Paul Crompton's article in Al Arabiya today cited Patrick Ryan on the question of US-Saudi trade on the occasion of President Obama's summit meeting in Riyadh.
President Barack Obama is making the first visit of a U.S. head of state in 88 years this week as the thaw in US-Cuban relations reaches a new stage. On the occasion of the landmark visit The Tennessean asked Patrick Ryan to share a perspective on developments in the relationship.
The unrest and violence that has erupted in more than a dozen countries across North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia has refocused Americans' attention on two different but not disconnected historical movements in the Muslim world. The first is the campaign of terror launched by Osama bin Laden and an alliance of militant Islamic warriors who have sought to expel the West from Muslim lands, oust pro-Western dictators and unify those lands as a single Islamic nation for over 15 years. This movement, initially supported by America and its allies when it was used to dislodge the Soviet Union from Afghanistan in the 1980s, metastasized into the Al Qaeda terror groups that eventually attacked the United States on 9/11. The toll in American blood and treasure has been over 10,000 lives and trillions of dollars in damages and the cost of U.S. led wars.
This year will long be remembered and analyzed by scholars and students for the so-called “Arab Spring” sweeping the Arab world from North Africa across to the Arabian Peninsula. Simmering tensions in a dozen countries boiled over in protests and revolts toppling several regimes – Tunisia, Egypt and Libya – and pushing others to the brink. In the Persian Gulf Iran is playing an outsized role, threatening the neighborhood: sponsoring terrorism, building nuclear weapons, and dominating the scene in Iraq as America is shown the door by Baghdad. Meanwhile, 44 years of conflict and occupation in Israel-Palestine shows no signs of a solution. Indeed the threat of an American veto to a Palestinian statehood bid in the United Nations illuminates Washington’s dilemma of balancing interests versus America’s principles.
WOW is right! The 12th Window on the World, Tennessee Tech’s annual global awareness festival that celebrates, at once, international unity and diversity was center stage on campus this weekend. The Roaden University Center, festooned with scores of country flags that symbolize the origins of many Tech students and faculty, was filled with hundreds of people working and thousands of people visiting the music and dance performances, art displays, shopping kiosks, food courts, children’s activities, and country table displays. The atmosphere, as always, was electric as people moved about to take it all in – to enjoy it all and to learn something about every corner of the world.