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Thomas Jefferson, American Founding Father and principal author of the Declaration of Independence In this article Meor Alif challenges the commonly held viewpoint that all terrorist acts, particularly those that are violent, are inherently morally vacuous with no place in a modern democracy. By reassessing the morality behind terrorist acts from a consequentialist perspective, a more nuanced role of terrorism in the political sphere emerges.
WHAT kind of deal do you make with a 20-something who just inherited not only a country, but also the mantle of one of the world’s most sophisticated crime families? When Kim Jong-un, who is thought to be 28 or 29, became North Korea’s leader in December after the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, he became the de facto head of a mafia state. How the new leader combines the roles of head of state and mafia don will influence the regime’s future behavior. Crime bosses have different incentives, and dealing with them requires different policies. And any deal — including last week’s agreement by North Korea to suspend its nuclear program in exchange for American food aid — will eventually falter if that reality is ignored.
I understand the Chinese Yuan's valuation is a very convenient smoke screen and scapegoat, a handy political soundbyte. But does Washington really want CNY to rise in value against the USD? First of all, a rise in CNY is a de facto devaluation of USD. Devaluing USD has its lure; it's an easy way out of mounting external debt. In fact, my bet is still that it's a path Washington cannot avoid going down.
The terrorist attacks in Mumbai seven weeks ago sent shock waves around the world. Now all eyes are fixed on the Middle East, where Israel's response to Hamas's rockets, a ferocious military campaign, has already left a thousand Gazans dead. Seven years on from 9/11 it is clear that we need to take a fundamental look at our efforts to prevent extremism and its terrible offspring, terrorist violence. Since 9/11, the notion of a "war on terror" has defined the terrain.
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