Aleppo’s Frightening Reminder of Wider Threats, and Older Glories

It is ironic and painful that Syria, which boasts that it is home to the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city of Damascus (5000 years and counting), should emerge today as the world’s center of many simultaneous dimensions of depraved, barbaric human behaviour, notes Rami G. Khouri.

Risking World War III in Syria

After Saudi-backed Syrian rebels balked at peace talks and the Russian-backed Syrian army cut off Turkish supply lines to jihadists and other Syrian rebels, the US and its Mideast Sunni “allies” appear poised to invade Syria and force “regime change” even at the risk of fighting Russia, a gamble with nuclear war, writes Joe Lauria.

Still Sabotaging the Iran-Nuke Deal

Since Israel and the influential US neocons never wanted the Iranian nuclear deal, many US politicians – including presidential candidates – are lining up to sabotage the agreement by finding new excuses to sanction Iran. This trick is a dangerous game, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Intriguing Opportunity and Dangers of Ground Forces in Syria

Saudi Arabia’s potential ground action in Syria is important if it reflects a willingness among major regional powers to do what is needed to break up ISIS’ territorial base in northern Syria and Iraq, notes Rami G. Khouri.

Flint and Gaza: Water Crises of Colonialism

Both in Flint and in Gaza, people are suffering from lack of clean water. In both places, the ultimate crisis is a crisis of democracy and full citizenship, says Juan Cole.

How Can a Two-state Solution Calm our Troubled Region?

The absence of this crucial legality and equity in the lives of hundreds of millions of Arabs finally led our Middle East region to its present violent and fracturing condition, which plagues other countries in the form of illegal migrants, terrorism, and waking up the once buried ghosts of xenophobic, fascistic, and Islamophobic hatreds in some Western societies, writes Rami G. Khouri.

Seeing Flight as a Non-violent Option: One Way to Change the Discourse about the World’s 60 Million Refugees

The most reliable empirical studies of refugee movements suggest that the primary cause of flight is violence—not economic opportunity. Mainly, refugees are fleeing war in hopes of landing in a less violent situation, say Erica Chenoweth and Hakim Young.

Why is the US Helping to Fight the Kurds?

The Rojava Kurds have achieved something unparalleled almost anywhere else in the world: the creation of a stateless, religiously tolerant, pluralistic, anticapitalist, ecological, egalitarian society, argues Debbie Bookchin.

‘Cut-out’ Anti-Drone Protest Brings Arrests

The US government’s lethal drone program continues to spark protests from anti-war activists, including a novel “blockade” outside upstate New York’s Hancock air base where a dozen protesters arrayed life-size cut-outs of the late anti-war activist Jerry Berrigan and faced arrest.

Hillary Clinton’s Iraq War Albatross

George W. Bush’s Iraq invasion may rank as the worst foreign policy disaster in US history – spreading chaos across the Mideast and now into Europe, yet polls show Democrats nationwide favor nominating Hillary Clinton, who voted for the war and backed it even after Bush’s WMD claims were debunked, recalls Stephen Zunes.

Obsolete, Triumphalist Militarism Is Destroying America

The problem is that distant adversaries are no longer so scared of US military might. They have figured out how to avoid the traditional battlefield, where they would surely lose in the face of superior American firepower, notes William Greider.

Fear Trumps Facts in This U.S. Presidential Year

The discussions and mentions of “foreign” issues are mirrors of domestic and internal American concerns and weaknesses, which are heavily anchored in ignorance about the world, argues Rami G. Khouri.

China & the Middle East: Tilting Towards Iran?

President Xi Jinping’s visit to the Middle East, the first by a Chinese leader in seven years, saw the signing of billions of dollars worth of agreements with Saudi Arabia and Egypt and a ten-fold expansion of trade with Iran over the next ten years. The significance may go far beyond commerce as Chinese interests align more with Iranian interests than those of Saudi Arabia, writes James M. Dorsey.

The Dire Consequences Of Revenge And Retribution

What is unfathomable is how revenge and retribution could presumably reduce the vicious cycle of violence that has been consuming both sides for nearly seven decades, reports Alon Ben-Meir.

The United States is Waging two Contradictory Wars in Syria

In helping to carry out the geopolitical imperatives of the KSA in toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the United States now finds itself firmly on one side of the Sunni-Shia schism, where it has no business being, observes James Carden.

Out of Bounds, Off-limits, or just Plain Ignored

By comparison, today’s crop of US presidential candidates either are unable to grasp, cannot articulate, or choose to ignore those matters that should rightfully fall under a commander-in-chief’s purview, points out Andrew J. Bacevich.

Can US Break with Jihadist Allies?

The Obama administration finds itself caught in the contradictions of its Syrian policy, having backed radical jihadists to achieve another “regime change” but now finding that its opportunism is spreading chaos beyond the Mideast into Europe. But can the US adjust course and abandon its jihadist clients, asks Joe Lauria.

Learning to Love — and Use — the Bomb

The endless demonizing of Russian President Putin is the new fun game in Official Washington as neocons dream about “regime change” in Moscow and military contractors drool over huge profits from “modernizing” America’s nuclear arsenal, with few thoughts about the heightened risk of nuclear annihilation, writes Jonathan Marshall.

Aleppo boys dream of becoming boxing champions despite war
Dozens of young children box to drown out bombs opposition-held areas in Syria’s war-torn Aleppo city.
Qatar hopes to host Summer Olympics (…) ‘maybe 2028’
Thani Al-Kuwari says Qatar has ‘vision and target’ of hosting Summer Olympics and will bid to hold future games.
48 poets compete in Million’s Poet contest
Bedouin challenge for AED 15 millions of this year's Millions' Poet competition will start on February 9 among 47 men, one woman.
Zaha Hadid awarded Britain's Royal Gold Medal
Iraqi-British architectis first individual woman to win Britain's Royal Gold Medal after her selection was personally approved by Queen Elizabeth II.
Pakistan launches T20 League in UAE amid hopes to boost revenues
Long-awaited first edition of Pakistan Super League follows two previous attempts that fell through over lack of sponsorship.
Mark Cavendish prepares to defend Dubai crown
Cavendish will have to battle with likes of German Marcel Kittel if he is to get off the mark for the season.
Skiing in occupied Golan Heights: Fun on one side, war on the other!
On clear days, Damascus is visible from top of ski lift 2,200 metres above sea level in Golan Heights where tourists reapply their sunscreen.
Dubai to become home to largest library in Arab world
Mohammed bin Rashid Library aspires to preserve Emirati culture, promote Arabic language, and publish new titles.
Kremerata Baltica returns to Abu Dhabi
Violinist Gidon Kremer comes back to Abu Dhabi with Kremerata Baltica for two concerts as part of Abu Dhabi Classics international concert season.
Ex-FIFA official faces court over Qatar ‘cancer’ remark
Theo Zwanziger is due in court over comments he made last year, claiming Qatar is ‘cancer of world football.’
Subtle policy changes could reinforce Qatari focus on sports
Notion of progress towards labour reform after five years of promises is fuelled by suggestions that cabinet reshuffle is a first step towards political liberalization.
Phone app contest for Syrian children in Norway
Competition to develop smartphone app aims to help Syrian children who are unable to attend school because of war build basic Arabic literacy skills.