Well this is certainly interesting, although I doubt it will have any long-term implications: Lebanese security forces have detained a wife and young child of Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi near the border with Syria, the army says. The pair were picked up by military intelligence after entering Lebanon with forged papers 10 … Continue reading Lebanon detains Mrs. al-Baghdadi and child
Last Thursday, in lieu of stuffing himself with bu qalamun (turkey) in thanks for the colonization of North America, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, went before a large crowd of Basij militia members, some of the most conservative, "Death to America" types in all of Iran, and told them that he is "not opposed" … Continue reading Just for fun, why don’t we try really listening to what the Iranians are saying?
The total cost of our air campaign against ISIS exceeded a cool billion dollars as of October, but the U.N.'s Word Food Program can't afford to keep feeding Syrian war refugees because it's short $64 million: A funding crisis has forced the World Food Program to suspend assistance to 1.7 million Syrian refugees, the U.N. agency … Continue reading American priorities
When Mosul fell to ISIS in June, lots of theories were put forward about why the Iraqi Army folded so easily despite vastly outnumbering and outgunning its enemies. Lack of training and combat experience was often cited, and with good reason; the decision to basically scrap the existing Iraqi Army and start over from scratch … Continue reading The Army That Wasn’t There
Oh boy. I guess some GOP Capitol Hill press flack really stepped in it. Sounds like it's something that's going to maybe even cost them their job. Better check it out: OK, now hold on (ha ha) just a second here. First of all, you know, people have needs or whatever, right? I thought this … Continue reading Probably not the best career move
I suppose I've been a little hard on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko around here, and I want to acknowledge that maybe I'm being unfair. I suppose I have a natural disinclination toward ultra-wealthy oligarchs in elective office, but that's my own bias. Anyway, my view has been that Poroshenko spoiled an opportunity to end the … Continue reading What if Petro Poroshenko CAN’T cut a deal with Donbas separatists?
On the one hand, Al-Monitor's Laura Rozen is reporting that significant progress was made in this last round of talks in Vienna, so much so that the Iranian negotiators may actually have felt that a deal was within reach if the P5+1 principals had stayed there another week. She writes that the P5+1 negotiators are … Continue reading Dueling narratives on Vienna