June 8, 2015 |
Ever since key Iraqi and Syrian cities fell to ISIS last month, the administration has been scrambling to adjust its tactics. Rather than revamp a failed strategy, U.S. officials now appear ready to rely (at least tacitly) on Iran to help roll back the jihadis. This is especially true in Iraq, where Iranian-backed Shiite militias have proven more effective in fighting ISIS than the Iraqi army has. Previously wary of these Shiite militias - lest they inflame sectarian tensions and push more Sunni Iraqis into the ISIS camp - U.S. officials have now dropped objections to their playing a major role.
May 29, 2015 |
After ISIS captured the key Iraqi city of Ramadi last week, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter blamed the stunning loss on "a failure of the Iraqi forces to fight. " Allied air strikes were "effective," he said, but the Iraqis lacked the will to confront ISIS. That careless TV sound bite sums up why the administration's efforts to degrade and defeat ISIS are stalling. You'd never know from Carter's complaint that U.S. tactical and strategic errors, including an ineffective air campaign, contributed mightily to the debacle.
May 16, 2015 |
Anyone who wants to understand how ISIS can be rolled back needs to heed the message of two Sunni Arabs who visited Washington this week. I'm not referring to the Saudi crown prince and his deputy, who came to seek assurances from President Obama that he's not cozying up to Tehran. (When it comes to ousting ISIS, the Saudis are as much a part of the problem as they are part of the solution.) Rather, I'm referring to two prominent Iraqi politicians who came to warn that ISIS can't be defeated unless Washington helps Iraqi Sunnis who want to drive the jihadis out. One of the visitors was Rafe al-Issawi, an urbane, English-speaking physician who was once Iraq's respected finance minister.
May 2, 2015 |
AMMAN, Jordan - When ISIS jihadis poured into Iraq from Syria in June and attacked Sheikh Abdullah al-Yawar's compound, he urged the Iraqi government to fly weapons to a nearby airfield so his Sunni tribesmen could hit back. But the Iraqi defense minister refused Yawar's offer, which might have prevented the capture of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. After Mosul fell, Yawar asked Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to let him recruit two battalions of tribesmen to police the border and prevent more jihadis from crossing.
March 14, 2015 |
SolarCity Corp., the nation's largest rooftop photovoltaic developer, is hoping a new day is dawning for solar in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The San Mateo, Calif., company announced Thursday a bundle of new financing options aimed at customers in the Peco Energy Co. service territory. SolarCity and its competitors typically install their systems on customers' roofs for no money down. The campaign is aimed at reversing the shrinkage in the Pennsylvania solar market, which went into hibernation after 2011, when federal and state incentives dwindled.
March 9, 2015 |
ONLY TWO episodes remain of the 10th season of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (10 p.m. Wednesdays, FXX), but there's plenty of "Sunny" ahead for Philly's Rob McElhenney, the show's creator, and Kaitlin Olson, his wife, co-star and fellow owner of Old City's Mac's Tavern. The couple spoke with Ellen Gray about working together - and apart - and about why the show, already renewed through season 12, could conceivably go past that. Q You work together and you're coming up in September on seven years of marriage.
February 19, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - Florida Gov. Rick Scott is headed to Philadelphia on Monday - but he's not coming north on a trade mission. Depending on whom you talk to, the Republican governor is either coming to woo companies to the sunnier, more tax-friendly South, or "poaching" Pennsylvania jobs. Either way, the Keystone State's new Democratic governor is not amused. "It's a political stunt," said Jeff Sheridan, spokesman for Gov. Wolf. "The stagnant economy we inherited is not our doing, yet he didn't come under our predecessor.
November 23, 2014 |
LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - El Niño is rumored to be back in the Pacific Ocean and if the little baby is good, the western slopes will see moderate to ample amounts of snow this season. In fact Colorado, Utah, and even California received up to 10 inches of fresh snow the third weekend in October. If you've never been skiing out West, you're missing out. It's generally much warmer, sunnier, way higher, less expensive, and far less crowded than at resorts in the East. Here's some of what's happening at western ski resorts.
October 22, 2014 |
R OB McELHENNEY is getting behind the camera to direct his first movie, and it's nothing like his TV show, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. " The St. Joe's Prep grad (and booster - he regularly speaks at alumni events) will direct a children's movie. Yep, the co-creator of the wonderfully perverse "It's Always Sunny" is going the family-film route with "Figment," a "Goonies"-style adventure movie about a boy and his family whose fears come to life. So, how'd he get the gig his first time out of the gate (although, to be fair, McElhenney directed two episodes of "It's Always Sunny" in its early run)
September 2, 2014 |
"Here we go, Chilladelphia. " So said Kenny Vasoli of Vacationers as the band kicked off Day 2 of the Budweiser Made in America musical block party on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. Sunday promised lots of music, as long as the rain held off. And while a brief early downpour did not deter fans of weather-delayed rapper Danny Brown, a storm did force suspension of the festival around 6:15 p.m. Would Made in America return? Gates reopened around 7 p.m. The curfew was extended to midnight, and a new set list was announced to accommodate the night's biggest acts: Pharrell Williams, Tiesto, and Kings of Leon.