Displaying items by tag: terrorism
Iron Empires, Iron Fists, Iron Domes
I WENT to a synagogue on Saturday not far from the Syrian border in Antakya, Turkey. Antakya is home to a tiny Jewish community. It is also famous for its mosaic of mosques and Orthodox, Catholic, Armenian and Protestant churches. On Friday, just across the Orontes River in Syria, I had visited with Sunni Free Syrian Army rebels embroiled in a civil war in which Syrian Alawites and Sunnis are killing each other, Kurds are creating their own enclave, Christians are hiding and the Jews are long gone.......... Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)
Use people power to outlaw war, too
FOR the past few years, the Perdana Global Peace Foundation has been trying to convince people that war is a crime; that war should be criminalised. If one thinks deeply enough, one must conclude that war is indeed a crime. We all, the whole human race, regard the killing of a person by another as a crime; a crime so serious as to warrant the stiffest punishment, including the death penalty.......... Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)
Afghan peace talks hit brick wall
IN recent months, Kabul, Washington and the Taliban have made overtures to work out a negotiated settlement for Afghanistan and plan the impending exit of foreign troops from the country. Yet those gestures have not been followed through and the prospects are not getting any better -- as the spate of recent violent episodes and perverse behaviour of some American soldiers over the war dead have shown......... Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)
Uncertain endgame in Afghanistan
To the anxious question of what will happen to Afghanistan when foreign troops leave in 2014, Dr Abdul Qayum Mohmand had an unexpected answer. "Nothing will happen," the former University of Afghanistan assistant professor said. "Because nothing is happening now."
Before a somber seminar on the country's future in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, last week, Mohmand tried to lighten his pessimism by exaggerating for effect. But between the candour and humour of his chat at the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies Malaysia was a sorrow that could not be concealed by bluffness........ Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)
The Rise and Fall of the G.D.P.
Whatever you may think progress looks like — a rebounding stock market, a new house, a good raise — the governments of the world have long held the view that only one statistic, the measure of gross domestic product, can really show whether things seem to be getting better or getting worse. G.D.P. is an index of a country’s entire economic output — a tally of, among many other things, manufacturers’ shipments, farmers’ harvests, retail sales and construction spending. It’s a figure that compresses the immensity of a national economy into a single data point of surpassing density. The conventional feeling about G.D.P. is that the more it grows, the better a country and its citizens are doing. In the U.S., economic activity plummeted at the start of 2009 and only started moving up during the second half of the year. Apparently things are moving in that direction still. In the first quarter of this year, the economy again expanded, this time by an annual rate of about 3.2 percent........ Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)
Talking Turkey: The Underlying Causes of the Israeli-Turkish Rift
Until recently, the “special relationship” between Israel and Turkey appeared unbreakable. Underpinned by shared perceptions of the threats and opportunities in their regional environment and cemented by an extensive web of joint initiatives in trade, intelligence, and defense, the Turkish-Israeli alliance blossomed in the 1990s. Any differences that arose between these two regional heavyweights paled in comparison to the overarching affinity and mutuality of interests that existed between them.
At least that’s the way it seemed at the time. Beneath the apparent façade of goodwill between the two countries lay a growing gap in values and political cultures that set the stage for a deterioration of relations as two major crises transpired. The first of these was Israel’s offensive against the Gaza Strip in the winter of 2008/2009, followed a year and a half later by Israel’s attack on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish-flagged ship attempting to deliver humanitarian aid to the still-besieged Gazans. The divergence in values between the two countries began to take shape at the turn of the twenty-first century, and accelerated after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan came to power in 2003—a period that coincided with significant strides toward democracy in Turkey ....... Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)
Islam and International Relations: Peace, Conflict and Diplomacy
Often, but loosely, referred to as a “religion”, Islam may more accurately be depicted as a religiously based way of life, or Din—the Arabic term by which it is described in the Qur’an. This Quranically sanctioned way of describing Islam has the two important merits of, firstly, avoiding the dangers of misunderstanding which can easily arise from using the term “religion” with all the socio-cultural nuances and associations derived from the historical (mainly Christian) heritage and experience of the West in the context of which the term was primarily honed. Secondly and more importantly, it captures the essential characteristic of Islam as a comprehensive system of values and principles which encompasses the entire range of human experience—personal and social, economic and political, artistic and intellectual, creative or otherwise. All of these are sustained in Islam, by faith and endowed with religious meaning and ethical significance.......... Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)
9---11: Ten Years After
On the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 tragedy, it would be instructive to reflect on the disastrous impact of that tragedy upon the entire human family.
One, hundreds of thousands, perhaps a couple of million, lives have been lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Afghan-Pakistan border and other places as a direct or indirect consequence of the so-called “war on terror” that followed 9-11. It is not just the violence generated by the US helmed occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan that is responsible for this. Terror groups that resist occupation or are seeking to avenge the death of innocent children and women at the hands of the occupiers, or those who are embroiled in the tussle for power or enmeshed in inter-sectarian and inter-factional feuds---like Al-Qaeda--- are also culpable.
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Palestine's Hidden History of Nonviolence
Last weekend, as tens of thousands of unarmed refugees marched toward Israel from all sides in a symbolic effort to reclaim their right of return, the world suddenly discovered the power of Palestinian nonviolence. Much like the "Freedom Flotilla," when nine activists were killed during an act of nonviolent international disobedience almost a year ago, the deaths of unarmed protesters at the hands of Israeli soldiers drew the world's attention to Palestine and the refugee issue............ Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)