The morning of June 28, 1914 dawned bright for most Europeans. By sunset a geopolitical cataclysm loomed. World War I demonstrated the importance of saying no. Any of the great powers could have stopped the march toward war. America could have refused to join the parade after it started. The world would have been a better place had one or all done so. Today, Washington is filled with routine proposals for new interventions: bombing campaigns, foreign invasions, and military occupations. Most seem unlikely to trigger a new world war. But a century ago no one expected an assassination in a distant Balkan province to do so either. That is reason enough for Americans to make war truly a last resort.
Oh, Americans have such short memories -- made only worse by how pathetically poor many choose to be informed.
With the California legislature off on a month's vacation beginning with the 4th of July weekend, it's a period in California politics in which several matters are poised awaiting resolution; namely, policy on water, high-speed rail, and space, the state controller's race, and Governor Jerry Brown's future.
Today respected clerics exist here and there, but many Muslims see the absence of a single authority as one source of the weakness and paucity of Islamic vision in the Muslim world today. In an era when the West has repeatedly invaded Muslim countries, overthrown their leaderships, and commandeered their economic and energy sources over much of the 20th century, the weakness and lack of leadership in the Muslim world remains a vivid concern to Muslims. Thus when the term "caliphate" is invoked, it touches a chord in the historical sensibilities of many.
Although Vladimir Putin of Russia's method of annexing Russian-speaking Crimea by force is an aggressive and unacceptable violation of international law, the end result may be the most stable -- a Russian-speaking area being transferred from Ukraine to Russia.
The followers of ISIS and similar groups seek to address their economic, existential and even sexual anxieties and drives by embracing the kind of desert barbarism found in much of the Old Testament, albeit with modern devices.
So it's 10 years later and Iraq is splintering, probably regardless of what the U.S. does. Does it matter who screwed the pooch? Yes, for a number of reasons, and the sweetness of saying, "I told you so," is the least of them.
How can the West then play a constructive role in the Middle East? It can use its powers of persuasion to promote collaboration on an issue that is the major driver behind a lot of the region's conflicts. I am talking about water.
Hey everyone, remember Darfur? The massive murder, rape and torture of tens of thousands pf civilians by the government and their agents was termed a ...
There are two basic rules to the practice of Real Politick. The first is straightforward: Keep in with the outs. This is easy to practice when deali...
The Saudi position is completely at odds with this argument, on the grounds that UN engagement of Iran in Syria or Iraq would legitimize Iran's regional ambitions that go beyond the borders of Iran and legitimizes the role and influence of Iran in these two Arab countries.
Since the 2011 Arab uprisings, there has been little doubt that enhanced access to information and news contributed to political and social activism, pushing the boundaries of free speech. Today, however, there has been a regression in media growth and censorship shows little signs of receding.
On this Fourth of July weekend, as the world's greatest democracy celebrates its independence, it has an opportunity to right that wrong by reversing course and supporting the Iraqi Kurds in their road to independence.
A longer occupation, more troops, air strikes or anything else won't bring PFC Hutson back. He -- we -- will never know what he died for, but we can say with certainty what he did not die for. He did not die for freedom, he did not die for WMDs, he did not die for a politician's re-election.
The U.S. military and U.S. tax dollars are already deeply entangled in Middle Easterners' lives (and deaths), and President Obama is under pressure to get further involved in the wars in Iraq and Syria. But what advice would our nation's founders give the 44th president this July 4?
The ambitions of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are darker and more extreme than those of Mr. al-Maliki. But they are the logical result of a cultural norm that compels religious obedience and criminalizes dissent -- a norm held throughout the Arab and Muslim world.