The Charlie Hebdo killings, whatever their connections to the current wars in the Middle East, were acts of terrorism that should be handled by law enforcement.
Europe is facing divisive challenges on all fronts. It is being torn within by hardening attitudes toward the growing presence not only of Muslim immigrants, but also of citizens. On Monday, demonstrators thronged the streets of Dresden in support of "Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident." On Wednesday in Paris, 12 people were killed, including cartoonists who lampooned the Prophet Muhammad, in the horrific Charlie Hebdo attack. While the euro tumbles, northern and southern Europe are bitterly at odds over austerity policies and continuing high unemployment. And a newly aggressive Russia is challenging European values on its eastern frontier. (continued) Writing from Berlin, Alexander Gorlach analyzes what is behind rising Islamphobia in Europe. From Paris, Le Huffington Post editorial director Anne Sinclair pays homage to the slain journalists. "Infidel" author Ayaan Hirsi Ali warns that we can't let political Islamists define the territory of insult. Akbar Ahmed looks at the long history, and present social conditions, of Muslims in Europe.
To believe that the attack in Paris was a tragedy singularly about a cartoon or as an event solely to be defined as an assault on freedom of expression, is to be daft and incongruent with the history and reality of American and Western policy in the Middle East.
Operation INHERENT RESOLVE is the name for our military intervention against ISIL. Obama selected this strategy because it was his least worst policy ...
Voila! You, citizens, are now the shepherds and fiscal beneficiaries of what seems to be an economic perpetual motion war machine, much to the posthumous dismay of Smedley Butler, and the vast majority of other nations on this planet.
Not all those heeding Daesh's call are lunatics; some could be diverted by counter-messaging that offers alternatives to violence. Reaching these young men and women might accomplish more than countless air strikes can achieve. This is the true heart of the struggle against violent extremism.
Only a fool offers longer term predictions about the Middle East. I offer the following shorter term predictions about the Middle East for 2015.
In a world rife with war, religious, racial, gender, sectarian, and political strife, when so many children lack safety, enough food, shelter, health care, and education and suffer unthinkable losses of parents to disease, violence, and war, I hope this New Year will bring adults closer to our common sense and moral responsibility for children's well being.
Barack Obama reportedly takes pride in his skill as a card player. Poker is the prime game of politics and politicians. The president's record suggests that he is something less than its master. There is only one group of players whom he beats regularly -- the "liberals" whose gambling instincts have been honed in endless games of rainy-day Scrabble.
What is it about our contemporary political role that makes so much of what we attempt to do abroad ultimately self-defeating?
A smarter strategy would exploit a key weakness: the complete disconnect between the Islamic past Jihadists invoke and the bloodthirsty, closed societies they have created.
The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.
The calamity that unfolded following the Syrian uprising in 2011 and the rise of ISIS following its blitzkrieg advance across a large swath of territories in Iraq and Syria has led to one of the most devastating humanitarian crisis in the history of mankind.
The Middle East is one of the world's most strategically significant regions. Stunningly, perhaps, the region does not yet have in place the necessary institutions and mechanisms to discuss and manage, and to prevent and respond to crises. Strategic and visionary leadership is required to reverse the state of the region.
We have no shortage of people in the Asia Society network with ideas and suggestions about what the next year will bring. The other night we hosted a panel on "Asia 2015," a whirlwind tour of the continent's near future.
Historians may look back and see 2014 as the tipping point when the world started falling apart instead of coming together. Visionary scientists remain enthusiastic that, thanks to converging new technologies from artificial intelligence to regenerative medicine, genetic synthesis and green energy, our civilization is on the threshold of a new and harmonious singularity. Yet, all around us the signs of splintering abound in revived nationalisms, ardent religious wars and the reappearance of geopolitical blocs. Even the global connectivity of the Internet once thought to embody a world spirit is balkanizing.