Losing the high moral ground
Jul27

Losing the high moral ground

WASHINGTON — The civilian death toll in Gaza from Israel’s latest incursion is appalling. The right to self-defense is inalienable, but it is not free from moral constraints. As of this writing, nearly 750 Palestinians have been killed since the Israeli assault began, including dozens of children. On Thursday, a compound housing a United Nations school — crowded with Gaza residents who had fled their homes to seek...

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Flight MH 17: Emotional Words From a Dutch Man
Jul27

Flight MH 17: Emotional Words From a Dutch Man

While every family member, relative or friend lost in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 represents a horrific tragedy, and while every nation whose citizens died as a result of that criminal act is in deep mourning, the loss suffered by the Dutch nation and the Dutch people is especially heavy: 193 of its residents killed in a matter of seconds, entire families wiped out… No wonder the Netherlands has been taking a lead role...

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Gaza and MH17: France Pays the Price for its Moribund Diplomacy (Le Figaro, France)
Jul27

Gaza and MH17: France Pays the Price for its Moribund Diplomacy (Le Figaro, France)

France is not only home to the largest Muslim and Jewish populations in Europe, but with the Kremlin in the global doghouse over MH17 and Ukraine, Paris is in the process of selling Russia two massive Mistral warships for $1.6 billion. For Le Figaro, columnist Pierre Rousselin writes that with pro-Palestinian protests erupting across the country, and allies losing patience with the French for selling such powerful weapons to Russia,...

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Israel’s Ground Offensive in Gaza – Continuing Updates
Jul26

Israel’s Ground Offensive in Gaza – Continuing Updates

Jul 27, 2014 3:00 AM CDT - Reuters: The Israeli military started fighting again in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, saying Hamas militants had ignored a 24-hour, humanitarian ceasefire requested by the United Nations. “Following Hamas’ incessant rocket fire throughout the humanitarian window, which was agreed upon for the welfare of the civilian population in Gaza, the (army) will now resume its aerial, naval and ground activity...

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MH17: Dutch Should Avoid America’s Post-911 Reaction (de Volkskrant, The Netherlands)
Jul26

MH17: Dutch Should Avoid America’s Post-911 Reaction (de Volkskrant, The Netherlands)

How should people in the Netherlands handle the incredible anger and sorrow that has suddenly struck after the downing of Flight MH17, in which more than 189 innocent Dutch civilians, many of them children, were killed? Continuing with our focus on the Netherlands this week, for de Volkskrant, columnist Lodewijk Pessers advises people to stay calm, and above all, not to react the way the United States did after 9-11 – or the way...

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VIDEO: Snowden and Elsberg at the HOPE X Summit (Hope X, New York)
Jul25

VIDEO: Snowden and Elsberg at the HOPE X Summit (Hope X, New York)

This is an extraordinary video of an exchange between Edward Snowden and the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Elsberg. The encounter took place on Monday at the HOPE X Hacker’s summit in New York City. Snowden recieves a hero’s welcome with long ovations and unmitigated praise from Elsberg, who says Snowden’s emergence gave him ‘hope’ for the first time in many years. To Snowden’s critics,...

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West’s Sliding Scale of Human Suffering is a Gift to Putin (Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland)
Jul25

West’s Sliding Scale of Human Suffering is a Gift to Putin (Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland)

The basis of the Buddhist religion is that ‘life is suffering.’ In that spirit, pointing to situations as diverse at the Israeli-Palestinian crisis and MH17, philosopher Jaroslaw Makowski writes in Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza that when we forget that suffering binds us all, and when we value the suffering of our own people over others, it diminishes our humanity and drives Western cynicism, which people like Vladimir...

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General Dempsey Speaks on the Ukraine Crisis
Jul25

General Dempsey Speaks on the Ukraine Crisis

Adding insult to injury — if the cowardly downing of a passenger airliner can be couched as such — Russian president Vladimir Putin is responding to the outrageous crime by his thugs in eastern Ukraine by escalating military aggressive actions against Ukraine. This morning, both Reuters and the Washington Post report on Russia firing artillery across its border with Ukraine targeting Ukrainian military positions and...

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An Easier, Friendlier, Quicker Peace Corps
Jul25

An Easier, Friendlier, Quicker Peace Corps

This month, the United States Peace Corps, established in 1961 under President John Kennedy’s vision of a younger generation dedicating themselves to their country, announced an easier and more efficient application process for those interested in volunteering two years abroad. This comes with the news that applications are at an all-time low compared to recent years. In the past, applications took over eight hours and sixty...

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A Late King’s Words to Netanyahu Still Resonate Today
Jul24

A Late King’s Words to Netanyahu Still Resonate Today

I have always liked and admired the late King Hussein of Jordan. In my opinion, he was a kind, wise leader — a haven of peace, reason and steadfastness in the always-troubled Middle East. Thus I was not surprised to find very similar words in his official biography: His Majesty King Hussein bin Talal, the father of modern Jordan, will always be remembered as a leader who guided his country through strife and turmoil to become an...

