The Powerful Militias in Iraq 1

The Powerful Militias in Iraq Part 2

The invasion in 2003 led to a significant weakening of the security situation in Iraq. The militias have primarily arisen as a consequence of the invasion, and state security forces say the inability to protect their own civilian population. A major challenge for the Iraqi state has been to provide public services that Iraqis depend […]

Why is there war in Yemen 2

Why is there war in Yemen? Part 2

By the time the current conflict began, the Houthis had become allies with President Saleh. Saleh also had many loyalists in the Yemeni army and large sections of this army therefore fought either for the Houthis or remained neutral in the first phase of the conflict. But in December 2017, when Saleh tried to switch […]

Iran after the 2009 Election 3

Iran after the 2009 Election Part 3

The rulers of Iran will probably not in the long run be able to stagnate the uprising that is already going on against the regime and the republic. The tug of war between authoritarian and pro-reform forces will persist and ride the Islamic Republic like a mare. This development will weaken the republic’s governing capacity. […]

Iran after the 2009 Election 1

Iran after the 2009 Election Part 1

The dramatic events surrounding the presidential election in Iran on June 12 this year have radically changed the political situation in the country. Never before in the history of the 30-year-old republic have there been such large-scale demonstrations against the regime. The events after the election have created a deep divide in a country where […]

Turkey and the Outside World 2

Turkey and the Outside World Part 2

5: Relations with the EU As early as 1963, the Turks reached an association agreement with the EU , but since then development has been slow. At the Union’s summit in December 1999, Turkey was approved as a candidate country. Barely six years later, membership negotiations began. Today, these are stomping. There has always been […]

Turkey and the Outside World 1

Turkey and the Outside World Part 1

After Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed out of the Chamber during the World Economic Forum in Davos at the end of January, he has become the most talked about Turkish leader since his father, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The dramatic march and return trip to Ankara also raises the question of whether Turkey in […]

Israel and Gaza 2

Israel and Gaza Part 2

6: The background to the war against Gaza After the election victory in 2006, Hamas controlled the Palestinian parliament. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah party, was elected in 2005 and without a counter-candidate from Hamas, following the death of Yassir Arafat in 2004. Leading representatives of the international community had demanded that […]

Israel and Gaza 1

Israel and Gaza Part 1

On December 27, 2008, the Israeli army attacked the Gaza Strip. 90 warplanes dropped over 100 tons of explosives over about 100 different targets. Within minutes, 225 people were killed and over 700 injured. Israel wanted to make it impossible for the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas to fire rockets into Israel. Both the rocket bearings […]

Iraq from Tyranny to Chaos 3

Iraq: from Tyranny to Chaos Part 3

5: Civil War The bombing of the Samarrah Mosque and the retaliatory actions that followed were not the starting point for the gloomy situation in Iraq. They were triggered by an occupation and circumstances that had gradually built up. According to the Iraqi government, 12,230 people were killed in Iraq in 2006, half of them […]

Iraq from Tyranny to Chaos 2

Iraq: from Tyranny to Chaos Part 2

However, it was groups with holy war as ideology that were responsible for the first and most spectacular actions (the attack on the Jordanian embassy and on the UN headquarters in August 2003). A fundamental problem was the lack of control over Iraq’s borders, and foreign, young men were responsible for or contributed to these […]

Iraq from Tyranny to Chaos 1

Iraq: from Tyranny to Chaos Part 1

February 22, 2006 was a turning point in Iraq. Bombs – probably placed by extremist Sunni Arabs – destroyed the gold-plated Shiite Muslim shrine (mosque) in Samarra. Shia Muslims had been victims of bombings since the fall of 2003; this was the attack that caused patience to burst. They launched retaliatory actions against Sunni Arab […]

Syria - Quiet before the Storm 2

Syria – Quiet before the Storm? Part 3

The nail in the coffin for Syria’s rule in Lebanon came in February 2005, when former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri was killed in an assassination attempt in Beirut. The assassination of post-war Lebanon’s most prominent politician and businessman sparked such strong protests against Syria locally and internationally that Bashar al-Asad was forced to withdraw his […]

Syria - Quiet before the Storm 3

Syria – Quiet before the Storm? Part 2

It soon became clear, however, that the political opening had its limits. In the spring of 2001, the regime tightened its freedom of expression and assembly and warned the opposition against “sowing discord” in the country. In the autumn of 2001, the government cracked down on leading opposition figures. There were various reasons why political […]

Cambodia State Overview

Cambodia State Overview

Geography Topography Cambodia’s terrain is characterized by the great lowland floodplain that occupies most of the central part of the country. The main feature of the plain is the Mekong River, which flows from north to south through Cambodia, and the Tônlé Sap (Great Lake), which covers an area of about 2,600 km2 in the […]

Luxembourg State Overview

Luxembourg State Overview

History Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland and a part of northern France form the region of the Netherlands, with a common history until 1579. In the war of the Netherlands against Spain, Luxembourg stood alongside the southern provinces, recognizing the authority of Philip II. In 1684 it was conquered by France and returned to Spain 13 years later, by the Treaty of Rijswijk. In 1713 it passed to the Austrian Habsburgs, […]

Tunisia History

Tunisia History

According to Naturegnosis, Tunisia, officially Arabic Al-Djumhurijja at-Tunisijja [-d ʒ ʊ m-], French République tunisienne, German Tunisian Republic, is a state in North Africa, in the Maghreb with (2018) 11.5 million residents; The capital is Tunis. Tunisia before the Husainids The land inhabited by Berber tribes has been around since about 1100 BC. Colonized by Phoenicians […]

The Problem of Democracy in the Middle East 2

The Problem of Democracy in the Middle East Part 2

4: Authoritarian developing states Most republics in the Middle East are characterized by decades of nationalist and socialist state-driven development. In the 1950s and 1960s, revolutionary leaders came to power through military coups with promises of “liberation from colonial rule” and economic progress. The leaders initiated large-scale state-run modernization programs that in the short term […]

China Population

China Population

On the demographic trend the natural factor has always had very strong effects, and in particular the climatic elements are responsible not only for the floods (and therefore for famines and even very large population decreases), for the progressive migrations towards S, during periods of accentuated aridity. Over the centuries there have been very alternating […]


United Kingdom Literature

ANGLO-SAXON LITERATURE (C. 650-1100) There is a gap, both linguistic and cultural, between Anglo-Saxon literature (ca. 650-1100), Middle English literature (ca. 1100-1500) and modern English. The first is written in a synthetic language, belonging to the West Germanic group of Indo-European languages, closer to German than to modern English. It was profoundly modified in the […]

Palestinians and Israelis 3

Palestinians and Israelis Part 3

6: Occupation and illegal settlements “If the Arab states go to war against us and we win over them, why should we commit ourselves?” Said David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister. During the Six Day War in 1967, Israel conquered East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the east, Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula […]

United States Painting and Sculpture

United States Painting and Sculpture from the Colonial Period to the Second World War

Compared to architecture, painting and sculpture remained subordinate to European models for a longer time, reaching original results only very late. In the early colonial period (seventeenth century) painting was expressed almost exclusively in portraiture: typical portraits by anonymous artisans, probably sign painters, called limners. Only in the second colonial period was a group of […]

Palestinians and Israelis 2

Palestinians and Israelis Part 2

Hamas’ election winner exposed a sore point in Palestinian politics. It was the PLO that had entered into the Oslo Accords and recognized Israel. Hamas is not part of the PLO. How could the PLO claim to represent all Palestinians as long as what turned out to be the largest Palestinian party in elections is […]