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.
It wasn’t the events of September 11th that changed the world, but the events of September 12th and beyond, when the Bush administration took the world to war in response; that changed the world, and continues to threaten U.S. and global security, and shred U.S. democracy.
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.
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