The timely implementation of the Iran deal and Tehran's full compliance with its various provisions to date should not be viewed as just an accomplished goal, but as a continuing process that could take several years to determine its viability and the extent to which it impacts Iran's foreign and domestic policy.
The timely implementation of the Iran deal and Tehran's full compliance with its various provisions to date should not be viewed as just an accomplish...
President Obama's position on the Saudi-Iranian row is a public announcement that his administration is dissolving its traditional alliance system, along with the regional order it had underwritten for decades, and embracing Iran instead.
So I wish to propose a New Year's resolution for members of Congress ex post facto. The resolution is simple: I propose that each member of Congress (House and Senate) spend time with another member in 2016 who holds a different social and political viewpoint.
Given the conflicting interests and lack of military experience on the part of the coalition's members, there is ample reason to conclude that this alliance lacks substance.
Western governments that loose the dogs of war should stop assuming that their own people will not be bitten. Being a liberal democracy does not turn bombing and killing into an act of immaculate conception. Instead of pretending that their nations enjoy immunity from the inevitable horrors of war, Western officials should make the case to their people that the likely costs are worth the benefits. In this case that includes the possibility, perhaps likelihood, of terrorist attacks at home. There are no certainties even for America, which has done surprisingly well since 9/11. Which brings up the obvious question, why are the U.S. and its European allies involved "over there" -- and, in fact, currently intensifying their intervention?
I discuss the Paris and Beirut attacks in relation to the media response, selective empathy, and the 'what-about-ery' reaction.
The bigger threat to Lebanese stability is the implosion of Syria, which long played a dominant, sometimes controlling, role in Lebanon. Hezbollah has directly intervened on the side of the Assad regime. The Shia movement's involvement risks bringing the conflict back to Lebanon, as did Hezbollah's costly 2006 war with Israel.
In rightfully and legitimately condemning selective grief, Lebanon (and for that matter the entire world) forgets that it is a country that selectively grieves all the time.
Yesterday's tragic events in Paris should be another urgent wake-up call that, whether we live in France or elsewhere, our world needs, and is worth, defending.
Herein lies the minority trap: the greater the punishment that Hezbollah and Assad inflict on the Sunni majority, the more they expose themselves and their supporters to violent retribution, which in turn drives the minority population further into their embrace. Neither the first Vienna summit on Syria negotiations nor the second one planned for this weekend appears to address the tragedy of these two minorities -- the Lebanese Shiites and the Syrian Alawites. Without a lifeline thrown from outside powers, the bond between hijacking despots and hijacked population will almost certainly grow tighter.
Recent developments confirm a major shift in the balance of power in the Middle East. It appears to me that Russia is dictating the pace of events, raising the question of whether Syria is becoming a proxy war between the United States and Russia.
Vladimir Putin is only nine years older than Barack Obama, yet they somehow are of a different generation. How could this be?
BEIRUT -- All the hoo-ha over Russia's Syrian military intervention probably stems from the sense that this initiative could mark the birth of something serious -- a non-Western coalition whose objective is precisely to preempt NATO-style regime change projects.
Washington, for all of its assurances that it has blocked every path to a nuclear Iran, has done little to block the pathway to a devastating regional conflict.
"No," Assad-loyalists would rush to say when asked if the current Russian military build-up in Syria can be considered an "invasion" or indeed, a new foreign "occupation" of Arab lands.