The reason for my current pessimism

There is a lot of rational people out there, on the right and left, whose political analysis of the various unfolding crises around us can be often astute. But at this stage, they all seem to be missing something – the underlying trend that is driving everything: the idea that when crimes perpetrated by the ruling elite anywhere go unpunished in this day and age, they invite chaos on a grand-scale, one that poses an existential threat to us all. What worked in the 18th, 19th and even the 20th centuries will not work now. No nation’s a fortress, and no people are immune from the fallouts of the myriad unfolding and seemingly localized crises.

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A Call for External Input to Renew Islam

Renewal is the ability to allow for a massive dose of new thinking to pour into our lives, even if it’s not derived from our own cultural heritage.

BY RYAN MAURO | Wed, January 22, 2014 

Ammar Abdulhamid is a liberal Syrian pro-democracy activist whose anti-regime activities led to his exile in September, 2005. He currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. He is the founder of the Tharwa Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting democracy. The following is Ammar Abdulhamid’s interview with Clarion Project national security analyst Ryan Mauro: 

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We are in danger of repeating the mistakes that started WWI

Is it 1914 all over again? We are in danger of repeating the mistakes that started WWI, says a leading historian – World Politics – World – The Independent.

Those who study history often reach different conclusions, and that’s why humanity is condemned to repeating it. In a sense, then, we really learn nothing from history except how to repeat it, albeit in a more nuanced and intricate fashion.

Iran’s Turkish Gold Rush

Iran’s Turkish Gold Rush.

With too many parochial interests and too many corrupt politicians around few sanction regimes can ever achieve their intended goals, especially when they drag out for years. The same applies for wars, after a certain period conflicts become “stable” and self-sustaining as a result of a convergence of parochial interests. But conflicts remain unpredictable and often have too many unintended consequences. Those betting on “stabilizing” the Syrian conflict by transforming it into a contained low intensity conflict with minimal impact on neighboring countries are deluding themselves. The impact of the devolution of Syria will be felt globally, there are simply too many overlapping interests, too many players involved, and too many people watching and drawing lessons that may not too “kosher.”

Putin’s Rearguard Battle

Shlomo Ben-Ami shines a light on the flaws in Vladimir Putin’s efforts to position Russia as a major world power. – Project Syndicate.

And here lies the problem: Putin’s sense of Hobbesian realism calls for the adoption of an approach to world politics that is in essence a struggle of all against all, while Obama’s realism encourages disengagement in the hope of avoiding such struggle, ceding one battle after another – the eventual result is to set the ground for a struggle for which no one is really prepared.

The Islamic Reformation Unfolds!

The subject of Islamic Reformation is one that I have breached on several occasions during my years as an activist and a blogger. Below is a few highlights of what I have argued, coupled with a few new thoughts on this critical development in our human experience. 

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A Realization

Barrel bombs being dropped daily on rebel areas in Aleppo, civilian installations such as schools and field hospitals are often targeted. Famine and denial of medicals services, including medicines and vaccines, are being used as weapons by the Assad regime in Eastern Ghouta and throughout the country. Worsening weather conditions have created a virtual nightmare for refugees in their tent encampments, especially in Lebanon, Jordan and along the long border with Turkey. Still, thousands are fleeing daily to nearby countries to escape bombardment and starvation.

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