Untitled. Iran’s leadership reacted angrily but cautiously to the assassination.
President Hassan Rouhani has said that Iran will respond in a manner and at a time of its own choosing. He blamed Israel, adding, “This brutal assassination shows that our enemies are passing through anxious weeks, weeks that they feel their pressure era is coming to an end and the global conditions are changing.” That statement suggests that Iran will seek revenge against Israel in some other form. Iran may increase its support for Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It will ensure that Israel remains “the lesser Satan” in Iranian propaganda for the foreseeable future, and Israeli soft targets — such as tourists and students — could be at risk, along with Israeli officials overseas. With temperatures running so high, the incoming Biden administration now faces a serious challenge.
For a variety of reasons, Iran’s nuclear program has been slow moving. Untitled. But a key result is that as Biden considers reopening negotiations to revive the Iran nuclear deal — which Trump abandoned in 2018 — he can expect to find Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates operating as a loose anti-Iran coalition.
This will almost certainly complicate things for Biden, owing to the second huge fallout from the Iranian attack on Abqaiq: The impact it had on Israel. After Trump scrapped the nuclear deal, Iran abandoned its commitments to restrict its enrichment of uranium that could be used for a nuclear bomb. But since Biden’s election, Iran has said it would “automatically” return to its nuclear commitments if Biden lifts the crippling sanctions imposed by Trump.
Only after those sanctions are lifted, said Tehran, might it discuss regional issues, like curbs on Iran’s precision missile exports and capabilities. This is where the problems will start for Biden. They are, though, homicidal. Why? Untitled. The Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, was also stripped of something by this deal, which may force him to the negotiating table.
Untitled. Bloomberg - Are you a robot? Gold star husband: On Syria withdrawal, Trump is right (opinion) The President's detractors on both sides of the aisle are frantically arguing that we have "abandoned" the Kurds and that without a permanent US presence in Syria ISIS will return.
These emotional arguments ignore reality on several key issues. First and foremost: the nature of our relationship with the Syrian Kurds. The US partnered with the Syrian Kurds to defeat ISIS's territorial caliphate; the US air power controlled by skilled Special Operations Forces (SOF) saved the Kurds from being slaughtered by ISIS. The Kurds valiantly fought against ISIS not because we showed up and convinced them to, but because they had their backs to the wall and we saved them. Our interests intersected. US airstrike killed dozens of Russians in Syria, but Moscow stays silent. The Kremlin has downplayed reports of mass casualties, not named any of those who died and not said why they were there in the first place.
But families of the dead men are starting to ask questions. The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook. After Obama won reelection in November 2012, the administration’s pushback on Hezbollah drug cases became more overt, and now seemed to be emanating directly from the White House, according to task force members, some former U.S. officials and other observers.
One reason, they said, was Obama’s choice of a new national security team. The appointment of John Kerry as secretary of state was widely viewed as a sign of a redoubled effort to engage with Iran. Raasch: Ken Burns, myth buster, and Vietnam's real lessons for today. WASHINGTON • Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War,” a documentary 10 years in the making about a war that has been generations in the healing, has provided a very valuable service.
The filmmaker has shown in vivid terms the fallacy of data dependency in the course of human events. If Donald Trump’s 2016 victory — which discombobulated virtually everyone with a microphone or exit poll on Election Night — didn't teach that lesson, perhaps the long view back to Vietnam that Burns takes in his PBS series can. There are many scenes in "Vietnam" that bring stark clarity to the moral grayness and political calculus that led to the war and its continuation for years despite the private doubts of public men. When hubris trumps humanity, real people die. This is Burns’ gift: Boiling complex topics to bare truths, so viewers can re-enter the moral and political thickets of war armed with their own sense of what matters, and to try to understand what made leaders act the way they did.
Except, we weren’t. The Risk of Nuclear War with North Korea. 1.
The Madman Theory The United States has no diplomatic relations with North Korea, so there is no embassy in Washington, but for years the two countries have relied on the “New York channel,” an office inside North Korea’s mission to the United Nations, to handle the unavoidable parts of our nonexistent relationship. The office has, among other things, negotiated the release of prisoners and held informal talks about nuclear tensions. In April, I contacted the New York channel and requested permission to visit Pyongyang, the capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The New York channel consists mostly of two genial middle-aged men: Pak Song Il, a husky diplomat with a gray brush cut; and his aide-de-camp, Kwon Jong Gun, who is younger and thinner. The Madman and the Bomb. The scene from the White House south lawn on August 9, 1974, is vivid in the nation’s memory.
