The ultimate folly is the belief that people are infinitely malleable, that Americans have been anointed to shape and mold humanity against its will, and that there is nothing which cannot be achieved through a few bombing runs, an occasional invasion, and a thorough military occupation. Real leadership means being prepared not to get involved. Real leadership means not being flattered into war by other states proclaiming America's indispensability in solving their problems. Real leadership means allowing, indeed, expecting, others to take control of their own destinies. Foreign policy is a difficult business. In practice the administration has been foolish and feckless, often blundering along even when it has made the right decision, such as not to attack Syria. And its desperate desire to do something risks drawing it in by increments, a serious danger in Iraq today.
The Obama administration's statements about the three Al Jazeera journalists are encouraging and ring true to the needs of both the Egyptian and the American people, but it's unsure whether they are in the right position to point their finger just yet.
What kind of world are we in when the most powerful nation on the planet is incapable of convincing anyone, even allies significantly dependent on it, of anything?
Americans should ignore these Sirens of Death. Attempting to forcibly transform Iraq never was Washington's responsibility. Having botched the job once, U.S. policymakers should not try again. There certainly is no public support for new military adventures in Mesopotamia.
Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded.
According to a DeSmogBlog review of White House meeting logs, between 2009 and 2013, the Obama White House held 32 meetings with Cheniere board members and lobbyists.
Like many of you, I've been glued to the news from Iraq. As I read headlines of unspeakable crimes and sectarian violence, I notice there's something missing: the voices of Iraqi women. As with most conflicts, rape is used as a weapon of war. Iraq is no exception.
Secretary Kerry failing to speak out clearly against violations of human rights in Egypt fails to advance American interests and only adds to our nation's soiled reputation as a defender of human rights.
For the United States and many other foreign leaders around the world, from Great Britain to Australia, this sentence was a vivid reminder of Egypt's grotesque reality: that of a country dominated by the military, where the right to a fair trial, a free press, and free expression are blatantly crushed.
From Egypt, it was off to Baghdad for John Kerry to see whether Iraq's bold effort in democratic nation building could be resuscitated in the face of imminent collapse. The problem there is that Kerry will have trouble locating a military strongman to back.
While Kerry gushed about the State Department's accomplishments for LGBT people and reminded us to be active instead of alarmed at the growing global anti-gay trend, the embassies he leads were turning down visas for LGBTI Africans to attend San Francisco Pride 2014.
Have we learned nothing during our adventures in the Middle East and Central Asia?
Preventing sexual violence in armed conflict is a matter of international peace and security. Sexual violence fuels conflict, forces people to flee their homes and countries and is often linked to cyclical violence and other human rights abuses.
While the Iraqi military, with some help from Iran and the U.S., may be able to hold on to what is left within its purview, it's hard to see it reclaiming much territory without major foreign interventions. Which could easily backfire, both for Tehran and Washington, the only capitals which might be involved.
By now, Kerry's "apartheid" remark, warning of the consequences for Israel if the Palestinians don't get their own state, has gone viral and pandemic. He's even apologized publicly, rightly so. But more troubling than his use of a very sensitive term is what it suggests about his disposition.
The Obama administration would have to challenge the Israeli government's hard line toward the Palestinians in order for the peace process to be successful. Unfortunately, the White House apparently had no interest in doing so.