FROM Stephen Schwartz
Turkey, the West and the Muslim Middle East The 700-year-old Ottoman Empire became the Republic of Turkey in 1923. Though a Muslim country, at the insistence of the founder, Mustafah Kemel Ataturk--government institutions are strictly secular, a tradition backed by the military. Now that might be changing. This week parliament elected Abdullah Gül as President. Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan are both from the Justice and Development Party -- or AKP. Islamic in orientation, it will be more responsive to public opinion, which is increasingly religious and anti-American. We look at the possible impact on US interests in the Muslim world. Will Turkey still be a "bridge" to the West? Does it share America's goals in Iraq? What about Turkey's increasingly close ties with Iran?
Arms for Diplomacy in the Middle East After stops in Israel and the Arab Emirates, the Secretaries of State and Defense are in Saudi Arabia, working out the details of a massive sale of sophisticated weapons . The Bush Administration says it's a way to counter Iran. Opponents accuse the Saudis of supporting terrorists and the Sunni insurgency in Iraq. Israel has signed off on the deal after being promised new arms of its own. Egypt will get new weaponry, too. Is the US fueling the arms race in one of the world's most unstable regions? Is it really all about oil?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."