In what can only be described as a plague on both your houses, an U.N. investigative panel has issued a specific and sickening verdict on the ongoing violence in Syria's civil war.
The countdown started in Sarajevo in June 1914, the conflagration followed in August. The assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Serb nationalist set in motion a series of events in which the great European powers marched, with near lockstep, into a war that would devour seventeen million people, devastate nations and dismantle empires.
Far from the sputtering conflict, the war of words, and the diplomatic jousting between Russia and the West over the future sovereignty of Ukraine, there's a lucrative business deal unfolding in the French Atlantic port of St. Nazaire. There amid the construction cranes and buzzing machine shops of one of France's largest naval shipbuilders, two new steel grey ships are taking form; both being amphibious assault ships for the Russian navy.
The headlines seem from another era; that of Christian persecution by militant Islam in the Middle East. Yet the modern political responses to this age-old conflict appear as ambivalent to what has emerged as an organized attempt by the militant State of Islam to impose a caliphate both on Christians as well as more secular Muslims.
Truth is often stranger than fiction. The horrific event over eastern Ukraine, that of a civilian airliner being shot out of the skies by a high altitude Sam 11 missile, seems almost the improbable grist of a thriller novel or a pilot episode of the TV series 24 .
It's been a momentous week for Russian President Vladimir Putin. While the major media focused on his trip to Brazil to accept the handover for the next FIFA World Cup soccer tournament in Russia as well as his participation in the Summit of the BRIC economic powers, the real story was the largely overlooked wraparound of his Latin American charm offensive. Here's the background.
A 22 year old Florida man sets off a suicide bomb in Syria. Seven Dutch jihadis are killed in combat with Syrian army units.
Set to the backdrop of continuing violence, growing narcotics production and fear about the future following the pullout of international forces, the recent round of Afghanistan's presidential elections have become all the more crucial to produce a climate of needed stability in a land that knows only chaos.
Finally some good global news!
Set to the tempo of escalating violence, widespread human rights violations, and spreading regional conflict, Syria's civil war continues into its fourth year. But beyond the increasingly grisly statistics, a U.N. panel has concluded the crisis has reached a “tipping point” threatening the entire region. Tellingly, both sides to the conflict, the Assad family regime and the gaggle of Islamic fundamentalist rebel groups share blame for the bloodletting.