isis

Sometimes Only Donald Trump Can Trump Donald Trump

Sandip Roy

Put simply, Donald Trump, once the Clown Prince of American politics has become the Most Important Person of American politics today. Outrageous as he might be, he is not just setting the cat among the pigeons. He is the cat among the pigeons. He is setting the agenda and everyone else gets to react to it. As testimony to that, the Republican Party’s leaders, while trying to distance the party from Trump’s outrageousness, are nervous about going the full distance. 

The End of Optimism

Marty Kaplan

We who experience these events through the media are infinitely better off than people for whom they are life-or-death reality.  But even at our remove, it’s hard not to feel beaten up and helpless.  This feeling is amplified by the media’s economic self-interest in keeping us anxious and riveted, and by our addiction to our ubiquitous screens.  Steven Pinker’s argument – that this is actually the least violent time in human history – may be factually accurate, and there are plenty of genocides within living memory to put today’s torrent of rotten news in perspective.

Why ISIS Beheadings Won’t Stop U.S. Missiles

Sandip Roy

Obama might talk tough and promise to be “relentless, but the cold hard truth is the US does not care that much about freelance journalists anywhere in the world. It didn’t ask for them to be there, unlike the US ambassador killed in Benghazi, Libya. Forget the government, freelancers don’t even have news organizations that truly have their back. Even a major news organization cannot save you from fanatics hell-bent on making an example out of you as Daniel Pearl discovered in Pakistan. 

For Freelance Journalists, Growing Opportunity and Risk

Andrew Lam

Freelancers who find themselves in trouble depend on the kindness of the organizations that buy their work. In Foley’s case, GlobalPost claimed it spent millions in an attempt to rescue him, including hiring a security firm and investigating his whereabouts.But in general, a freelancer is more vulnerable, often traveling without bodyguards and contingency plans. There’s a viral photo of Foley carrying his camera and sound recorder and other equipment that reminds viewers of how freelancers need to take advantage of the full multimedia spectrum – reporting, photojournalism, sound recording – in order to make a living. 

Analyzing the Threat of ISIS

Wayne White

The beheading of Foley, a dreadful and tragic event, sparked a surge of gloom, doom, and hype among senior US officials and within the media at large. Of late, estimates of total ISIS fighters and foreign recruits have soared, but are based on what could only be iffy information. This is precisely what ISIS’s leaders intended. ISIS perceives, as do other ruthless entities, that the US (and its allies) are traumatized far more by the death of one citizen than vastly broader atrocities in the Middle East. 

A Sunni-Shi’a War in the Middle East? Not Likely

William O. Beeman

The success of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in capturing large territories in Syria and Northern Iraq, and now threatening Baghdad, has raised once again the specter of a Sunni-Shi’a war in the Middle East. Such a scenario is possible, but unlikely. That’s because Sunni and Shi’a believers throughout the world are divided into many factions living under different social conditions and with different religious, social and political agendas. 

The Disintegration of Iraq Has Begun

William O. Beeman

ISIS is a mature Sunni Muslim movement started in 2000. The government of Iraq and its troops are largely Shi’a Muslim. The territories now conquered by ISIS are also Sunni. There is only one conclusion that fits the facts of the success of the ISIS conquest: The Sunni residents of Northern Iraq are aiding ISIS in the takeover. Thus the ISIS “conquest” is not that at all—it is rather a full-scale revolt of the Sunni population against the Shi’a government.

 

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