In an unprecedented statement, over 40 senior academics including more than a dozen former MESA presidents, have signed a letter to U.S. President Obama. Rarely, if ever, has such a group of such high-level academics has ever come together on a single issue before, including the lead-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Many American Iraq war veterans must be disappointed; after all, they didn't risk their lives for all those years so that the country they believed they were helping liberate can fall into the hands of extremists.
Indian Strategist Prof. M D Nalapat, UNESCO Peace Chair and Editorial Director of the Sunday Guardian, has an unusually spot-on record for predicting trends in the Middle East. This is what he has to say about Iraq.
American intervention has broken pottery all over the Middle East. Every time the U.S. attempts to repair its last accident, it increases and spreads the mess. It is time for a different approach. One in which Washington does not attempt to micromanage the affairs of other nations. In which Washington practices humility. This would not be isolationism. America, and especially Americans, should be engaged in the world. Economic and cultural ties benefit all. Political cooperation can help meet global problems. Humanitarian needs are varied and manifold. Military action sometimes is necessary, but only rarely -- certainly far less often than presumed by Washington.
The United States should use the 300 soldiers who are on their way to Iraq to stiffen its allies spines and to generate collective action to fight the forces of evil now set loose in the Middle East. America can help with this endeavor, but the heavy lifting must be the responsibility of America's Middle East Allies.
We are clearly in the early stages of the intervention sweepstakes. The initial moves may even be greeted as auspicious, but watch out for the long-run destabilizing effects in an already chaotic region. Washington only imagines it can control such combustible situations.
The insurgents are not only in a struggle against what they see as oppression by a largely Shiite government in Baghdad and its security forces, but also over who will control and benefit from what Maliki -- speaking for most of his constituents -- told the Wall Street Journal is Iraq's "national patrimony."
The battles in Iraq should be heartbreaking and infuriating to all Americans. Heartbreaking because it did not have to be this way. Infuriating because we have to know, in our heart of hearts, that this is a U.S.-created disaster.
We ignored our moral imperative to intervene in Syria before it was too late. We cannot abandon Iraq, too.
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.
The Middle East has been turned into a region of several failed or almost-failed states, and if the United States and Iran do not work together constructively, terrorism and instability will continue there for years to come.
Where is the Iraqi Air Force? What does the Iraqi Air Force consist of? How many attack helicopters and attack fighters does it have in flyable condition? Most importantly, how many trained pilots does it have who can fly combat missions?
Have we learned nothing during our adventures in the Middle East and Central Asia?
The Iranian team's performance so far with its 0:0 draw against Nigeria in its first World Cup match in which it was not defeated in its first tournament game as well as the encounter with Argentina, has spared Mr. Rouhani and his government being blamed for another failure.
Reading Maimonides in Beirut reminded me that beyond right and wrong, reason and faith, belief and unbelief, we are perhaps most alive and wise when we strive to become conscious of the "self."
For all its imperfections, the UN is the sole international institution of indisputable legitimacy; it has to become the functional center for harmonizing mankind's response to a threat far more insidious than any faced in history -- climate change. A new global compact is urgently needed -- one that at long last steps beyond the shadow cast by the Great War over the world for the past one hundred years so that we can transform raison d'état into raison de planète; the reason of state to the reason of the planet.