Iran, the Saudis and the New ‘Great Game’

New York Times • 10/20/11

Dear Friends:

You may have noticed the pace of my e-mail blasts slowing down. It will continue this way for another year or so. The reason is not advancing age or infirmity. I have begun work on another book, and during my book-writing periods I try to avoid the temptation of freelance writing. I have unofficially suspended my Guardian column and contributions to the Daily Beast. Occasionally I will have a moment of weakness, but the flow of new content will be limited.

No journalist, however, can resist an assignment from the New York Review of Books, and I am pleased that it has just published a lengthy piece I recently wrote about Turkey. A link is here.


My new book will be focused on the life stories of two brothers who have been largely forgotten, but who contributed decisively to much of today’s world disorder: John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles. With luck it will be published in 2013.

I have also cut back my speaking schedule, but have a few events scheduled. I will be discussing events in the Middle East at the Payomet Center for the Arts in Truro, Mass., on the evening of August 22; at the Washington History Seminar on the afternoon of September 12; and at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., on the afternoon of November 6. In addition, I will appear on a panel discussing the recent decision of the Guatemalan government to rehabilitate the legacy of President Jacobo Arbenz, who was deposed by the CIA in 1953; it will be held at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard, at 2 PM on October 7.

I will post details of these events, along with other material, at stephenkinzer.com

Best wishes for a wonderful August!

Theater Review: Perhaps the First Production of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” To Be Set In Modern Iran

Tehran Bureau, April 10, 2011

Libya Is Not ‘Another Rwanda’

Boston Globe – April 01, 2011

The Egypt Revolution’s Coming Face-Off

Post-Mubarak, the country is experiencing a historic moment of unity, but it is entering an unstable period that could leave Egypt a stable democracy, like Turkey, or a chaotic nightmare, like Iraq. Stephen Kinzer on the looming clash between the protesters and the military.
The Daily Beast – Feb. 21, 20ll

Now that the Egyptian protests have toppled Hosni Mubarak, will the rest of the Arab world follow suit?

Interview on The Takeaway (NPR), Feb. 14, 2011 (Audio)

Where Will Mubarak Go?
The dictator is riding out his resignation in his seaside retreat at Sharm el-Sheikh, but Egyptians won’t let him stay long. From Saudi Arabia to Britain to even Israel, Stephen Kinzer weighs Mubarak’s options for exile.
Dictators’ Sons, From Egypt to Libya, Are Doomed

Qaddafi’s son has been linked to arms smuggling. Saddam’s kids were rapists and torturers. The children of despots often hasten their fathers’ downfall. Just ask Mubarak.
The Daily Beast – Feb. 10, 2011

U.S. Foreign Policy & Egypt
We get the latest, and go to the huge foreign policy implications for the United States.

Other guests: Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist; Susan Glasser, editor of Foreign Policy; Nicholas Burns, former Undersecretary of State. On Point – NPR, February 3, 2011 (Audio)

Mubarak Won’t Run Again

President Mubarak has bowed to a popular uprising and will soon quit. Who’s next? From Jordan’s shaky monarchy to a Yemen regime scarred by WikiLeaks, which Middle East leaders could soon follow suit?
Newsweek – February 2, 2011

Where America Stands on Democracy in the Middle East

The Takeaway (NPR) – February 1, 2011 (Audio)

New events

February 10, 7 PM
Building 6-120
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA
The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle For Iran’s Future
Book launch with editors Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel

Feb. 16, 7 PM
Suffolk University – 120 Tremont St, Boston
Iran and the US: Potential Parters In a New Middle East?

March 14

Leaders of Change Summit
Istanbul Convention Center
Turkey’s Future in the New Middle East

Other speakers include Kofi Annan, Al Gore, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdgan and President Abdullah Gul of Turkey

April 5, 12 Noon
University of Scranton, Scranton, PA
Facing Disaster In the Middle East: Do We Have Only Bad Options?

