Viewpoints

Startling New Concessions Made by Syria’s Desperate President

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad delivers a speech in Damascus, Syria, on July 26, 2015. (SANA via AP)
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad delivers a speech in Damascus, Syria, on July 26, 2015. (SANA via AP)

Listening to Syria’s state media is usually a predictable chore. There are daily declarations of military victories over the enemy and talk of the “heavy...




  • The Dome of the Rock is viewed at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, Israel, on Nov. 27, 2014. The Dome of the Rock is the fought over holy site between Jews and Muslims and is the prime attraction of the Haram es-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) or Temple Mount, which is also sacred to Jews. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

    Overcoming the Israeli–Palestinian Psychosocial Barrier

    Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s and Palestinian Authority President Abbas’s presumed public commitment to a two-state solution means little unless they begin to undertake confidence-building measures... Read more

  • Pensioners outside the Ministry of Health in Athens during a 24-hour strike by health workers and doctors demanding funds and additional staff, on May 20, 2015. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images)

    Effect of Greece’s Economic Crisis on People’s Health

    For the last several years, Greece has been going through a protracted and damaging economic crisis that has had profound consequences on the health of... Read more

  • Grey whale in the Pacific Ocean by Baja California, March 2015. (Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson)

    A Call for Saving Leviathan, for Saving the Whales

    “From Hell’s Heart I stab at thee” decried Melville in “Moby Dick.” In the heyday of whaling, tens of thousands of sperm whales were destroyed... Read more

  • Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addresses a session at the Greek Parliament prior the vote in Athens early on July 23, 2015. Tsipras faced a new test of his authority in parliament on July 22, where MPs were to vote on a second batch of reforms to help unlock a bailout for Greece's stricken economy. The embattled premier last week faced a revolt by a fifth of the lawmakers in his radical-left Syriza party over changes to taxes, pensions, and labour rules demanded by EU-IMF creditors. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images)

    This Is the End of the Line for Syriza

    Greek banks have reopened after weeks of closure. The patient and orderly way customers queued outside to use ATMs during the big shut down was... Read more

  • President Barack Obama and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron at the summit of G7 nations at Schloss Elmau on June 7, 2015 near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. In the course of the two-day summit G7 leaders are scheduled to discuss global economic and security issues, as well as pressing global health-related issues, including antibiotics-resistant bacteria and Ebola. Several thousand protesters have announced they will seek to march towards Schloss Elmau and at least 17,000 police are on hand to provide security. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

    Why Obama Doesn’t Want the UK to Leave Europe

    The referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union (EU) might be more than a year away, but Barack Obama has already nailed his colors... Read more

  • U.S. President Barack Obama during the 116th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) at the David Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 21, 2015. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

    Under Obama, Our Military’s Strength Has Significantly Decreased

    President Barack Obama is not likely to be mistaken for Teddy Roosevelt. Yes, his foreign policy has been quite soft-spoken—especially when addressing openly hostile states... Read more

  • Suzukalead_medium

    Premiers’ Energy Strategy Doesn’t Go Far Enough

    On July 15, a state-of-the-art new pipeline near Fort McMurray, Alberta, ruptured, spilling five million litres of bitumen, sand, and waste water over 16,000 square... Read more

  • South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (L) accompanied by Army Chief of Staff Paul Malong Awan (R) during an Independence Day ceremony in the capital Juba, South Sudan, on July 9. South Sudan marked four years of independence from Sudan on Thursday, but the celebrations were tempered by concerns about ongoing violence and the threat of famine. (Jason Patinkin/AP)

    To Save South Sudan, Dump the Warlords

    It’s cruel and dishonest to call South Sudan a failed state whose people have little to celebrate on their fourth Independence Day, which passed by... Read more

  • Kurds residing in Greece protest outside the Turkish embassy in Athens during a demonstration against the suicide bombing in the Turkish town of Suruç near the border with Syria, on July 21, 2015. A suspected Islamic State suicide bomber killed 32 people on July 20 in an attack on a Turkish cultural center. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images)

    Turkey Bombing Risks Further Unrest in a Country Already Living on the Edge

    The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group appears to have stepped up its war with the Kurds by bombing a meeting of socialist... Read more

  • Barack Obama

    The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly About the Iran Deal

    The deal with Iran has been generally characterized as either good or bad, and many pronounced it as historic with far-reaching regional and even global... Read more

  • Sri Lankan fishermen stand on a fishing vessel as it leaves a fishery harbor in Negombo, Negombo, outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Oct.15, 2014. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    How Shrimp Farming Wreaked Havoc on Sri Lanka’s Coasts

    We are not far from the ocean here. The air smells of salt and sulfur, of marine life. But the square of black, cracked mud... Read more

  • AUSTRIA-IRAN-NUCLEAR-POLITICS

    The Iran Nuclear Agreement Is an Abortion

    Years of painstaking discussion and 18 days of diplomatic frenzy akin to the hothouse environment of a college all-nighter have labored to produce—an abortion. It... Read more

  • IRAN-NUCLEAR-REACTION

    Wait and See on the Iran Nuclear Deal

    What is the world to make of the proposed nuclear deal with Iran crafted by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus... Read more

  • President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on June 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    If Obama Vetoes Bill Increasing Defense Spending, Military Paychecks Would Be Affected

    Two weeks ago, on Monday, July 6, President Obama made a rare visit to the Pentagon to meet with his military advisers and discuss the... Read more

  • In this Jan. 22, 2015 photo, a zodiac carrying a team of international scientists heads to Chile's station Bernardo O'Higgins, Antarctica. Water is eating away at the Antarctic ice, melting it where it hits the oceans. As the ice sheets slowly thaw, water pours into the sea, 130 billion tons of ice per year for the past decade, according to NASA satellite calculations. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

    Barriers, Canals, and Fake Islands: How We Can Save Cities From Rising Sea Levels

    Extreme storms and rising sea levels will threaten the existence of coastal cities worldwide, unless preventative action is undertaken. With population growth and sea-level rise... Read more

  • Emergency personnel work the scene of a train wreck in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)

    Entrepreneurs Are Better Than Government, Even When Building Infrastructure

    Some in Washington appear to be convinced that government spending can fix all the world’s ills, from underemployment to human error. The fatal Amtrak wreck... Read more


  • Top