This past week, to absolutely no fanfare whatever, the last declared chemical weapons left Syria. (Isn't it interesting how the drums of war earn endless media coverage, but the dove of peace flies unnoticed?)
The ultimate folly is the belief that people are infinitely malleable, that Americans have been anointed to shape and mold humanity against its will, and that there is nothing which cannot be achieved through a few bombing runs, an occasional invasion, and a thorough military occupation. Real leadership means being prepared not to get involved. Real leadership means not being flattered into war by other states proclaiming America's indispensability in solving their problems. Real leadership means allowing, indeed, expecting, others to take control of their own destinies. Foreign policy is a difficult business. In practice the administration has been foolish and feckless, often blundering along even when it has made the right decision, such as not to attack Syria. And its desperate desire to do something risks drawing it in by increments, a serious danger in Iraq today.
The intensifying war in Iraq has surprised the world. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a terrorist group, has taken over a large part of Iraq's territory and is still advancing toward other areas. Western and Middle Eastern governments are concerned about ISIS. How can we understand such developments?
Turkey, which is smaller in size than the state of Texas, shares a long border with Syria, much like Texas shares with Mexico. In Syria, not just one generation, but many generations have been wiped out by the violence.
As the school year wraps up, most children are already focused on their summer plans. But today, for more than five million Syrian children inside and outside the country, summer is not a joyous break from routine.
We should not trivialize the sacrifices our fighting forces made on account of a lost war, but rather we should actively prevent those lives from being lost in vain by ensuring that the lesson we learned is retained and applied.
Americans should ignore these Sirens of Death. Attempting to forcibly transform Iraq never was Washington's responsibility. Having botched the job once, U.S. policymakers should not try again. There certainly is no public support for new military adventures in Mesopotamia.
Two or three decades from now, the twentysomethings of Tahrir Square or the Casbah in Tunis or Martyrs' Square in Tripoli will, like the Havels of the Middle East, come to power as politicians. In the meantime, here are three of their achievements that seem likely to be lasting, whatever the upheaval in the region.
Al-Baghdadi and his group of extremists--ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham)--have declared the establishment of a Caliphate, renaming their o...
Iran is now facing serious challenges that strike at its economic and military weaknesses. In an Arab world that is less than 10-percent Shiite and distrusts non-Arabs, Persian Shiite Iran faces hostile Arab Sunni fundamentalist movements that are rising in the aftermath of the failures of the Arab Spring.
Peacemaking is among the good deeds incumbent on Muslims during the holy month of fasting and prayer. Distribution of charity and food, customary at Ramadan, is needed especially by people displaced by conflict. How, then, will Ramadan be celebrated in the countries worst affected by the latest Middle East crisis?
There is much talk about the unique opportunity emerging from the womb of fragmented Iraq to produce qualitatively new regional and international agreements. Some are saying that the time has come for the "grand bargain."
Over the last three years, Issam Kourbaj, a Syrian artist living in the UK, has been watching from a painful distance the war eviscerating his homeland: its people, its cities and villages, its past and present, and its memory.
For many decades the United States has sought macro wins on foreign policy -- big-ticket successes like invading Iraq, solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, bringing down Libyan dictator Mohammar Qaddafi, stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, and other notable goals only to see gains reversed and goal posts moved. So maybe it is time to scope ambitions and seek smaller prizes.
Like many of you, I've been glued to the news from Iraq. As I read headlines of unspeakable crimes and sectarian violence, I notice there's something missing: the voices of Iraqi women. As with most conflicts, rape is used as a weapon of war. Iraq is no exception.
Dangerous sectarian tensions, massive movements of refugees, daily atrocities and spreading instability make the civil war in Syria a global threat. All the values for which we stand, and all the reasons for which the United Nations exists, are at stake across the devastated landscape that is Syria today.