Saying that ISIS is a priority threat is ludicrous. It is a threat that needs to be eradicated immediately. But developments in Syria are not separate incidents divorced from each other. Every major movement in the country is closely linked.
The Syrian conflict has become a game of unfathomable numbers. And collective action from the international community has been slow.
Around the world, almost 900 million people go hungry every day. The precious crops and water that would sustain them are used to raise livestock. Moving to a meatless diet assures there will food for all of us.
Last week I stood inside the crumbling walls of the last synagogue in northern Iraq. Abandoned over sixty years ago, the 2700 year old tomb of Nahum, rests in the Christian town of Al Qosh.
To show how Byzantine the already complex Middle East political debate has become, my take on recent developments there will seem counter-intuitive to my long-standing fans (all three of you). For example, I support - gasp! - the recent U.S.-Iran nuclear deal.
"Forty years of crisscrossing the planet has led me to suspect that the world isn't growing smaller," the inveterate traveler and literary journalist Pico Iyer laments. "If anything, the differences, the distances between us, are growing greater than they've ever been. In the Age of Information, many of us know less about other perspectives and other cultures than ever before." This week, the Berggruen Institute announced the launch of a philosophy and culture center that responds to this rift by connecting minds across borders through an exchange of scholars from East and West that will be hosted at prestigious universities from Cambridge and Harvard to Stanford and Tsinghua in Beijing. In order to promote foundational concepts for the future, the center will co-sponsor an ideas contest with the Aspen Institute as well as establish an annual $1 million Nobel-like prize for philosophy. (continued)
The genie cannot be put back in the bottle and wars cannot "unhappen". Yet besides the humanitarian help which decency dictates should be offered to refugees, the resort to diplomacy instead of war would also help millions of people now fleeing their countries and trying to make a new life elsewhere.
They walk from the freeway in to the woods. Just under the whole in the fence there is a ditch, they cannot cross it so they head up again. We walk two hundred meters in and they finally find a place where they can cross. They ask me to pray for them, they wave and walk off in to the woods.
Howard Patrick didn't expect to be drafted. He was married, expecting a baby and had a job in the hot new world of high technology, working for IBM, the top of the mountain in those days. When his induction notice arrived, he was stunned -- and frightened.
One need not be prophetic to sense a bad outcome for the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Almost nothing has gone by plan since the Bush administration joined forces with the Northern Alliance in 2001 to kick the Taliban out of Kabul and into the tribal territories of Pakistan.
Perhaps what feeds this genius, this champion of communication and understanding among us, is that he comprehends the power of one. It is a power we often forget -- I know I do -- the ability to change the world, one small, tiny, at times seemingly insignificant action at a time.
America was once regarded as a welcoming immigrant nation where races and religions mingle freely, a geo-cultural therapy for history's wounded masses who could leave their woes behind once they arrived on its shores. It is thus a jarring twist to witness the nativist rants of Donald Trump boosting his political fortunes at the same moment when Germany, where the ideology of racial purity reached its apogee, extends a tolerant embrace to refugees and redefines its identity as a multicultural state. The scope of this shift will surely generate its own backlash in the times to come. Writing from Berlin, Alex Gorlach sees "a reversal of history" as Germany becomes "nation of immigrants" and suggests America should "dedicate a new Statue of Liberty to the [European] continent." From Stockholm, Göran Rosenberg explains why Sweden takes in more asylum seekers per capita than any other European country. Embedded in his piece is the orientation video for asylum applicants provided by the Swedish Migration Agency. Writing from Budapest, Miklós Haraszti sees political cynicism driving the anti-immigrant policies of Hungary's nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orbán. (continued)
Fourteen years ago a terrible thing happened to our country, to our city, when terrorists attacked us on September 11. Then there were no Republicans, there were no Democrats; there were only Americans who said we have to come together.
At this time of year exactly thirty years ago, a Palestinian militant named Abu al-Abbas sat behind his office desk in Tunis, laying the final touches on an operation scheduled for October 1985.
While some naysayers gleeful claim that Bernie Sanders isn't a Democrat, they conveniently forget that he stood up for liberal principles when they weren't popular, and when Democrats like Hillary Clinton aligned themselves with the GOP. Clinton had the same intelligence as Sanders, but made the wrong decision after 9/11.
On September 11 I will arise remembering those with whom I served, those first responders in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC, and the victims of that terrible day in our nation's history. I invite you to do the same.