Either way, it underscores the fact that Islamic State does not fit into any neat pigeon holes. It may be a proto-nation or even the core of a new proto-empire. It is certainly more than just a militant jihadist movement. It is a complex, multifaceted phenomenon which is still not entirely understood and whose impact on the world is still evolving.
Is a new Cold War brewing in the Pacific between China and the U.S. with Japan playing a front line role? Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Washington last week alarmingly pushed developments in that direction. In a blog he adapted from his well-received speech to the U.S. Congress, Abe proposes that the two democratic post-WWII allies join in a "seamless" strategic effort to "to spread and nurture our shared values" and "stick to the path" that "won the Cold War" -- and, in so many words not spoken, to contain China. By excluding China, the world's second largest economy, from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership on trade while embracing the revision of Japan's pacifist constitution to allow military action beyond self-defense without an apology for colonialism and aggression acceptable to its Asian neighbors, the U.S. and Japan are laying the cornerstone of a new bloc system in the Pacific. As Minxin Pei writes, China's leaders will certainly see it that way and respond in kind. (continued)
The founding head of Al Jazeera America has been unceremoniously demoted, and a trusted face from the older Al Jazeera English put in his stead. Yet this is not the main issue. As it happens, we all have a stake in a stronger, better, trusted Al Jazeera service.
Some 12.2 million people, more than half of the population, are estimated to need humanitarian assistance. A similar number have been displaced -- between 6.5 million and 7.8 million -- within Syria, and three to four million have been displaced on to neighboring states.
In this era of truce, the US and Iran can dialogue about regional problems rather than seeing the absence of diplomacy exacerbate existing conflicts. Yet, in spite of this pending historic achievement, dark years await the Middle East.
The more active America's foreign policy, the more the U.S. has to spend on the military: the "defense" budget is the price of Washington's foreign policy. American military personnel and contractors die. Enemies are created. A national security state develops.
This week, The WorldPost hosted a book party in Los Angeles for CNN's Fareed Zakaria as part of the launch of his new treatise, "In Defense of a Liberal Education." He is also a member of the Berggruen Institute's 21st Century Council. Attendees included, among many others, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, former Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, financiers Steve Schwarzman, David Bonderman and Mohamed el-Erian, California State Senator Bob Hertzberg, former California Governor Gray Davis and Hollywood producers Brian Grazer, Lawrence Bender and Mike Medavoy. Economist Nouriel Roubini, essayist Pico Iyer and Harvard historian Niall Ferguson also attended. Israeli-American media mogul Haim Saban sparred with Zakaria over the rights of Palestinians and the future of Israel as a democratic state. Jack Miles, editor of the "Norton Anthology of World Religions," writes in The WorldPost this week that America is losing in the Mideast because its foreign policy has been technology-focused (drones, etc.) instead of humanities-focused (history, religion, etc.). (continued)
The Obama administration's decision to negotiate with Tehran triggered near hysteria among U.S. politicians and pundits who advocate perpetual war in the Middle East.
Think of it not as a new deal but a new devolution, an ongoing decline of quality substance, concern, and even basic awareness in public life. With th...
This week we mark the 40th anniversary of those final days of the war. We will once again surely see the searing images of terrified refugees, desperate evacuations, and final defeat. But even that grim tale offers a lesson to those who will someday memorialize our present round of disastrous wars.
If America ends up at war, it almost certainly will be on behalf of one ally or another. Washington collects allies like most people collect Facebook "friends." The vast majority of U.S. allies are security liabilities, tripwires for conflict and war. Alliances should be based on interest, not charity.
"The wretched of the earth," in Frantz Fanon's famous phrase, are on the move as migrants. Mostly, they have headed north across scorching deserts and menacing seas to follow their dreams of escaping poverty and finding a better life. As the writer Carlos Monsivais once quipped, "Los Angeles is the heart of the Mexican Dream." Now, as we see at both the U.S. border and European shores, migrants are also fleeing north in the rusty holds of doomed ships from Libya or the "La Bestia" death train from Central America to evade the nightmares of civil war, brutal Salvadoran street gangs or merciless Mexican drug cartels. (continued)
The need is to reexamine what the clear, compelling U.S. vital interests are in the Arab World. These countries will have instability, violence and bad actors no matter what we do, and there's no end in sight.
It's often said that you can't get economists to agree on anything. Well, oil economists certainly can't agree on future prices, with commentators suggesting anything from $20 to $200. Seldom has there been such a discrepancy in forecasting, though the median forecasts seem to be somewhere between $60 and $70.
This February, we conducted a series of interviews in southern Turkey with those who have fled ISIS rule in Syria. In the city of Sanliurfa, we met rebel fighters, Islamic judges, and scholars, among them, Ahmed Saleh, a prominent imam from the Syrian city of Deir Ezzour.
As we prepare to enter "the silly season," backers of Hillary Rodham Clinton should think seriously about what and whom they are backing.