The recently displaced archbishop of Mosul, Iraq was speaking with particular candor when I met him last fall in the Middle East.
He said, "People in the West say 'they don't know.' How can you not know? You either support ISIS or you must have turned off all the satellites. I am sorry to say this, but my pain is big."
Like so many Christians in Iraq and Syria who watched ISIS kidnap their leaders, burn their churches, sell their children, and threaten all others with conversion or beheading; the archbishop wonders how it is that these maniacs so easily took his home city this summer? more >>
By constantly projecting Western standards on Islamic jihadist, CIA head John Brennan has come to epitomize the U.S. intelligence community's intellectual failures concerning the true sources of the jihad.
Last Friday, March 13, Brennan insisted that Islamic State (IS) members are not Islamic. Instead, "They are terrorists, they're criminals. Most—many—of them are psychopathic thugs, murderers who use a religious concept and masquerade and mask themselves in that religious construct."
Note his usage of terms familiar to Western people ("terrorists," "criminals," etc.). Islamic State jihadist may be all those things—including "psychopathic thugs"—from a Western paradigm, but the fact left out by Brennan is that, according to Islamic law and history, savage and psychopathic behavior is permissible, especially in the context of the jihad. more >>
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 >>