President Obama’s Interview With Jeffrey Goldberg on Syria and Foreign Policy Friday, August 30, 2013, the day the feckless Barack Obama brought to a premature end America’s reign as the world’s sole indispensable superpower—or, alternatively, the day the sagacious Barack Obama peered into the Middle Eastern abyss and stepped back from the consuming void—began with a thundering speech given on Obama’s behalf by his secretary of state, John Kerry, in Washington, D.C. The subject of Kerry’s uncharacteristically Churchillian remarks, delivered in the Treaty Room at the State Department, was the gassing of civilians by the president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad. Obama, in whose Cabinet Kerry serves faithfully, but with some exasperation, is himself given to vaulting oratory, but not usually of the martial sort associated with Churchill. Obama believes that the Manichaeanism, and eloquently rendered bellicosity, commonly associated with Churchill were justified by Hitler’s rise, and were at times defensible in the struggle against the Soviet Union.
What ISIS Really Wants What is the Islamic State? Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? The simplicity of these questions can be deceiving, and few Western leaders seem to know the answers. In December, The New York Times published confidential comments by Major General Michael K. The Kurdish women fighting ISIS The Iraqi Kurds have long been pro-Western in orientation, but Western powers have often only moderately addressed their pleas for support, in part out of fear of empowering the secessionist minority to seek independence. Now, with soccer moms in Middle America tweeting photos of Kurdish female fighters, Western governments may find it harder to explain their tepid Kurdish policies to their constituencies. Jacob Russell's sensitive photo essay brings much-needed nuance to the recent proliferation of images of Kurdish female fighters. Photographer Jacob Russell Since last summer, international media -- and Kurdish politicians who have recognized the public relations value of the images -- often objectified these women. Russell consciously avoids this uncomplicated portrayal of female fighters.
Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart This is a story unlike any we have previously published. It is much longer than the typical New York Times Magazine feature story; in print, it occupies an entire issue. The product of some 18 months of reporting, it tells the story of the catastrophe that has fractured the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq 13 years ago, leading to the rise of ISIS and the global refugee crisis. The geography of this catastrophe is broad and its causes are many, but its consequences — war and uncertainty throughout the world — are familiar to us all. The Rise of ISIS October 28, 2014 FRONTLINE investigates the miscalculations and mistakes behind the brutal rise of ISIS. What an Estimate of 10,000 ISIS Fighters Killed Doesn’t Tell Us
Western fascination with 'badass' Kurdish women Story highlights "ISIL fears these women because they will not go to heaven, if they get killed by a woman" - a sensationalist and by now rather boring statement, repeated in almost every report on the armed fight of Kurdish women against ISIL. As an activist of the Kurdish women's movement, I follow this sudden coverage with suspicion. Egypt’s Failed Revolution The Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who came to power in a coup that, in its aftermath, resulted in the massacre of more than a thousand supporters of his predecessor, has a reputation for speaking very softly. This quality often disarms foreigners. “When you talk to him, unlike most generals, he listens,” a European diplomat told me recently. “He’s not bombastic.”
ICSR Insight: The Islamic State Model This article by ICSR’s Rena and Sami David Fellow Aaron Y. Zelin is part of the Islamist Politics in the Shadow of the Islamic State symposium, and was published on the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog. The Islamic State announced several months ago that it was “annexing” territory in Algeria (Wilayat al-Jazair), Libya (Wilayat al-Barqah, Wilayat al-Tarabulus and Wilayat al-Fizan), Sinai (Wilayat Sinai), Saudi Arabia (Wilayat al-Haramayn) and Yemen (Wilayat al-Yaman). It is likely that the Islamic State plans to pursue a similar approach in Afghanistan and Pakistan following its announcement of accepting pledges of allegiance from former members of the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban to also try and “annex” territory there under the framework of a new wilayah called “Wilayat Khorasan.” On its face, this bold declaration of an expanding number of wilayat (provinces) resembles the announcements by al-Qaeda of creating numerous franchises in the mid-2000s.
Management of Savagery Management of Savagery: The Most Critical Stage Through Which the Ummah Will Pass was uploaded to the Internet in 2004 by the al-Qaeda terrorist organization. Its author, Abu Bakr Naji, is unidentified and is known only for this piece plus some contributions to the al-Qaeda online magazine Sawt al-Jihad. A report by National Public Radio described the author as a "top al-Qaida insider" and characterized the work as "al-Qaida's playbook". New York Times: A survivor's retelling of ISIS massacre Your video will begin momentarily. Ali Hussein Kadhim recounts ISIS massacre in New York TimesHe tells Times he survived by feigning deathISIS uses brutality as calling card, often purposely capturing atrocities on video (CNN) -- Ali Hussein Kadhim was not supposed to live to tell his story or that of the hundreds of other Iraqi soldiers and Shiites who were massacred in June by ISIS militants in Tikrit. But on the execution line that day the bullet destined for him whizzed past his head and he fell forward feigning to be fatally wounded. Kadhim lived to tell his story to the New York Times, which produced a gripping video offering a rare survivor's retelling of one of countless massacres carried out by the brutal Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. "It took 23 days from the day of the massacre until he was reunited with his family," Adam Ellick, a senior video journalist for the New York Times, told CNN Thursday.