US Opinion and Commentary

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Prosecutions of Syrian War Criminals Could Begin this Year

Posted August 9th, 2016 at 1:56 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin As fighting continues for control of what was once Syria’s most populous city, Aleppo, the quiet, meticulous work of preparing dossiers for the eventual prosecution of Assad regime war crimes is about to bear fruit outside Syria According to Stephen Rapp, the former US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, “there are several […]

Thanks to Trump, We Will Remember Humayun Khan

Posted August 1st, 2016 at 12:01 pm (UTC-5)
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by Barbara Slavin In the year since he announced his candidacy for U.S. president, Donald Trump has insulted Mexicans, war heroes, women, disabled people, the children of immigrants and Muslims. So perhaps no one should have been surprised when he denigrated the parents of an immigrant Muslim American war hero, Army Capt. Humayun Khan, killed […]

Foreign Visitors Admire U.S. Conventions and Fear Trump Isolationism

Posted July 27th, 2016 at 10:56 am (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin PHILADELPHIA – Hillary Clinton has made history as the first woman nominee for president of a major U.S. political party after a hard-fought primary campaign and a bumpy beginning to the Democratic National Convention. Die-hard supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders have either stopped their booing any mention of her name or walked […]

A Shaken Turkey Faces More Division and Instability

Posted July 18th, 2016 at 12:25 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin When news of an attempted coup in Turkey first broke on Friday, some Turks thought President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had planned it himself to distract attention from his many failures and justify a further doubling down of his authoritarian rule. Now, three days later, it is clear that the coup attempt was […]

Saudi Backing of Iranian Exile Group Inflames Mideast Conflicts

Posted July 11th, 2016 at 12:35 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin Iran and Saudi Arabia are experts at infuriating each other, with dismal consequences for the region they co-inhabit. Facing off in proxy conflicts from Yemen to Syria, they are also practitioners in a propaganda war that now extends to open Saudi support for an Iranian exile group that seeks the overthrow of […]

What Americans Owe Iraqis

Posted July 5th, 2016 at 2:24 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin While Americans were celebrating their 240th year of independence with cookouts, trips to the movies and peaceful fireworks, Iraqis were digging victims out of the rubble after one of the worst bombings in that country’s history. At least 175 people are now confirmed dead, hundreds more injured from the suicide bombing Sunday […]

Millennials, Brexit and the Future of Globalization

Posted June 27th, 2016 at 10:30 am (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin The results of the British referendum on leaving the European Union are another reminder of how much more thoughtful and yes, mature, the millennial generation is turning out to be. By large majorities, Britons under 45 voted to remain in the EU while their elders, with fewer years to bear the consequences, tossed […]

One Year In, the Iran Nuclear Deal Is Working

Posted June 20th, 2016 at 4:52 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin Nearly a year after Iran and a U.S.-led international community reached a landmark nuclear deal, the good news is that there almost isn’t any news about Iran’s nuclear program. In its second report since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was implemented Jan. 16, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found no […]

Madmen and the Politics of Islamophobia

Posted June 13th, 2016 at 2:32 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin The worst mass shooting in U.S. history – at a gay bar in Orlando, Fla. – brings to mind another slaughter of innocents by a madman claiming allegiance to an ideology: the 1977 killing of 77 people, most of them children at a holiday resort, by Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik. Like Omar […]

The Unraveling of Donald Trump

Posted June 7th, 2016 at 2:52 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin Maybe Donald Trump is a closet Hillary Clinton supporter. That’s one possible explanation for why the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has kept digging himself into a giant political hole even as Clinton on Monday clinched the 2,383 delegates required for the Democratic nomination. Like an animal that keeps gnawing at a wound, […]

Can Americans Unite Without Tragedy?

Posted May 31st, 2016 at 10:19 am (UTC-5)
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by Barbara Slavin At a dinner this Memorial Day weekend, guests reflected on the moments when Americans had been most united. For the older folks, the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy was the unifying trauma. Everyone remembered where he or she was when Kennedy was shot as he rode in an open convertible […]

Vietnam and the Obama Legacy of Engagement

Posted May 24th, 2016 at 11:01 am (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin President Barack Obama’s announcement Monday that the United States is lifting practically all restrictions on the provision of weapons to Vietnam caps a remarkable turnabout in relations between the two former adversaries. Four decades after U.S. forces retreated in defeat from a bloody and ill-considered war, the United States is now the […]

U.S. and Turkey Clash Over Islamic State Lifeline to Syria 

Posted May 19th, 2016 at 9:40 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin It’s called the Manbij pocket and it’s a major impediment to the U.S. goal of defeating the Islamic State (IS) in Syria. The enclave in northern Syria, which borders Turkey for 60 miles, has remained open to IS infiltration. It is a lifeline for the IS “capital” of Raqqa that the Barack […]

Supporters of Nuclear Deal Should Promote Iran Human Rights

Posted May 12th, 2016 at 11:08 am (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin Every day brings another horrific story of human rights abuses in the Middle East. From the killing fields of Syria to the carnage in Yemen to the crowded prisons of Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and Israel, there are enough atrocities in the region to absorb the energies of dozens of […]

U.S. Sanctions Still Hinder European Business with Iran

Posted May 6th, 2016 at 11:45 am (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin ZURICH – Frustration was palpable at a conference this week in Switzerland on European business with Iran. The continued hangover of United States sanctions that prevent Iranian access to the U.S. financial system — and bankers’ fear of punitive new fines — are inhibiting the mega deals that many Iranians and Europeans anticipated would […]