On June 26, Seifiddine Rezgui wandered onto the Sousse beach resort in Tunisia and opened fire, killing 38, including 30 vacationing British citizens. The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack after information was revealed that Rezgui attended an ISIS training camp in Libya and was part of an ISIS sleeper cell in Tunisia. … More Is the United Kingdom Following the United States in Syria?
I was asked by a friend to provide some commentary on the Palestine UN bid for the Washington Monthly blog. Check out the site, but in the meantime, here is what I wrote: Despite the supposed significance of this week’s UNGA vote that led to the admittance of Palestine to the UN (observer status), there … More More Thoughts on the UN Bid
That Israel would use construction of settlement homes as punishment for the PA pursuing a two state strategy (and it certainly was punishment as Israeli officials warned, after the vote, that there would be swift consequences) demonstrates without a doubt that Israel has no desire to make peace with a Palestinian state. Interestingly, if the Palestinian Authority actually had a peace partner that truly supported a two state solution, this week’s vote would have been significant. Unfortunately, though, the only significant factor was a demonstration of just how dead two states are. … More Statehood for Palestine?
However, of Drezner’s two viable options, negotiation with the Syrian government is a far better option. Though negotiations would undoubtedly be complicated by the rhetoric of the west in the last few months, it would end the killing quicker – which, I suppose, is what Syrians really want – and would avoid all of the many complications that would arise from a rash policy. … More Arming the FSA in Syria
This is exactly where we find the fault line between political motives and humanitarian motives: to remove Assad or to stop the killing. It is an impossible situation, to be sure. … More “It would need a savant to work out the geopolitical implications of a post-Assad Syria”
Undoubtedly, Russia and China would also block UN authorization of such an intervention while the geographical scope of the country would make Syria far more dangerous than Libya. The complex demographics, on the other hand, would make a post-Assad Syria better resemble a post-Saddam Iraq than a post-Qaddafi Libya. Yet the discussion continues. … More Intervention in Syria? Better Not Think First.
There are a number of very understandable reasons why Russia refused to agree to the UN resolution. Yet, the most interesting argument being made is that Russia is rejecting the international consensus on Syria because of how the intervention in Libya evolved into a regime change operation. … More More on Russia’s Syrian Stance
At least that is what Marc Lynch imagines Syria could become now that the Chinese and Russian UN vetoes have all but eliminated the peaceful transition option. While the resolution explicitly ruled out military intervention (due to fears of another Libya-esque regime change operation) the Russian and China vetoes, according to Lynch, are likely to … More “1980s Lebanon on Steroids”
Assad, for example, would be less likely to resign if it meant that the ICC would subsequently attempt to arrest him. Refusing to bring in the ICC means sacrificing justice to ensure – or at least encourage – a peaceful end to a conflict. … More Encouraging Democracy by Undermining International Law?
This is refreshing, right? About 10 days ago, a fish merchant in Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda outdoor market noticed a young man with sidelocks and a skullcap trying to determine which of the stalls employ Arabs. The merchant, Saleh, called the police, who detained the man for questioning on suspicion that he was planning a … More Stay Away from the Arabs!