The savagery of the Islamic State taunted the world once again this week, striking out at both geopolitically toothless Japan and the tribal kingdom of Jordan. Islamic State fighters beheaded the journalist Kenji Goto and revealed that, in an act of unfathomable cruelty, they had burned alive a captured Jordanian pilot. Last week Japan's former defense chief Yuriko Koike wrote from Tokyo that Japan's constitutional restrictions on using force have prevented it from taking action against ISIS, and argues that that must change. Writing from Beirut, Jordanian analyst Rami Khouri has political misgivings about official support across the Arab world for the anti-ISIS coalition when the public is not consulted. From Amman, WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones reports both on the massive protests against ISIS and on the undercurrent of opposition in Jordan that believes the fight against ISIS "is not our war." (continued)
These are just four reasons why a large cross-section of Americans, Europeans, Ukrainians, and Russians label a further militarization of the Ukrainian conflict as a bad idea.
What do a measles outbreak in Disneyland and Washington's panic over Russia's leadership have in common? Both of them are red scares that should have died out by the 1960s. And, as of today, they have one more thing in common: junk science about autism.
Given the fractured and evolving global political landscape, both sides, and neither side, will achieve all of its objectives. Swimming against the tide has its own appeal at a time when virtually everything about the world order seems to be up for grabs.
How strange is it that Mitt Romney suddenly announced at the end of last week that he's out of a third presidential run he'd only recently spun up? No stranger than getting back into the fray in the first place.
Sure, it may not work; the policy may backfire, the Ukrainian army may not be able to use the weapons effectively or they may lose some to the rebels. Putin may even decide to escalate. But guess what? Putin is already escalating.
No sooner did the global elites leave their annual talking shop high in the Alps at Davos last week than the people spoke in Greece. In a mutiny against an untenable status quo, those who are run over have revolted against those who run things. Now righteous populism must face economic, financial and political realities if other European states don't bend Greece's way. To keep up with the drama as it evolves over the coming weeks, we've connected WorldPost readers directly to the daily blog of Yanis Varoufakis, the self-described "erratic Marxist" who is now Greece's finance minister. Writing from Athens, HuffPost Greece Editorial Director Sophia Papaioannou says Alexis Tsipras' electoral victory will give suffering Greeks "space and time" to address their predicament. Former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou argues that the path forward after the election is for a national referendum on a "Greek plan" for reform that will bind a now polarized nation. Rena Dourou, a deputy of the victorious Syriza party, notes that the vote was as much against the corruption of the formerly ruling political parties in Greece as it was against austerity. (continued)
While the world's attention is preoccupied with entertaining the possibility of Putin's invasion rampage, this misplaced focus distracts greatly from the internal crisis brewing in Ukraine.
A quarter century after the end of the Cold War and decades after the signing of landmark nuclear arms control and disarmament agreements, are the U.S. and Russian governments once more engaged in a potentially disastrous nuclear arms race with one another?
While "a New Cold War" has not yet been adopted as an official framework for US foreign and military policy, there are among foreign and military policy-makers many who will be tempted by its appeal. We should be circumspect about following them down this path.
Several weeks ago, Miss Universe pageant officials, naively or not, asked me if I wanted to come down for a few days for a Miss Congeniality-esque experience while the 88 women who had qualified from their respective countries got ready for the big night. Of course I did.
The WorldPost was launched one year ago in Davos. It was born out of a contradiction and a paradox. The contradiction is that while the world is growing more interdependent, the media is fragmenting -- re-nationalizing, re-localizing and even tribalizing. The resulting paradox is that the information age is becoming the age of non-communication across boundaries -- political, cultural and ideological. The aim of The WorldPost is to help bridge this growing chasm by becoming a platform where the whole world meets; a common zone where cross-pollination of ideas and perspectives from all corners of the planet can take place. To achieve this aim, The WorldPost strives for a global viewpoint looking around, not a national perspective looking out. Along with intelligent curation of the global news and original reportage, what distinguishes us, above all, are the first person global voices of our contributors. Every week, they weigh in as events break from Havana to Beijing, from Moscow to Mexico City, Paris, New Delhi and Abuja among so many other places. The WorldPost seems to have met an outstanding need. Thanks to you, one year later we have reached 28 million monthly views. We've shown that the message can catch up to the medium if we put our minds to it. (continued)
Listen too much to Kremlin pronouncements, and one might get the impression that the Ukrainian government in Kiev is comprised of nothing less than a malevolent and sinister fascist junta.
While avowed critics of social engineering at home, most conservatives believe the U.S. government can remake foreign societies abroad. It's a dangerous delusion. In pursuit of their interventionist fantasies, they are prepared to waste scarce financial resources, entangle the U.S. in foreign quarrels, and risk war with nuclear-armed powers.
NATO was critical to the shaping of the "new Europe" two decades earlier after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Similar and new challenges have emerged where once again NATO may be a defining factor in the future of Europe as well as the Euro-Atlantic family.
The first principle of an open society is not to let the intolerant define "the territory of insult" -- those areas off limits to criticism or ridicule. But how does one define "territory" when media now crosses the boundaries of nations, cultures and civilizations? In the end, free societies must defend the right of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists against murder by fanatics, the Sony filmmakers against the North Korean regime and novelists like Salman Rushdie against a fatwa from the ayatollahs. But isn't Pope Francis also right that, in today's diverse and connected world, we must exercise the civil restraint of "respect" for the non-fanatic faithful (see the other depiction of the Prophet acceptable among some Muslims on left above), even if we insist on irreverence toward political authority? Finding an equilibrium amid the frictions and fusions that abound in this global public space will determine whether or not we can forge a new cosmopolitan commons of the 21st century. This week, The WorldPost engages this conundrum. Writing from Denmark, Flemming Rose, the Jyllands-Posten editor who commissioned cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad a decade ago that set off riots across the Muslim world, argues against "the tyranny of silence" fanatics would impose. Mehdi Hasan says he is "fed up with free speech fundamentalists" who feel they have a "duty to offend." (continued)