Critics of the coalition may see military action as a threat and think that it will only intensify the problem. However, such critics seem to be ignoring that it was the inaction towards the atrocities in Syria and the failed state in Iraq that resulted in the swelling of ISIS's ranks from a few hundred to nearly 30,000 according to the latest estimates.
The head of the Secret Service abruptly resigned, after she got grilled by Congress over several disconcerting lapses which happened on her watch. She fell on her sword immediately, to her credit, rather than drawing the story out day after day.
Peace, like democracy, cannot be imposed from above, or from outside. But if the two sides in Syria's civil war can agree to at least a few temporary local truces, they may be better able to turn their attention to IS. That's certainly what would be in their best interests, and in the interests of their foreign backers, whether Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Turkey.
What is the center of gravity for this 21st century hybrid outfit ISIS? Has the administration identified a center of gravity? And if so, is its assessment correct? It's all more than a bit unclear, as you'll see.
The concern here is not just about Obama's war. The concern is of the possibility of a rebellion by the popular base against some governments allied to the US president, as he wages a floating war without a political horizon and for years.
The president claims that, despite the provisions of the War Powers Act, his continuing attacks on ISIS have an alternative foundation. On his view, President Bush did all the necessary work a decade ago when he convinced Congress to approve his wars against Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. Obama asserts that the language of the Bush-era authorizations is sufficiently broad to support his new war against the Islamic State. This legal claim has been vigorously criticized by constitutional scholars across the political spectrum. But neither the Justice Department nor the White House Counsel has backed up Obama's bare assertion with a serious legal opinion.
In the streets of Hong Kong today, China's future is meeting its past. It's 17 year-old rebellious student Joshua Wong, who is leading the Umbrella Revolution protests, versus Confucius, the sage of order and "social harmony," whose 2565th birthday was just emphatically celebrated by Xi Jinping in Beijing last week. To put this historic crossroads into perspective, The WorldPost publishes excerpts of Xi Jinping's remarkable speech on the anniversary of Confucius' birthday, which amounts to an official rehabilitation of ancient Confucian thought as the guiding light of modern China. From Hong Kong, WorldPost China correspondent Matt Sheehan reports from the ground on the orderly rebellion of the Umbrella Revolution. Beijing artist, Jia, looks at the Hong Kong protests through the prism of her memories of the excitement and dashed hopes of the Tiananmen Square events in 1989. Lawrence Lau, a former member of Hong Kong's Executive Council, argues that the election plan presented by Beijing, which stirred the protests, will actually allow for genuinely competitive elections over time.
We're bombing Iraqis again, and Syrians. These new campaigns will slaughter more civilians (a large percentage of them children) and further radicalize the opposition. It will also spread more toxins, poisoning land, air and water. We can pursue war or we can pursue healing. We can't pursue both.
The battles against terrorists such as the Islamic State and the centuries-old tension between Sunnis and Shias are not symbolic of the 'soul of a religion'. Instead, these sectarian and politically fueled schisms are symbolic of the battles for the soul of humanity, pluralism and peace.
On September 16th, the northern Syrian town of Kobane, - a town predominantly populated with Kurdish people, on the Turkey border came under siege. Since then, reports state that more than 140,000 refugees have flooded into Turkey.
The president has already entered the war -- he's involved America in an historic event that may decide the future of the Middle East and all of Islam. I suggest that instead of counting the "pennies," we "pound" away at ISIS on behalf of the western world.
So let me start off today with the patently obvious - with Iraq and Syria!
Two potent forces power the Ebola and ISIS epidemics that the media are ignoring. They're (1) breakdown of governing authority, and (2) dissolution of "social capital" -- ties of trust and cooperation that empower individuals, families, and others to forge coalitions and tackle common problems at the community level.
President Obama is no less committed to military action than any of his predecessors. He might personally have a less gung-ho disposition than, say, George W. Bush. But Obama's personality is only a small part of the equation. Despite the putative end of the Cold War, the United States has remained on a war footing. The national security apparatus is programed for intervention. What we see now taking place in the skies above Syria and Iraq is not an exception to the Obama-as-pacifist rule. It is a summation of a particular evolution in U.S. militarism toward the asymmetrical warfare of dispensing death at a distance.
While British Muslims rightfully celebrate the release of one of their respected and admired leaders, days before the Islamic festival of Eid, I'm sure Moazzam along with CAGE will insist that the struggle between justice and oppression is far from over.
President Obama devoted nearly half his 39-minute address at the United Nations General Assembly last week appealing to world leaders and publics to join in turning back the jihadist offensive in Syria and Iraq of a self-styled "Islamic state."