President Bush is most responsible for the ISIS deluge. The Obama administration has played a malign, but secondary, role. Like its predecessor, it also intervened too much rather than too little. For instance, President Obama continued to back Iraq's Maliki government despite the latter's sectarian excesses.
The war in South Sudan has caused a massive hunger and malnutrition crisis, which has a devastating impact on children. Small children will suffer lasting physical and mental damage from malnutrition if not treated.
Co-authored with Mr. Tom Wilson. Dr Andrew Foxall is Director of the Russia Studies Centre at The Henry Jackson Society, a London-based international...
In all of this political and military maneuvering, has any leader actually taken a moment to think about what Syrians would be willing to live with?
The challenge of Putin as well as ISIS requires an answer beyond avoidance and containment. The threat is immediate but also the challenge to the rule of law and the ideology upon which free and democratic states have prospered as societies and economies over the last few decades.
What is needed to effectively fight such radicalism -- and which is in dire shortage -- is secular (not moderate or democratic) local ground forces; the Kurds and the remnants of Assad's Syrian army are the only game in town.
United States policy in Syria insists that President Bashar al-Assad must go. But if the U.S. succeeds and the Assad government is scattered to the wind it raises the question: Who will defend the ethnic and religious minorities in Syria from the Islamic State, the al-Nusra Front, and all the other heavily armed homicidal maniacs that already control nearly half the country?
However well intentioned the West is in its goal of removing dictatorships and helping the humanitarian crisis in Syria, its refusal to send troops and aggressively engage militarily can only mean that Russia will continue to have an ally in Syria and will be at the forefront of the war against ISIS.
Since the U.S does not have clear and detailed policy towards the conflicts in the Middle East, and since the U.S policy is currently anchored in the wait-and-see foreign policy, Washington is more willing to delegate the task of fighting the Islamic State or resolving the crisis in Syria and Yemen, to Tehran and Moscow or other nations.
This time it's not Crimea or Ukraine but President Bashar Hafez al-Assad's Syria where Russian President Vladimir Putin has begun to establish his very own 'Caliphate' in the Middle East. And because he has 'The Bomb' nations stand by helplessly as he defiantly ignores their condemnation and doesn't even wait to see if anyone will lift a finger to stop him.
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." -- The Dalai Lama The Latin origin ...
For more than a year now, ISIS and others have systematically destroyed the cultural heritage of the people of Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the region. Not only have they shelled and bulldozed priceless historical/cultural/religious sites such as the city of Nimrud, Jonah's Tomb, and temples in Palmyra, but they have also plundered them.
There has been precious little to praise about the regime of Vladimir Putin in recent years. His actions in stoking civil war in Ukraine and annexing the Crimea region is criminal under international law, his crackdown on political opposition and dissenting voices has seen numerous state-sponsored and the oppression that can be experienced in Russia by ethnic and religious minorities, and the LGBT community, is shocking and criminally under-reported here in the west.
We may look back on this week as one of the true nadirs in America's post-9/11 efforts to lead the world, a series of events that make the failures of America's shallow strategies, of both Republican and Democratic administrations. It is a particular low point for President Obama.
After a two-year absence from the international stage -- during which the mainstream media dispatched them to the realm of nonexistent entities -- on October 1 the "moderate rebels" of Syria were back. The New York Times said so. Russian attacks were targeting moderates rather than ISIS, a man with a camera was quoted saying; and the Times story by Anne Barnard appeared to confirm his suspicion; even as a companion report on Russian actions in Syria by Helene Cooper, Michael R. Gordon, and Neil MacFarquhar revealed that these are the same moderates who were carefully vetted by the CIA, and concerning whom little was heard ever after. Their numbers are put at 3,000 to 5,000, though the Cooper-Gordon-MacFarquhar article leaves uncertain if that is their original or their present strength.
This week the refugee crisis caused by Syria's horrific civil war moved to the next stage. Though prompted into action to curb the carnage, the U.S. and Russia are at odds over whom to bolster and whom to bomb. With no end to the conflict in sight, the influx of asylum seekers in Europe continues to swell and the prospect of permanent settlement there for the displaced grows. In even the most welcoming countries a political backlash is in the making. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's popularity at home is falling for the first time as compassion reaches its limits. In Sweden, the anti-immigrant right-wing party now tops the polls. (continued)