Category: Op/Ed by Metzler

Beijing’s Pacific Pivot—75 Years After Pearl Harbor

by John J. Metzler Weirs Times Contributing Writer UNITED NATIONS – On December 7, 1941, the United States was shocked and stunned from its nervous neutrality and thrust into the crucible of the Second World War. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor instantly changed the narrative for American involvement in WWII which had already been

Syria’s Labyrinth into Hell

by John J. Metzler Weirs Times Contributing Writer UNITED NATIONS – It’ s not often a senior UN official leaves a prepared and rigid script to emotionally describe a situation to delegates in the Security Council. But when Humanitarian Chief Stephen O’Brien told diplomats, “I am more or less at my wit’s end as a

Trump Aftershocks

by John J. Metzler Weirs Times Contributing Writer NEW YORK – A jarring electoral earthquake has rocked America with a stunning upset win by Donald J. Trump, the Republican insurgent candidate. The epicenter of the quake was centered in the South as expected, but reverberations and shockwaves went deep into the once industrial heartland of

Abusers Seek Seats on UN Human Rights Council

by John J. Metzler Weirs Times Contributing Writer UNITED NATIONS -In a quiet but contentious campaign, countries are competing for new openings on the UN’s Human Rights Council. Many of the contenders for membership on the Geneva-based body include the political Who’s Who of authoritarian regimes who are noteworthy abusers of the very human rights

New UN Secretary General: Guterres Gets It

by John J. Metzler Weirs Times Contributing Writer UNITED NATIONS—White smoke has emerged from the Security Council, where the powerful fifteen member body, has selected a new UN Secretary General from among a dozen declared candidates. Intense diplomatic deliberations among the powers, hectic lobbying among the candidates, and rife speculation in the international community came

UN Assembly Opens Amid Global Chaos, Hope

by John J. Metzler Weirs Times Contributing Writer UNITED NATIONS—Presidents, Prime Ministers and Kings will convene in New York next week for the opening of the 71st General Assembly of the United Nations. The annual Autumn session meets amid trying to solve or at least contain growing conflicts, a surge in refugees, terrorism and a

September 11th Shadows

by John J. Metzler Weirs Times Contributing Writer UNITED NATIONS—On a picture perfect September morning, the Grim Reaper struck in New York. Hijacked aircraft slammed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center shattering the myth that terrorism “can’t happen here.” Before long, the towers were like two belching black smokestacks set against the

Slovakia—Central Europe’s Quiet Success Story

by John J. Metzler Weirs Times Contributing Writer BRATISLAVA, Slovakia— The majestic Danube River connects Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. Just 40 miles downriver from Vienna, the historic city of Bratislava rises above the Danubian plain. Still the turrets of Bratislava castle on the hill are more picturesque than forbidding but are usually missed in a

Turkey At The Crossroads

by John J. Metzler Weirs Times Contributing Writer PARIS – A vital American ally has gone geopolitically adrift in the wake of Turkey’s failed military coup, and the subsequent crackdown on all forms of domestic political dissent by the strongman ruler Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The bloody coup in which hundreds died, nonetheless served as a

France–Summer of Terror Lingers

by John J. Metzler Weirs Times Contributing Writer     PARIS–Imagine for a moment arriving at Sunday morning religious service only to see the doors of the church guarded by camouflage-clad soldiers with automatic weapons. Well, this was the stark reality when we arrived at our neighborhood church, a structure dating from the 15th century,

France: Facing Barbarism

by John J. Metzler Weirs Times Contributing Writer PARIS – The recurring terrorist attacks which have plagued France seem to have no bounds nor mercy. The murder of a Catholic priest saying Mass in a church near Rouen by two Islamic State thugs brought the crisis to a new low. The daily Le Figaro headlined

UN Secretary General Race: The Other Election

by John J. Metzler Weirs Times Contributing Writer UNITED NATIONS – What’s beginning to look like this year’s Republican presidential primaries in the USA has morphed into a political scramble for the UN Secretary General’s seat. With a dozen prospective candidates, the race for the new Secretary General has now overshadowed much of the work

UN Court Rebuffs China’s Claims to South China Sea

by John J. Metzler Weirs Times Contributing Writer UNITED NATIONS— In a major legal setback for Beijing, an international tribunal has rejected and rebuffed many of Mainland China’s claims regarding exclusive sovereignty and rights in the disputed South China Sea. The landmark ruling in the Hague, by the Permanent Court of Arbitration stated there was

NATO 2.0 : Reboot, Refocus, Reinvigorate

by John J. Metzler Weirs Times Contributing Writer UNITED NATIONS—In a sense NATO has been a victim of its own success. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also known as the Atlantic Alliance, has rested on its post Cold War laurels and the afterglow of the fall of the Berlin Wall and political freedom throughout Eastern

Musical Chairs at UN Security Council

by John J. Metzler Weirs Times Contributing Writer UNITED NATIONS – The annual round of musical chairs in the UN Security Council came early this year as elections for five new non-permanent members to the fifteen member council were held as to give prospective countries more time to prepare for their two-year tenure beginning in