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The Daily Star
MONDAY, 21 APR 2014
12:04 AM Beirut time
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David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
April 19, 2014 12:06 AM
Has the Obama administration really found the famous “exit ramp” in Ukraine that will provide an eventual diplomatic resolution of the crisis?It looked that way Thursday in Geneva, where seven hours of negotiations produced what Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called “a compromise, of...
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama tells him ‘no more’
April 17, 2014 12:10 AM
As President Barack Obama looks at the Ukraine crisis, he sees an asymmetry of interests: Simply put, the future of Ukraine means more to Vladimir Putin’s Russia than it does to the United States or Europe. For Putin, this is an existential crisis; for the West, so far, it isn’t – as the limited...
China moves to the scary side of its finances
April 14, 2014 12:20 AM
China’s financial markets seem to be signaling trouble, as a government crackdown on corruption and loose credit begins to bite and jittery local investors scramble for safety.China remains an opaque country, and even the most knowledgeable experts say they are unsure of how to read the tea...
Putin takes a page out of the American playbook
April 10, 2014 12:15 AM
The West has made NATO’s military alliance the heart of its response to Russia’s power grab in Ukraine.But we may be fighting the wrong battle: The weapons President Vladimir Putin has used in Crimea and eastern Ukraine look more like paramilitary “covert action” than conventional military force....
The U.S. is sole superpower in global trade
April 07, 2014 12:18 AM
Name a foreign-policy issue on which China and most of the rest of the world’s nations are struggling to keep up with a U.S. initiative. If you guessed “free trade,” you’re correct.In a season that has mostly brought reversals for Obama administration efforts abroad, the free trade agenda keeps on...
A Washington feud focuses on CIA interrogations
April 03, 2014 12:17 AM
It has been an unlikely Washington feud, pitting a determined Senator Dianne Feinstein, the implacable chairman of the Senate intelligence committee and long regarded as a supporter of the Central Intelligence Agency, against the agency’s equally stubborn director, John Brennan.The culmination of...
Big medicine is achieving astonishing breakthroughs
April 01, 2014 12:23 AM
Money may be the root of all evil, as the saying goes, but I was reminded last week of the overwhelming good it can do when put to work at a place like the Children’s National Health System in Washington.Big medicine, funded by the wealthiest and most generous philanthropists, is achieving...
Obama may expand covert aid to Syria’s rebels
March 31, 2014 12:16 AM
The Obama administration, stung by reversals in Ukraine and Syria, appears to have decided to expand its covert program of training and assistance for the Syrian opposition, deepening U.S. involvement in Syria’s brutal and stalemated civil war.The White House announced that President Obama...
U.S.-German unity will catch Vladimir Putin’s attention
March 27, 2014 12:16 AM
President Barack Obama has spoken once again during the Ukraine crisis about being on the right “side of history.”It’s one of his signature lines, but he should stop: The phrase implies there’s an inevitability to the advance of progress and justice. Would that it were so. What’s happening now in...
Putin seeks to restore Russia as a leading nation
March 24, 2014 12:13 AM
Vladimir Putin baptized his conquest of Crimea with a powerful, unsettling speech that should be a warning that an embattled Russia is fighting for what it sees as its national dignity – in ways that require a firm and patient U.S. response.Putin played all the strings of the balalaika in his...
Crimea has revealed an improved Russian military
March 20, 2014 12:18 AM
From the photographs we’ve seen of the Russian special operations, or “Spetsnaz,” troops that intervened in Crimea, several things are obvious: They’re secretive, moving without insignia and often covering their faces; they’re disciplined and they’re decisive. The diplomatic response to the...
A moderate raises hope in Syria’s opposition
March 17, 2014 12:10 AM
With the Ukraine crisis, any fleeting hope that the United States and Russia could soon broker a political settlement in Syria has vanished. The U.S. needs an alternate strategy for strengthening Syrian moderates who can resist both the brutal regime of Bashar Assad and Al-Qaeda extremists.A new...
In the long run, Vladimir Putin is likely to lose in Crimea
March 14, 2014 12:07 AM
It’s still possible to imagine a fuzzy, face-saving compromise in Ukraine: Crimea would have a new, quasi-autonomous administrative status blessed by Moscow and Kiev.The problem is that few analysts think Russian President Vladimir Putin will swallow this diplomatic pill.U.S. Secretary of State...
Washington keeps the exit door open for Putin
March 10, 2014 12:35 AM
Since the Ukraine crisis began, Obama administration officials have talked about pushing Russia toward the “offramp” and de-escalation. That’s the best diplomatic outcome, but it will require an unlikely public reversal by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The premise of the administration’s...
Speaking with one American voice is in the past
March 07, 2014 12:09 AM
As the Ukraine crisis deepened, Senator John McCain responded by criticizing President Barack Obama’s “feckless” foreign policy, while Senator Lindsey Graham called Obama “a weak and indecisive president [who] invites aggression.” These sharp comments brought to mind...

Baabda 2014
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Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Saturday April 19, 2014
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Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
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David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
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