Now comes (yet another!) book by one of the hordes of nation-security technocrats who dominate West Asian policymaking in Democratic administrations here in Washington. In this case, it is Grand Delusion: The Rise and Fall of American Ambition in the Middle East, a recent book by Steven Simon, a guy who has worked as first … Continue reading An intriguing but frustrating window into Obama’s West Asia policy
It is just as well that, when he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin March 5, Turkey’s President Rejep Tayyip Erdogan did not look up to his right. If he had, he would have seen towering over him a lofty statue of Russia’s Catherine the Great, who in the 18th century sheared … Continue reading Two big powers arm-wrestle in Syria. Neither one is the United States.
The thousands of highly motivated foreign fighters at all ranks of the fighting forces that control Syria’s Idlib enclave pose a particular challenge to policymakers worldwide trying to deal with the bitter fighting in the enclave and the humanitarian crisis that has resulted from it. (Many of these foreigners have also brought their children with … Continue reading Foreign jihadis playing a big role in Syria’s Idlib
Might “Gaza-ification”– a Gaza-style form of stabilization that is still a long way from a stable peace agreement– be a viable way of alleviating the currently dire humanitarian situation of the residents of Syria’s northwestern Idlib province? This prospect might seem little better better than the current situation of Idlib’s three million or so residents, … Continue reading Idlib: Is ‘Gaza-style’ stabilization possible?
For legitimate international aid organizations, the intense needs of the three million or so residents of Syria’s war-torn Idlib province pose a sharp moral (as well as legal) dilemma, since the many very needy noncombatants there have effectively been held hostage for more than two years by the genocidal coalition of militias led by the … Continue reading Idlib and the “Interahamwe aid trap”
The New York Times been continuing its wilful hiding of the political facts around the fighting in Syria’s Idlib province. In yesterday’s print edition, the paper had yet another humanitarian-only tearjerker, “reported” by Carlotta Gall (who should know better!) out of Reyhanli, Turkey. Her piece quoted some of the small numbers of people crossing the … Continue reading US corporate media and the suffering in Syria (contd.)
The New York Times continues its lengthy tradition of covering the story of Idlib as if it were one only of a humanitarian crisis brought about by the Syrian government (which they call a “regime”), and its allies. In yet another lengthy, expensive, lavishly illustrated story about Idlib, the NYT once again failed to make … Continue reading Idlib: A political conflict, not a one-sided “humanitarian” tearjerker
Almost from the beginning of the US-supported regime-change project in Syria, US policymakers have incorporated several kinds of planning for what is called “transitional justice” into their pursuit of the project. Transitional justice (TJ) is a field that came into great vogue in the mid-1990s, after two key developments in the post-Soviet world: (1) the … Continue reading Syria and “Transitional Justice”
If you rely only on the New York Times to understand events in Syria, you likely have the idea that the peaceable people of the Idlib province in the northwest of the country have for some years now been subjected to gratuitous attacks by the Syrian and Russian air forces that, for some unknown reason, … Continue reading What the New York Times doesn’t want you to know about Idlib
Earlier today, I published a new piece over at Medium, on how both wings of the bellophilic Washington “blob” are still working to punish and isolate the Syrian government, rather than providing real support to the peace/reform negotiations that have been (creakingly) underway in Geneva since October 30. (By “both wings”, I mean leaderships of … Continue reading New piece on Syria & how the Washington ‘Blob’ still works to punish it