U.S. soldiers delivering non-lethal aid to the Syrian opposition. They may soon be asked to do more. (Department of Defense photo)
WARNING: This is not an article about Miley Cyrus’ performance at the VMAs on Sunday. It is an analysis of a serious news story. If you are looking for less serious news coverage, please feel free to check out any of America’s 24-hour cable news networks.
“Syria is not easy to swallow.”
This rather odd quote was made yesterday by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem in regard to possible military action by Western nations against the Assad regime. We can interpret it in a couple of different ways. One would be to go for the most literal meaning: it is true that attempting to swallow all 71,479 square miles of Syria would not be easy. In fact, if this is the meaning Mr. Moallem was going for, I would say he is a bit guilty of understating the issue. Continue reading
Photos from Voice of America and the White House
While most of the news these days seems to be an endless train of unrelated tittle tattle, every so often two stories coincide in a way that sheds new light on our society. More to the point, it allows a writer such as myself to take two apparently unrelated issues and smoosh them together because they both involve someone, or something, named Bo.
Upon waking up this morning, I was greeted with the news that the trial for disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai, former mayor of the city of Chongquing and prominent voice within the Chinese Communist Party, had begun. He stands accused of bribery, corruption, and abuse of power, the latter charge stemming from his alleged involvement in covering up the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, whom Bo’s wife has already been convicted of murdering. Continue reading
White House photo by Pete Souza
When writing about tensions between the U.S. and Russia, it’s all too tempting to choose a headline that brings to mind the Cold War. I could have gone for, “New cold front hits U.S.-Russian relations”, “U.S.-Russia relationship enters deep freeze”, or “The Cold War is over, but it still feels frosty!” Yet, in doing so, I think I would not have demonstrated personal creativity so much as a dependence on overused journalistic metaphors. Instead, I’m going to go the smart Alec route and tell you to come up with your own headline.
All kidding aside, relations between the U.S. and Russia do appear to be on the downswing, although they may not have reached an all-time nadir. (Please note my impressive use of the word “nadir”, which is a much better testament to my creativity than a corny headline.) President Obama just canceled a planned bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, and he has decided not to meet with his Russian counterpart on the sidelines of the upcoming G20 gathering in St. Petersburg. Continue reading