Stories about Barack Obama

The Syrian conflict approaches its seventh year, but the inhumanity is endless

“Everybody knows that the dice are loaded. Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed. Everybody knows that the war is over. Everybody knows that the good guys lost.” – Leonard Cohen, Everybody knows 1988 As Syria labels its latest escalation with Washington DC a ‘war crime’, an obscene irony in a civil war fast devolved into a brutal proxy war, on the threshold of its seven year anniversary, the world’s most violent proxy war is fast spinning out of orbit. The developments are dizzying. NATO’s two largest armies, in a tense face-off, now stand on opposite sides of the conflict. In the cross hairs aimed at one another, the Kurdish forces – the Pershmaga, astonishing ...

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Will a black president make America great again?

After this year’s Golden Globe Awards, an overwhelming number of tweets and op-eds acclaimed Oprah Winfrey as a possible candidate for the 2020 US Presidential Election. It was indeed a justified reaction to her powerful acceptance speech, which sounded strong, optimistic and very presidential. Not to be outdone by a woman, President Donald Trump immediately responded to this media reaction by suggesting that while fighting an election against Oprah would be fun, he would beat her. No matter what one’s opinion on the possibility of Oprah 2020, it does bring several questions to mind. Would such a presidency do America ...

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Sorry America, but Oprah 2020 is not the answer

On Sunday evening, at the annual Golden Globes award ceremony in Los Angeles, Oprah won hearts and minds with a rousing speech about speaking truth to power and advancing the position of women in society. It was an objectively powerful oration, and social media was promptly flooded with calls for Oprah to be the country’s next president. The newfound Oprah 2020 campaign drew support not only from NBC News, which eventually deleted a tweet referring to her as “our future president”, but also famous neoconservative war hawk Bill Kristol, who unleashed a Twitter storm of support for the beloved American icon. Oprah: Sounder on economics than Bernie ...

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As history proves, presidents will come and go, but Pakistan’s relationship with the US will always hang by a thread

The relationship between the US and Pakistan today is the diplomatic equivalent of a miserable marriage, where neither partner is ready to divorce the other, yet there is persistent bickering. Can’t live with each other, can’t live without each other either. Earlier this year, Islamabad watched with anxiety and horror as President Donald Trump called on India to deepen its influence in Afghanistan in his speech outlining the Afghan policy. India’s presence in Afghanistan has been a long time worry for Pakistan, and Trump’s speech earlier this year only reinforced that fear. By pitting two arched enemies against each other, President Trump aimed to ...

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The scapegoat and $33 billion – The hidden truth behind Saudi Arabia’s royal crisis

According to the Washington Post’s Fareed Zakaria, in order to understand how traditionally secular Muslim countries became hubs of radicalisation in recent years, you need just one example – Saudi Arabia. Zakaria explains: “In Southeast Asia, almost all observers whom I have spoken with believe that there is another crucial cause (behind the ‘cancer’ of extremism) – exported money and ideology from the Middle East, chiefly Saudi Arabia. A Singaporean official told me, ‘Travel around Asia and you will see so many new mosques and madrassas built in the last 30 years that have had funding from the Gulf. They are modern, clean, air-conditioned, well-equipped, and Wahhabi (Saudi Arabia’s ...

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If the US does not recognise its glaring gun problem after the deadliest mass shooting, it never will

“Why are they not calling it terrorism,” was the text of the WhatsApp message I received from my wife as the news of the latest and deadliest mass shooting in Las Vegas spread. I replied by saying that terrorism by definition is a deliberate act conducted for achieving some political and ideological end. This kind of shooting cannot be called terrorism as it is more likely to be an outcome of a mental disorder. It was an inhumane and horrific act, but still cannot be called terrorism. But I understand as to why she, and for that matter many other Muslims, wanted it ...

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US-Pakistan-Afghanistan: The gloves are now off

Like millions of Americans, I watched President Donald Trump’s speech from my living room on August 21, 2017. It is the third time an American president has addressed our nation on Afghanistan, now the longest war in American history. To those of us familiar with the region, the speech was business as usual, with a few notable changes. But for those Americans with loved ones in Pakistan, the president’s speech was a plainspoken warning – fall in line Pakistan, or face the consequences. Taking the speech to its furthest extrapolation, without change, Pakistan will soon face US sanctions. Certainly for Pakistan, clouds are gathering. The Trump administration ...

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Divided States of America: Donald Trump will not condemn the Charlottesville attackers because they are the ones who voted for him

Donald Trump’s vicious win as the 45th president of the United States caused quite an upheaval in the country. He spoke outrageously and millions applauded. However, in wake of the recent Charlottesville, Virginia tragedy, a new wave of hate crimes and violence has taken charge – and it is doing us more harm than good. The incident in Charlottesville is a perfect example of it. However, this time it shook me to my bones as the tragic event took place in my home state, Virginia. A group of anti-far right protesters gathered in Charlottesville for a demonstration which ultimately led to an innocent civilian’s death, and ...

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Why the only face-saving way out for the US is a complete military withdrawal from Afghanistan

To quote the Chinese proverb, “He who seeks vengeance must dig two graves – one for his enemy and one for himself.” Afghanistan is in a state of utter chaos. Unless there is a drastic change in the current Afghan strategy, this proverbial ‘graveyard of empires’ seems set to add the United States in the list of countries that failed to control this area. Donald Trump’s aggressive policies on North Korea and Syria have shown that he is not a man of dialogue or negotiation. Thus far, he has followed the militarist route for resolving international issues, with little to no success to show for it. After Trump’s election, the US ...

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Pulling out of the Paris climate agreement may be Donald Trump’s only success story

In the cold and grey Washington, the news cycle has been eternally hot lately. The fire refuses to simmer down. The breathtaking pace at which events occur makes it tough to keep up with the war of words from the movers and shakers in a town where, post November 9, 2016, things have been constantly on the edge. While it is safe to say that all politicians are born actors and blatant liars, Donald Trump’s White House has legitimised the art of lying and given an official seal of approval to “alternative facts” – a term that essentially masks any untrue statement ...

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