Despite the wag-the-dog appearance of President Trump’s about-face on Syria—that is, the possibility that his primary motivation has more to do with his desire to distract attention from his growing domestic problems than with a genuine concern for Syrian babies—the President’s action last week has opened a small and narrow window that, with the proper political vision, could help end the conflict in Syria and with it, the suffering of the Syrian people.
Ammar Abdulhamid is a Syrian author and pro-democracy activist currently based in Silver Spring, Maryland where he arrived with his family as political refugees in September 2005. His recent book, "The Irreverent Activist," a series of brief reflections written over two decades, is now available through Amazon. He also blogs at www.thedailydigestofglobaldelirium.com and is a regular contributor to Lawfare.
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Reports and videos currently streaming from Syria reveal a new large-scale, regime-led attack by chemical weapons against the civilian population of the city of Idlib. Close to a hundred people have been reported killed, including many children, while hundreds were said to have been receiving critical treatment when Assad regime warplanes targeted their hospital.
Now that he has established a firm foothold in Syria following 18 months of direct military intervention, Russia’s strongman, Vladimir Putin, has to politically safeguard his gains in order to ensure their long-term consolidation and present the world with a fait accompli.
Now that the United States has put its historic elections behind it, and as we go about examining the poll results, it’s clear that we cannot keep reducing the factors involved in facilitating the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States to issues such as racism, xenophobia and misogyny.
When Turkish people of all ages took to the streets on July 15 to face army tanks and take a stand for their democratically elected government, Turkish soldiers--except in a handful of instances—refused to fire at them and eventually surrendered to them and to members of the police.
The issue of compatibility of Islam and modern liberal democratic values keeps on creeping into the public debate following each terrorist attack and each tragic development in the Middle East, and there have been plenty of them over the last few years to ensure that the debate never falls off radar.
It’s no secret at this stage that Saudi Arabia is trying to court Israel as part of its ongoing efforts to contain the perceived Iranian threat in the region, especially in the aftermath of the signing of the Iran Deal and the current American efforts aiming at “disengaging” from the region or, at the very least, minimizing America’s military footprint there.