Syria, when it does make the news, is seen in terms of battle lines and military strategies. When civilians are forced to flee, they go wherever they think they will be safest - but often their choice is misunderstood as a declaration of allegiance to one group or another.
The lofty expectations set by ISIS are not being met and some reports suggest citizens feel the situation now is worse than previous years of "international sanctions, poverty and injustice". This is eroding the economic legitimacy of ISIS as a governing state.
Most plans offered today to counter and combat this group focus exclusively on military or geopolitical solutions. While important, these plans lack a key understanding of the branding, digital marketing and start-up mentality that facilitated the spread of ISIS's influence across the globe.
Like at the Mosul Museum, it seems that ISIL may have used the smokescreen of destruction in Nimrud as cover to loot antiquities in order to help finance their reign of terror. That's because ISIL is not only destroying history but profiting from it.
The U.S. needs to use the next 10 years to build assurance of peaceful relations with Iran. Furthermore, the U.S. must work diligently in support of the normalization of Iran's relations globally and, especially, in the region.
It's worth remembering that the vast majority of horror-show videos from Syria in the last four years have shown atrocities coming from the government side. It seems we need a jolt to remind us of this. A "killer stat" (literally) like Ghadbian's. A sort of lightbulb moment. We need to shine a light on Syria.
ISIS yesterday destroyed an ancient Christian monastery which has been described as the equivalent of Canterbury Cathedral. Just weeks earlier, it raided Mosul Museum and filmed themselves destroying all the relics on show, including priceless, irreplaceable Assyrian statues.
As humanitarian needs persist and even grow in Syria and neighboring countries, the rest of the world must not forget about the crisis. This is a time to be bold. This is not a time for inaction. This is not a time to watch a country be destroyed and generations of Syrians scattered and forgotten.
Taha, a young-handsome man from Tunisia got stuck in an elevator in Jordan with a beautiful stranger. She asked him where he was from. When he told her, she replied, "Omg, I love Tunisia! I am from Israel."
After the rejection by the British Parliament of intervention against Assad, he has been given free rein to destroy Syria and its people, creating devastation, chaos and a power vacuum. Into that gap stepped Islamic State, Iran and the Shia militias which have committed brutal and widespread crimes of their own.
Whether in Russia, Venezuela or Israel, the ugly politics of polarization may work in winning elections -- but it always ends badly. Netanyahu's scaremongering against Arab voters and dashing of a two-state solution (his bad faith post-election backtrack notwithstanding) dispels two long-held illusions at once: that Israeli democracy would be inclusive or that Palestinians would have their own state. If there is no room for Palestinians anywhere, then what? In an exclusive interview with the Huffington Post, (full interview to be released Saturday), U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the Israeli election, Iran and other issues. Writing from Amman, prominent Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab draws the logical conclusion from Israel's election results that Palestinians must now pursue their own unilateral path and that the world community should no longer feel bound to defend Israel in international institutions. (continued)
It is a rich and nuanced piece touching on all the points that the arrival of ISIS has raised in Syria and Iraq. Typos aside, this is an important contribution to the emerging literature on ISIS and will surely be on any academic reading list for years to come.
The anticipated American-Iranian deal has an implicit Palestinian/Israeli dimension that could force Tehran to change its political discourse regarding Palestine and Israel, and alter the Iranian regional policy based on compensation -- at least verbally -- for the Arab failures on Palestine.
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.
Five factors guarantee even rougher times ahead for the United States in the Middle East. Individually, they would be only somewhat disruptive; collectively, they are likely to cause major problems for years to come.