Gorbachev: West ‘Resigned’ to Crimea’s Return to Russia (Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia)
Dec01

Gorbachev: West ‘Resigned’ to Crimea’s Return to Russia (Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia)

Upon his return from celebrations in Germany for the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev gave this somewhat testy interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda, in which he is defensive over accusations that he ‘lost’ the Soviet Union. He discusses where it all went wrong with the United States, his belief that the Ukraine crisis can be overcome and how the Western leaders he met...

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Obama must reveal truth about CIA interrogations, UN experts say
Nov26

Obama must reveal truth about CIA interrogations, UN experts say

Opponents of cloaking the Senate report on CIA interrogation practices in secrecy have won support from a top panel of United Nations human rights experts. They said significant secrecy would embolden torturers in other countries and should be rejected. In an open letter to President Barack Obama, seven rapporteurs to the UN Human Rights Council said, “Lasting security can only be achieved on the basis of truth and not secrecy.” “As a...

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Hagel: Foreign Policy Failure Symptom
Nov26

Hagel: Foreign Policy Failure Symptom

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, Nov. 25: ——— Recent events have not cast a flattering light on President Barack Obama’s approach to military and security matters. The rise of the Islamic State has forced him to reverse his withdrawal from Iraq. Vladimir Putin has seized Crimea from neighboring Ukraine and...

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Remember Benghazi? (Update)
Nov24

Remember Benghazi? (Update)

Updated — at bottom — with Senator Graham’s elegant “full of crap” comments over the weekend from the Huffington Post. Original Post: Remember the Benghazi tragedy? Of course you do. But do you remember the other tragedy? The one where Republicans attempted to “turn the Benghazi tragedy into a political scandal.” The one where Republicans tried their darndest to discredit — destroy is a better word — the...

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On Pope Francis’ Secret Service: Confronting the ISIS Threat (Corriere Della Sera, Italy)
Nov22

On Pope Francis’ Secret Service: Confronting the ISIS Threat (Corriere Della Sera, Italy)

He rides in an open car amid hundreds of thousands of people from around the world and abhors being seperated from his flock. Imagine the heart-stopping difficulty of protecting one of the most popular pontiffs in a generation from terrorists bent on killing anyone not a Sunni fundamentalist – particularly a man with the title ‘Vicar of Christ’? Offering a glimpse behind the scenes is Corriere Della Sera’s man...

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‘An Eye for an Eye’ Carried to the Extreme
Nov20

‘An Eye for an Eye’ Carried to the Extreme

Two days ago, I joined millions in their condemnation of the barbaric Synagogue attack in Jerusalem. But, I also expressed dismay at the Israeli government’s decision to demolish the homes of the attackers’ families, in effect punishing human beings for “the crime” of being related to a criminal or terrorist. A powerful voice in condemning the attacks was J Street: We are horrified and appalled by today’s...

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World reacts to terrorist synagogue slayings in Israel
Nov19

World reacts to terrorist synagogue slayings in Israel

NEW YORK (Press Release) –The American Jewish Committee praised world leaders who have spoken out against Tuesday’s deadly Palestinian terror attack on a Jerusalem synagogue during morning prayers. Four worshipers were killed and at least six others wounded by the two terrorists who struck with guns, axes and knives. “Jerusalem is on edge, thanks to Palestinian incitement from the top of the Palestinian Authority, as well as its unity...

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First 90 Troops Returning from Africa Begin ‘Controlled Monitoring Period’
Nov18

First 90 Troops Returning from Africa Begin ‘Controlled Monitoring Period’

As America was sending the first of our troops to West Africa to help combat the Ebola virus, the safety and wellbeing of those troops was foremost on everyone’s mind:The families of those being deployed, the American people in general and the military leaders responsible for such a mission. These were some initial reactions from those who would be most directly affected by those deployments, who would just be doing their jobs. Sgt....

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Tel Aviv Diary: Barbaric Attack in Jerusalem (Guest Voice)
Nov18

Tel Aviv Diary: Barbaric Attack in Jerusalem (Guest Voice)

It seems it has finally happened. The thing we all feared. We appear to have entered into a religious war; a religious war that looks like it was inspired by the brutality of ISIS. This morning, a little before 7:00 AM, two terrorists entered the Kehillat B’nei Torah Synagogue in the religious neighborhood of Har...

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Decrypting the Arab Obsession with Conspiracy Theories (L’Orient Le Jour, Lebanon)
Nov16

Decrypting the Arab Obsession with Conspiracy Theories (L’Orient Le Jour, Lebanon)

Why is the Muslim world such fertile ground for every conspiracy theory imaginable? Using the attacks of September 11, 2001, the revolts of 2011 (the Arab Spring) and the recent offensive by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as a jumping off point, Lebanon’s L’Orient Le Jour consulted authors, politicians and economists to investigate. The upshot: while anti-imperialism, a narcissistic wish to blame others, and a sense...

