Teacher, learner, troublemaker. Assistant Professor of Political Science & International Studies, Dickinson College, PA, USA. Specialist in the Middle East including Turkey. Former British diplomat. Member of the NITLE Advisory Board.

Member since Jan 07, 2009, follows 51 people, 26 public groups, 15742 public bookmarks (16971 total).

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  • White House tells the Pentagon to quit talking about China | Navy Times about 2 hours ago
  • More Wealth, More Jobs, but Not for Everyone: What Fuels the Backlash on Trade - The New York Times about 7 hours ago
    • “More global trade is a good thing if we get a piece of the cake,” Mr. Duijzers said. “But that’s the problem. We’re not getting our piece of the cake.”
    • For generations, libraries full of economics textbooks have rightly promised that global trade expands national wealth by lowering the price of goods, lifting wages and amplifying growth. The powers that emerged victorious from World War II championed globalization as the antidote to future conflicts. From Asia to Europe to North America, governments of every ideological persuasion have focused on trade as their guiding economic force.

       
       

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      But trade comes with no assurances that the spoils will be shared equitably. Across much of the industrialized world, an outsize share of the winnings have been harvested by people with advanced degrees, stock options and the need for accountants. Ordinary laborers have borne the costs, suffering joblessness and deepening economic anxiety

    • When millions of workers lost paychecks to foreign competition, they lacked government supports to cushion the blow. As a result, seething anger is upending politics from Europe to North America.

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  • Debate Gaffes, Platitudes and Absurdities On National Security | Foreign Policy about 11 hours ago
    • voters and foreign governments are likely more perplexed than ever before about where America could be headed on crucial national security issues, thanks to a litany of contradictory and confusing statements from Republican nominee Donald Trump — as well as another round of vague platitudes from his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton
    • The wars in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan:

       

      One of the two candidates on the debate stage  ultimately will be charged with overseeing the military campaigns to retake the Islamic State-held cities of Mosul, in Iraq, and Raqqa, in Syria. Within months of taking office, the new president will have to work through a latticework of constantly shifting local alliances to keep some sort of peace in those sprawling cities while keeping Russian and Turkish forces — and political complexities — at bay.   

       

      Yet more mental energy was spent Monday  debating police tactics in New York City and 1990s-era beauty pageant contestants than how to close out 15 years of Washington’s wars — in which approximately 13,000 U.S. troops remain on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. Clinton stuck to the points she has long advocated: ramping up airstrikes on ISIS fighters, launching an “intelligence surge” to pinpoint targets while hitting extremists before they can attack Americans, and doubling down on eliminating the Islamic State’s leadership.  

       

      In short, continuing what President Barack Obama has been doing, just more of it. And Clinton made no mention of imposing a “no-fly-zone” in Syria, a proposal she has advocated during the political campaign, and gave no indication whether she would take a tougher line with the regime in Damascus.

       

      Trump, as always, wouldn’t reveal his so-called secret plan to win the war against ISIS, while complaining that “we should have taken the oil” before leaving Iraq, an idea he has never explained. Apart from being illegal and physically impossible, as some senior officers have pointed out, it would require thousands of U.S. troops to stay behind to guard the oil facilities.

  • Amnesty condemns verdict against Oman journalists, newspaper on Sep 26, 16
    • An Oman court on Monday ruled in favor of a government decision to shut down al-Zaman daily newspaper and jail three of its journalists, including its editor-in-chief, for reporting on alleged corruption within the judiciary.
    • sentenced to three years in prison on charges of disturbing public order, undermining the prestige of the state, misusing the internet to prejudice public order and publishing details of a personal status case.
    • The country's state-run news agency had previously issued a statement about the case without naming the newspaper. The statement said the newspaper had crossed the limits of free speech and published material in a way "that harms a pillar of the state."

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  • Tunisian former president says authorities pressuring media | Reuters on Sep 26, 16
  • How media coverage of terrorism endorses a legal double standard - Columbia Journalism Review on Sep 25, 16
  • The Assassin’s Veto Early this morning, a man... - Oum Cartoon أم كرتون on Sep 25, 16
  • Media Ask Which Candidate Can Better Exploit Our Irrational Fear of Terrorism | FAIR on Sep 22, 16
  • Obama’s Syria Strategy Is the Definition of Insanity | Foreign Policy on Sep 22, 16
    • The Russian government, much less the Assad regime, has never been a reliable partner for peace in Syria. But even after Russia’s alleged bombing of the aid convoy, U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration is still plowing its energies into a deal that aims to work with the Russian government.
    • The Obama administration has viewed the Syrian crisis through the lens of counterterrorism. But diplomatic failures such as this one continue to embolden extremist actors like al Qaeda, which has purposely presented itself as a reliable and necessary opposition ally, seemingly dedicated only to the cause of ridding Syria of the Assad regime. By so deeply embedding within Syrian revolutionary dynamics and claiming to fill the vacuum left behind by insufficient foreign support or protection, al Qaeda’s narrative is constantly strengthened by perceptions of American inadequacy. Thus, U.S. failures do not exist in a vacuum — our adversaries quickly translate them into their own victories.
    • the Russian government is not the key to controlling the Assad regime’s heinous behaviors. For a week straight, the Syrian government consistently ignored Moscow’s demands and destroyed a cease-fire deal that had been largely of Russia’s making. The regime also reinforced its troop positions around Aleppo and amassed forces opposite the strategic northern town of Jisr al-Shughour, and its aircraft were blamed for bombings around Aleppo, north of the city of Homs, and in parts of southern Daraa governorate. And after the Assad government declared the cease-fire over, Russia ferociously destroyed an aid convoy intended for 78,000 civilians

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  • White riot - Vox on Sep 22, 16

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