• Middle East

    A Useful Mideast Peace Plan? Don’t Hold Your Breath

    by  • March 7, 2018 • Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East, Nikki Haley Watch, Security Council • 1 Comment

    Nikki Haley is appealing to the Palestinian people for “negotiation and compromise” in search of Middle East peace, denying that Washington is biased against them even as she warns their leaders that holding out will “lead to nothing but hardship.” But the latest pitch for Palestinian engagement by Haley, the United States ambassador to...

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    Is the New UN Envoy for Yemen Destined for Failure?

    by  • March 5, 2018 • Geopolitics, Middle East, UN Special Envoys • 1 Comment

    Martin Griffiths, the new United Nations special envoy for Yemen and a British international mediator, will begin work this month on a war that is called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Griffiths is highly praised in the arena of private conflict mediation, having founded his own firm in 1999 that has brokered resolutions to...

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    Iran Missiles to Yemen: Is There Room for Circumstantial Evidence in UN Sanctions?

    by  • January 16, 2018 • Disarmament, Middle East, Security Council, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Citing an unpublished report of the United Nations panel of experts on Yemen, The New York Times said recently that Iran violated the Yemen arms embargo, according to UN experts. The same day, The Washington Post used essentially the same set of reported facts under a more judicious headline that said, in part, “Iran weapons to...

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    The US and UN Sanctions: Outwitted, Outlasted, Outplayed?

    by  • January 11, 2018 • Middle East, Nikki Haley Watch, Nuclear Disarmament, Security Council, US-UN Relations • 1 Comment

    With the Security Council’s unanimous vote to expand United Nations sanctions on North Korea on Dec. 22, President Trump appeared to add another high point to a victorious final week of 2017 based on his tax reform in United States Congress. But appearances deceive, as delegations’ statements in the Council demonstrated before adopting Resolution...

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    Loose Missiles, Loose Talk: Nikki Haley’s Claims of Iran’s ‘Lawless Behavior’

    by  • December 16, 2017 • Geopolitics, Middle East, Security Council, US Foreign Relations • 1 Comment

    Why are the United States Department of Defense and the US ambassador to the United Nations acting as spokespeople for Saudi Arabia’s atrocious war against the religious Yemeni-Houthi minority? And why is Ambassador Nikki Haley throwing herself in front of the international community with laughable evidence to claim, among other statements: “The Iranian regime...

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    Will the Real Nikki Haley Please Stand Up?

    by  • December 14, 2017 • Gender-Based Violence, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East, Nikki Haley Watch, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 1 Comment

    Nikki Haley must have raised eyebrows at the White House with her bold off-the-cuff defense of the women complaining that Donald Trump sexually abused them before the election. “ny woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up,” Haley said on the CBS talk show...

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    What a Stripped-Down State Department Bodes for the UN and Nikki Haley

    by  • November 26, 2017 • Middle East, Nikki Haley Watch, Nuclear Disarmament, US Foreign Relations • 

    In Washington, there is no question that the State Department is in a weakened position, a situation that the Trump White House — and the Trump family — seem to relish. To some in the understaffed, stripped-down Foreign Service and to commentators on United States foreign policy, this is a disgrace linked directly to...

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    Why Do Jihadists Exit Violent Extremism? The Field of Study Grows

    by  • November 17, 2017 • Gender-Based Violence, Geopolitics, Middle East • 

    The study of violent extremism and what attracts people to become jihadists has been expanding rapidly in social sciences, but what is little known is why people avoid or leave a violent movement. It is a field that is slowly growing among academics, think tanks and United Nations officials, enabling them to form policies...

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    A Hint on Confronting Islamist Power. Or Maybe Not.

    by  • October 7, 2017 • BOOKS, Libya, Middle East, Syria, Terrorism, US Foreign Relations • 

    Will it never end? When will time run out on the array of shape-shifting militant Islamist movements intent on moving into shaky trouble spots around the world to impose their extreme ideology, harness the population and hijack the local economy? How long will it take for the international community — the ubiquitous West —...

