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Editorial

Trumped Up Diplomacy in the Middle East

Saudi's King Salman In his first overseas trip since moving into the White House, Donald Trump is leaving behind the frustrations, allegations, rumors, and an increasing sense of implosion that seems to be dooming his presidency during its second hundred days. At the same time, a mixture of curiosity and apprehension awaits this new leader wherever he goes making his visit to the Middle East and Europe momentous occasions for the host governments, wide eyed public, and rapacious media.

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Donald Trump’s Behavioral Legacy

trump-israel“Karma” is a Sanskrit term meaning “action” or “deed,” and in its classical religious (Hindu or Buddhist) rendering, it predicts that the behavior of an individual, past or present, influences their future fate. Leaving aside the spiritual dimension of this outlook, one can see that, just from a behavioral point of view, there is logic to such a causal prediction.

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Politicizing Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism“Back in the day,” which in this case was 8 February 2007, the U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism adopted a “working definition” of anti-Semitism which included the following point: It is anti-Semitic to “deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination (e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor).”

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A Dilemma For the Intelligence Agencies

CIAGovernment intelligence agencies, particularly those in the United States, have a problem. Its nature was spelled out by the retired British diplomat Alastair Crooke in an article entitled “Trump's 59-Tomahawk Tweet,” appearing 8 April 2017. As the title suggests, Crooke was reacting to President Trump’s precipitous attack on a Syrian government airbase, following the chemical weapons episode of 4 April 2017 at the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun.

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Trump’s Redemption at Putin’s Expense?

trump-declareDonald Trump may have been told by his advisers that launching fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles, at a $15 million cost, against the small Shayrat air base in Syria was “necessary” and morally significant in retaliation for the recent chemical attack on Khan Sheikhun. A way to show Bashar al-Assad America’s outrage at the dictator’s presumed deeds… even if results from such action prove to be materially insignificant.

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