Category Archives: Activism & Advocacy

The Ruse of Civility, Or, Ruse Awakening

“When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse.” (The Atlantic, Nonviolence as Compliance)

Similarly, when calls emerge from certain quarters addressing “both sides” of a conflict and appealing for calm, even when one side has been using overwhelming violence from the get-go while the other remained committed to nonviolent tactics with few exceptions, we can all be sure that a ruse is in the work.

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Baltimore and Ferguson: my two Syrian cents on an all-American issue

The problem highlighted by the current riots in Baltimore and the earlier riots in Ferguson cannot be reduced to the casual observation that mostly black neighborhoods cannot be effectively policed by a mostly white police force. Due to its more intimate knowledge of the local communities, a mostly black police force can be as equally oppressive in its tactics if not more so, unless the real problems are addressed.

Maryland state troopers stand guard near a CVS pharmacy that was burned to the ground on April 27, 2015 during rioting after the funeral of Freddie Gray, April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Maryland state troopers stand guard near a CVS pharmacy that was burned to the ground on April 27, 2015 during rioting after the funeral of Freddie Gray, April 28, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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Intervention & R2P

If noting the geopolitical nature of the motives involved behind a country’s external adventurism is to be treated as sufficient factor for legitimizing that country’s behavior, then, no country can be ever be faulted or condemned for its adventurism, be it an Iran, a Russia, a China, a France or a United States. As such, those who insist on justifying Iran, Russia or China’s adventurism while condemning France’s or America’s reveal their ideological slant and hypocrisy. If one is truly opposed to intervention in the “internal” affairs of other states one has to do it across the board, and not play favorites.

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A World Without Genocide

There will still be crime and criminal activities: some as old as civilization (e.g., prostitution and human trafficking), some new in form if not essence (e.g., cybercrime). There will still natural disasters, social upheaval, family breakups, poverty and assassinations. There will even still be a need for a limited military action in one hapless part of the world or another.

My feeling exactly.
My feeling exactly.

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Here I Stand

A rare point of agreement between the critics and advocates of a deal with Iran starkly captures the nature of my own disaffection with it and with the current state of affairs in our world. The point simply put is this: the deal is being inked with Syrian, Iraqi and Yemeni blood.

President Barack Obama speaks about the breakthrough in the Iranian nuclear deal in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on Thursday, April 2, 2015.   World leaders, he said, had come to a “historic understanding” on a possible deal to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
President Barack Obama speaks about the breakthrough in the Iranian nuclear deal in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on Thursday, April 2, 2015. World leaders, he said, had come to a “historic understanding” on a possible deal to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

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