Until recently, thousands of people escaping violence in the Central African Republic at least could find refuge in the capital, Bangui. I was one of them. I had been in the northern town of Bouca where a massacre of civilians sheltering in a church compound was narrowly averted by the arrival of African Union troops. And so I was grateful, days later, to reach the relative safety of Bangui.
So far, the effort to strip Syria of its chemical weapons capacity has gone surprisingly well. In difficult circumstances, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons met a Nov. 1 deadline for disabling all the country’s declared production facilities and assembly plants.
In his speech last week on the Middle East, President Barack Obama left little doubt that America stands with the people of the region in their demand for change. This puts the U.S. on a collision course with Saudi Arabia.
The story of the capture outside Belgrade yesterday of General Ratko Mladic , the Serbian military commander responsible for the 1995 mass murder of 8,000 men and boys near the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, holds lessons for the world as it grapples with how to bring peace and justice to Libya.
We may never get to the bottom of what happened Aug. 21 in Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus. The report by United Nations inspectors concluded that rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used against civilians, including children, as well as combatants on a relatively large scale. Circumstantial evidence suggests Syrian government troops fired them, but the lack of proof has given the regime, and its backers in Russia, room to blame rebel forces.
Syria’s uprising offered the possibility of a strategic defeat of Iran. In this scenario, Iran would be weakened by the collapse of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, its single Arab ally and a vital link to Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia. Isolated, Iran would become more vulnerable to international pressure to limit its nuclear program. And as Iran’s regional influence faded, those of its rivals -- U.S. allies Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia -- would expand.