Annihilating Raqqa while allowing thousands of IS terrorists to escape – who was the US trying to kill?
Amnesty International released an explosive report last week, which described the US-led coalition’s disproportionate and indiscriminate war in Raqqa as the US-led “war of annihilation”. The report confirmed what some people have suspected for a while but few have dared to even talk about. Namely, that the United States and its allies have completely destroyed a Syrian city, and left almost nothing but death and destruction in their wake. In coming to its conclusion, Amnesty researchers visited 42 coalition air strike sites across the city and interviewed 112 civilian residents who had survived the ordeal. The results of their investigation ...Read Full Post
The Trump administration is more confrontational toward Russia than Barack Obama was, Glenn Greenwald and Zaid Jilani wrote in The Intercept recently. There is certainly some truth to the statement, despite the fact Donald Trump has been regularly portrayed as an agent of Vladimir Putin, even before he was elected at the end of 2016. Never mind, for example, that Trump’s nominee to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, recently confirmed that, “A couple hundred Russians were killed by US forces in Syria earlier this year.” Pompeo wasn’t merely stating the blunt truth about an incident in February, in which US ...Read Full Post
John Bolton’s recent inclusion in the Trump administration as his new national security advisor is a slap in the face of every Trump supporter who voted for him on his non-interventionist campaign platform – particularly in relation to America’s failures in Iraq (Bolton being one of the leading architects of the war in 2003). Unfortunately for the Middle East and the rest of Asia, Bolton is a man so hawkish that his appointment received open warnings from the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, Vice News, Vox, and Foreign Policy magazine, just to name a few. All of these western outlets have championed US-backed ...Read Full Post
Earlier this month, two major incidents captured the world’s attention. Both are in dissimilar contexts and with starkly different repercussions, yet both unified by the sentiment of belonging, and a notion that was once familiar but is now complex – home. The first event was the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by the US, whereas the second occurred with a few words uttered by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, during his visit to Pakistan. When asked by a BBC reporter if coming to Pakistan felt like coming ‘home’, he promptly replied, “No, home is South London, mate.” On one hand, for Palestinians, their wounds were reawakened ...Read Full Post
Despite Saudi Arabia’s tough rhetoric and brutal assault against its neighbour, Yemen (the poorest country in the region), the unfortunate reality is that Saudi Arabia is not the strongman it has hopelessly painted itself to be. This isn’t conjecture, nor is it an attempt to needlessly bolster and promote regional rivals such as Iran, as has become the trend among anti-imperialist commentators. Yes, Saudi Arabia is an oil-rich country who uses its money to great effect on the international level. Saudi Arabia’s relationships with the nuclear powers, Russia and China, have also been intensifying. However, what the media won’t tell you is that there is actually ...Read Full Post
Making Pakistan (un)proud: Too consumed by domestic issues to care about overseas Pakistanis, Khwaja Asif?
Blunt and evasive are two adjectives that best describe Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif’s recent conversation with the Asia Society. It was held in union with the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Asif, a vocal critic of Donald Trump’s version of American foreign policy, admitted that Trump’s position on the Afghanistan-Pakistan (AfPak) region was an “utter disappointment”. However, I personally felt that his elusive response to the question regarding Pakistani-Americans was an utter disappointment. The interviewer, a world-renowned journalist and author, Steve Coll, mentioned the increasingly polarising nature of the American society, which the foreign minister sharply labelled as a bad sign for the future. Coll also referred to the ...Read Full Post
A ban on transgender individuals in the military has no ethical or logical justification, Donald Trump
Christopher T Beck was a US Navy SEAL for 20 years. Beck was part of the elite anti-terrorism unit known popularly as SEAL Team Six and was decorated with the Bronze Star (distinguished performance) and Purple Heart (for wounds suffered in combat). After retiring in 2011, Beck began the transition that would allow his emotional maturation and identity consolidation he had long yearned for. Let me correct myself, that she had long yearned for. Today, Christopher is Kristin Beck, a trans woman that had to wait for her military career to be over before she could be who she wanted to be. She ...Read Full Post
Change is the only constant in Washington. We know that. However, whereas Fridays are usually on the slower and uneventful side, this past Friday, July 21, 2017, was one hell of an exception. It was anything but slow or uneventful. In fact, it turned out to be one of those Fridays when you know before noon that today is going to be “that” Friday! As if Donald Trump’s New York Times interview earlier in the week was not enough to create a furor, the appointment of Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci as the White House (WH) communications director triggered a counter reaction from an otherwise unquestioning and ...Read Full Post
What better way of diverting attention from Donald Trump than by blaming Pakistan for all the ills of the world?
The world awoke earlier this week to another one of Donald Trump’s controversial insinuations. I call this an insinuation because the American president didn’t make any official statement himself, but had senior members of his staff hint at the possibility of his administration “hardening the line” against Pakistan. The revelation made to Reuters comes across as nothing new. Pick up any article printed in any paper from any country about the US-Pakistan relationship and you will find the exact same content, phrases, threats and arguments. It usually revolves around the US lamenting that Pakistan is not doing enough and is in cahoots with militant groups that are bent upon hampering the ...Read Full Post
The past 10 days in the American political spectrum have been marred by one scandal after another. The latest controversy has been triggered by President Donald Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey. This ushered in a new sense of chaos into an administration that is less than four-months-old and has already had to face a fair share of outrage stemming from the Muslim ban and other controversial cabinet appointments and legislative actions. The firing of Comey has intensified a crisis of credibility with the Trump administration, and more importantly it has raised fears on possible obstruction of justice being carried out by the ...Read Full Post