Only by clinging steadfastly to a memory of a happy Syria can I believe that one day those who contributed to both sides of the current war will commit to help the victims of the conflict. Syrian refugees are dying in the cold, and the price of a jacket is far less than the price of a weapon.
The shock wave from Paris is the latest in a growing wave of jihadi-inspired terror against Muslims and westerners in recent months in France, in Europe, in the Middle East and across the globe.
It should be clear after four bloody years in Syria that if we are to make any progress moving forward, it is necessary to shed illusions and fantasies that have shaped too much of the discussion about the conflict.
The Charlie Hebdo killings, whatever their connections to the current wars in the Middle East, were acts of terrorism that should be handled by law enforcement.
Europe is facing divisive challenges on all fronts. It is being torn within by hardening attitudes toward the growing presence not only of Muslim immigrants, but also of citizens. On Monday, demonstrators thronged the streets of Dresden in support of "Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident." On Wednesday in Paris, 12 people were killed, including cartoonists who lampooned the Prophet Muhammad, in the horrific Charlie Hebdo attack. While the euro tumbles, northern and southern Europe are bitterly at odds over austerity policies and continuing high unemployment. And a newly aggressive Russia is challenging European values on its eastern frontier. (continued) Writing from Berlin, Alexander Gorlach analyzes what is behind rising Islamphobia in Europe. From Paris, Le Huffington Post editorial director Anne Sinclair pays homage to the slain journalists. "Infidel" author Ayaan Hirsi Ali warns that we can't let political Islamists define the territory of insult. Akbar Ahmed looks at the long history, and present social conditions, of Muslims in Europe.
To believe that the attack in Paris was a tragedy singularly about a cartoon or as an event solely to be defined as an assault on freedom of expression, is to be daft and incongruent with the history and reality of American and Western policy in the Middle East.
My outrage will not stem from my citizenship or my religious beliefs, but from the fact that I am a human being. No more, no less.
Operation INHERENT RESOLVE is the name for our military intervention against ISIL. Obama selected this strategy because it was his least worst policy ...
Foreign Policy recently reported on an unpublished paper percolating through Washington policy circles that presents the Assad regime in Syria in an unusually positive light.
I need a hero. It's the reason I watch films, looking for what politicians, warmongers, our so-called diplomats and those giant corporations haven't given the world yet. And probably never will.
Not all those heeding Daesh's call are lunatics; some could be diverted by counter-messaging that offers alternatives to violence. Reaching these young men and women might accomplish more than countless air strikes can achieve. This is the true heart of the struggle against violent extremism.
Only a fool offers longer term predictions about the Middle East. I offer the following shorter term predictions about the Middle East for 2015.
Is the Russian Ruble becoming financial rubble as consequence of targeting by the U.S. and its allies? The dramatic fall in oil prices and commensurate drop in the Russian currency, is this coincidental to broader global economic trends or an orchestrated assault?
In a world rife with war, religious, racial, gender, sectarian, and political strife, when so many children lack safety, enough food, shelter, health care, and education and suffer unthinkable losses of parents to disease, violence, and war, I hope this New Year will bring adults closer to our common sense and moral responsibility for children's well being.
A smarter strategy would exploit a key weakness: the complete disconnect between the Islamic past Jihadists invoke and the bloodthirsty, closed societies they have created.
Irrespective of those mutations, I still cling to the stubborn belief that the peoples of the MENA yearn for dignity and equal citizenship rather than cling to conditional patronage by their political and religious rulers or else control by self-obsessed Islamist groups. This is why I remain guardedly hopeful that a constructive dialogue in 2015 could help face those daunting challenges.