That was Henry Kissinger’s famous sally about the war between Iran and Iraq, back in the 80s. Now, the big rivals in that part of the world are not actually nations, in the conventional sense. They are, rather, movements with aspirations to more than just physical territory. They are out to conquer the the Muslim world.
We are the friends of liberty everywhere, the guardians only of our own: John Quincy Adams’s famous aphorism comes to mind as we observe the cruel realities of international affairs. It is a happy day in Kabylie—the large mountainous region east of Algiers that is home to Algeria’s biggest Berber minority—as its national movement unveils a new flag this weekend. But it is a bitter day, too, as the unveiling is taking place on the Place du Trocadéro in Paris, preferred site of exiled campaigns for human rights.
A month and a half has passed since Boris Nemtsov, the Russian political activist who rose to prominence as a dynamic young reformer in the 1990s and later became one of the fiercest critics of Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian rule, was shot dead a few blocks from the Kremlin. The shocking murder, which quickly raised questions about the Putin regime’s culpability, has largely faded from the headlines in the Western press.
One of the important pieces of news to come out of Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi’s visit to the White House Tuesday is that Iraq will be receiving delivery of F-16s. At Commentary, Max Boot asks if this is such a wise move, “Why Are We Giving F-16s to an Iranian-Infiltrated Government?”
This morning at 10:00 a.m., in Israel, all activity came to a halt as sirens sounded, and Israelis stood for two minutes with heads bowed in memory of the 6 million Jews, one third of the Jewish people, who perished in the Holocaust. Yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at Yad Vashem in recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Day. Here are excerpts from his remarks:
Kuwait City Here in Kuwait, as in the rest of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, there is a sense that the Middle East is changing. In the Gulf media, there seems to be a consensus in support of Operation Decisive Storm, the Saudi-led military campaign launched to beat Houthi insurgents and reinstall Yemen's government under President Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi. Almost everyone wants to see Iran and its allies, like the Houthis, cut to size, and almost everyone is excited to see Arab governments flex their military muscles. Even those who are questioning the campaign couch the debate not in terms of regional political doctrines like Arab nationalism or Islamism, but rather in terms of national sovereignty and constitutionality.
Attorney General Eric Holder, the nation's top law enforcement officer, just issued the following memo. That this memo was deemed necessary inadvertantly reveals a great deal about the state of the Federal workforce:
Tallinn "We could have been Bosnia,” said Eerik-Niiles Kross, a center-right Estonian politician, former intelligence chief—and much more besides. He didn’t have to tell me why. Estonians remain haunted by the memory of their doomed interwar republic. It inspired their drive for independence from the Soviet Union, but it reminds them that what was lost can never be truly restored.