As an Independence Day treat, the U.S. State Department on Monday announced its conclusions on the shooting of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin in May 2022.
It was reported earlier this weekend that the Palestinian Authority turned over to the U.S. a bullet the PA has said it recovered from Abu Akleh’s body after her death. Israeli media said afterward that the bullet was then turned over to Israeli authorities for analysis, with U.S. personnel present throughout the process.
There’s commentary below on the Ukraine issue, but first, the meta-message of President Biden’s press conference on Wednesday: Trump can be un-impeached any time now. The two things he was impeached for have become U.S. policy under Joe Biden.
The first impeachment of Trump was over Trump’s handling of arms shipments to Ukraine. Democrats in Congress charged that Trump improperly delayed them and showed inadequate support for Ukraine’s security, allegedly as an extortion move against the Ukrainian government in a quest to get Kyiv to attack Joe Biden.
Now showing inadequate support for Ukraine’s security is Biden’s U.S. national policy.
We’re going to keep this one (relatively) short. I’ve written about Russia’s goals in Syria elsewhere (see here as well).
A Bloomberg article from Monday commendably recognizes that Russia’s goals in Syria are “far broader” than the official goal of fighting Salafi terrorists. The authors fall short of “getting” what the Russian involvement there is about, but they’re on the right track.
Reading Henry Kissinger’s typically well-considered and intelligent article for the Wall Street Journal this weekend (“A Path out of the Middle East Collapse”), I had a growing sense that it isn’t so much a prescription for the future as a description of the past.
The sense began with the first paragraph, in which Kissinger defines the scope of what’s collapsing, and dates it only to 1973, when the U.S. moved to stabilize the Middle East during the Yom Kippur War.
But far more than recent U.S. policy on the Middle East is collapsing today. What we’re seeing is more like the collapse of “Rome” itself: the organization of Western power as a Europe-centric territorial phenomenon, setting unbreachable boundaries north, south, and west of a restless and perennially “unorganizable” Middle East.Continue reading “The future of our time: Rewriting ‘Westphalianism’”
John Paul Jones, commanding the Continental Navy, Battle of Flamborough Head
23 September, 1779
If we went by the triumphal proclamations of the mainstream media, we would think opponents of the unsigned Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – described inaccurately as a “deal” with Iran – were out of options at this point.
Operating on the process set in motion by the Corker-Cardin bill, the House has voted against approving the JCPOA. But the JCPOA’s opponents in the Senate have failed twice to move the JCPOA to a vote. A 42-vote minority has prevented a Senate vote, and Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is unwilling to use the “nuclear option” of overriding the effective filibuster by the minority, and forcing a vote on the JCPOA.