FROM Ian Lesser
Turkey, the West and the Muslim Middle East The 700-year-old Ottoman Empire became the Republic of Turkey in 1923. Though a Muslim country, at the insistence of the founder, Mustafah Kemel Ataturk--government institutions are strictly secular, a tradition backed by the military. Now that might be changing. This week parliament elected Abdullah Gül as President. Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan are both from the Justice and Development Party -- or AKP. Islamic in orientation, it will be more responsive to public opinion, which is increasingly religious and anti-American. We look at the possible impact on US interests in the Muslim world. Will Turkey still be a "bridge" to the West? Does it share America's goals in Iraq? What about Turkey's increasingly close ties with Iran?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.