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ISIS commanders reign with brutal violence, extortion and hypocrisy: former bodyguard
Nov16

ISIS commanders reign with brutal violence, extortion and hypocrisy: former bodyguard

GAZIANTEP, Turkey – Saddam Jamal held the mother and father at gunpoint and forced them to watch as his jihadist comrade murdered their children, one by one. The ISIS commander felt no remorse for killing this Syrian family, his bodyguard said, nor did he believe he was fulfilling a God-given creed: for him being a...

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Chinese Pollution Data Censored During Climate Change Summit
Nov12

Chinese Pollution Data Censored During Climate Change Summit

As China and the U.S. agree a landmark deal on global carbon emissions, it has emerged that Chinese authorities have ordered air pollution monitoring websites and apps to remove American data on emissions. The agreement struck by Barack Obama and his counterpart Xi Jingping in Beijing sees China, the world’s biggest emitter of CO2, agreeing...

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Major announcement: US, China announce groundbreaking pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Nov12

Major announcement: US, China announce groundbreaking pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

BEIJING — Creating an opening for a larger international agreement, China and the United States on Wednesday announced new targets for greenhouse gas emissions that are intended to help curb global climate change. As part of the arrangement, announced by the White House, the United States would cut net greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent… Photo via...

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US Airstrike Targets Senior ISIS Members
Nov09

US Airstrike Targets Senior ISIS Members

U.S.-led airstrikes against the Islamic State targeted a meeting of area ISIS officials, possibly killing leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Two witnesses told Reuters the strike targeted a house where senior Islamic State officers were meeting. Local television channel al-Hadath said dozens were either wounded or killed, and ISIS fighters evacuated a hospital to treat survivors. Area… US Airstrike Targets Senior ISIS...

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Republican Senate takeover gives war hawks, neocons bully pulpit
Nov08

Republican Senate takeover gives war hawks, neocons bully pulpit

Republican insiders say legislation already is in the works to pressure the White House into expanding the war against the Islamic State and increasing pressure on Russia and Iran, as the GOP takeover of the Senate provides neocons and war hawks with their first bully pulpit since the end of George W. Bush’s presidency. While there… Republican Senate takeover gives war hawks, neocons bully...

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Breaking: Obama Authorizes Additional Troops in Fight Against ISIL
Nov07

Breaking: Obama Authorizes Additional Troops in Fight Against ISIL

The Defense Department has announced that, “as part of the strategy to defeat ISIL terrorists,” President Obama has authorized up to 1,500 additional troops to Iraq, pretty much doubling the number of U.S. forces on the ground there now. The new authorization gives the U.S. military the ability to deploy up to 3,100 troops. About 1,400 U.S. troops are now on the ground in Iraq, just below the previous authorized limit of 1,600 troops...

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The Night the Wall Came Down
Nov05

The Night the Wall Came Down

There are certain images to which one is an eyewitness — images seen through one’s own eyes or through the miracle of television — that are seared into one’s memory, forever. Of course 9-11, President Kennedy’s assassination, the Challenger space shuttle disaster, “shock-and-awe,” rank high among them. I personally will never forget the night of Nov. 9, 1989, the night when “the Wall...

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‘iGay’: Apple Does it Better than Church of Rome (de Volkskrant, The Netherlands)
Nov04

‘iGay’: Apple Does it Better than Church of Rome (de Volkskrant, The Netherlands)

Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook ‘came out of the closet’ as they say, proclaiming proudly in the pages of Business Week that ‘I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.’ Columnist Bert Wagendorp of the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant calls Cook’s comments ‘a beautiful and powerful provocation’ in ‘the most Christian country in the world’ and which goes the pope...

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(Update) Slinking Out of Afghanistan?
Nov04

(Update) Slinking Out of Afghanistan?

UPDATE: Read the touching reflections on the end of our mission in Afghanistan by a person who was in Helmand, here. Ryan Evans quotes an Afghan farmer, “There was war before the foreign troops arrived, there was war while they were here, and there will be war after they leave” and concludes: Helmand is where I came to know the world, my fellow man, myself and the messy realities of all three. I came home three years ago a different...

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U.S. Midterms: Obama Weakened When World Needs America Most (Le Monde, France)
Nov03

U.S. Midterms: Obama Weakened When World Needs America Most (Le Monde, France)

President Obama is facing a ‘thumping’ as President Bush called his public rejoinder after the 2006 midterm elections. Unlike Bush, though, President Obama is judged to be not only weak and ineffective at home, but ineffective and indecisive abroad. For Le Monde, journalist Dominique Simonnet and historian Nicole Bacharan outline the danger to the West and the world when an American leader is as weakened as the current...

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