Blocking accountability and seeking to blame others for its crimes, even when premeditated is a KGB tactic, but only marginally successful. Putin should have learned the lesson that the truth is bound to come through.
It turns out that the Kurds aren't our perfect match. They will be no exception to the trend, with their massive human rights violations, political conflict with Syrians and Iraqis, and destabilizing role in the Middle East.
If America doesn't have the stomach for such an open-ended commitment -- and honestly, it's hard to imagine a successful candidacy for the White House in 2016 built around the theme, "Let's Re-invade Iraq" -- the options get much more limited. But there are three things that would make a difference.
What we must learn from his and Dubya's blunders is that the U.S. should never go to war unless we have absolutely no other choice, when any other course would put our country in real danger. As a country, we must learn to turn away from those who never learn that war must only be a last resort.
Overreliance on myopic analytic models that support wishful outcomes have brought a litany of historical failures, the emergence of ISIS in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, and huge territorial gains for the Taliban in Afghanistan.
This week the geopolitical balance changed decisively. As Margaret Thatcher warned long ago, a German Europe, not a Europeanized Germany, would one day be the dominant reality on the continent. The tough terms of the latest Greek bailout and the relegation of France to a junior partner in those negotiations confirm her prescience. As Iranian philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo writes in response to this week's historic nuclear deal and opening with Iran, "from now on Iran will be a full partner in the big game in the Middle East and the world," including through "intensified sectarian proxy wars" in the region. (continued)
The only things that really matter in Republican politics today are name recognition, a degree of celebrity, and the ability to make outrageous statements that appeal to a minority of voters.
When he took office Obama made it clear he realized how much of a treadmill American policy in the Greater Middle East was on. Striking out in just one area, to try something new with Iran, required -- and will continue to require -- tremendous effort and, yes, courage.
The same gang -- with the same worldview that brought us the war in Iraq -- are back. They were wrong last time -- and they are just as wrong this time.
If, and only if, the U.S. can pivot from a completed deal to a broader regional peace will it be possible to judge the outcome a success. Otherwise it's "off to the races", since a deal without a determined follow-up program may be just a bad as (and maybe worse than) no deal at all.
The world was rattled this week by the busted stock market bubble in China and by the "no" vote in Greece last Sunday against austerity policies aimed at reducing the country's unpayable debt. Yet, by week's end, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appeared to cave in and say "yes" to the very austerity measures voters had rejected in return for a fresh $59 billion bailout package. After $3.2 trillion of value was wiped out by midweek, the uncharacteristically uncertain hand of the Chinese authorities intervened to stop the crash in a stock market they had cheered to ever greater heights over previous months. Meanwhile, the leaders of the BRICS countries met in Russia to bolster plans for their New Development Bank -- which rivals the World Bank -- and declared they would coordinate policies to keep their economies stable amid all the turmoil. Mohamed El-Erian, one of the most influential voices in the global bond market, writes that the link between the Chinese and Greek crises is the stimulative policies of central banks around the world that have led to a debt buildup and created a gap between the inflated value of financial assets and the real economy. (continued)
Quite literally, "2015 John McCain" and "2012 John McCain" have opposing views of the Syrian rebels. I hope the media remember this when Sen. McCain gets up on his soapbox in the coming days. Sen. McCain isn't prescient. He consistently contradicts his own past statements and beliefs, depending on what's happening at any particular time.
After years of civil war in Darfur, hundreds of villages have been destroyed, 400,000 have died, and 2.2 million are now permanently displaced. Many are still facing starvation and ongoing violence.
The Syrian civil war and Iraqi sectarian conflicts involving Islamic State (IS) have had far-reaching consequences for the demographics across the region.
Returning from the war, I was shocked at how little had changed at home. People seemed to be living their lives in blissful ignorance of the sacrifices being made daily by their countrymen a half a world away -- countrymen whose lives were on the line every single day.
Ancient Greece was not only the birthplace of democracy, but also a deathbed of reason when a jury of 500 citizens condemned Socrates to die by hemlock poisoning for his impious attitude toward the order of the day. Defiant to the end, the philosopher voluntarily drank the poison himself in a suicidal display of dignity. This weekend, Greek voters will decide in a referendum whether they will be force-fed more painful austerity, imposed by the jury of other European democracies, or, like Socrates, administer their own poison in a "no" vote that will likely push Greece out of the eurozone. Tragedy, too, such as we are witnessing today, had its origins in early Greek drama. Nobel Laureate Joe Stiglitz and Martin Guzman argue that Greece will be better off administering the poison by its own hand. As they point out by examining the Argentine default in 2001, there is "life after debt and default." Manolis Glezos, the elderly firebrand of Syriza, writes from Athens that, in a democracy, "the people are the measure" of their fate. (continued)