If your view of world events outside the U.S. was shaped in substantial part by watching the evening news shows on the three major U.S. networks last year, you’d probably want to stay home.
Of the 69 journalists who died on the job in 2015, 40 per cent were killed by Islamic militant groups like Al-Qaeda and Islamic State. Startlingly more than two-thirds were targeted for murder, according to a special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The appalling crisis ravaging the Middle East and striking terror around the world is a clear challenge to the West, but responses are uncoordinated. This is due on the one hand to divergent analyses of the situation, and on the other to conflicting interests.
A new public opinion survey undertaken in six Arab countries, Iran, and Turkey finds that people are more likely to blame “corrupt, repressive, and unrepresentative governments” and “religious figures and groups promoting extremist ideas and/or incorrect religious interpretations” for the rise of violent groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State than they are to blame “anger at the United States.”
When, in June 2006, former US National Security adviser and, later on, Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, spelled out the George W. Bush administration new, magic doctrine for the Middle East, tons of ink was poured and millions of words said in a harsh attempt to speculate with what she really did mean by what she called “Creative Chaos.”
The recent explosions that apparently destroyed a 2,000-year-old temple in the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria were yet another grim example of how the armed group calling itself the Islamic State (IS) uses conventional weapons to further its agenda.
In the following months, reports of the use of chemical weapons by Syrian forces multiplied. The most serious was an allegation that the Syrian army had used sarin gas on Mar. 19, 2013 at Khan al Assal, north of Aleppo, and in a suburb of Damascus against its opponents. This was followed by two more allegations of small attacks in April.
The 28 Ethiopian migrants of Christian faith murdered by the Islamic State (IS) on Apr. 19 in Libya had planned to cross the Mediterranean Sea in search of work in Europe.
Nasser Boladai is the spokesperson of the Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran (CNFI), an umbrella movement aimed at expanding support for a secular, democratic and federal Iran. IPS spoke with him in Geneva, where he was invited to speak at a recent conference on Human Rights and Global Perspectives in his native Balochistan region.
The United Kingdom has been accused
of “sleepwalking” into the Ukraine crisis – and the accusation comes from no less than the House of Lords, not usually considered a place of critical analysis.
The “surprise” re-election of incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Mar. 17 elections has been met with a flood of media comment on the implications for the region and the rest of the world.
For a long time, citizens of the United States have firmly believed that their country has an exceptional destiny, and continue to do so today even though their political system has become totally dysfunctional.
When I am asked whether Europe is still a relevant “protagonist” in the modern world, I always answer that there is no doubt about it. For a long time now, the continent has been shaken by financial crises, internal security strategy crises – including wars – and instability within its borders, which definitely make it a protagonist in world affairs.
“They are cowards who react to satire by going for their Kalashnikovs.” That was how renowned French cartoonist Plantu described the killers of 10 media workers and two policemen in Paris Wednesday.
Staring at the floor, Hassan, a 21-year-old Syrian refugee from Idlib in northwestern Syria, holds a set of identification papers in his hands. He picks out a small pink piece of paper with a few words on it stating that he must obtain a work contract, otherwise his residency visa will not be renewed.
There is daily news broadcasting at 9 in the evening and a live programme every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. For the time being, that is what Mosul´s only TV channel has to offer from its headquarters in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.
When Ibrahim al-Badri al-Samarrai adopted the name of Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Husseini al-Quraishi and revealed himself to the world as the Amir al-Mu’minin (the Commander of the Faithful) Caliph Ibrahim of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, the whole world had to sit up and take notice of him.
President Obama’s speech at the United Nations on Sep. 23 offered a rhetorically eloquent roadmap on how to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
When, all of a sudden, ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) emerged on the scene and in a matter of days occupied large swathes of mainly Sunni-inhabited parts of Iraq and Syria, including Iraq’s second city Mosul and Tikrit, birthplace of Saddam Hussein, and called itself the Islamic State, many people, not least Western politicians and intelligence services, were taken by surprise.
While the United States, United Kingdom and NATO are pushing for war with Russia, it behoves people and their governments around the world to take a clear stand for peace and against violence and war, no matter where it comes from.
The appointment of Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini as the new European Union foreign policy chief offers the opportunity for an overhaul of EU foreign and security policy.