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The narrative plot against Syria

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When President Richard Nixon visited Syria in 1974, Syrians lined the streets of Damascus to greet him. Not all were delighted by his visit, though. “Isn’t that Nixon the same one you have been telling us for years is an evil man who is completely in the control of the Zionists and our enemies?” an eight-year-old boy asked his father. “How could you welcome him and shake his hand?”

Posted: October 13th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Exceptionalism

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In his speech last Sept. 10, postponing the vote of the US Congress on his plan to strike militarily at Syria, US President Barack Obama raised a row with Russian President Vladimir Putin over American “exceptionalism.”

Posted: October 11th, 2013 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Stop war zone rape and sexual violence

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Angelina Jolie

Each day, accounts of horrific crimes in Syria reach the outside world. Now the United Nations has confirmed that rape is being used to terrorize and punish women, men and children, during house searches and interrogations, at checkpoints, and in detention centers and prisons across the country.

Posted: September 20th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Realities of conflict in Israel

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THIS Aug. 21 citizen journalism image, which has been authenticated based on its content, shows an old man mourning the dead after an alleged poisonous gas attack by regime forces in Douma, a suburb of Damascus. The chemical-weapons attack killed more than 1,400 people. AP

From Aug. 26 to 31, when images of US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were being beamed all across the globe, talking about the inconceivable horror of Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people and priming the public for what seemed to be the inevitability of US military intervention in Syria, I was wandering the Old City of Jerusalem. I was trying to make sense of a longer, albeit similarly intractable conflict—the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Posted: September 14th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Talk of the Town | Read More »

Fast facts

Capital: Damascus, Land area: 185,180 sq. km. (includes 1,295 sq. km. of Israeli-occupied Golan Heights territory), Administrative divisions: 14 provinces, Population: 22.5 million (July 2013 est.), Ethnic groups: Arab (90.3 percent), Kurds, Armenians and others (9.7 percent)

Posted: September 14th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Talk of the Town | Read More »

Taking a stand on Syria

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The government’s diplomatic stance on the Syria crisis is emblematic of the safe, passive, and self-interested track it has taken in the previous crisis in the Middle East.

Posted: September 14th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Talk of the Town | Read More »

Syria

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First, what seem to be the facts. The United States and some of its allies seem to be convinced that chemical weapons were used by Syrian armed forces against the Syrian people in residential areas of Damascus. Because of this, under the urging of President Barack Obama, the United Sates Congress is debating whether or not to take military action.

Posted: September 8th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

How do we solve a problem like Syria?

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When the world was much less interconnected, it was already difficult to keep the internal conflicts of nations from spilling beyond their borders. It seemed axiomatic even then for protagonists in civil wars to seek outside support. At the same time, external forces tended to see in civil wars opportunities to expand their influence or fortify their control of a region. It was not uncommon to find that foreign powers were sometimes the instigators of these internal wars.

Posted: September 7th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Pace quickens in Syria—but toward what?

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When the UK parliament voted against missile strikes on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime because of its use of nerve gas against civilians, the prospect of military action temporarily receded. Now that US President Barack Obama has made his position clear in favor of an attack, it again seems all but inevitable. But what kind of action, for what purpose, in the service of what larger strategy? All this remains obscure.

Posted: September 6th, 2013 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Chemical reaction

He was about to launch a military strike against Syria. Instead, a startled world saw US President Barack Obama undergo a very public road-to-Damascus moment. He had rediscovered the religion of congressional authorization—and that, without a doubt, is a good thing.

Posted: September 5th, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial | Read More »

Obama, Damascus, and Manila

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In recent days, the Obama administration has moved inexorably toward an attack on Syria, for which it is currently seeking the support of the US Congress.

Posted: September 4th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

My enemy’s doctor is my enemy

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What do the Syrian National Coalition, a foreign jihadi group, a Gulf state, and the Iranian and American governments all have in common? All are providing varying degrees of “humanitarian” aid to the side they support in the Syrian conflict, but none is able to curtail the immense suffering alone, and none is able to ensure that its aid reaches the most vulnerable first. This is not a simple war, and there are no simple aid solutions, but the status quo cannot be an option.

Posted: March 14th, 2013 in Columnists,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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