If you have a justification for violence, destruction, murder, like a political statement, like war, does that make it right? Or does thinking it's right make you crazy?
Once viewed positively by sizable majorities in almost every country across the region, Iran has experienced a precipitous decline in its favorable ratings. The change, it appears from my findings, is largely due to concerns with Iran's policies in Iraq, Syria, and the Arab Gulf region.
U.S. troops to help stop a civil war in an Arab and/or Muslim country? Hold on just a minute! Rewind the tape. The last two Muslim nations in which the U.S. intervened militarily -- Afghanistan and Iraq -- actually helped ignite and perpetuate a civil war.
The obligatory ten-year retrospectives of the Iraq war are predictable, either consumed with angsty introspection about what they should have done differently or with self-righteous I-told-you-sos. Neither one does any good unless it changes the way we approach conflicts in the future.
The long-tail effects of chemical weapons continue to plague Iraq today, burdening a decimated health care system, and providing horrifying visual fodder for extremists who would incite hatred against the West.
Take this April. It will be the ninth anniversary of the widespread release of the now infamous photos of torture, abuse, and humiliation from Abu Ghraib. Or to pick another anniversary that, strangely enough, goes uncelebrated here, consider the passage of the USA Patriot Act.
Secretary of State John Kerry made a surprise visit to Baghdad to ask the Iraqi government to stop helping Iran support Syria's Bashar al-Assad. Kerry received an embarrassing rebuff--so much for the Bush administration's celebrated victory over Saddam Hussein. This time ten years ago the grand Iraqi cakewalk had begun. American military forces were racing toward victory. The world was going to be transformed. But not in the way President George W. Bush and his top officials imagined. Invading Iraq turned out to be one of Washington's greatest strategic mistakes. Yet even now many of the Iraq War's architects are clamoring for more wars. America needs peace. War should be a true last resort, not just another policy option for frustrated social engineers and impatient internationalists. Wars are sometimes tragically necessary. But not in Iraq.
Although all of Syria's neighbors have been negatively impacted by the country's crisis, Iraq's sectarian tensions and the religious, historical and cultural bonds between Syrians and Iraqis connect the two states' political fates.
Most Americans have long forgotten that the roads we all take for granted have a rich history that reverberates even today in the current budget debacle and fight over sequestration.
So much has changed, and yet the damage continues to compound, from the destruction of our military and international reputation to the devastation the war wrought on our economy.
While the U.S. military left Iraq in 2011 and war supporters have advanced a counterfeit history of success there, the war's brutal legacy lives on.
Today, not to put too fine a point on it, Iraq is a failed state, teetering on the brink of another sectarian bloodbath, and beset by chronic political deadlock and economic disaster. Its social fabric has been all but shredded.
The reasonable question is whether the architects of the Iraq War and the Administration officials who participated in the infamous 16-word lie and then helped to out a CIA spy should be tried for war crimes.
In 2012 when insurgents were unleashing a string of attacks across Iraq, who would have dared take on the task of bringing warring religious factions together in face-to-face talks?
Our politicians have been able to convince the voting public that ideas that are clearly not in the public's best interest are the only things protecting them from Armageddon.
After a seemingly schizophrenic schedule of speaking to antithetical audiences in Israel and the Palestinian territories, President Barack Obama successfully brokered a sudden rapprochement between Israel and Turkey on Friday.