Why Starving the UN is Not a Safe US Investment: President Trump and the Cost of Isolationism

By Ghida Fakhry

It was a rare lesson in the art of diplomacy: the visit of Angela Merkel to the White House on 17 March was somehow ironic. Simply put, the German Chancellor lectured the US President in a language he might not decode. In clear text, she warned him of the perils of political and economic isolationism. In a way, she contrasted Trump’s regressive Weltanschauung with the visionary path of the Roosevelt Administration, which allowed for the defeat of fascism.. Read more here..

As Trump Tweets, the Planet Overheats; and China Leaps

By Ghida Fakhry

To his critics, Trump is the ‘deflector-in-chief’. His latest volley of wild accusatory tweets fired around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday 4 March to shift attention away from his campaign’s undisclosed contacts with Russian officials is all too obvious – but it works. After the downfall of his National Security Adviser, General Michael Flynn, his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, was compelled to recuse himself from an investigation into alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election; another resignation cannot be excluded. But for now, Trump’s tweets have moved the focus away from the Russian connection. Read more here..


The Apprentice President

By Ghida Fakhry

Petitions, protests and injunctions. It only took ten days for President Trump to unite much of the world against him and, possibly, plunge the United States into a constitutional crisis. With the executive order signed on 27 January 2017 which prohibits the entry into the US of citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries, the American President made good on his electoral pledge; partially. With the stroke of a pen, and reportedly without following standard interagency review protocols, Trump took the unprecedented step of targeting over 130 million people across the Middle East and Africa.. Read More...

Human Rights Day: the UN vs the ‘Demagogues’

By Ghida Fakhry

The United Nations likes ritualistic celebrations. On 10 December, it will celebrate the quintessential Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted by the UN Human Rights Commission under the chairmanship of the First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt. It was proclaimed by the General Assembly on 10 December 1948 in Paris, four years after Nazi Germany surrendered the city. Paris became anew the capital of France. Symbols matter, and this one is powerful.

Almost seventy years on, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, is feeling anxious about the way the world is heading. Read more..

On Election Day, The Middle East Is Watching — And Praying

By Ghida Fakhry

'Wow'. Trump himself was lost for words when he tweeted this a few days ago. Even he, was taken aback by the FBI's decision to inform the US Congress that it was reviewing another batch of Clinton-related emails. Suddenly, with this unexpected late rebound, Trump believes in opinion polls -- again. Why wouldn't he? In the homestretch before election day, he is leading nationally in some polls, in others he is tied with Hillary Clinton. Read More..


Is the US Media Electing the Next President? Yes, but not on (Foreign) Policy

By Ghida Fakhry

A disaster! This is how US republican nominee Donald Trump describes everything his opponent Hillary Clinton has done. From healthcare to trade and immigration, it is all one big ‘disaster’. Foreign policy doesn’t fare any better. He reminded everyone again at the last presidential debate that Clinton has been a disaster on virtually every major US foreign policy decision taken over the last 12 years: Iraq, Libya, Syria — all foreign adventures she supported as New York Senator, or advocated as Secretary of State. And of course, there is her ‘criminal’ mishandling of classified information on email which would get Clinton ‘in jail’ should he become President. Read more..