As grave and heinous as it is, the focal argument of this article is not about the atrocities committed by Moscow as much as it is about the latent, subtle and protracted consequences of the statement of Russia's Orthodox Church at the opening of their military campaign back in late September.
More U.S. military personnel have been sent to Iraq and Syria. Trainers, Special Forces, and airstrikes haven't been enough. The administration continues its slow progression to renewed ground combat. President Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize grows more tarnished by the day.
The American mainstream press has both neglected and disparaged Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh recently for reporting on how, for more than two years, senior U.S. military leaders subverted President Obama's strategy to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, with some attacking Hersh for having the temerity to rely on unnamed sources.
This article tells different refugee stories from Syrians who left their home country in the last years and found a new home in the United States. In their personal stories, you can learn about their dreams and why they decided to leave, as well as their experiences with and attachment to the U.S.
BEIRUT -- Washington may be coming to the understanding that neither Russia nor Iran nor Hezbollah believe for one second the U.S. narrative that if Assad stepped down, somehow ISIS would melt away, and that responsible rebels would turn against ISIS to finish them off.
MOSCOW -- The majority of Russians have followed recent conflicts passively; they mostly voice the positions that were communicated to them by state TV channels and their support of Russian military actions in Syria is more reflective of the power of popular TV shows than the actual mobilization of the society.
The first-ever survey of Syrian refugees in Europe shows Syrians are fleeing from Assad, not ISIS. Nearly all of them want to go home. But unless politicians start listening to why they're fleeing and what needs to happen for them to go home, many more will come.
I remember asking the guy documenting casualties about the number of wounded and finding out it had reached 46, all women and children. I was stunned. For the first time ever, there was not a single man among those injured during an air strike.
It's likely the US will form a new coalition to wage war on ISIS - the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. What remains to be seen is who will do the heavy lifting in this coalition. Which nation will be willing to put boots on the ground?
Hauling up the drawbridge to the refugees is not going to stop Daesh from threatening America or change the government in Syria. Nor will it create a safer place for Americans. Instead this proclivity for panic will only heighten suspicions of the alien other (in this case, Muslim and Middle Eastern).
The deathblow to xenophobia against Syrian refugees here was the actual identities of the attackers--virtually all of those involved, aside from the dead owner of the passport, were either French or Belgian.
The refugees in Syria may be different in their religious beliefs from many in western cultures and those of Europe, but in my humble opinion, they do not deserve to be treated as though they are the enemy.
Following the horrendous attacks in Paris and Beirut over the last week, the international community is now galvanizing towards a political solution in Syria. It's an opportunity we can't let slip through our hands.
It is naïve to expect that after four and a half years of fighting for political survival, Assad and the leaders of his security agencies will negotiate their way out of Syria. They will leave only if pressured militarily and if their patrons (Russia and Iran) abandon them.
Not long after, when America entered the war, we were formally collaborating with Josef Stalin -- a man who had slaughtered one million of his own countrymen during the Great Purge of 1937-38. The lesson is that, when faced with an existential threat, you bring all parties to the table. Even bad people if you have to. Not just to coordinate the fight, but to coordinate post-war planning with all the players.
If all we do is destroy ISIS, other terrorist organizations will spring up in what would continue to be an ungoverned space. We need a coherent political solution, which will best be constructed through diplomacy, not the war rooms of the Pentagon, NATO and Moscow. And we can use history as our guide.