After terror attacks, there is a rush to identify who’s to blame and to analyze what the slaughters may mean, but often the facts are tenuous and the reality is hazy, observes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
As Iran and Russia sense they’ve been “had” by President Obama over the Syrian “cease-fire” — and other U.S. deceptions — the prospects rise for a climactic battle in Syria, writes ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke from Beirut.
A risk to democracy is that wily politicians can exploit moments of anger or fear to implement plans that the public wouldn’t otherwise accept, a danger that requires popular vigilance to avert, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
Exclusive: The Obama administration claims Syrian rebels in Ahrar al-Sham deserve protection from government attack although they have close ties to Al Qaeda and joined its official Syrian affiliate in a slaughter of Alawites, writes Daniel Lazare.
From the Archive: A century ago, Britain and France secretly divided up much of the Mideast, drawing artificial boundaries for Iraq and Syria, but Muslim resentment of Western imperialism went much deeper, as historian William R. Polk described in 2015.
The ouster of Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu marks another troubling milestone in President Erdogan’s consolidation of dictatorial power, a development that Alon Ben-Meir sees as further enflaming the region.
Exclusive: Turkey and the Islamic State are exploiting the Syrian refugee flow into Europe to achieve their own ends, playing off the Continent’s fear of what a Muslim influx will do to political stability, explains Andrés Cala.
The Paris and Brussels attacks are blowback from what Islamic State terrorists see as betrayal by Western benefactors who thought using jihadists could bring “regime change” in Syria, says Pakistani analyst Nauman Sadiq.