The soft power of America's open society has once again come to the rescue of its hard power misadventures, this time by coming clean on the post-9/11 practice of torture. As China and several other countries intensify their crackdown on the Internet and open expression in general, the U.S. offers a lesson: honest criticism fortifies the legitimacy of government, not weakens it, because it assures an avenue for self-correction. In The WorldPost this week, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who led the charge as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee that released the controversial torture report, writes that "torture goes against the very soul of our country." Howard Fineman reports why Sen. John McCain, a leading Republican and POW during the Vietnam War, also believes torture is a "stain" on America's national honor -- and ineffective to boot. (continued)
2014 was full of Hollywood stars behaving oddly (See Shia LaBeouf and Amanda Bynes) and loads of fake viral videos. But this year saw fabrication with dead-serious ripple effects as well. Here are the prevaricators who rose to the top of the LieSpotting list this year:
Are western sanctions over Russia's support of Eastern Ukraine separatists, the declining price of oil, and the sharp decline of the ruble causing significant enough pressure on the Russian economy to change Putin's stance on the Ukraine?
The Russian people must not be pushed away from Europe.
Read this book right away. Because it carries the echo of the creeping devastation. And because the author proves that there is, in the ruins, another way to live. Not anger, not nostalgia, but insurrection through style.
Mark Greaney, co-author with the late Tom Clancy, of three previous Jack Ryan novels, now has written Full Force and Effect, a novel demonstrating prescience about world events.
A Russian threat to Bosnia-Hercegovina could mean a rupture of delicate interreligious relations maintained in the country since Dayton. Bosnia is still divided between a "Republic of Serbs" and the "Federation of Bosnia-Hercegovina," with the latter comprising Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic Croats.
If the sharply contrasting views of students in Xian or Beijing and Hong Kong are any indication, Deng Xiaoping's ideal formulation of "one country, two systems" has morphed into another reality: one country, two dreams. George Chen writes that President Xi Jinping's "Chinese Dream" competes with other narratives in today's China: the "get rich is glorious" story of Alibaba's Jack Ma and the democratic aspirations of the Hong Kong students. In a conversation with students after a lecture in Beijing, Amitai Etzioni detected a surprisingly aggressive patriotism, and even anti-Americanism, in college students he spoke with. WorldPost Senior Editor Kathleen Miles found similar sentiments when she talked with other students in Beijing as well as Xian. In contrast, WorldPost China Correspondent Matt Sheehan observes that the student-led umbrella protests in Hong Kong have become a "defining generational moment," not unlike the burst of freedom against authority in the 1960s in the West, that will trouble Beijing for a long time to come. (continued)
Even if you didn't get selected to be the new defense secretary, you can still do your part by taking our latest Week to Week news quiz and see what y...
When the darkness came on the night of December 4th, Islamist militants attacked the capital of Chechnya-Grozny. They seized a publishing house and later moved to an empty school. At least 10 policemen were killed, about 28 were injured during a long shootout.
We want the world to see that Ukraine's peaceful surrender of nuclear weapons has earned it access to conventional weapons when it truly needs them to defend its borders. The United States should inform Moscow that the flow of such equipment would stop once Russia fully implements its commitments.
Russia's projected growth of the economy in 2015 will not surpass 1% by even the most optimistic projections. What does Russian leadership do to mend this sinking boat?
Russia's new agreement to sell Nigeria arms to combat Boko Haram (BH) is evidence of its desire to expand its global geopolitical influence as well as enhance its reputation for being willing to step in where the West will not.
As Pope Francis slammed Europe as "elderly and haggard" in an address this week in Strasbourg, the speaker of the Polish parliament, Radek Sikorski, warned in the WorldPost that Europe's starkest challenge is defending "a world of rules" against an aggressive Russia. Writing from the Vatican for our "Following Francis" series, Sébastien Maillard looks at the "holy ghostwriters" behind the pontiff's tweets and encyclicals. WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones reports from Istanbul on yet another retrograde move in Turkey's modern history taken by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who declared this week that men and women can't be equal. Though Erdogan still considers the Kurdish Democratic Union Party a terrorist organization, Nazand Begikhani writes from Iraqi Kurdistan about how women from that party who have taken up arms to defend their fellow Kurds from the radically misogynist Islamic State are also advancing equal rights in their own society. This week, as the Israeli cabinet moved to define Israel as a "Jewish state," the French parliament, like other European parliaments of late, is voting on whether to recognize a Palestinian state. Writing from Paris, Bernard-Henri Lévy argues passionately that such a move, intended to enhance peace, will perpetuate war. (continued)
On Nov. 18, in Kiev, philanthropist Victor Pinchuk was awarded the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Medal of Honor by the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine for his contributions to Ukrainian-Jewish understanding and cooperation. What follows is a version of my remarks at the ceremony.
The impetus for NATO enlargement did not come from a triumphalist Washington. On the contrary, the U.S. initially resisted even the breakup of the Soviet Union. Since 1990, 12 European states have asked to join NATO. They all chose for themselves to belong to this cooperative military alliance. NATO membership was a key part of "locking in" their turbulent democratic reforms.