Analysis

The Politics of Islam in Mali: Separating Myth from Reality

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Settling the place of Islam in Mali’s society and politics is a less visible but longer-term challenge to the state than its rebellious north and stalled peace… ICG The government should work toward a partnership with religious authorities to enable them to play a stabilising role. Executive Summary The 2012 crisis, during which self-proclaimed jihadi armed groups took centre stage, intensified the debate on the role of Islam in Malian society and… Although religious leaders have become powerful lobbyists, public ... Read More »

Are we sleepwalking to World War III?

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Analysis Australia is plunging headlong into catastrophe and we are utterly unprepared. Stan Grant  ABC In fact, we may be past the time when we can prepare. The time-bomb is ticking and it will explode in our lifetimes. All certainty will be lost, our economy will be devastated, our land seized, our system of government upended. This isn’t mere idle speculation or the rantings of a doomsday cult, this is the warning from a man who has made it his… ... Read More »

Why Can’t the U.S. Left Get Venezuela Right?

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As Venezuela’s fascist-minded oligarchy conspires with U.S. imperialism to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nicolas Maduro, few in the… Shamus Cooke CounterPunch Instead of denouncing rightwing violence that aims at regime change, many on the U.S. left have stayed silent, or opted to give an evenhanded analysis that supports neither the Maduro government nor the oligarchy trying to… Rather, the left prioritizes its energy on lecturing on… Why Can’t the… Read More »

Five reasons why Game of Thrones satisfies our needs (apart from all the sex and violence)

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Game of Thrones has become something of a TV event over the past six years – the last season attracted more than 5m viewers per… Tom van Laer  The Conversation On the face of it, the attractions are obvious: large helpings of sex and violence, bolstered by a serpentine storyline said to be inspired by the War of the Roses, one of the bloodiest periods of English… Yet, I think the series meets deeper, more fundamental human needs than just ... Read More »

Is Turkey the most Orwellian country?

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It’s been almost 70 years since English novelist Eric Arthur Blair, writing under the pseudonym George Orwell, penned “1984,” his famous dystopian novel which depicted life in Oceania, a state in… Michael Rubin AEIdeas The state prosecutes “thought crime” and independent thinking. The “Inner Party” strictly controls policy, even as members of the “Outer Party” fill other bureaucratic slots in order to keep the… Historical revisionism is rife and… Is Turkey the… Read More »

Islamophobia is still raising its ugly head in Australia

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The existence and scale of Islamophobia in Australia has been hotly debated. While Muslims insist it is real and of significant scale, it has been either denied or downplayed in wider circles. Mehmet Ozalp The Conversation The main reason why Islamophobia has not been taken seriously could be due to the lack of quality data on the… Most research to date focused on surveys conducted on the negative sentiments of non… But our new study reports on actual Islamophobic incidents, ... Read More »

Can Kurt Volker Solve the Ukraine Crisis?

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Kurt Volker, widely known as a tough-minded and accomplished diplomat, confronts his biggest challenge in working to implement the… Curt Mills The National Interest As Donald Trump spoke with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Hamburg late last week, his State Department announced the appointment of a… His mandate is to help implement the Minsk agreements. Kurt Volker is widely respected as an accomplished diplomat, but in Ukraine he confronts his… Can Kurt Volker… Read More »

China’s Foreign Policy Experiment in South Sudan

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China, traditionally cautious about intervening in other countries, is playing the unprecedented role of peacebuilder in… ICG This experience could serve as a trial run for a more proactive global role, but Beijing is still challenged by limitations in its experience, expertise and… Executive Summary China’s longstanding principle of non-interference in other states’ internal affairs is evolving with its growing global footprint. As Chinese overseas investment and… China’s Foreign Policy… Read More »

Global Meltdown? Nuclear Power’s Annus Horribilis

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This year will go down with 1979 (Three Mile Island), 1986 (Chernobyl) and 2011 (Fukushima) as one of the nuclear industry’s worst ever ‒ and there’s still another six months to go, writes Dr Jim… Jim Green New Matilda Two of the industry’s worst-ever years have been in the past decade and there will be many more bad years ahead as the trickle of closures of ageing reactors becomes a flood ‒ the… The likelihood of reactor start-ups matching closures ... Read More »

How Can Greece Pay Back China?

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: China and Greece have an almost entirely one-sided economic relationship. Roie Yellinek       BESA China’s deep involvement in Greece is part of a long-term strategy to achieve control of the marine paths from China to the EU. This strategy means China is willing to invest and take part in the rehabilitation of Greece – but there will be a price to be paid for… How Can Greece… Read More »

The European Union Has a Currency Problem

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Germany is largely to blame for it. Milton Ezrati The National Interest Donald Trump, for all his rhetorical clumsiness and intellectual limitations, still sometimes makes a valid point. He does when he says that Germany is “very bad on trade.” However much Berlin claims innocence and good intentions, the fact remains that the euro heavily stacks the deck in favor of German exporters and against others, in Europe and further… It is surely no coincidence that the country’s… The European ... Read More »

North Korean missile launch pits China and Russia against the US

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Analysis There’s a saying in politics: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” North Korea’s missile test is indeed a crisis — and a test of Donald Trump’s still-young presidency. Ben Knight  ABC But he is being outmanoeuvred by Russia and China, who have teamed up against the United States to achieve a mutual goal: weakening the US military presence on their doorstep. Both Russia and China have a land border with North Korea. For China especially, North Korea ... Read More »

Yanis Varoufakis: A New Deal for the 21st Century

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ATHENS — The recent elections in France and Britain have confirmed the political establishment’s simultaneous vulnerability and vigor in the face of a nationalist insurgency. Yanis Varoufakis The New York Times This contradiction is the motif of the moment — personified by the new French president, Emmanuel Macron, whose résumé made him a darling of the elites but who rode a wave of anti… A similar paradox is visible in Britain in the… Yanis Varoufakis: A… Read More »

Noam Chomsky: On Trump and the State of the Union

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Over the past few months, as the disturbing prospect of a Trump administration became a disturbing reality, I decided to reach out to Noam Chomsky, the philosopher whose writing, speaking and activism has for more than 50… George Yancy and Noam Chomsky The New York Times Our conversation, as it appears here, took place as a series of email exchanges over the past two months. Although Professor Chomsky was extremely busy, because of our past intellectual exchange, he… Chomsky: On ... Read More »

Nuclear Weapons: Who Has What at a Glance

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At the dawn of the nuclear age, the United States hoped to maintain a monopoly on its new weapon, but the secrets and the technology for making nuclear weapons soon spread. Arms Control Association The United States conducted its first nuclear test explosion in July 1945 and dropped two atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Just four years later, the Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test explosion. The United Kingdom (1952), France (1960), ... Read More »

Why Iraq Needs a Cultural Surge

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Iraq needs a new surge—one that is focused on the reconstruction of the country’s cultural heritage. Bartle Bull The National Interest IT IS no secret that the Islamic State brought many tragedies. Potentially the most consequential of these is that in Iraq the rule of the erstwhile caliphate encompassed perhaps the world’s single richest trove of cultural… Now, as ISIS territory disappears yard by yard from the Iraqi map, it is… Why Iraq Needs… Read More »