Suddenly the Kurds are at the center of the universe. Well, not exactly. But the Kurds are now at the center of the struggle against ISIS. This is why I am heading to Erbil, the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, to look at how and whether ISIS can be rolled back.
We've entered an era in which strongmen are in vogue and democracy is taking a hit worldwide. So it's really depressing in this dismal election season to watch how oblivious the leading GOP candidate is to the threats posed by authoritarian rulers. It's equally depressing to watch the GOP - in the battle over replacing Justice Antonin Scalia - undermine the institutional protections that shield us from this global trend.
Why would anyone in the Middle East want to ally with the United States? There are many reasons to ask this question, but here's one I find especially disturbing: how the United States lets down thousands of Afghans and Iraqis whose lives are at risk because they have worked with Americans. For this "sin," they and their relatives are now being threatened with death.
Vladimir Putin seems to be the only leader who knows what he's doing in Syria. While the Obama team was desperately pursuing a diplomatic solution to the conflict, Putin was busy with more practical matters: cementing his proxy Bashar al-Assad in power by military force. Backed by indiscriminate Russian airpower, Syrian troops and f
Now that the Iran nuclear deal is a done deal, what next? More quickly than expected, Tehran has dismantled large portions of its nuclear program, leading to the lifting of the sanctions imposed on its nuclear activities. Contrary to the critics, this deal does make the Mideast safer - for now.
HAVANA - At the darkened Delirio Habanero nightclub on top of Havana's National Theatre, a group of young Cubans listen to an all-girl band, dressed in micro miniskirts, belt out salsa lyrics. Through the windows behind them, the glowing faces of revolutionary heroes Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos shine down, outlined in neon several stories high on the facades of neighboring buildings. The young people are too busy texting to take any notice, even as the older folks dance.
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.