US Opinion and Commentary

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Make Trump Inc. Great Again

Posted November 21st, 2016 at 11:06 am (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin In between Twitter outbursts at the Broadway hit Hamilton, President-elect Donald Trump has been interviewing Cabinet picks — and meeting investors in his far-flung business empire. A week after his upset win over Hillary Clinton, Trump greeted Indian partners Atul Chordia, Sagar Chordia and Kalpesh Mehta at Trump Tower in New York. […]

Trump Transition Gets Off to Shaky Start

Posted November 15th, 2016 at 4:34 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin It has only been a week since the election, but it feels like an eternity. Despite some gestures toward those who voted against him, Donald Trump appears to be having great difficulty simply putting together a team to organize the transition from the current administration. His choice of Stephen Bannon, editor of […]

A Leap into the Void with Trump

Posted November 9th, 2016 at 3:23 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin President Donald Trump. The words, I must admit, stick in my throat and prospect of him as commander in chief for the next four years is frightening. The people of the United States have narrowly voted for a man who campaigned on a platform of xenophobia and isolationism, who says he will […]

Rise of the Bullies: Trump, Erdogan and Putin

Posted November 1st, 2016 at 4:35 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin In these nail-biting days until U.S. presidential elections next week, it is easy to fall into despair about the state of American democracy. Following disclosure that the FBI is taking a renewed look at emails possibly connected to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s private server, polls have narrowed, suggesting a still-plausible path to victory […]

Will Clinton Resist Her Inner Hawk?

Posted October 25th, 2016 at 3:14 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin The Washington foreign policy establishment is salivating at the thought of a Hillary Clinton presidency, which promises to be more interventionist than Barack Obama’s administration and more open to elite views than a Donald Trump White House would be. Think tanks are churning out papers on a variety of topics and pushing them […]

A Turning Point in Yemen?

Posted October 17th, 2016 at 10:47 am (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin The Saudi bombing that killed 140 people at a funeral in Yemen earlier this month has given the Barack Obama administration new diplomatic ammunition to push for a halt to an increasingly bloody and counter-productive war. Meeting in London Sunday with his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, and a UN envoy, Secretary of […]

Trump Doubles Down on His Bromance with Putin

Posted October 10th, 2016 at 3:40 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin Throughout a long and dispiriting campaign, Donald Trump has been consistent on at least one topic: his admiration for Vladimir Putin and unwillingness to blame Russia for provocative and aggressive actions against the United States and others. During Sunday’s second debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump continued to try to minimize or deny […]

Iran Refuses to Release Prisoner of Conscience Mohammad Ali Taheri

Posted October 3rd, 2016 at 10:11 am (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin When Iranian officials come to the United Nations, they are usually met with questions about their human rights practices, particularly the arrest of dual nationals. This year was no different as interlocutors brought up the cases of Siamak Namazi and his father, Baquer; another Iranian-American, Robin Shahini; a British-Iranian mother, Nazenin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, […]

First Presidential Debate Ignores Syria

Posted September 27th, 2016 at 2:37 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin Assuming Donald Trump agrees to show up for the next two presidential debates after his uneven performance on Monday, moderators should raise an urgent issue neglected in his first encounter with Hillary Clinton. As the two candidates exchanged barbs about trade, the economy, crime, Trump’s alleged business acumen and treatment of women, […]

Iran President to Avoid Obama in Brief Visit to U.N.

Posted September 19th, 2016 at 9:43 am (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s fourth sojourn to New York during the annual General Assembly summit will be his shortest since taking office – only two days. Rouhani, who is due to arrive Tuesday and leave Thursday, is seeking a Goldilocks-like happy medium intended to show that he is still relevant but avoiding […]

State Department Removes Last MEK Members from Iraq

Posted September 14th, 2016 at 12:00 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Monday that the last 280 members of a controversial Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), had been removed from a camp near Baghdad and given refuge in Albania. The news aroused little notice amid Kerry’s remarks about a bigger story – a new attempt […]

Iran’s Climate Change Challenge

Posted September 8th, 2016 at 5:08 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin Around the world, glaciers are melting, seas are rising, ground water is being depleted and July was the warmest month recorded since temperatures began being measured in 1880. Yet, the moderator of Wednesday night’s “Commanders-in-Chief” forum, NBC’s Matt Lauer, did not ask the U.S. presidential candidates any questions about the biggest and […]

Burkini Ban as Bad as Obligatory Hijab

Posted August 29th, 2016 at 11:08 am (UTC-5)
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by Barbara Slavin The “burkini” controversy is about much more than proper attire on France’s Mediterranean Coast. The victim of repeated brutal terrorist attacks by men claiming affiliation with the Islamic State (ISIS), France is understandably uneasy at the growth of a native Muslim population that distinguishes itself from the general public in such an […]

Russia Feels the Sting of Olympic, Iranian Rebuffs

Posted August 24th, 2016 at 1:32 pm (UTC-5)
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August has not been the best of months for Russian President Vladimir Putin. His country largely excluded from the Rio Olympics — and completely barred from the Paralympics — because of a doping scandal, Putin is facing complicated challenges at home and abroad. Continued U.S. and European economic sanctions over Russia’s military intervention in the Ukraine, plus […]

‘Conspiracies R Us’: Trump Theories Damage American Image in Middle East

Posted August 15th, 2016 at 10:32 am (UTC-5)
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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has a new admirer: Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. After Trump said last week that President Barack Obama is “the founder of ISIS [the Islamic State],” the Lebanese militant leader quoted Trump as an authoritative source about the rise of the brutal rival jihadist group. Addressing a rally in southern Lebanon on Saturday commemorating Hezbollah’s 2006 […]