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Opinion: Syrian Conflict Playing with Wild Fire

March 21, 2014 In Depth, Special Feature
Could a handshake prevent things from getting out of hand? UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) meets Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

Could a handshake prevent things from getting out of hand? UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) meets Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.

The Butterfly Effect builds off of the theory that if a butterfly flaps its wings, the impact of its action ultimately can impact a hurricane many miles away. In short, it argues that the world is interconnected and even small actions have unexpected consequences.

Well, the Syrian civil war is very much a combative Butterfly Effect: When terrorists join a civil war, nations not even involved in the fighting get attacked. Israel is enduring this first hand, and right now it’s looking like it could get out of hand. … Continue Reading

Opinion: Waning US Influence Means Chaos in Middle East

America's talking loudly, but how big a stick are they carrying? Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

America’s talking loudly, but how big a stick are they carrying? Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

It was 2005, and the world was looking brighter. Lebanon kicked out Syria’s army, Ukraine had a pro-West, pro-democracy revolution, Libya was in the midst of deconstructing their weapons of mass destruction and the world’s powerful bad guys seemed to be isolated into a two-nation axis of evil. It was a good year for the West and America.

Now it’s 2014. Lebanon is home to a powerful Iranian-led terror militia known as Hezbollah. The Iranians are popular with corporations racing to get a piece of the pie as sanctions disappear. North Korea has made multiple nuclear tests and Ukraine is under Russian threat. What’s a key element to all the bad news? America’s inability and disinterest in influencing world affairs. It’s a new world order now: fend for yourself. Goodbye Middle East stability. … Continue Reading

Opinion: The Incredible Shrinking Terror Group

February 9, 2014 In Depth, Special Feature, Terrorism
Is another Gaza war on the horizon? Photo Courtesy of IDF Spokesperson.

Is another Gaza war on the horizon? Israeli car hit by rocket fire. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of IDF Spokesperson.

There’s something rotten in the Strip of Gaza, and it’s about to get even worse. If you’re a terrorist there, anyway. In a crazy change of circumstances and politics, the Hamas organization is now on its heels and there just might be hope of more stability and peace in the Middle East. There may also be more bloodshed before that point is reached. Let’s take a closer look at what’s happening and the odds of it resulting in more violence soon. … Continue Reading

Opinion – Expect A Major Deal in 2014

Will US talk their way to a Middle East deal? US Secretary of State Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of US State Department.

Will US talk their way to a Middle East deal? US Secretary of State Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of US State Department.

I believe that this year will include dramatic headlines that will surprise, anger, thrill and confuse many. And what could do that, you ask? Well, I believe that this year the Israelis and the Palestinians will reach an interim deal. But that doesn’t mean what you think and certainly isn’t a good thing.
… Continue Reading

Opinion – Praising Congress on Iran

Will US Congress pass more sanctions on Iran? US Capitol building. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Will US Congress pass more sanctions on Iran? US Capitol building. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

It’s not often that the US Congress, especially the Senate, is worthy of praise. That’s more often because of what they don’t do – like passing an annual budget, which hasn’t happened for years. But today, I’m applauding them for doing something, and doing it well: threatening Iran with more sanctions.

Technically, the Senate hasn’t passed the bill yet, but over a quarter of its members are behind a deal that ups the pressure on Iran if they don’t show good faith in the nuclear talks with the world. Indeed, sometimes the best defense is a good offense.
… Continue Reading

Opinion: It’s Time to Rethink Syria

December 15, 2013 In Depth, Special Feature, Syria
Is it too late to save Syria? Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Neeraj Singh

Is it too late to save Syria? Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Neeraj Singh

The heart rate just kept dropping. The patient had lost a lot of weight, and his supporters had kept insisting on giving the patient more food. They just refused to admit it was cancer. And then it finally came. Some of the saddest words ever spoken. “It’s too late.”

If Syria’s opposition movement were a hospital patient, this is exactly how it would look. And here we are, watching a collapsing rebel movement being swallowed alive by cancerous Islamist rebels. So here I am, saying the saddest words I have said to date on Syria: “It’s too late.” And now it’s time to pull the plug, with as much grace as possible. … Continue Reading

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