Jonathan Guyer

Jonathan Guyer is managing editor of The American Prospect. He has written for Foreign PolicyThe New YorkerHarper’s, Le Monde diplomatique, and Rolling Stone. A former fellow of Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, he is completing a book about political cartoons and comics in the Middle East. His email is

Recent Articles

The Last Human Rights Defender in the Emirates

The digital activist Ahmed Mansoor’s hunger strike exposes the UAE’s repression.

Jon Gambrell/AP Photo
Ramadan is around the corner. It has been customary for governments to give amnesty to political prisoners to mark the holiday. The United Arab Emirates should take this opportunity to release Ahmed Mansoor, a digital activist and human rights advocate who, six weeks into a hunger strike, is in dire condition. The United Arab Emirates, the consortium of seven city-states that includes Dubai and Abu Dhabi, boasts a Ministry of Tolerance but can’t tolerate true independent voices. The Emirates have cultivated a better international reputation than they deserve as relative liberals in the Middle East. In the past two decades, Dubai has transformed itself into a celebrated business hub and a diverse global city. It attracts major businesses and hordes of tourists, major cultural institutions and branches of international universities and art museums. All of those passing through the Gulf metropolis, however, should implicitly recognize that there is no rule of law there. A person...

Egypt’s New President for Life

Trump’s second White House meeting with Egyptian President El-Sisi will encourage a drift toward repression even worse than the Mubarak era.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP Photo
When General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi led a military overthrow that ejected Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013, then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel cultivated a close relationship with the junta leader. The two spoke on the phone regularly , the former senator tasked with steering the Egyptian military toward a democratic transition. Hagel sent El-Sisi a copy of Washington: A Life , Ron Chernow’s 900-page biography of the general who after leading the American Revolution only served two terms in office. “So, I point out in the book … one of the last chapters on how Washington walked away from power,” Hagel told The Atlantic . “Are you going to be the George Washington or are you going to be the Mubarak of Egypt?” El-Sisi has chosen the latter, and President Trump has embraced the Egyptian strongman wholeheartedly. On Tuesday, El-Sisi visited the White House while his allies in the Egyptian parliament were...

Needed: A U.S. Policy on Saudi Arabia

The next administration would do well to 
revise the long-standing U.S. partnership 
with Saudi Arabia, and America has 
substantial leverage to produce change 
in the kingdom’s behavior.

This is a preview of the Spring 2019 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . On January 14, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stood on the tarmac in Riyadh after meeting the Saudi crown prince. It was a key stop on the American envoy’s weeklong Mideast tour, after President Donald Trump had surprised allies by calling for abrupt troop withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan. Although the American presence in those countries had come to reflect inertia rather than any long-term strategic goals, Trump’s retreat was particularly hasty, leading to Defense Secretary James Mattis’s resignation. Pompeo smiled and laughed with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his entourage during the brief touchdown in Saudi Arabia. On the runway before a scrum of reporters, he described his conversation as one with Saudi “partners and friends,” as if the recent killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi could be fixed over a chummy conversation. It was as unconvincing...