Jingle right along with us this week, folks, for the usual up and down sleigh ride! Most Important Climate Message: "You CAN Do Something About It" i...
It didn't take long for the Syrian rebel Supreme Military Council to unload on the U.S. and U.K. as co-conspirators in a scheme to hand over Syria to violent extremist Islamists as the U.S. and U.K. cancelled non-lethal aid to the rebels.
While Tunisia has been spared the large-scale human rights abuses and chaotic turmoil of the other post-Arab Spring states, a growing al Qaeda presence threatens to destabilize the country and undermine the democratic aspirations that fueled the Jasmine Revolution.
Incomprehensibly, John Kerry was not on Time's short list. The U.S. secretary of state may not deal with cosmic truths, but by any secular standard Kerry has, in one short year, justifiably laid claim to the blessings the gospels promise to peacemakers.
The world cannot learn about the horrors in Syria -- or anywhere else -- when journalists can't do their jobs. Their families need them home as soon as possible -- but so do we all.
Children are so vulnerable. Their wellbeing has little to do with how hard they work, or their "grit" or persistence. It has everything to do with circumstance. Let's make 2014 a new kind of commitment to our world's children.
Syrian-born Archbishop John Darwish heads the Melkite Archdiocese of Furzol, Zahle and Bekaa in Lebanon. His jurisdiction straddles the western border of Syria and is currently home to 800 Syrian Christian refugee families.
Syria has been facing disaster - humanitarian and military - for three blood-soaked years. A recent event has rocked this already volatile region, and deepened the divisions within all sections of society, increasing the chance that this war will be even longer and bloodier than first thought. The Islamists are coming, and this represents an even stronger reason for the West to intervene.
This year, as Arab Christians gather to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the promised "peace on earth, good will to men" will appear, at best, as a remote dream.
Hezbollah's determination to fight in support of the Syrian regime forces has led to a second set of issues manifested in regional tensions.
Imagine four-million people uprooted by war and struggling to survive. I came away in awe of the perseverance, dignity and fortitude of the Syrian people. They were also wondering why the international community for the most part seems to have abandoned them in their hour of need. It was a fairly straightforward question, the answer to which I am still struggling to find.
The antagonism and deadlock between the military and their opposition, notably the Islamists, will eventually lead to the emergence of new, decentralized and violent groups as witnessed in Syria. It's the ultimate sign of a "failed state."
Pessimism is a hallmark of the post-crisis period, and it was with us for so long, we almost didn't notice. Confidence -- its polar opposite -- is one of those necessities that we take for granted. That is, until they are taken away. Without confidence, at best we cower in the shadows, coming out to carry on basic activities, and scurrying back for shelter. At worst, it causes the collapse of financial systems and the distribution of goods and services -- in a word, chaos. But this year, we regained something: hope.
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I learned firsthand of the barrel bomb while visiting with Aisha, a young woman my own age, lying on a small bed in a crowded hospital along Syria's border with Turkey. In the last three days nearly 200 people have been killed in barrel bomb attacks by Syrian regime helicopters in Aleppo.
It is time to acknowledge that the approach based on moulding a single, coherent opposition body that suits international priorities has failed. Western governments should instead engage with a broader swathe of Syrian opposition and civil society.