Americans pride themselves on helping the distressed. They have indeed been generous when people and countries are in trouble. But our public and government have also been complacent in the face of massive human suffering. Recall Rwanda and Cambodia. More recently, the U.S. public has watched passively for well over two years the continuing destruction of a highly developed state: Syria, where more than 120,000 civilians have been killed and more than 6 million left homeless.
Nine million people need humanitarian assistance. More than 2 million Syrians are refugees in neighboring countries. More than 3 million others are now beyond the reach of humanitarian agencies, according to the United Nations.… Seguir leyendo »
U.S. policy in the Middle East is f loundering. President Obama’s two most important allies in the region are on a collision course. It will not be resolved by the State Department’s injunction to Turkey and Israel to “cool it.”
Turkey’s importance to Washington is clear: its involvement in NATO and its forces in Afghanistan; its strong economic ties to northern Iraq; its ongoing cooperation against terrorism; and, most recently, its role in the NATO missile defense shield. The depth of the U.S.-Turkey alliance makes the crisis in Israeli-Turkish relations one that equally involves the United States.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expanded his confrontation with Israel beyond the 2010 Gaza flotilla incident and into a full-scale assault on Israel’s position in the region.… Seguir leyendo »
Confusion continues to reign over what is happening in Pakistan’s unstable Swat Valley and its neighboring districts.
The Pakistani government says that the “emergency” fighting that displaced more than 2 million people earlier this year “is over.” The Taliban has been defeated, Islamabad claims, and the area is returning to normal. The million still displaced have been ordered to return home (regardless of whether they want to), and the remaining camps for the displaced will soon be closed.
Whatever truth lies in the government’s story, its portrayal of the scene is self-serving. The Pakistani army is fighting a difficult internal battle for which it has not been trained.… Seguir leyendo »