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    Saudis Dispute Casualty Numbers in New UN Report on Children in War

    by  • September 27, 2017 • Geopolitics, Middle East, Secretary-General • 

    Saudi Arabia is vehemently disputing a decision by the United Nations that it is to be named and shamed again for its violations of children’s rights in the Yemen war. The Saudis, who lead a regional bombing coalition against the Houthi opposition forces in Yemen, have landed in the annual report from the UN...

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    Trump Blows Up the UN, Metaphorically Speaking

    by  • September 19, 2017 • General Assembly, Middle East, Migration, Peace and Security, Refugees, Terrorism, UNGA72, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    Can a rebuttal happen before an event occurs? United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres took pre-emptive strikes against President Donald Trump in his speech at the opening session of the 72nd General Assembly, on Sept. 19, 2017. Rumors were rampant that Trump would deliver a strongly nationalistic speech, reportedly written by Stephen Miller, author of...

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    US Ambassador’s Ultimatum to the UN: Agree With Us or We Go It Alone

    by  • September 16, 2017 • Human Rights, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East, Nikki Haley Watch, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    When Nikki Haley, now the United States ambassador to the United Nations, was questioned by senators at her confirmation hearing in January about how she would deal with Donald Trump’s dismissive view of internationalism, she said confidently, “I will show him that the UN matters.” She also said that she would show the world...

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    Building a Case for Prosecuting the Genocide of Yazidi Women

    by  • August 1, 2017 • Gender-Based Violence, Middle East, Responsibility to Protect, Security Council, Terrorism, Women • 

    As the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq crumbles, assessments begin to emerge of the damage left in its wake by its cultural nihilism and harsh sectarian absolutism designed to remake an Arab society. The human costs have been high in Iraq — in deaths, maiming, displacement and the enslavement of girls and women....

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    Russia Blocks Egypt From Pushing for More Oversight of UN Sanctions

    by  • July 31, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Middle East, Security Council • 

    Striving to leave an indelible mark as president of the United Nations Security Council in August, Egypt proposed that an informal working group, focused comprehensively on sanctions regimes, should be set up to advise the Council. But one powerful member of the Council, Russia, has said no to the idea, so it has been...

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    US Sends Mixed Messages to UN Mission in Iraq

    by  • July 28, 2017 • Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East, Nikki Haley Watch, Security Council, US-UN Relations • 

    Since the liberation of the Iraqi city of Mosul in early July, United Nations officials and diplomats in New York have weighed in on the crucial stabilization process for the ruined city. Part of the voices included, of course, the United States diplomatic mission to the UN. Those commenting on Mosul’s newfound freedom championed...

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    As the UN Chief Goes to Washington, He Reiterates Plight of Refugees

    by  • June 20, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Middle East, Refugees, Secretary-General, US-UN Relations • 

    Photo: UN Secretary-General António Guterres in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

    On International Refugee Day, António Guterres reiterated the plight of refugees and displaced people worldwide — a phenomenal 65.5 million people — in his first media briefing at United Nations headquarters in months. He let drop that he is traveling to Washington, D.C., from June 27-29 to lobby Congressional members on UN budget matters....

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    Rape by Terrorists: A UN Report Documents Sexual Attacks in War

    by  • May 2, 2017 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Trafficking, Libya, Middle East, Peace and Security, Women • 1 Comment

    Moving away from strictly categorizing rape and other sexual abuse against women as a weapon of war, a new report from the United Nations addresses the increasing use of rape as a weapon of terrorism. The report also documents how mass migration has led to further sexual violence against women through human trafficking by...

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    Was America’s Attack on Syria Legal? An Asian Expert’s View

    by  • April 26, 2017 • Disarmament, Middle East, Security Council, Syria, US Foreign Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    The images of civilians, particularly children, being asphyxiated by chemical substances and dying in Idlib Province of Syria on April 4 were a game changer. Judging that the chemical attack was carried out by the Syrian government, the United States, two days later, attacked Syria’s Shayrat airbase with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles. The US...

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    Jerusalem Has Always Been a Contested City

    by  • March 7, 2017 • Geopolitics, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    The long-simmering dispute over the fate of Jerusalem stands at the center of the Middle East conflict. Israelis and Palestinians, divided on many points, become most emotional when discussing the future of the walled, ancient crossroads city that is holy to three world religions. So international diplomats took notice when foreign policy neophyte Donald...

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