One Thousand Reasons to Let Others Deal with ISIS
Aug30

One Thousand Reasons to Let Others Deal with ISIS

There are probably one thousand reasons for not getting involved in the genocide and other atrocities presently being perpetrated by a band of nihilistic, religious fanatics in the Middle East. In a superb, well-researched, well-reasoned, logical and eloquent piece — and I do mean each and every one of these attributes — our Foreign Affairs correspondent Brij Khindaria discusses several of them. Among the reasons for not...

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Republicans Prefer Out of Context Quotes Over Serious Middle East Discussion
Aug30

Republicans Prefer Out of Context Quotes Over Serious Middle East Discussion

Republicans, lacking any actual coherent policy arguments, love to dwell on taking comments from Democrats out of context, often distorting what was said. They made such an distorted quote the centerpiece of their last national convention. We are bound to hear another out of context quote over and over from Republicans. In response to a question from Chuck Todd, Obama explained why it is premature to take a plan to Congress before...

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Reagan Sets ‘Acid Test’ for Crisis-Beset Obama (La Stampa, Italy)
Aug29

Reagan Sets ‘Acid Test’ for Crisis-Beset Obama (La Stampa, Italy)

With President Obama confronting a wide array of crisis across the world, who can he turn to for advice about how to proceed? For Italy’s La Stampa, columnist Gianni Riotta suggests a little summer vacation reading: Reagan at Reykjavik by Ken Adelman. Riotta writes that for all of President Obama’s obvious gifts and advantages, he lacks one essential thing that Mikhail Gorbachev respected above all – and Reagan had...

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Islamic State: Blame the Arabian wars
Aug29

Islamic State: Blame the Arabian wars

President Barack Obama admits that he does not yet have a strategy deal with the Islamic State, which he calls a cancer that needs “rooting out” although the fight “won’t be easy and it won’t be quick.” On Friday, British Prime Minister David Cameron warned of a new generational war against the IS. The question remains whether getting deeply involved will drop Obama and his allies into the inextricable centuries-old trap of...

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Summary Update: Iraq-ISIS/ISIL Crisis (Updated)
Aug29

Summary Update: Iraq-ISIS/ISIL Crisis (Updated)

A U.S. F-18 fighter jet refuels from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft over northern Iraq, Aug. 21, 2014. (Photo: DoD) Update: NEWSWEEK: Britain raised its international terrorism threat level to the second highest level of “severe” on Friday in response to possible attacks being planned in Syria and Iraq, Home Secretary (interior minister) Theresa May said. “That means that a terrorist attack is highly...

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Deny the Islamic State a safe haven (Guest Voice)
Aug29

Deny the Islamic State a safe haven (Guest Voice)

In 2002, my aircraft carrier battle group was conducting retaliatory strikes against Afghanistan when I was directed to move into the Persian Gulf and begin precursor combat operations against Iraq. While meeting with the fleet commander, I told him we were ready to go. But when asked my opinion of the impeding war, I replied that… Deny the Islamic State a safe...

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Obama’s Big Gaffe on ISIS: Says “We don’t have a strategy yet.”
Aug29

Obama’s Big Gaffe on ISIS: Says “We don’t have a strategy yet.”

The White House has been in damage control mode. Once again a politician has made a foot-in-mouth gaffe that can hurt and/or define him. And this time it was President Barack Obama — bigtime. At a time when a new poll by the respected company Pew Research finds Americans now feel the U.S. doesn’t do enough to solve world problems and that 54% feel Obama is not tough enough, Obama, in trying to explain that he’s...

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Have we gone to war again?
Aug29

Have we gone to war again?

WASHINGTON — I’d like to know whether the United States is at war with the Islamic State. I’d like to know why — or why not. I’d like to know whether the goal of U.S. policy is to contain the jihadist militia or destroy it. President Obama? Members of Congress? Please pay attention. I’m talking to you. The barbarians who decapitated journalist James Foley — and who commit atrocities on a daily...

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The ISIS-Iraq Crisis
Aug27

The ISIS-Iraq Crisis

Summary of news from in and around Iraq. Source, unless otherwise indicated: The Stars and Stripes The Islamic State militant group is holding hostage a young American woman who was doing humanitarian aid work in Syria, a family representative said. The 26-year-old woman is the third American known to have been kidnapped by the radical group. The Islamic State group recently threatened to kill American hostages to avenge the crushing...

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What line to draw on beheadings?
Aug27

What line to draw on beheadings?

