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.
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.
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.
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.
King Abdullah II of Jordan, a member of the dwindling band of Arab leaders who have somehow stayed in power despite the rise of what he calls a “Muslim Brotherhood crescent” across the Middle East, made an acute observation to me recently about the tactical immaturity of the Brotherhood’s leadership.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine lends additional support to the argument that states should make it at least somewhat difficult for parents to exempt their children from vaccinations required for school entry.