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As We Dutch Mourn Our Dead, Russians Should Mourn their State (Elsevier, The Netherlands)
Jul24

As We Dutch Mourn Our Dead, Russians Should Mourn their State (Elsevier, The Netherlands)

Generally speaking, it takes a lot to knock the Dutch off balance, but the catastrophe in Ukraine has done so, even to the point of bringing Dutch threats of unilateral military action. Continuing with our monitoring of the Dutch reaction to the crisis, for Elsevier, columnist Afshin Ellian lashes out at Vladimir Putin and the ‘mafia state’ that according to him, comprises part of a new ‘axis of evil.’...

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Ukraine festers as Obama and Putin skirmish
Jul23

Ukraine festers as Obama and Putin skirmish

The Ukrainian civil war in the eastern regions is rapidly turning into a skirmish between President Barack Obama and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, instead of advancing towards a truce or peace talks after the missile strike on Malaysian Air flight MH17. The stakes are too high to let Ukraine fester in this manner. Putin’s irredentism is luring Obama and the European allies into a trap by denying east Ukraine’s airspace to Kiev’s fighter...

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Today We Are All Dutch
Jul23

Today We Are All Dutch

The achievements of the Dutch people and the tragedies they have suffered have, at times, been immensely disproportionate to the small population and the tiny size of this remarkable nation. Back in the 16th and 17th centuries, “tiny Holland” — the “Northern Low Countries” with less than 2 million people — experienced an era of unprecedented, explosive growth and prosperity to become the premier economic, industrial,...

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Arabs, Palestinians Suffer Fate of the American Indian (Le Quotidien d’Oran, Algeria)
Jul23

Arabs, Palestinians Suffer Fate of the American Indian (Le Quotidien d’Oran, Algeria)

The depth of Arab agony over the Palestinian predicament and the future of the Muslim world pours out of this column from Algeria’s Le Quotidien d’Oran. Columnist Moncef Wafi, expressing a sense of betrayal and frustration over almost every decision-making authority imaginable, writes that the Arab Spring is to Arabs what the White man was to the American Indian: ‘a cancer that has metastasized, infecting almost the...

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‘We Shot Down MH17,’ Says Pro-Russian Soldier
Jul23

‘We Shot Down MH17,’ Says Pro-Russian Soldier

‘We Shot Down MH17,’ Says Pro-Russian...

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The downside of giving weapons
Jul23

The downside of giving weapons

WASHINGTON — The bodies and debris that rained from the Ukrainian sky offer a cautionary lesson about the danger of giving heavy weapons to non-state actors. I hope the hawks who wanted President Obama to ship anti-aircraft missiles to the Syrian rebels are paying attention. By now there is little doubt that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, with 298 people on board, was blasted out of the sky Thursday by a Russian-made SA-11 missile...

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Will Flight 17 sober us up?
Jul23

Will Flight 17 sober us up?

WASHINGTON — Tragedies concentrate the mind. American politics was trundling along on its usual unserious and trivial trajectory when news of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine shook the world. Suddenly, the stakes in public life and foreign policy were very high. Vladimir Putin’s recklessness in Ukraine was no longer just about his quest for regional hegemony. Miscalculation and thoughtless error have...

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Downing of Flight 17 – Continuing Updates
Jul22

Downing of Flight 17 – Continuing Updates

This entry will be updated as events warrant. 22 July 2014 21:50 CDT The first bodies from flight MH17 are being flown to the Netherlands where they are expected to arrive in Eindhoven at 16:00 local time (14:00 GMT). The BBC: The Dutch royal family and the prime minister Mark Rutte will meet the plane. The bodies are then due to be taken to the Korporaal van Oudheusden barracks for identification. Mr Rutte said that process could...

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MH17: Europe Must ‘Slam its Fists’ on the Table (de Volkskrant, The Netherlands)
Jul22

MH17: Europe Must ‘Slam its Fists’ on the Table (de Volkskrant, The Netherlands)

Continuing with our examination of the Dutch reaction to the situation surrounding Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, this column by de Volkskrant columnist Hans Wansink seeks to cool the tempers of those talking about Dutch military intervention in Ukraine, and urges the immediate adoption and implimentation by the European Union of the sanctions announced by President Obama. For de Volkskrant, Hans Wansink begins by criticizing the...

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Securing MH17 Victims: Dutch Have Elite Troops for a Reason! (Elsevier, The Netherlands)
Jul22

Securing MH17 Victims: Dutch Have Elite Troops for a Reason! (Elsevier, The Netherlands)

Just 24 hours ago, as this column from Elsevier of the Netherlands shows, there was significant talk among the Dutch of the need to threaten the use of elite forces to secure the MH17 crash site and the corpses of the dead – most of whom are Dutch. Whether the events of the last 24 hours have diminished that impulse is unclear. For Elsevier, columnist Eric Vrijsen begins his preroration by highlighting the growing pressure on...

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