Motives for the violent Western intervention in Syria — where since at least early 2012 the CIA has been sending large shipments of weapons to Sunni militants working with al-Qaida front Jabhat al-Nusra — predictably appear rooted in geostrategic, rather than humanitarian, interests. Iran recently secured a $10 billion pipeline deal with Syria and Iraq that the U.S. and its European allies bitterly opposed. The project would bring Iranian hydrocarbons to the Mediterranean as well as Russia, which has sought to expand its influence in the region’s energy development.
In a nation where nearly 45% of the population lives in one city—the capital, Ulan Bator—those who reside elsewhere in the vast reaches of the landlocked state of Mongolia have long been isolated from the trappings of modern life. However, in recent years, as the economic development and technological advancement that has long been a … Continue reading Mining for Opportunity in Mongolia
With the Syrian conflict having passed its two year last month, the casualty count is mounting. An estimated 75000 people have died, and about 2.6 million refugees have been displaced. As the Syrian Free Army struggles to displace Bashar Al-Assad’s powerful minority government, the international community seemingly remains hesitant in its desire to involve itself … Continue reading Playing it Safe: Syria
After a divisive campaign and polemical debates, this week France became the 14th country to legalize same-sex marriage. Last week, New Zealand was the 13th. France became the ninth country in Europe, following even staunchly Catholic Portugal and Spain, to legalize same-sex marriage. The wild protests and fierce support have illustrated a contentious dichotomy in French … Continue reading Where is the US?
Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has been wracked with political and social turmoil since it fell victim to a military-backed coup d’état in 1962. Many nations around the world have never formally recognized the ruling military junta, and the United Nations has repeatedly condemned the Burmese government for numerous human rights violations. Recently, however, the military … Continue reading Burma’s Progress Hindered by Religious Violence
During his 2008 Presidential Campaign, then-Presidential hopeful Barack Obama assured the American public that the American military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba would be shut down within the first year of his presidency. On January 22, 2009, shortly after taking office, Obama signed an executive order stating that authorized the use of an … Continue reading The Case to Close Guantanamo
For 26 years Sri Lanka was embroiled in a bloody civil war that led to the death of 100,000 people. For 26 years the people of Sri Lanka lived in fear of forced disappearances, torture, and massacres. Human rights and civil liberties were tossed aside as the Tamil Tigers fought against the Sri Lankan government … Continue reading Dissent in Sri Lanka
Created in 1947 as a Cold War-era espionage agency, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has a long history of secret activities that range from attempted assassinations and regime change in foreign countries to the support of death squads and fascist coups up to the wholesale buying-off of puppet politicians. Top U.S. officials have for … Continue reading Rogue Shadow Paramilitary: The CIA After 9/11
At this point many western policy makers see little hope in a stable Pakistan and are beginning to view their former ally as part of a new axis of evil. Nevertheless, Pakistanis have not given up hope on their country—and for good reason. What many western leaders fail to recognize is the difference between the … Continue reading Is This the New Face of Pakistan?