April 13, 11:30 AM
Lifetime Learning Program
Newton South High School
140 Brandeis Road, Newton, MA
Facing Disaster In the Middle East: Do We Have Only Bad Options?
Call Lori Swet for more information: 617-559-6994

Latest Guardian column

Kagame’s Authoritarian Turn Risks Rwanda’s Future
Paul Kagame’s presidency helped heal genocide-torn Rwanda. But now he must listen to critics, not imprison them.
The Guardian – January 27, 2011

Egypt Protests Show American Foreign-Policy Folly,

While popular uprisings erupt across the Middle East, America stands on the sidelines. Stephen Kinzer on why the U.S. should abandon its self-defeating strategy in the region.
Newsweek – January 28, 2011

Time to Get Over the Iran Hostage Crisis

The harrowing 444-day ordeal that still poisons Iran-American relations came to an end 30 years ago today. Stephen Kinzer on conservative politicians and former hostages who say it?s time for the countries to bury the hatchet.
Daily Beast – January 20, 2011

America and the Rise of Middle Powers

US foreign policy is stuck in a cold war mindset of imperial dominance. It’s time to listen to allies like Turkey and adjust.
The Guardian – January 11, 2011

Luis Posada Carriles: Trial of the Terrorist Who Almost Killed Me

A CIA agent, who masterminded the downing of a Cuba-bound flight in 1976 that killed 73 people, goes on trial in the U.S. this week. Stephen Kinzer, who had tickets for the flight, reports.
The Daily Beast – January 11, 2011

Time to Turn Traditional Enemies Into Useful Allies

The Age (Australia), January 15, 2011

“Start the Week”

With former Home Secretary Charles Clarke, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson, and economist Dambisa Moyo, author of “Dead Aid” and “How the West Was Lost” (Audio Link)
BBC Radio – January 10, 2011

Facing Disaster In The Middle East

Lecture at the London School of Economics – January 10, 2011
PodcastDirect Link(MP3)

Interview with Sir David Frost

Al-Jazeera – January 14, 2011 (Video)

Where Is the Tea Party Revolution on Foreign Policy

Freedom Daily – January 6, 2011

Prince Ali Reza Pahlavi Suicide: The suicide of the shah’s son is the latest tragedy for a dynasty drenched in blood.

Daily Beast – January 5, 2011

End Human Rights Imperialism Now

Groups such as Human Rights Watch have lost their way by imposing western, ‘universal’ standards on developing countries.
The Guardian – December 31, 2010

New iPad app Based on “All the Shah’s Men”

A group of cutting-edge designers and video artists has produced a highly innovative, interactive app called “Operation Ajax” about the 1953 coup in Iran. Here are announcements from the trade press:

“Operation Ajax” by Cognito Comics Available Now in the Apple iTunes Store
Cognito Comics launches its first graphic novel for the iPad

British Edition of “Reset: Iran, Turkey and America’s Future”
Is Pubished as “Reset Middle East: Old Frieds and New Alliances:
Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Iran.”

Kinzer to Promote New Book In London: for details click here.

Richard Holbrooke: A Consummate Insider Who Left Us Wanting More

Huffington Post – Decemeber 14, 2010

New Speaking Event

Monday, Jan. 24, 7 PM
Wheaton College, Wheaton, Il.
Facing Disaster In the Middle East: Do We Have Only Bad Options?

WikiLeaks Cables: Reading Between the Lines

One message, often buried, comes out loud and clear from the embassy cables: the US should choose its allies more carefully.
The Guardian – December 1, 2010

Un-“threat”-ing Iran:

Truthout.org · 2008
An Interview With Stephen Kinzer

Transcribed interview on Iran

Interview with Counterpunch, April 2008
“The way to make Iran calm down and feel like it doesn’t need to pursue policies that are highly destabilizing in the Middle East is to make Iran feel safe.”

Interview about Iran

Interview with NiemanWatchdog, February 2008
“If the U.S. and Iran sit down for serious and broad-ranging talks, they may find that not only do their interests not make them logical enemies, but that they have many strategic goals in common.”

Interview with Amy Goodman about Iran

Democracy Now, March 2008
In a reality-based, fact-based policy environment in Washington, you’d think that the idea of attacking Iran would be off the agenda now.”
audio/video/transcribed · alternative link

Interview about Iran

The Agonist · 2008
One thing we’re trying to do on this tour is to reach beyond people who are political activists.

Interview about Iran with Fariba Amini

Iranian.com · 2006
The US tragically misjudged nationalist leaders in other countries.

Interview about Iran with “The Takeaway” on NPR (audio)

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