THE BLOG
06/27/2014 04:50 pm ET Updated Aug 27, 2014

Weekend Roundup: America's Cult of Ignorance Is Its Biggest National Security Threat

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Though the flames of fanaticism further engulfed the Middle East this week, WorldPost readers overwhelmingly focused on what John Traphagan argues is a far deeper national security issue: the "cult of ignorance" undermining America's prospects.

On the Middle East, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon writes what everyone now fears: the Syrian civil war is becoming a global threat. Azadeh Moaveni explains the differences behind the Sunnis and Shiites driving the conflict across the whole region. On the ground in Iraq, Mushreq Abbas argues that the real danger represented by ISIS is its ability to attract sympathy from Sunnis and that a political solution is needed. American military intervention, Abbas argues, would render the U.S. ISIS' first enemy. WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones writes from the frontlines that Iraq's Christians are standing steadfast in their faith while the brutal ISIS advances. As the darkness deepens in the Arab world, our regular photo essay feature, "The Other Hundred," this week offers a paradoxical ray of light: the remarkable story of Cairo's blind orchestra.

As signs of de-escalation emerge in the Ukraine crisis, Justinian Jampol and Edward Robin of The Wende Museum point out why revisiting past victories and old clashes are not a guide to resolving new issues.

To reduce tensions in the East China Sea, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calls for "transparency" by all powers on intentions and military capacity. Yukio Hatoyama, a former Japanese prime minister, takes a different tack and calls for "shelving" the island dispute and improving relations with China because "one day they will be as important" as ties to the U.S. From Shanghai, legal analyst Allen K. Yu argues that international law favors China over Japan in the ongoing conflict.

In governance matters, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg tells The WorldPost that "people care about service, not ideology."

In cultural affairs, Serpentine Gallery co-director Hans-Ulrich Obrist shares his Instagram photos of Yoko Ono's handwritten inspirations. Australian media theorist Justin O'Connor assesses the "digital cold war" between the West and China, noting that the cultural influence of "soft power" rests on very hard issues of intellectual property and communications infrastructure. And controversial Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgard reflects on the state of the novel, the ghost of Hitler and plans for the future.

WHO WE ARE

EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Senior Advisor to the Berggruen Institute on Governance and the long-time editor of NPQ and the Global Viewpoint Network of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Senior Editor of the WorldPost. Alex Gardels is the Associate Editor of The WorldPost. Nicholas Sabloff is the Executive International Editor at the Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost's 10 international editions. Eline Gordts is HuffPost's World Editor.

CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Cairo; Matt Sheehan in Beijing.

EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media) Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun).

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy) and Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review). Katherine Keating (One-On-One) and Jehangir Pocha (NewsX India) .

The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.

Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the "whole mind" way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.

ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute's 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council -- as well as regular contributors -- to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail, and Zheng Bijian.

From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.

MISSION STATEMENT

The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets.

We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out.