You could be forgiven for thinking the Cold War has returned with a vengeance, what with the United States imposing sanctions on Moscow and big-power envoys like Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and her Russian counterpart, Vitaly Churkin, regularly hurling Syria- and Ukraine-related insults at each other across the horseshoe-shaped U.N. Security Council table.
From Ian:Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians and the "Death Boats" ScandalPalestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki claimed that each Palestinian paid $1,000 to Hamas personnel at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. Others are believed to have paid $5,000 each to leave the Gaza Strip.
President Barack Obama embarks for his Asia trip during aninauspicious season for American diplomacy. Across the board America'sbilateral relations with the great powers are at their lowest points since Obama took office in 2009. Our European allies find us unpersuasive,our Asian allies find us unreliable, and Russia and China find us irresoluteand inconsistent.
The Islamic State scored a major victory today over Syrian leader Basher Assad's forces when they broke through after a two week siege to capture the strategic Tabqa airbase southwest of their northern stronghold of Raqqa. Hundreds of the 1,000 Syrian soldiers trapped there were killed.
Of all of Syria's "friends," not many are wishing Assad a hearty congrats over his new term in office.The post North Korea Congratulates Syria’s Brutal Dictator On His Recent ‘Election’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question:Which Should America Choose - Shi'ites, Sunnis or Neither? The Independent Sentinel: We need to bomb ISIS. We should have bombed them a month ago when they were on the Syria-Iraq border.
PresidentBarack Obama's defensive remarks yesterday in Manila trying to explain hisforeign policy strategy have garnered substantial headlines. Hisrefusal to describe any strategic principles and priorities was notable, as wasthis lament: Typically, criticism of our foreign policy has been directed at the failure to use military force ...
Gee, President Obama seems quite eager to blame the Bush administration for his pulling American troops out of Iraq. As James Taranto notices, Obama's defense of his policies shifts around from explaining why he didn't achieve a Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqis and then saying that he would have pulled the troops out anyway.
The past week was filled with officials coming before members of Congress to sell President Barack Obama’s strategy for escalating war in Iraq and Syria. It worked. Congress approved the arming and training of rebel forces in Syria to fight ISIS. However, this did not take place without members of Congress hearing some voices of dissent loud and clear.
From Ian:In Iraq, Syria, US lifts rules meant to protect civiliansThe White House revealed on Tuesday that its usually strict rules of engagement, intended to prevent civilian casualties of US airstrikes, have been relaxed in the current offensive against the Islamic State and other radical Islamist groups.
Two events have converged, which signal the poor fit betweenPresident Barack Obama's positive narrative about Iran in the nuclear talks andTehran's negative role as a sponsor of terrorism described by the StateDepartment.
From Ian:Khaled Abu Toameh: Why Abbas Endorsed Hamas DemandsEvidently, Abbas has reached the conclusion that unless he hurries up and declares his support for the Palestinian "resistance" groups in the Gaza Strip, his people will march on his office and force him to quit.
From Ian:Alan Dershowitz: UN probe of Israel will only encourage Hamas war crimesThere you go again," as Ronald Reagan said to Jimmy Carter. Once again the United Nations Human Rights Council has voted – with the United States dissenting – to conduct a so-called "investigation" of Israel's military responses to Hamas's double war crimes.
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today sent a letter to Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela expressing dismay over Varela's invitation to Cuba to participate in the April 2015 Summit of the Americas. “Cuba’s participation would undermine the spirit and authority of the Summit of the Americas," Menendez wrote in the letter.
Excerpted from The Corner: It may take three years to defeat the Islamic State, according to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who was nevertheless certain that the terrorist group will be destroyed. Hagel co-chaired a NATO meeting on how to defeat ISIL, as he called it. “So we’re convinced that in the days ahead we have [...]
Reuters is reporting that a speech by Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has pretty much finished off any real chance of a diplomatic solution to Iran's illegal nuclear weapons program.Among other things, Khamenei made it clear that Iran will never accept limits in producing highly enriched uranium.
From Ian:Michael Oren: In Defense of ZionismThey come from every corner of the country—investment bankers, farmers, computer geeks, jazz drummers, botany professors, car mechanics—leaving their jobs and their families. They put on uniforms that are invariably too tight or too baggy, sign out their gear and guns.
From Ian:The terrible cost of thwarting HamasIsrael’s mood at the start of this war with Hamas was one of confident assurance. We wouldn’t be deterred by the rocket threat, and Hamas would be contained.That’s utterly changed. The rockets turned out to be the least of our concerns.