What line to draw on beheadings? by Ruth Marcus Washington Post Writers Group Columnist WASHINGTON — “Don’t watch the video. Don’t share it. That’s not how life should be.” So tweeted Kelly Foley, a cousin of beheaded journalist James Foley, as the video of the brutal execution began to go viral — as the Islamic State intended. Beheaded journalist. How horrible to write a sentence featuring...

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Islamic State and the pitfalls of evil
Aug26

Islamic State and the pitfalls of evil

Sadly and ominously, some of the hardline American response to the Islamic State is trending towards a war of religions. It is the path terrorists want but is the worst on which to be. It is a time-tested labyrinth of inconclusive attrition. President Barack Obama took a step into the labyrinth after James Foley’s barbaric beheading. “There is evil in this world … Ugly, savage, inexplicable, nihilistic, and valueless evil. ISIL is the...

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Cartoon: ISIS Cuts Off Nose
Aug26

Cartoon: ISIS Cuts Off Nose

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit...

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Where Opinions Don’t Matter
Aug25

Where Opinions Don’t Matter

Indicative of the great diversity of opinions Americans have and because of the freedoms we enjoy expressing them, one can find the full spectrum of views on what should be done about ISIS and about related terrorism/bad actors-nations problems. They range from doing nothing to “bomb, bomb, bomb the hell out of them” — and everything in between. My opinions, for whatever they are worth, fall somewhere in between — and I...

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Report: British Intelligence Has Identified ‘Jihadi John’
Aug25

Report: British Intelligence Has Identified ‘Jihadi John’

British intelligence has identified the black-clad figure shown getting ready to behead U.S. journalist James Foley last week, a report said. In a grisly video, the figure who has become known as “Jihadi John,” said the execution was in response to the U.S. bombing of Islamic State positions near Mosul Dam in Iraq and threatened...

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No time to lead from behind (Guest Voice)
Aug24

No time to lead from behind (Guest Voice)

No time to lead from behind by Michael Gerson Washington Post Writers Group Columnist WASHINGTON — Responding to the horrifying murder of photojournalist James Foley, Secretary of State John Kerry declared, “ISIL [the Islamic State] and the wickedness it represents must be destroyed.” President Obama said, “people like this ultimately fail.” The first is a pledge; the second an observation. Obama remains...

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James Foley’s masked killer resembles British fighter in video of Syrian soldier’s execution
Aug24

James Foley’s masked killer resembles British fighter in video of Syrian soldier’s execution

Security agencies hunting for the killer of James Foley, the American journalist, are investigating video footage of two British jihadists taking part in the execution of a soldier captured during fighting in Syria. British and U.S. counter-terrorism analysts believe one of the Britons bears a resemblance to the jihadist who beheaded Mr Foley. If they...

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Beheading Shows ‘Weakness’; Video Should Not Be Viewed (Le Nouvel Observateur, France)
Aug24

Beheading Shows ‘Weakness’; Video Should Not Be Viewed (Le Nouvel Observateur, France)

In a world in which few of our institutions in government or media are trusted to tell the truth, who should decide what the public is permitted to see – and not? The horrifying terrorist beheading of journalist James Foley is only the latest story to spark this debate, after the recent terrorist shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines MH17. In this column from France’s Le Nouvel Observateur, war correspondent Jean-Paul Mari...

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(Updated) Is US Considering Expanding Air Strikes into Syria?
Aug23

(Updated) Is US Considering Expanding Air Strikes into Syria?

Update: The Washington Post has a piece discussing how and why it may be premature and/or risky to launch air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria. Among these: Intelligence gaps (as became clear in the failed attempt to rescue Foley) and lack of capabilities to “provide reliable-enough intelligence to sustain a campaign of strikes.” The nature and sophistication of Syria’s air defense capabilities “Our intelligence is improving...

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Islamic State: Obama needs friends
Aug23

Islamic State: Obama needs friends

The main reason for the rise of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is that Washington is losing influence over events in the Middle East. So forces hostile to the US are entering the power vacuum. Regaining control requires wining more friends among neighboring nations and peoples. Giving primacy only to American military power produces fear or fawning, not friendship. Most of the world’s people accept President Barack Obama as “the leader of the...

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(Updates) U.S. Airstrikes Against ISIL Continue
Aug23

(Updates) U.S. Airstrikes Against ISIL Continue

Update II: Vice President Biden wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post yesterday expressing confidence that ISIS could be defeated without U.S. ground troops in Iraq. Here are some excerpts: These steps [to form a new Iraqi government] are meaningful because they show that Iraqis have begun to understand that they must rise above their differences. And that, when they do, they can succeed — not only in uniting the country but in...

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