With starry-eyed optimism, Western leaders and members of the media have recently fawned all over the new Iranian president, Hasan Rouhani, as if he had taken any meaningful steps to reverse Iran's illicit nuclear program, abysmal human rights abuses, or support for Hezbollah terrorism and Basher Assad's murderous regime in Syria.
In the 16-month period following Osama Bin Laden's assassination in May of 2011, national confidence increased in a way that was almost reminiscent of the pre-9/11 days. The economy was gradually coming back from the Great Recession (much as the pre-9/11 economy was recovering from the "Dot-Com Crash") and -- more importantly -- there was a sense that the worst national security fears of the U.S. were behind us
Any diplomatic initiative on Syria coming from Russia, whose UN votes have perpetuated Assad's killing machine for over two years, should be viewed with extreme suspicion. Nevertheless, the latest Russian proposal merits serious consideration.
On August 20, 2012 President Obama warned against chemical weapons' use in Syria, declaring it a "red line." On Dec. 3, 2012, Obama repeated his warning to Assad, saying "The use of chemical weapons is...totally unacceptable. And if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences and you will be held accountable."
At first glance, Hindu-majority India, with approximately 1.2 billion people and an entire subcontinent, would seem to have little in common with Jewish-majority Israel, which has only about eight million people living on territory that's just roughly 15 times the size of India's capital city. While full diplomatic relations were established between Jerusalem and New Delhi as recently as 1992, the two countries actually have much in common.
Unfortunately, the persecution of Christians is nothing new in Egypt or other Muslim-majority countries. But thanks to the mainstream media, few Westerners understand the true scale or nature of the horrors involved.
Here are my thoughts on why Secretary Kerry's Mideast peace process is wrong.
If this is how the EU chooses to spend its limited diplomatic and political resources "to help" the Middle East, then its moral compass is badly broken.
President Obama's Middle East policy has been an ever-worsening train wreck because it lacks credibility and strategy, as Egypt, Libya, and particularly Syria, have shown.
Critics who call the recent coup by the Egyptian army "undemocratic" are placing form over substance and forgetting that the election of Mohamed Morsi was itself arguably undemocratic.
June 20 was World Refugee Day, dedicated to nearly 60 million people worldwide who were forcibly displaced by conflict or persecution. One group of refugees rarely acknowledged is the Jews who were indigenous to Muslim lands but compelled to flee around the time when the State of Israel was established.
Naive observers of the recent Iranian presidential election call it a "game-changer." Such optimism warrants a sober assessment of the election, Hassan Rouhani, and the context within which he operates.
Viewed through the lens of domestic politics, Obama's Syria epiphany looks conveniently timed to deflect attention from an ever-swelling wave of scandals: Benghazi-gate, IRS-gate, AP/Fox-gate, and now NSA-gate and State Department prostitution-gate.
Sexual minorities are as unwelcome in the Middle East as are religious minorities. Just as the Muslim-majority countries of the Middle East are generally hostile to Christians, Jews, Bahá'ís, Zoroastrians, and other religious minorities, they are even less welcoming of non-heterosexuals
In his 2009 inaugural address, President Barack Obama declared, "To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."
As the Obama administration tries to unbury itself from snowballing scandals, my apocalyptic thriller steadily crawls from fiction to fact. The Middle East is an insane place. And it's going nuclear.
Americans are the biggest losers from the slew of scandals now rocking the White House, but who are the biggest winners? Iran, North Korea, Syria, China, and Russia.
The timing of so many sensational American crime stories packed together – Jodi Arias, Ariel Castro, Kermit Gosnell – were a news cycle boon that gave President Obama some precious time to prepare for a fast approaching storm of scandals while the media and public attention were focused elsewhere.
If zebras had pink stripes, they would resemble President Obama's "red lines" on Syria.
I genuinely empathize with the victims of the Boston bombing. But imagine if this happened again next week, at a pizzeria, killing 15 diners. And again, a week later, on a bus, killing 19 passengers.
The Syrian civil war may undo the European Union's attempts to appease Hezbollah, and has revealed how the Iran-backed terrorist organization undermines -- rather than promotes -- Lebanon's interests.
President Obama's recent charm offensive in Israel apparently had two aims: 1) lull Israel into forfeiting timely military action against Iranian nukes in the hope that Obama will stop them, and 2) convince Israelis that now is the time to revisit the land-for-peace formula.
Recent Turkish pressure on France and Germany regarding accession to the European Union heighten the need to question Turkey's strategic intentions and political identity. Is Turkey a moderate, pro-Western democracy? Or is it run by Islamists embracing policies and regimes hostile to the West?
The Talmud is a pillar of Jewish law, containing dialectical opinions from thousands of rabbis debating law, philosophy, history, theology, and myriad other topics. By displaying argumentation by many minds, a page of Talmud enshrines dissent.
Iran could have its first atomic bomb within four to six months of the regime's decision to assemble one, according to an assessment last Monday by Amos Yadlin, former IDF Director of Military Intelligence. About a week earlier, Tehran declared that it will use up to three thousand IR-2M centrifuges, which can enrich uranium at about quadruple the speed of Iran's current enrichment rate. Fred Kagan, Director of the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), describes the IR-2M installation as "undermin[ing] one of the core assumptions of current U.S. policy": that U.S. intelligence could detect Iran crossing a key threshold and developing weapons-grade nuclear material. The much faster IR-2M centrifuges could enable Iran to produce one weapon's worth of highly enriched uranium in about a week – the amount of time that IAEA inspectors might be absent before their next visit.