President Donald Trump is about to come face-to-face with his next quarterly brush with Armageddon. Should he, or shouldn’t he, scrap the Iran nuclear accord?
Any decision by him to “decertify” Iran’s compliance, will have only a cataclysmic impact on the key issues he has cited for ending the pact and snapping back a range of tough sanctions that would accompany any such action.
The President would not be helping American or Western security. He certainly would not be helping hundreds of thousands of demonstrators who have taken to the streets across Iran.
What such a decision will do is seriously compromise American relations with all its major European allies, as foreign ministers of most European countries suggested on Thursday morning in a tense Brussels meeting.… Seguir leyendo »
Donald Trump’s travails are apparently sending shivers through Europe’s so-called populist right. This seems particularly true in France.
Marine Le Pen — the leader of France’s National Front party and darling of the French far right — had hoped to ride President Trump’s coattails to power — and in the process, bring down the entire European project.
As France, Italy and the Netherlands gear up for critical elections this spring, many of Trump’s more outrageous pronouncements — not to mention actions — are casting a pall over Europe’s populism.
Trump’s continuing embrace of Vladimir Putin, his support for a Brexit that even many Brits are now viewing with fear, and above all his de-facto Muslim ban all appear to be moving much of the European electorate closer to the center and driving these often-bickering nations closer to each other.… Seguir leyendo »
Israel, and by extension the United States, are poised at the entrance to a dangerous path. The model democracy of the Middle East risks transforming into a global pariah on the scale of South Africa when it was in the depths of its apartheid nightmare.
After decades of Arab-Israeli diplomacy, the idea of a one-state solution looms anew, as conservative elements in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition see the arrival of Donald Trump and his new ambassador to Israel as an opportunity to push their agenda.
If it is realized, it would reduce Israel’s Palestinian population to a permanent underclass and mean, in the not-too-distant future, that a Jewish minority would be ruling a Muslim majority, with the world on the side of the oppressed majority.… Seguir leyendo »
The apparent violent truck assault on Berlin’s crowded Breitscheidplatz Christmas market had all the hallmarks of Islamic State terrorism — the same type of semitruck, the same high speed of 40 miles an hour, the same mass of holiday revelers — as the horrific attack on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice last summer. In both cases, there were multiple deaths and scores of maimed and injured left in their wake.
But beyond the immediate panic and horror, there also appears to be a potentially more pernicious reward to the forces of the political far right best positioned to capitalize on such a tragedy.… Seguir leyendo »
As Donald Trump nears his choice for secretary of state, one of the first orders of business for the successful candidate will be grappling with instability from the populist revolution emerging across the Atlantic, upheaval similar to that which propelled Trump to power — a sudden and powerful lurch toward the right. This restlessness presents both potential opportunities and peril for the next president of the United States — and those who would carry out his vision.
On Sunday, French Republicans overwhelmingly threw their support behind François Fillon as their party’s candidate for next year’s presidential election. Fillon easily beat conservative rival and Bordeaux Mayor Alain Juppé for the right to face the Socialist Party and far-right National Front party leader Marine Le Pen in the first round of the presidential contest in April.… Seguir leyendo »
There are few more vulnerable spots along NATO’s entire perimeter than the Suwalki Gap, an about 60-mile stretch of territory and a critical rail line separating Poland from Lithuania, linking Russian Kaliningrad with Putin’s staunch ally Belarus. If Vladimir Putin takes comfort in NATO’s waffling, or doubts US willingness to spring to the defense of the Baltic republics, it’s here any shootout between NATO and Russia could start. Or even World War III.
Vice President Biden paid an urgent trip to neighboring Latvia in August to meet the presidents of all three Baltic states — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — to assure them that “we have pledged our sacred honor … to the NATO treaty and Article 5,” which says an attack on one NATO ally is an attack on all.… Seguir leyendo »
If there is one immediate lesson to be drawn from the third terrorist attack in France in 18 months, it is that little has changed beyond the techniques used to rain death and destruction on a population only barely healing from the last blow.
Sadly, it’s clear that the forces of law and order have developed little or no understanding of what is happening within the vast community of extremists who now seem capable of holding one of Europe’s leading, yet most vulnerable, nations in their thrall. And worse yet, France continues to lack the coordination so desperately needed if the next attack is to be thwarted before it can be unleashed.… Seguir leyendo »