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Personal Takes: Russian war crimes in Syria, appeasement, and disgust

Developing PERSONAL TAKES Once in a while, The Observer reflects on his own personal involvement in world events. Today’s news triggered such a reflection. The news this morning is that the U.S. will resume negotiations…

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Obama’s capitulation ———- Russia bombs U.S. and British support base in Syria: U.S. responds by caving in on Ukraine sanctions on Russia

Developing Russia has bombed U.S. and U.K. support bases and facilities in Syria, on June 16 and July 12, 2016. One of the most significant aspects of these events, perhaps, is that the administration of…


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War criminal Bashar al-Assad charges British air attacks illegal

Bashar al-Assad is recently quoted as complaining that British air attacks against ISIS in Syria are illegal. ZeitOnline und AFP, “Assad nennt britische Luftangriffe “illegal”; Die Angriffe der britischen Luftwaffe auf den IS seien schädlich,…


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The Iran nuclear deal: Has Barack Obama earned his Nobel Peace Prize? (Revised August 18)

See Roger Cohen, “The Door to Iran Opens,” New York Times, July 16, 2015. David Ignatius, “After the nuclear deal, how to contain Iran’s meddling in the Middle East,” Washington Post, July 16, 2015. David…



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Ukraine Update: Overview and signficance of the continuing Russan invasion

Developing See Matthew Schofield, “A year after Russia took Crimea, stronger Ukraine military braces for long fight, McClatchyDC, March 5, 2015 (updated 4:17 p.m. EDT). “Russischer Soldat beschreibt Einsatz bei Debalzewe; Von der Grenze zur…


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To stop Russian tanks in Ukraine: (1) Ban Russia from SWIFT; (2) Boycott / change venue of 2018 World Cup; and (3) Add Putin to sanctions list

Developing See AFP, “Rebels claim to capture key Ukraine rail hub of Debaltseve Fighting breaks out for first time inside flashpoint town in east Ukraine, say officials, with rebels claiming victory in harsh blow to…


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What’s the hurry? Russia pushes hard for U.N. Security Council resolution endorsing Minsk II agreement—a “Munich II” agreement reached under the pressure of Russian military aggression

Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande may assume they have achieved something notable in the Minsk II agreement of February 12, but in point of fact they have forged an agreement at the end of the…


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U.S., France, U.K. and other members should vehemently oppose any Russian-backed Security Council resolution endorsing Minsk II agreement

News reports speak of the intention of Russia to bring a resolution to the U.N. Security Council which would incorporate the terms of the Minsk II agreement reached on February 12. See “Ukraine-Krise: Poroschenko will…


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February 11 Minsk Summit on the Ukraine: Latest update and analysis (Updated February 10, 2015)

Updated February 10, 2015 BACKGROUND The following articles, by some of the most experienced and incisive commentators writing on international affairs, provide the context and background necessary to understand the negotiations planned for the Minsk…