It would certainly be easy to do a piece about 10 horrible events from 2015, from the ongoing war in Syria and the refugee crisis, to the bombings in Beirut, Paris and San Bernardino, to the rise of Donald Trump and Islamophobia. But that wouldn't be a very inspiring way to bid farewell to this year and usher in a new one.
The fighting in Yemen is not just destroying the fabric of that nation; it has broader implications for the region. While Iran denies direct involvement, it gives military aid to the Houthis. Meanwhile, for ordinary Yemenis, they can only hope that a miracle happens in Geneva so they can start to rebuild their shattered lives.
March 19 marks two gloomy anniversaries: the 12th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the 5th anniversary of the NATO intervention in Libya. Both overthrew Arab dictators; both left the local people in such horrific straits that many of them look back with nostalgia to the days of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi.
The U.S. is certainly no model for respecting freedom of expression -- as we saw in the streets of Ferguson where peaceful protesters were teargassed and beaten -- but it shouldn't overlook the human rights abuses carried out by a country that imprisons, tortures and executes its citizens simply for speaking their minds.