People in the streets of Erbil are saying these days, "We are fighting three extremely difficult battles: We fight ISIS with poor and outdated weapons, we struggle to absorb the refugees that have increased our population by 28 percent, and we fight with Baghdad to get our money to survive." In a nutshell, all of it is quite true.
A civilian war leader conferring with uniformed military leaders. The president of the world's fifth-largest power, a member of the United Nations Security Council, listening intently to the generals of a great nation that is not yet a state, offering encouragement, promising France's redoubled support. It is a weighty and potentially decisive moment.
One of the brightest, loudest, flashing neon-style sign that humanity can indeed get along is the upcoming Middle East Now festival in Florence, Italy. Yes, Florence, where that original coming out of the Middle Ages happened hundreds of years ago, is the city I believe could also be at the epicenter of a new cross-cultural Renaissance.
American foreign policy is controlled by fools. What else can one conclude from the bipartisan demand that the U.S. intervene everywhere all the time, irrespective of consequences? No matter how disastrous the outcome, the War Lobby insists that the idea was sound. Any problems obviously result, it is claimed, from execution, a matter of doing too little: too few troops engaged, too few foreigners killed, too few nations bombed, too few societies transformed, too few countries occupied, too few years involved, too few dollars spent. As new conflicts rage across the Middle East, the interventionist caucus' dismal record has become increasingly embarrassing.
Palestine has set a new benchmark for nations like the Kurds and the Kosovars who see soccer as a key part of their toolbox to achieve statehood with its qualification for this month's Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup even if the Palestinian road to statehood is increasingly pockmarked by seemingly insurmountable barriers.