The fall of the critically important city of Ramadi to Islamic State terrorists, the widening humanitarian crisis throughout the country involving millions of displaced persons and the continuing pressures on a still-fragile central government in Baghdad bode ill for Iraq's future stability and security. These setbacks for the beleaguered Baghdad government equally shadow Washington where the Obama administration appears in denial over the depth of this crisis.
In a stirring and substantive foreign policy address, Senator Marco Rubio (Republican, Florida) presented his presidential vision for a new America. Calling for transformative leadership in the 21st century, the Republican primary hopeful spoke passionately about the need for a reinvigorated American policy posture at a time when as he said, "Foreign affairs never mattered more."
The targeted killings of journalists, the suffocating censorship in many countries and the widening governmental controls on media activities characterize the contemporary media landscape in large parts of the world. And add the ghastly shock effect of beheadings of journalists in the Middle East by Islamic State or the barbaric attacks in the heart of Paris against the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, or the pervasive intimidation against the investigative press in Mexico by drug lords, and the picture becomes more alarming.6 Comments
The rhetoric reached the heights of the Himalayas, the pomp and pageantry evoked that of an operetta, but the political optics delivered a clearly focused political message: Pakistan has a firm and reliable friend in the People's Republic of China.1 Comment
It's been 40 years since the wars in Indochina ended and the curtain dropped ushering in a new period of darkness for the people of Vietnam and Cambodia. Four long decades since the stunning imagery of North Vietnamese tanks smashing through the gates of Saigon's Doc Lap Independence Palace seizing the South Vietnamese capital, ending the decades-long war, and bringing forcible reunification by the communists to the divided nation.
There's an urgent food crisis in communist North Korea, where shortages affect up to 70 percent of the population. According to an alarming new U.N. humanitarian report, some 18 million people out of the population of 24 million are considered "food insecure" and don't have access to an adequate and diverse diet to live healthily. To meet the challenge the U.N. needs US$111 million for humanitarian aid over the next year.
Throughout the chaos, calamity and conflict which has befallen the Middle East, there are few groups which have come under such intense attack as Christians and minority ethnic communities. As countries like Iraq and Syria face the sharp end of ethnic and political strife, the persecution of small but significant Christian communities by terrorist elements such as Islamic State has tragically followed. This deadly plague of religious persecution has spilled over into neighboring countries including Libya and Egypt.
The Obama administration and the tireless U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry endlessly strive for and speak about reaching a nuclear "deal" with Iran.1 Comment
Afghanistan's long and tortuous road to peace and reconciliation still seems a near mirage as an entrenched terrorist insurgency seems to rebuff political and security gains made by the Kabul government and international military assistance. Still, the U.N. mission in the war-torn South Asian country seems cautiously optimistic and offered a renewed hope for a still complex peace process.
The barbarians are inside the gates of Nimrud, the ancient Assyrian city in northern Iraq now being plundered, pillaged, and bulldozed by the forces of Islamic State (IS). The destruction of Nimrud, a city dating from 900 B.C. follows the planned and systematic smashing of priceless Mesopotamian statues and artifacts in the Mosul Museum weeks earlier.