One concrete outcome that President Obama could pursue on his visit to Saudi Arabia is saving the lives of three Shia youth sentenced to be executed for participating in nonviolent protests.
On Christmas Eve in 2011, Hillary Clinton and her closest aides celebrated a $29.4 billion sale of over 80 F-15 fighter jets, manufactured by U.S.-based Boeing Corporation, to Saudi Arabia. In a chain of enthusiastic emails, an aide exclaimed that it was "not a bad Christmas present."
The killing of Sheikh Al-Nimr should serve as a prime moment for the U.S. to reconsider its alliance with the Saudi regime, a regime that not only denies human rights to its own people but exports death and destruction abroad.
It would certainly be easy to do a piece about 10 horrible events from 2015, from the ongoing war in Syria and the refugee crisis, to the bombings in Beirut, Paris and San Bernardino, to the rise of Donald Trump and Islamophobia. But that wouldn't be a very inspiring way to bid farewell to this year and usher in a new one.
The U.S., NATO, and the Afghan government all say they are conducting their own investigations into the attack, but only an independent investigation can uncover the facts we need to demand accountability and new safeguards to ensure this type of tragedy doesn't happen again.
"I was there to promote peace, not tug of war."
In the midst of discussions about the nuclear deal with Iran, CODEPINK, a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars, called for a celebration of Iranian culture in front of the White House, on July 23 in an event they dubbed "Dancing With the Enemy."
An overwhelming number of women in El Salvador -- particularly poor, unmarried, uneducated women -- face outrageous human rights violations as they are denied autonomy over their bodies. El Salvador has one of the strictest and most archaic anti-abortion laws in the world.
A year since the bloodshed and destruction, Gaza has barely begun to rebuild. Israel maintains a complete air and sea blockade of Gaza and a partial blockade of goods and people through two land crossings.
In cities across the United States, we have seen how the militarized mold of policing and the supply of armored vehicles, assault weapons and the like have resulted in police forces who no longer see their role as one of protecting and serving, but as an occupying army.
The fighting in Yemen is not just destroying the fabric of that nation; it has broader implications for the region. While Iran denies direct involvement, it gives military aid to the Houthis. Meanwhile, for ordinary Yemenis, they can only hope that a miracle happens in Geneva so they can start to rebuild their shattered lives.
While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wooed the crowd with his plan to provide internet access to everyone in Latin America, more traditional speakers included the CEOs of Coca-Cola, Cargill, Boeing, Associated Petroleum Investors, AES Corporation, Citigroup Latin America and Walmart Latin America.
There were expectations that President Obama would use the summit to announce that Cuba would be taken off the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, a critical step in the normalization of relations. But unfortunately, that didn't happen.