ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan - Fifty yards from my hotel, in the largely Christian neighborhood of Ainkawa, a car bomb went off last Friday. You can still smell the acrid smoke where the Nili café was shattered, killing two young men who had stepped out for a smoke not far from the U.S. consulate (which the terrorists didn't reach).
Many Afghan women worry their recent gains will be lost after the last U.S. troops leave. But the story of Suraya Pakzad - a courageous Afghan woman with links to Philadelphia and Scranton - shows how ordinary Americans can help Afghan women preserve their rights.
Israelis are attributing Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu's surprise election triumph to the fact that he ran a "gevalt" campaign. The Yiddish word gevalt is the equivalent of "Help!" - a cry for rescue at a critical time. And facing a possible defeat as voting day neared, Netanyahu wooed disaffected voters back to his right-wing Likud party by fear-mongering to the max.
Those who criticize President Obama's weak foreign policy (as I have done often) have been looking for smarter ideas from prospective candidates for 2016. Judging by Lettergate - the bizarre tale of the missive sent by Sen. Tom Cotton and 46 Republican colleagues to Iran's ayatollahs - the Republicans aren't ready for prime time.
Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. Over the past decade she has made multiple trips to Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey, Israel and the West Bank and also written from Syria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and China. She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. In 2001 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.