That morning, President Richard Nixon famously boarded Marine One for the final time, put on a wide grin and fired off a final double-V to the assembled crowd. But one of the most interesting aspects of that day is what didn’t happen on the south lawn: Even though Nixon had more than two hours left in his tenure, the most critical tool of the modern presidency had already been taken away from him. He never noticed it, but the nuclear “football” didn’t travel with him as he boarded the helicopter, and later, Air Force One for his flight back to California. Story Continued Below. General McChrystal Story by Michael Hastings Inspired 'War Machine,' Starring Brad Pitt - Rolling Stone. 'How'd I get screwed into going to this dinner?
" demands Gen. Stanley McChrystal. It's a Thursday night in mid-April, and the commander of all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan is sitting in a four-star suite at the Hôtel Westminster in Paris. He's in France to sell his new war strategy to our NATO allies – to keep up the fiction, in essence, that we actually have allies. Remembering Elie Wiesel. Words tend to fail us most in two circumstances—in the face of profound evil and in the face of transcendental decency. When Elie Wiesel initially tried to describe his experience during the Holocaust, he later wrote, “I watched helplessly as language became an obstacle.”
We who have the honor to speak and write about Elie have the opposite challenge—finding words that capture the fierce and magical essence of this marvelous man. The miracle that I would like to explore is that of Elie Wiesel’s joyfulness. On the front lines of the fight for the Islamic State’s capital of Raqqa, Syria. But there seems to be little doubt that the YPG is leading the fight. Its flags flutter over the checkpoints along the newly liberated rural roads and at the military bases closest to the front lines. Its graffiti is scrawled over the walls of the captured towns and villages, as in Tal Saman, where the initials “YPG” were spray-painted alongside the pledge to take Raqqa. The Kurdish-Arab alliance, with U.S. assistance, plans to recruit and train an additional 10,000 Arab fighters for an offensive on Raqqa, said Rojda Felat, one of the commanders of the offensive to encircle the city. But YPG participation will be essential “because we have proved that we are the most effective fighters,” she said.
“We will even go past Raqqa,” she added, to other areas farther south controlled by the Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh. Whether it is wise to send an overwhelmingly Kurdish force to capture the overwhelmingly Arab city of Raqqa is in question, however. Huffingtonpost. After I Lived in Norway, America Felt Backward. Here’s Why. Some years ago, I faced up to the futility of reporting truths about America’s disastrous wars, and so I left Afghanistan for another mountainous country far away.
It was the polar opposite of Afghanistan: a peaceful, prosperous land where nearly everybody seemed to enjoy a good life, on the job and in the family. It’s true that they didn’t work much–not by American standards, anyway. In the United States, full-time salaried workers supposedly laboring 40 hours a week actually average 49, with almost 20 percent clocking more than 60. Who Is Fighting Whom in Syria. Photo The Syrian civil war, now in its fifth year, involves multiple countries with overlapping and at times conflicting agendas. The rise of Islamic State. Battle for Iraq and Syria in maps. Islamic State (IS) militants made some major territorial gains in south-western Syria in 2015 - but they lost several key towns in Iraq, as well as parts of Syria's northern border with Turkey.
The rapid advance by the groups militant fighters threw the region into chaos in 2014 and led to the launch of air strikes on IS targets in Iraq by a coalition of countries headed by the US in August 2014 and in Syria a month later. The jihadist group, which has fighters from across the world, announced the establishment of a "caliphate" - an Islamic state - stretching from Aleppo in Syria to the province of Diyala in Iraq. See where IS have made territorial gains and losses, Jan-Dec 2015 December 2015 January 2015 Russia began carrying out air strikes in Syria in September 2015 after a request for help from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has clung on to power despite more than four years of civil war. How many strikes have been carried out?
What is Russia's endgame in Syria? Battlegrounds. 60 Minutes Abu Ghraib Dan Rather. The Kin's Speech. Can-america-win-war-326812.