Muhammad Atef, best-known as Abu Hafs al-Masri, but who also went by the names Taseer Abdullah or Taysir Abdullah and Subhi Abu Sitta, was al-Qaeda’s military leader between 1996 and 2001, and one of the three people most responsible for the terrorist attack in the United States on 11 September 2001. Continue reading
Published at The New Arab.
A widely reported, 15,000-word article by Josh Meyer in Politico on Sunday moves us another step closer to finding out the actual terms of President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Though the Obama administration sold the Iran deal on the narrowest possible terms as an arms control agreement, the reality was that this agreement was intended to facilitate a strategic tilt in Iran’s favour—against traditional allies—that left a regional balance requiring less American commitment.
Because the administration wanted the paper agreement, Iran had the leverage to threaten to walk away, and was therefore appeased on multiple fronts ostensibly unrelated to the nuclear issue. Continue reading
President Obama said on April 28, in Manila: “we’re getting chemical weapons out of Syria without having initiated a strike.” This was by way of defending not launching airstrikes to punish the Assad regime after the massive gas attack near Damascus last August. Put aside the clear evidence that the regime has simply switched the using chlorine gas. This seemed dubious on its own terms. Under the deal orchestrated by the Russians, Assad became a partner in disarmament; as soon as that process comes to an end, the Western interest in keeping Assad’s regime in place is eliminated. And so it proved.