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Opinion-This Time, It Just Might Happen

Ready for a deal? President Obama talks with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. (Photo Courtesy of Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Ready for a deal? President Obama talks with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. (Photo Courtesy of Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

And so it begins again. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have sat down in the same room and started talking. It’s easy to assume that like each of the previous four times that has been triumphantly announced, this too will collapse. But if these talks can last the summer, I think they’ll result in an interim deal between the sides. Here’s why (and why I don’t think it’s a good thing):

… Continue Reading

Opinion: Ok John, Now What?

July 19, 2013 In Depth, Special Feature
More of the same for the Palestinians. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Standing still – more of the same for the Palestinians. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The latest effort by US Secretary of State John Kerry to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians looks to end in failure. And if this AFP report is right, and the Palestinian leadership rejected the compromise agreed upon between Kerry and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, then this effort won’t go anywhere any time soon.

Kerry spent long hours with the Palestinian leadership, and it brought no results. Of course the pressure and the blame is being laid on Israel. Yet it is the Palestinians who truly undercut themselves and deserve to be shamed. … Continue Reading

Analysis: Welcome to the New (Quasi-)World War

July 14, 2013 Special Feature, Syria
Russia put Israeli ships at risk, so Israel shot back. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Russia put Israeli ships at risk, so Israel shot back. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

In case you missed it, the US attacked Russia on July 5. Ok, so technically Israel struck at some Russian anti-ship missiles stored in Syria, but the reality is that the proxy wars of the past are back. Israel attacked Syria for it’s own reasons. But why Israel had to worry about Russian weapons and the reason why US officials leaked to the media that Israel was behind the strike bode ill for our future. … Continue Reading

Why Should You Care about Egypt? It’s Your Money at Stake

Sea trade is one reason we're buying off Egypt. Oil Tanker. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Navy. Photo by Mass Communication 2nd Class Nathan Schaeffer

Sea trade is one reason we’re buying off Egypt. Oil Tanker. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Navy. Photo by Mass Communication 2nd Class Nathan Schaeffer

Millions are in the streets again in Egypt. One year after the new president was elected, they’re calling for him to step down. You might be thinking it’s just crazy politics and you might ignore the fidgety revolutionaries “over there.” You’d be wrong.

Egypt is a major ally in the war-torn and oil-rich Middle East, which is enough to make the events there matter to the world at large. But there are many other reasons why Americans and Europeans should care about the revolving revolutions in Egypt. Millions in fact.

For one thing, Egypt receives an enormous amount of financial aid, funded by your tax dollars. We’re talking billions of dollars. The US alone contributes about $1.5 billion every year. Europe is a little lower than that, but a cool 1 billion Euros since 2007 is nothing to sneeze at. … Continue Reading

Opinion—Don’t Reset Relations with Iran Just Yet

Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

Sometimes one change can lead to another, but one mustn’t confuse opportunity with reality. When President Barack Obama was elected in the United States, he made a point of trying to “reset” relations with Russia—it was an opportunity. Unfortunately, in reality it takes two to tango, and regardless of any short-term benefits, the Russians have not been so conciliatory.

Similarly, one might be tempted to reset the relationship with Iran after the election of Hassan Rouhani. New guy, new leaf, clean slate etc. But that would be a big mistake. … Continue Reading

Opinion: Syrian Conflict Starting to Resemble Mini-World War

June 10, 2013 In Depth, Special Feature, Syria
Could US jets fight in Syria? Photo Courtesy of U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth.

Could US jets fight in Syria? Photo Courtesy of U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth.

If you enjoy playing with dominoes, you know that a carefully laid out pattern of the toys can make quite an impressive display once the first one is knocked over. One after another, dominoes fall at racing speed. Similarly, if you’re a history buff, you may recall that World War I began when a random member of European royalty was killed. Like dominoes, one incident quickly led to another that started the largest war the world had ever seen.

The civil war in Syria has been threatening to spread to other countries for months now. But some important dominoes are tottering and others are being set up. The Syrian conflict is on the verge of spinning out of control, and it’s mostly the fault of two Syrian allies. … Continue Reading

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