Israel Looks East

A decade ago, the United States vetoed burgeoning ties between Israel and China. Now Sino-Israeli relations are flourishing again—this time, apparently, with Washington’s blessing.

Read more at Tablet

More about: China, Diplomacy, Israel, United States

Sorry Excuses for a Misguided Policy in Syria

Sept. 1 2016

The Obama administration, writes Frederic Hof, has thus far “not defended a single . . . civilian from the Assad-Russia-Iran onslaught” that is responsible for the majority of the human suffering in Syria. Addressing questions about this policy last week, Press Secretary Joshua Earnest insisted that the 2003 invasion of Iraq somehow proves that any intervention against Bashar al-Assad and his backers would be futile. Hof comments:

[T]he administration’s policy toward Assad Syria (as opposed to Islamic State Syria) rests on its desire to accommodate Iran—a full partner in Assad’s collective-punishment survival strategy—so that the July 14, 2015 nuclear agreement can survive the Obama presidency. . . .

According to Earnest, “We’ve got a test case just over the border in Iraq about what the consequences are for the United States implementing a regime-change policy and trying to impose a military solution on the situation. . . . [T]here are some people who suggest that somehow the United States should invade Syria.”

Shame on a news media that consistently permits this dissembling to go unchallenged. Earnest, if asked, would be unable to name anyone counseling the invasion of Syria. Earnest would be unable, if asked, to explain why limited military measures designed to end Assad’s mass-murder free ride—such as that offered by the 51 dissenting State Department officers—amounts to “regime change” and “trying to impose a military solution.” Indeed, if challenged, Earnest would be required to retract his subsequent false claim that no critic of the president’s Syria policy has ever offered specific, operationally feasible alternatives to a catastrophe-producing approach.

Read more at Atlantic Council

More about: Barack Obama, Bashar al-Assad, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Syrian civil war, U.S. Foreign policy