of Israel and the disputed territories.

Many around the world were recently made aware—got a small glimpse—of the Islamic jihad that plagues northern Nigeria, at the hands of Boko Haram, an organization dedicated to eradicating Christianity and enforcing the totality of Sharia law.

The 1973 war shocked Israel. The remarkable military victory was marred by the acute pain over the many casualties and the disappointment with the political and military leadership.

Has anyone else noted the similarity in today's top two Middle East news headlines – the telephone call between the Iranian and American presidents and the passage of U.N. Security Council Resoluton 2118 that calls for the "expeditious destruction" of Syrian chemical weapons?

The lull in the chemical weapon crisis offers a chance to divert attention to the huge flow of refugees leaving Syria and rethink some misguided assumptions about their future.

While many were fixated on Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent letter to the American people, another letter from another Russian leader—this one directly addressed to the U.S. president—was missed.

In what seems to be a pattern in many Muslim nations of finding new pretexts to justify anti-Christian—and "anti-Other"—behavior, Egypt's Christians and their churches are under attack, ostensibly because Christians joined the June 30 Revolution, which led to the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Americans see individual pieces of geopolitical real estate in isolation, like hotels on the Monopoly board, while the Russians look at the interaction of all their spheres of interest around the globe.

Diplomacy has never witnessed anything like the dizzying and erratic sequence of events relating to Syria that began on Wednesday, Aug. 21 and ended 3½ weeks later, on Saturday, Sept. 14. Who won, who lost?

I disagree with the notion the US has given power away by diplomacy. Although Obama looks bad that doesn't mean the US looks bad.

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