Syria, which has been percolating in and out of public view for the last two years, exploded into full sight this past week as a result of revelations that the Assad government may have used nerve gas against rebel-controlled areas. With over 70,000 already dead -- the result of air strikes, heavy shelling of populated areas, and other deadly conventional military means, one can legitimately wonder why the possible deaths of an additional dozen or two Syrians would cause such concern in Washington.
US President Barack Obama speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum on March 22, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
OWL’S HEAD, Maine - Until just before President Obama bade farewell to Prime Minister Netanyahu, it was looking as if Obama's visit to Israel and the West Bank had been the proverbial dog and pony show, Obama-style: long on verbiage, short on results.
But in fact, the Turkish-Israeli rapprochement that he worked out at Tel Aviv airport was a significant accomplishment. It addressed the break in Israel-Turkey diplomatic relations when nineTurkish activists sailing to Gaza were killed by Israeli commandos the year before the Arab world exploded.
The Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, speaks during a press conference at the consulate of Iran in Istanbul, Turkey, on Sept. 19, 2012. The P5+1 group made up of China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany joined diplomatic efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program in 2006, but efforts to broker a treaty have proven fruitless to date.
(Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The ongoing deadlock in the Iranian nuclear dispute is becoming increasingly unsustainable. While Iran’s economy is seriously harmed by Western sanctions, the Obama administration has created high expectations by portraying the coming year as the final test for diplomacy. Pressure to reach a successful nuclear deal thus seems to be high on both sides. The question is whether such a deal is understood to mean compromise or Iran’s capitulation.
Former US Senator Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama's nominee for US Secretary of Defense, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on Jan. 31, 2013. Facing tough questions from some senators at his confirmation hearing, Hagel said in his opening remarks that he wanted to keep America's armed forces the strongest in the world and that he supported using military force to safeguard the country's interests. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
The Senate Armed Services Committee — surely one of the most important committees in what we euphemistically refer to as the Upper House of our Congress — gave a nice, day-long display at the end of last week as to why Congress's approval rating, in a new survey, remained in single digits.
British Prime Minister David Cameron was on a charity run yesterday when word of a serious Tory party fundraising cash for access scandal erupted around him. (LEFTERIS PITARAKIS/AFP/Getty Images)
UPDATE: Bowing to pressure, David Cameron has published a list of Conservative party donors who have had dinner with him privately. Details here.
Just two weeks ago British Prime Minister David Cameron was riding high. He had learned everything there was to know about basketball at President Obama's side during a highly photogenic and successful trip to Washington.
Despite continued tough economic news his Conservative party's poll ratings were up.