Archive for the ‘Syria’ Category


It seems the overwhelming opinion, from across the political spectrum and around the globe, is that we must stand aside and let Syria

A US protester in support of the late, lamented Egyptian revolt. (photo courtesy of Sasha Kimel, published under a Creative Commons license)

A US protester in support of the late, lamented Egyptian revolt. (photo courtesy of Sasha Kimel, published under a Creative Commons license)

burn, offering a bit of humanitarian aid but doing nothing else substantive. This arises for a variety of reasons, including the sordid history of outside intervention and a binary bit of thinking where the only options are to support Assad or to support the dominant militias like al-Nusra and ISIL (sometimes referred to as ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Syria). Personally, I’m not satisfied with any of the options being proposed, but I also recognize why we are so limited and why the international community is stymied.

Rather than simply bemoan the horror, I propose a new idea for how such tragedies might be addressed. If it, or something like it, were even attempted, it would be too late, at this point, for it to help Syria, more than likely. But the world needs some new system, some new entity, that provides a third choice, that addresses both regional and great power interests that are causing the current paralysis. I describe my ideas in Souciant today.

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A review of the politics of the debate over a US strike on Syria. Who made political gains and losses and why? One thing that was certainly set back was room in the discussion about doing anything within international diplomacy about a war which has killed 110,000 people and created some 7 million refugees (which amounts to about 1/3 of the population!). Still, how this plays out among important players in the international community and within US foreign policy matters. So, I looked at a few of those key players (by no means an exhaustive list) at Lobelog. 

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Both opposition to and support of Barack Obama’s proposal to bomb Syria have been focusing on a chemical weapons attack that killed some 1400 people while pushing to the background a civil war that has killed 100,000. The spiraling situation in Syria and the growing callousness of the discourse around it, in the West and elsewhere is long on what should not be done but tragically bereft of what should be done. I try to change that in my piece this week in Souciant.

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President Obama shocked many with his announcement that, despite the fact that he had decided to strike Syria, he was going to seek Obama situation roomauthorization from Congress. At LobeLog, I examine some of the implications for US politics and foreign policy, as well as the immediate meaning for an attack on Syria.

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My latest piece at LobeLog, where I frequently write on US foreign policy, examines the inadequacy of the current system of international law. It has gotten so ineffective that it is now more hindrance than help. Syria shines a spotlight on the problems.

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I continue to believe that Obama correctly does not want to escalate US involvement in Syria. But the geo-politics are robbing him of options very quickly. I explore at LobeLog.

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Public opinion on foreign policy matters is a fickle thing, considering how ill-informed of world news people are in the isolated and exceptionalist United States. Unfortunately, the politics of ignorance still plays much too big a role in US foreign policy decision-making. That’s why it is such a relief to see poll results like this one, from a HuffPo/You.gov poll: (more…)

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