The Fascination and the Fear

Review – See You Again in Pyongyang by Travis Jeppesen

Global interest in North Korea is prompted by fascination and fear. Both are overdone. Continue reading

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Daraa Could Mark the End of the Assad Regime’s Ability to Act With Impunity

What is happening to Syria gives little reason for optimism. What positivity there is must be extracted from adverse events – and present events are adverse. Continue reading

The United States Wants Russia to Evict Iran from Syria. It Won’t Work

US President Donald Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 16, in a summit that has been likely since Trump entered office last year.

They will discuss Syria. Russia and the United States have interacted inconsistently there. Where once it was thought that Trump would follow the Russian line on Syria’s civil conflict, events have proven more complex. Continue reading

Daraa: Assad’s Violence, Western Indifference; A Painfully Familiar Story

The assault on Daraa by the regime of Bashar al-Assad is well underway. Long-foreseen, its course will follow a predictable pattern. Continue reading

Italy’s, and Europe’s, Migrant Crisis

Last week brought a startling report about what happens on boats transporting migrants or refugees across the Mediterranean.

Mixing among those on board – migrants, sailors, charity workers, and journalists – was another man. He was not as he seemed. Continue reading

In the Face of Western Discomfort, Syrian Democratic Forces Trade ISIS Prisoners

The Islamic State (ISIS) is not defeated but it is diminished. The fates of those who fought and are fighting for ISIS similarly exist in two states. Continue reading

Gavin Williamson’s Ambition Would Be Funny If He Weren’t so Serious

Gavin Williamson is an ambitious man. He is, after all, a politician. People in that line of work are hardly immune from ambition’s siren call.

Political careers are often embarked upon with the highest of hopes, sometimes accompanied by the most outlandish of expectations. Even the most parochial of political figures cherish some secret ambition. Continue reading