Tag Archives: United States

Israel Presses on with Strikes Against Iran’s Axis

What happens in and to Syria invariably affects Israel. The collapse of Syrian civil society created a humanitarian crisis and other pressures and the persistence of the regime of Bashar al-Assad, a central plank of the ‘axis of resistance’ against Israel, presents its own problems. Continue reading

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History in Policy

‘Public history’ is something of a misnomer. The degree to which history which can influence policy is ‘public’ is a difficult question. E. H. Carr writes in his What Is History? that, when he was working in a junior capacity at the Paris peace conference in 1919, all the diplomats and their staffs took extra care to empty their wastepaper baskets. They were thinking of the discussions surrounding the peace treaty after Napoleon’s defeat in 1815, and the history they used to inform their actions was a titbit of information about that time: that nefarious negotiators spied on their opposite numbers’ plans by going through their waste paper. Carr uses this to illustrate the fallacy of thinking one can ultimately ‘learn from history’ in a way which is total and all-encompassing. Each moment in time presents new and unique challenges. One cannot rely simply on knowing the past to know the present, or indeed to predict the future. Continue reading

A New Right Reading List

When Osama bin Laden was found by the special forces of the United States and met his end, there was surprising attention paid to this bookshelf. First, and understandably, the volumes present were the subject of understandable interest. That bin Laden appeared to like the books of Noam Chomsky, at least enough to include them in his collection, elicited a little amusement. Continue reading

Isis Is in Retreat, but Challenges Remain in Eastern Syria

The Islamic State (ISIS) no longer holds sway over great stretches of Iraq and Syria, but its capacity for violence remains. Fighting continues around ISIS’s base at Hajin, in Syria’s eastern desert near the Iraqi border. Continue reading

America’s New Plan for Syria Promises Little Change

For years, the United States and its leaders articulated a sense of what Syria ought to look like without a plan for making it so. Continue reading

Avoiding Sanction

Donald Trump’s America may be run erratically, but the United States’ chief executive is still a businessman. He knows, or thinks he knows, the bottom line. Credit and capital are instruments often reached for and keenly used. Continue reading