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Reconciling Iraq’s Shias and Sunnis

With city after city in Shia-governed Iraq being overrun by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)––a Sunni Qaeda-affiliated terrorist organization whose stated objective is to unite Iraq and Syria, and perhaps eventually more of the Levant (Lebanon, for instance), into a single large fundamentalist caliphate––the threat of a sectarian civil war in the region is heightened.  In response, the U.S. is now considering a military intervention similar in scope to its 2011 military intervention in Libya. Read the rest of this entry

America’s Carpe Diem Moment: Giving President Rouhani (and Iran) a New Lease on Life

During his first appearance at the annual U.N. General Assembly, and in what pundits have since baptized a “charm offensive,” Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s President, professed his commitment to a new era of constructive engagement with the U.S. Indeed, his refusal to make concrete promises notwithstanding, in going so far as to court American business leaders and to refute his controversial predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s staunch denial of the Holocaust, Mr. Rouhani seems almost desperate for the U.S. to respond well to his repeated invocations for détente. Read the rest of this entry

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