The brutality of ISIS has led many to argue that only military action can stop them. Phyllis Bennis, fellow of Transnational Institute and a long-term observer and analyst of US foreign policy in the Middle East, argues that US occupation and military action was the principal cause of ISIS rise and therefore cannot be the solution. She outlines alternative options for constraining the advance of ISIS and bringing peace back to the troubled countries of Iraq and Syria. See also Phyllis' primer, Understanding ISIS and the new global war on terror
There were plenty of important statements from Pope Francis during his recent three-day trip to Palestine and Israel—including a plea for “justice,” a traditional call for peace and a reference to the “State of Palestine”—but at the end of the day it was all about the photo-ops.
The Butcher of Beirut, as he was long known, is no more. After eight years in a coma, during which the militaristic hard-right leader was re-branded a peacenik, Israeli General Ariel Sharon was finally pronounced dead.
The threat of a reckless, dangerous, and illegal US or US-led assault on Syria is looking closer than ever. However any attack will not protect civilians—it will mean taking sides once again in a bloody, complicated civil war.
A grand ceremony is expected to be held next month in the Myanmar capital of Naypyidaw, where a nationwide ceasefire with various ethnic resistance armies will be announced to an audience of United Nations representatives and other foreign dignitaries.
A briefing paper jointly published earlier this month by the Netherlands-based think tank groups has asserted that new ceasefires that have been signed since 2011 have further facilitated land grabbing in conflict-affected areas where large development projects in resource-rich ethnic regions have already taken place.
What the civil war in Syria has exposed is that the massive political and social transformation, and real regime change under way is led by people themselves. US military involvement serves only to escalate the destruction.
India’s neighbourhood is in great turmoil, but New Delhi seems unable to fashion a coherent, balanced, mature and self-confident response to it. In particular, India has dealt with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar and Nepal in confused and indecisive, if not wholly inept, ways.
While Israel moved away from the far right in last month’s elections, the new coalition is unlikely to alter the occupation. Change may come from divestment campaigns, the new UN recognition of Palestinian statehood, and in the Israeli and Palestinian campaigns of nonviolent resistance.