North America

It’s time to lift the arms embargo on Cyprus

The United States has a prime opportunity to thwart the designs of Russia, China, and Turkey in the Middle East. Jonathan Schanzer and Bradley Bowman The Hill At the same time, it can strengthen a bilateral relationship with a democratic, European ally and enhance our defense supply base, as well. This can all be accomplished by taking one relatively simple step: Lift the arms embargo on the Republic of Cyprus. That Cyprus is under embargo is a head-scratcher in the ... Read More »

Iran Challenges Remaining Partners to Save Nuclear Deal

Responding to the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure”, Iran has announced it will no longer respect all the limits placed on its nuclear research activities by its 2015 deal with world powers. ICG With Washington having renounced the deal, the remaining signatories should hasten to save it. One year ago today, President Donald Trump announced that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Until now, Iran, as repeatedly confirmed by the… That status quo was increasingly ... Read More »

The Essence of Evil: Sex with Children Has Become Big Business in America

“Children are being targeted and sold for sex in America every day.”—John Ryan, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children John W. Whitehead American Herald Tribune Children, young girls—some as young as 9 years old—are being bought and sold for sex in America. The average age for a young woman being sold for sex is now 13 years old. This is America’s dirty little secret. Sex trafficking—especially when it comes to the buying and selling of young girls—has become big ... Read More »

The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree: A picture book about deafness

I’ll start with a disclaimer: I love Angeliki Pedersen, author of The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree. We attend the same parish, and I think I must have met her the first time we visited here. She’s the kind of person that reaches out to strangers at coffee hour and makes them feel welcome. © Charlotte Riggle As Angeliki and I got to know each other, we learned that we’re more than just members of the same parish. We’re also ... Read More »

The Hustling, Sweating, Flawed Greatness of Richard Holbrooke

The legendary diplomat was a deeply imperfect specimen of the human condition. Yet at his most statesmanlike moments, he could be extraordinary. Michael O’Donnell Washington Monthly The late American diplomat Richard Holbrooke (1941–2010) had a knack, that is to say a weakness, for self-promotion. He lobbied for the Nobel Peace Prize. He hinted broadly that he could serve as secretary of state. When one of his old friends died, Holbrooke petitioned the man’s widow to be included among the eulogists. ... Read More »

Turkey is playing both Russia and US

During the past week the Western press has reported Russian and Syrian bombing of north-western Idlib province and the flight of thousands of civilians from targeted villages. Michael Jansen Gulf Today Writers complain that Moscow and Damascus have been violating the “de-confliction” deal reached last year between Russia and Turkey with the aim of halting an all-out military operation against… Those who have reported the situation in this way are indulging in promulgating “fake news.” Russian and Syrian government forces ... Read More »

Europe’s Glorious Years of Peace and Prosperity

The Munich Security Conference was a depressing gathering this February. By Michael A. McFaul The New York Times THE GLOBAL AGE Europe, 1950-2017 By Ian Kershaw Throughout the Cold War and for decades thereafter, Wehrkunde (as the conference was known when it started in 1963) was the premier event for Europeans and Americans committed to NATO, trans-Atlantic ties and the West. For decades, Senator John McCain led the American congressional delegation. In his last address to the conference in 2017, ... Read More »

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un need the European Union

Much ink has been spilled analyzing the surprising turn of events at the US-North Korea Hanoi summit in late February. Tereza Novotná and Alessandro Ford Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Accounts differ as to what happened, or which side overstepped first with its demands. At a late-night post-summit press briefing, North Korea sought to make its position abundantly clear: It would give up the nuclear production facilities in the Yongbyon complex in… The United States, on the other hand, has ... Read More »

The Western Allies Need More Eyes on the World

The “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance should expand, starting with Israel and Japan. James Stavridis Bloomberg Every challenge the U.S. faces today — the rise of China, a resurgent Russia, the North Korean nuclear weapons program, Iranian adventurism throughout the Middle East, cyberthreats and… And as any intelligence expert will tell you, an accurate picture is not a sweeping oil painting, it is a mosaic. You build up that picture one small stone at a time until you can step back ... Read More »

Why Assange and Ecuador Fell Out

Seven years ago, Julian Assange seemed at the height of his powers—a superstar information warrior behind the biggest leak in history—when he faced his first major legal blow. Dan Collyns NYR Daily He had lost a long fight against extradition to Sweden, where two women had accused him of rape. The possibilities for the rootless WikiLeaks founder, who was used to working from other people’s sofas and hotel rooms around the world, narrowed rapidly. Fearing that the Swedish investigation could ... Read More »

To Counter China and Russia, U.S. Mulls Inviting Hungary’s Orban to D.C.

Team Trump is trying to pull Hungary back from its cozy relationship with Moscow and Beijing. But it comes at a cost, critics say. By Robbie Gramer, Amy Mackinnon FP The Trump administration is expected to invite Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to Washington this month in what would be a public relations coup for the Central European leader, who has flouted democratic norms and… According to four current and former U.S. officials familiar with internal talks, Orban is expected ... Read More »

Is the Assange indictment a threat to the First Amendment?

A British court sentenced Julian Assange on May 1 to almost a year in prison for jumping bail. Ofer Raban The Conversation That’s not the end of Assange’s legal travails: he still faces the possibility of an extradition to the U.S. After a brief initial hearing, the matter will be taken up again at a hearing on May 30 in London. The American government has many reasons to dislike Assange, the co-founder of WikiLeaks, who is responsible for the dissemination ... Read More »

Estonia joins the far-right club

LETTER FROM TALLINN Nationalist party, inspired by Donald Trump, vows to keep out immigrants and protect ‘indigenous’ Estonians as part of new government. By EVAN GERSHKOVICH Politico TALLINN — Europe’s populist wave has hit Estonia — hard. In a national election in March, the Conservative People’s Party — a far-right upstart that says it wants to protect an “indigenous Estonian” population under threat — won 19 seats in the… Its real victory came a few weeks later, when it was included in the ... Read More »

“There’s Always Hope!”

Since 1989, the West has become stuck in the “politics of eternity,” failing to think either about the past or the future, argues historian TIMOTHY SNYDER in an interview. Timothy Snyder Berlin Policy Journal It’s high time this changed. Is this the end of the West as we know it? It might be. But it’s up to us. Over the last 25 years or so, we have contributed to the Western decline because we have failed to actually think about ... Read More »

White House ignores Erdoğan’s proposal for S-400 working group in readout

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan put forward a proposal to create a working group on the Russian S-400 air defence system during phone call with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on… Tiny Url Ahval The Turkish President “brought up the proposal to establish a working group regarding the procurement of the S-400 defence system from the Russian Federation,” Ankara’s statement on the… The White House approximately 3 hours after the release of the Turkish statement, sent out a readout for ... Read More »

Synagogue gunman ‘inspired by NZ attacks’

The young man accused of carrying out a deadly shooting at a Southern California synagogue is said to have been inspired by the Australian who allegedly committed the Christchurch mosque attacks. Australian Associated Press The Canberra Times The gunman walked into the suburban San Diego synagogue late on Saturday morning, the last day of the week-long Jewish holiday of Passover, and opened fire with an assault-style rifle, killing… He gave himself up to police shortly after the shooting, authorities say. ... Read More »