Barring a few exceptions, the outlook for LGBT individuals in the Middle East can be bleak, or even outright deadly.
The Kurds stand apart from their fellow Muslim-majority neighbors because of their progress on women’s equality — boasting the only all-female units taking on ISIS — but are there signs that the Kurdish areas could someday be a relative sanctuary for LGBT people?
Read the rest at: Huffington Post
What’s worse, momentarily blanking on the name of a foreign city or spearheading a failed CIA-directed regime change that displaced 10 million people and left more than 250,000 dead, many from that city? Based on their coverage of Gary Johnson’s recent Morning Joe blunder, where he inquired, “what is Aleppo?” when questioned about the largest Syrian city, political strategists, pundits, and journalists seem to judge forgetfulness worse than igniting a civil war.
Simply put, the world would be a much much safer place had Hillary Clinton never heard of Aleppo. After failing to disentangle Syria from Iranian influence through secret negotiations with Israel in 2010, Hillary Clinton led the charge for her proxy war to overthrow Assad. By 2011, the US adopted her plan explicitly and used the Arab Spring to align with and arm anti-Assad efforts such as ISIS and initiate what currently stands at over 4,800 airstrikes in Syria.
Despite early attempts at ceasefire negotiations in 2012, the CIA-led insurgency and the predictably violent response by Assad has ravaged Syria. Aleppo in particular has been a focal point of the Syrian civil war for months, with hundreds of people dying on both sides of the conflict. Until America agrees to a ceasefire without regime change, Aleppo will likely continue to suffer the consequences of Hillary’s hubris.
Continue reading at The Daily Caller.
Relations between Turkey and the European Union have become increasingly tense in the aftermath of July’s failed coup against Erdogan.
Hence, when Russian president Vladimir Putin welcomed his Turkish counterpart in St. Petersburg this week, Western observers intently followed the meeting, fearing the two leaders’ first meeting in nearly a year could lead to a dangerous partnership of anti-Western autocrats.
Yet, the emergence of such a partnership is highly unlikely.
Relations between both countries are fraught, anti-EU and anti-Western sentiments cannot unite them in any meaningful or threatening way. One just needs to revisit their opposing stances on Syria to understand their intractable differences.
Last November, Turkey shot down a Russian airplane on the Turkish-Syrian border for violating Turkish airspace. In retaliation, Russia imposed sanctions on Turkey, hitting the country’s economy hard.
The sanctions were lifted a month ago, following a half-hearted apology from Erdogan and an apparent rapprochement between the two countries.
The tensions that led to the downing of the Russian jet remain, Moscow and Ankara have positioned themselves on opposite sides of the region’s crucial geopolitical question: the future of Syria.
Continue reading at EUobserver.
Tragedies lead to emotions running high. The terrorists that murdered 130 people in Paris are not to be taken lightly. Those 130 lives deserve much more than passive apathy in response to this brutality. But they also deserve more than hasty recklessness.
A foreign policy that rationally assesses its prior successes and failures, looks at the long-term consequences of its actions, and prioritizes the safety of people against terrorism is the answer to the recent barbaric Paris attacks. The temptation to immediately retaliate by bombing ISIS targets in Syria should not be pursued without careful consideration of the costs. Reason must temper our anger.
Public policy, guided by politicians focused on short-term public opinion, is often shortsighted and brash, especially in the wake of tragedies. Responding to pressure that we “must do something,” and motivated by anger and hate, people pursue thoughtless vengeance, rather than deciding on a course of action through rational deliberation.
Yes, justice should be swift, but we must figure out what justice is before acting.
Read the rest on AntiWar.com here.
On September 10th Young Voices Advocate Alexander McCobin got published on antiwar.com stating that “Obama Might Unwittingly Lead U.S. to a Decade of Peace”:
President Obama might have already achieved more for peace and stability in the Middle East than he is actually aware. The public debate on the Syrian Civil War and a possible U.S. strike on the Assad regime has shown that public opinion strongly favors non-interventionism to the neo-conservativism of recent history. More than a decade of warfare and U.S.-led interventions in the Middle East have illustrated that the use of U.S. military in troubled areas does not necessarily lead to stability and peace.
After a bloody decade-long occupation of multiple countries in the Middle East, the emergence of new terrorist groups, and the disaster in Benghazi, two lessons from the past ten years should be that we aren’t able to predict the unintended consequences of war and that “limited” military campaigns rarely actually come with limits.
Syria can become the tipping point for U.S. foreign policy and the international reputation of the United States. Congress has the chance to show the virtues of western democracy by blocking the President’s war efforts, retiring the agenda of hawkish politicians such as Senator McCain, and keeping the Syrian crisis in the political realm. By doing so, Congress would herald the start of a non-interventionist era of U.S. foreign policy.
In the end, we all just might be glad for having had a president who was too determined to go to war.
Alexander McCobin has also recently been interviewed by RT talking about the G20 Summit and Syria.
Furthermore Alexander McCobin recently published another post on Syria, Military Intervention in Syria Serves Obama, Not the People on www.youngvoicesadvocates.com.