SYRIA The Syrian Salvation Government, which is Hayat Tahrir al-Sham's political arm, appears to be consolidating political control in Idlib province. Last week they gave the rival Syrian Interim Government a deadline to cease operations, and a couple of days later they decreed that all widows in Idlib must move in with a "sharia-compliant" male family member. … Continue reading Middle East update: December 16-17 2017
EUROPE RUSSIA Russian socialite Ksenia Sobchak, daughter of former St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak and possibly Vladimir Putin's goddaughter, announced that she's running for president next year. She, like all Russian opposition candidates, is definitely a legitimate candidate who has as good a shot at winning the election as Putin or anybody else in Russia's totally fully … Continue reading Europe/Americas update: October 17-18 2017
Israel-Palestine The UN Security Council will vote tomorrow on a resolution, authored by Egypt, demanding a stop to the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This will not be the first time the Security Council has taken up the issue of Israel's illegal, slow-rolling annexation of occupied Palestinian territory, and … Continue reading Conflict update: December 21 2016
My fellow Americans, while we were all gasping and laughing at Donald Trump and the Republican Party today--and I'm not knocking anybody, I spent most of the day doing it too--here's what our government was doing: More than 140 people were killed and more than 525 wounded when airstrikes hit a funeral ceremony in Yemen’s … Continue reading Why quit now?
A look at some recent developments related to the drone warfare program.
At least it's a classic episode: The Obama administration is "on the verge of taking action" against the Islamic State in Libya, where the terrorist network has flourished in recent months, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee told POLITICO on Tuesday. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) declined to describe what kind of action the … Continue reading The Obama administration is in reruns
Over at Slate, Josh Keating has a rundown of the Obama administration's hilariously convoluted attempts to condemn Saudi Arabia's mass execution of political prisoners without really condemning it: Saudi Arabia is a U.S. ally, obviously and unfortunately, and no one seriously expects the U.S. to take major diplomatic action over this, but these circumlocutions are … Continue reading Overlooking the bad things our pals do