As the ongoing civil war in Syria has entered it's fifth year, with over 220,000 people dead, humanitarian agencies like Oxfam International have said that the collective failure of world leaders to bring the devastation to an end is a "stain on the conscience of the international community."
"This spiralling catastrophe is a stain on the conscience of the international community," Oxfam wrote in a report, assessing the civil war.
It added that despite several U.N. Security Council resolutions to protect civilians, the violence in the country has continued to intensify, while the humanitarian response has been underfunded. more >>
President Obama has engaged in military actions around the world as much as any other president. Since receiving the Nobel Peace Prize shortly after entering office, he has proven himself as aggressive as the most hawkish Republican president in history. This comes as no surprise in hindsight; when Obama was first running for president, he indicated he would bomb Pakistan, which even most Republicans opposed.
By April 2012, The New York Times was calling Obama "warrior in chief," saying he "has turned out to be one of the most militarily aggressive American leaders in decades." Law professor Jonathan Turley, considered one of the top left-leaning constitutional experts in the country, told MSNBC that Obama is worse than Bush or Nixon at launching unilateral, unconstitutional wars. Jack Goldsmith, who led the Office of Legal Counsel for part of the George W. Bush administration, says Obama has expanded war powers beyond any previous president.
In response to the liberal backlash against the 47 Republican senators who sent a joint letter to leaders of Iran about their nuclear negotiations with the Obama administration, conservatives have been quick to point out that, on several occasions, Democrats actually met with foreign leaders hostile to the U.S. in an attempt to undermine Republican presidents.
Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner wrote a piece Tuesday pointing to five different instances when Democrats tried to undermine Republicans presidents' foreign policy efforts.
These included a meeting between KGB officials and former Democratic Sen. John Tunney during the Cold War; 10 Democrat lawmakers voicing support for the Sandinista government of Nicaragua in 1984; former House Speaker Nanci Pelosi visiting Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2007; Democrats visiting Saddam Hussein's Iraq in 2002; and former Democratic President Jimmy Carter sending a letter to assorted nations in 1990 to stop George H.W. Bush from going to war with Iraq. more >>
Did manmade global warming cause the Syrian civil war and the rise of ISIS?
A new paper, Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought, PNAS, March 2, 2015, summarized its findings by saying, "the 2007-2010 drought contributed to the conflict in Syria. It was the worst drought in the instrumental record, causing widespread crop failure and a mass migration of farming families to urban centers."
It went on to say, "Century-long observed trends in precipitation, temperature, and sea-level pressure, supported by climate model results [emphasis added], strongly suggest that anthropogenic forcing has increased the probability of severe and persistent droughts in this region, and made the occurrence of a 3-year drought as severe as that of 2007-2010 2 to 3 times more likely than by natural variability alone." more >>
For many Americans Fred Rogers, famous for his character on PBS' long-running children's television series, "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood," was a nostalgic staple whose feel-good quotes continue to be propagated by those who grew up watching him on their living room TV sets as children.
According to one author, however, Mr. Rogers shouldn't just be considered a wholesome TV star from yesteryear, but also a radical counter-cultural figure.
Michael G. Long, associate professor of religious studies and peace and conflict studies at Elizabethtown College, has written a book titled Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Countercultural Mister Rogers. more >>
A controversy is brewing over a beautiful photograph of an infant cradled in the American flag while the parent, a uniformed Navy veteran holds their newborn.
Some argue that this photographer has "desecrated" the flag by capturing this image. Others, such as me, say that this photo represents the sacrifice that our service members make each and every day that are so often forgotten. Members of our military serve with dignity and honor and often their families have to take a selfless back seat to their service, uprooting their lives and living in worry. This picture captures what each and every service member fights for and puts their life on the line for—freedom. Military personnel realize that a free America means the preservation of freedom for future generations.
Considering that our men and women in uniform fight for others freedom of speech and the freedom to burn the American flag—I think they have the right to take photographs such as these. I grew up understanding the sacrifice that our service members make for our country as my grandfather and my uncle have both proudly served in the United States Air Force. Military service was never a question for my uncle or for my grandfather—who constantly had to move their families around the country and even internationally as part of their service. more >>