Last week, The Washington Post reported that President Trump was suspending covert aid to Syrian rebels in their efforts to topple President Bashar al-Assad. While the White House has provided no official comment on the matter, since it’s a classified program, this move had been several months in the making as removing Assad was no longer a priority for the administration. They recognized that continuing to arm the rebels was unlikely to yield any significant results. This is a rare moment of sanity in the American approach to the Middle East, where the government admitted to limitations on its ability to engineer a positive solution out of a highly complex and volatile problem. The harsh reality is that some geopolitical problems don’t have solutions––the Syrian Civil War is a prime example of this.
Read the rest at: Counter Punch
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.