Iran: The Debate We Should Be Having

Major religions in the Middle EastImage Source: Columbia University’s Gulf 2000 Project I am not a specialist in arms control or nuclear technology. I must rely on the judgement of others with relevant expertise to assess the viability of the new agreement with Iran. This makes things difficult, for the opinions of experts I trust […]

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A Civilization Is at Stake Here

Perhaps the most predictable fall-out of Graeme Wood’s influential cover article for The Atlantic,  “What the Islamic State Really Wants,” is another round of debate over whether or not the atrocities committed by ISIS and other armed fundamentalist terrorist outfits are sanctioned by the Qur’an, Hadith, and other Islamic texts, and if not, whether these […]

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Akbar Ahmed on Terrorism and the Collapse of the Tribal Order

Car bomb in Peshawar. Source: Mohammad Sajjad/Associated Press. 29 September 2013.  Last week I penned a two–post series on the purpose of and underlying reasons for the savage terrorist attacks radical Islamic groups have launched across the world. I argued that these attacks were not “senseless” acts of violence, nor merely the results of fanatic […]

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Radical Islamic Terrorism in Context, pt II

How to make sense of radical Islamic terrorism? This violence is barbaric – but it is not senseless. When you understand the society from which savagery has sprung, the cold logic behind these attacks becomes all too apparent. Part II of a series; Part I is here.    How do you save a civilization from […]

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Radical Islamic Terrorism in Context, pt I

How to make sense of radical Islamic terrorism? This violence is barbaric – but it is not senseless. When you understand the society from which savagery has sprung, the cold logic behind these attacks becomes all too apparent.  Part I in a series; Part II is here.  Smoke rises from the Westgate MallSource: Jerome Delay/AP. […]

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Words ’bout Yemen Worth Reading

I authored a post earlier this month lamenting the lack of serious discussion concerning Yemen’s deteriorating security situation. Deeming it improper to not point out articles to the contrary on the rare occasions, I draw your attention to an excellent example of how we should be discussing the conflict: Yemen: Geography Matters! “Curzon”. Coming Anarchy. […]

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Our Esteemed Ally, the Executioner of Sorcerers.

Human Rights Watch sent this gem to my inbox today: Saudi Arabia: Witchcraft and Sorcery Cases on the Rise.Human Rights Watch. 25 November 2009. (Kuwait City) – The cassation court in Mecca should overturn the death sentence imposed on Ali Sabat by a lower court in Medina on November 9 for practicing witchcraft, Human Rights […]

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Notes From All Over 9/10/2009

TOP BILLING: Beijing’s Secret Succession Battle Willy Lam. Wall Street Journal. 24 September 2009. The Hakka People, China’s Leadership Caste “Curzon” ComingAnarchy.com 3 October 2009. Few people possess as much power as the ruling elites of the Chinese Communist Party. For American statesmen and diplomats, few topics have as much importance as the internal divisions […]

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