Op-Ed: A Robbery of Artistic Proportions: How the Louvre is Complicit in the Looting of Middle Eastern Treasures

Photo Credit: DBUK

By Audrey Hall
Managing Editor

The Musee du Louvre, the world’s most visited museum located in the center of Paris, has come under severe scrutiny as former Louvre President Jean-Luc Martinez has been charged with money laundering and alleged art trafficking. Martinez is said to have accepted falsified certificates of origin for several archaeological treasures that investigators suspect were smuggled out of Egypt during the Arab Spring. Although Martinez is no longer at the forefront of the Louvre, he now works in the field of heritage as an ambassador for international cooperation. As Martinez continues to serve in the public eye, the allegations threaten to embarrass the French culture ministry and the ministry of foreign affairs.

Continue reading “Op-Ed: A Robbery of Artistic Proportions: How the Louvre is Complicit in the Looting of Middle Eastern Treasures”

Op-Ed: From Bad to Worse: Afghanistan’s Approaching Apocalypse

Photo Credit: U.S. National Archives & DVIDS

By Yan Graf
Contributing Writer


There is another crisis brewing in Afghanistan. Although Western media coverage of Afghanistan has declined following the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops at the end of August, that does not imply that the situation is improving. The newly reinstalled Taliban faces two related crises as they attempt to centralize power in the country: a massive economic implosion and a lack of international legitimacy. Failing to address these problems would plunge the country back into chaos and would likely trigger a massive refugee exodus on the scale of the Syrian refugee crisis of 2015.

Continue reading “Op-Ed: From Bad to Worse: Afghanistan’s Approaching Apocalypse”

OP-ED: The Lingering Consequences of a Myopic Foreign Policy

“Security Council Adopts Resolution on Iran Nuclear Deal” by United Nations Photo is licensed with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

By Shawn Rostker
Staff Writer

The New York Times reported recently that President Donald Trump sought out options for military engagement with Iran after a significant increase in the country’s stockpile of nuclear material was reported by international inspectors. Senior advisers persuaded the President not to engage with Iran out of fear that it could escalate quickly into a more wide-scale conflict. The Trump administration has been walking a tight rope with Iran since it withdrew its support from the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action) in the earliest days of its tenure. Since that point, Iran has increased its production of low-grade uranium beyond the limits laid out by the landmark nonproliferation agreement and increasingly restricted regulatory commissions’ access to its nuclear facilities and centrifuges. 

The Trump administration’s inept foreign policy has backed itself into this corner it now finds itself in; a corner in which the president considers a military strike on an Iranian nuclear compound to be a viable solution to a problem that his administration has been unable to quell. The “maximum pressure” campaign the Trump administration has waged against Iran has been brutish and clumsy, and has failed to achieve any of its preconditions to restarting negotiations. Instead it has inflamed U.S./Iranian relations, corroded diplomatic channels of communication, and brought us to the brink of war on multiple occasions. Additionally, our reneging on the multilateral commitment has emboldened the most hawkish, anti-Western elements within Iran, and politically empowered the factions most fervently opposed to working with us. The outgoing administration’s parochial foreign policy has inflicted lasting damage that will affect U.S./Iranian relations for years to come. The incoming administration will be forced to deal with an Iranian regime increasingly hostile towards U.S. interests and increasingly skeptical of U.S. entanglement. If we are able to escape the final weeks of this current administration without plunging into war with Iran, we will have narrowly avoided catastrophe. Unfortunately however, the damage done will remain, and the United States will face an Iran growing in nuclear-capability and ambition and reshaping regional power in a direction detrimental to United States’ interests in the Middle East.