There will be few who will miss 2016; perhaps fewer still that will miss 2017. Americans despair their electoral choices (choosing cancer or a heart attack, to some); Brits have quit the European Union; Turkey, post-coup, is also mid-purge; Islamic State's lone wolves butcher and bomb. Even the Pope is using the 'w' word to … Continue reading The World Is Much Better Off Than It Feels
On Friday, a faction of the Turkish military tried to overthrow presidential strongman Recep Erdogan, leader of the Justice and Development Party and increasingly the man of Turkish politics. They failed; first, they didn't kill or capture Erdogan in the opening moments of the coup, then they failed to shut off the Internet and media so … Continue reading Turkey’s Coup Signals A Generational Shift to Islamism
Behind the Islamic State's murderous campaign of jihadi chaos, past the shattered European Union, veiled by America's police shootings, protests, and mass shootings, lurks the skulking husk of the Syrian government, still barrel bombing, gaining ground, suddenly, quietly, reconquering Syria. What a difference a year makes. Once Assad was clearly on the ropes: his depleted … Continue reading If Assad Captures Aleppo, Then What For the West?
Certainly, the end of this year's Ramadan will go down as one of the century's bloodiest. First Istanbul; then, Dhaka, rounded off by Baghdad, Qatif, Medina, and Jeddah. It's not wholly clear just how much the Islamic State controlled or directed these attacks, or merely inspired them, but owing to their scale, scope, and timing, … Continue reading The Bloody End of 2016’s Ramadan