NEW YORK — France’s Foreign Minister suggested today that the international community must respond “with force” if it’s proven that hundreds of deaths in Syria on Wednesday were caused by chemical weapons. In a television interview on Thursday, Laurent Fabius did not specify what action might be taken or who should do it. (France, NATO, the U.S. or some combination?) He also specifically ruled out sending ground forces into Syria. However, his statement reflects a growing concern that Bashar al-Assad’s regime may have finally gone too far for the rest of the international community to ignore the problem any longer.
His statement came after an emergency Security Council meeting at the United Nations resulted in predictably toothless response. The group did not even officially order a full investigation into the attack and allegations of chemical weapon use, but merely asked for “clarity” and expressed “strong concern.” No resolutions or new sanctions were proposed. Any formal action taken by the Security Council is likely to be blocked by Russia, which remains Assad’s most steadfast ally.
The lack of action also drew outrage from Turkey, which shares a border with Syria and has been vocally opposed to Assad from the beginning. The tepid response from the U.N. is even more disappointing given that one of their chemical weapons investigation teams is already in Syria, and staying at a hotel just minutes from the attack site, but has not been permitted to investigate. There are even reports that Assad’s forces have been bombing the same area with conventional weapons, perhaps to cover evidence.
Israeli intelligence has also declared that the evidence of a chemical attack is credible, and that the Assad government is responsible. Rebel opposition groups says as many as 1,300 people were killed in the attack.
Reprinted with permission from the Atlantic Wire. The original story can be found here.
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”