Linda Sarsour bores me. She is the radical flavor-of-the-month. But she is a numbingly familiar type to longtime observers of sharia supremacists in the West: the forked tongue, the flag-draped anti-Americanism, the close partnership with the hard left, and so on. Eight years ago, I wrote a book called The Grand Jihad about this breed of Muslim Brotherhood-mold operative. Sarsour fits the pathology to a tee … but once you’re on to them, these people are a dime a dozen. Yawn.
She got my attention, though, with her call for “jihad” in executing the Islamist-Leftist “resistance” to Donald Trump. Naturally, this has led to a brouhaha about whether she was really calling for violence or using “jihad” in the revisionist non-violent sense of “an internal struggle for personal betterment.”
I have no doubt that Lee Smith (in Tablet) is correct: Sarsour is a provocateur who was trying to call attention to herself while laying the groundwork to play the victim when she was inevitably criticized. What I have found amusing, however, are the two premises urged by her apologists: (a) we should take the jihad revisionism seriously; and (b) she must have meant “non-violent” jihad because she introduced the term by referring to a hadith in which Mohammed, Islam’s prophet, explains that, rather than violence, “the best form of jihad” is to speak “a word of truth” before a tyrant.
On the first point, jihad is essentially a forcible struggle. As Lee Smith points out, the evidence of sense should tell us all we need to know about it: just look at what is happening “on the killing fields of the Middle East.” Still, we do not need to make a deduction because the meaning of the word is clear, and because non-violent connotations of jihad are understood to be in support of the same mission as forcible jihad: the implementation of sharia, Islam’s societal framework and legal code.
Source: for MORE
No matter how much politicians promise to protect us, technology and globalization will continue to transform the American workplace, driving the U.S. economy to abandon simpler, labor-intensive production processes, turn increasingly toward more mechanized, digitized, high-value efforts, and, accordingly, demand an ever-better-trained workforce. Though these trends should generally create prosperity, they will also bring significant social disruptions. Indeed, they already have: income disparities between rich and poor have widened, with the skilled and educated seeing enhanced earning opportunities and the less skilled and less educated finding their options constrained. Less and less is left of the old, stable middle class, the product of an era when the semiskilled could maintain security in a job for life. Unless we can better prepare workers for this dramatic economic shift, social decline will worsen.
One popular response, obviously given prominent voice in the 2016 election, would seek to block globalization and otherwise search for ways to force up wages for the less skilled. It’s an understandable reaction, but whatever Washington thinks of its powers, it can neither turn back the clock nor repeal economic laws. Trade protections and legislated wage supports will not only fail to protect the vulnerable; they will also inflict broader economic harm. Policymakers would do better to accommodate the impact of globalization and technological innovation, refocus the economy accordingly, alter the nature of the workplace, and train (and retrain) the labor force. Only in this way can the United States ease social frictions and ensure a healthy new middle class for the twenty-first century.
Source: for MORE
Addressing huge throngs of people at a rally in Istanbul on Sunday, the leader of Turkey’s mainstream opposition, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, issued a thunderous demand for an end to an ongoing government crackdown under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The rally represented the largest public display of opposition to the clampdown Erdogan’s government since he survived a failed military coup attempt nearly a year ago. More than 47,000 people have been detained since the government suppressed the attempt seize power by a faction of the armed forces on July 15, 2016.
“This is the era of dictatorship. This is the era of 1940s Germany,” said Kilicdaroglu, addressing a huge throng of demonstrators at a parade grounds along the Sea of Marmara. “With this rally we witness that we are not alone. Each one of us represents hope,” he also said.
Kilicdaroglu spoke at the rally after walking about 280 miles from Ankara in protest of the crackdown which has lead to the arrest journalists, academics, and members of parliament. Kilicdaroglu set out from the capital on June 15, a day after a member of parliament from his Republican People’s Party (CHP) was arrested, joining at least 11 other opposition lawmakers who have been detained in recent months.
Source: for MORE
The headlines out of Syria are eye-catching: There are signs the Assad government may be planning another chemical attack. American pilots have struck forces threatening our allies and shot down a Syrian plane and Iranian-made drones. The probability of direct military confrontation between the U.S. and Russia has risen. Yet the coverage of these incidents and the tactical responses that have been suggested obscure the broader story: The slow-moving campaign against Islamic State is finally nearing its conclusion — yet major, long-range strategic issues remain unresolved.
The real issue isn’t tactical. It is instead the lack of American strategic thinking about the Middle East after Islamic State. Its defeat will leave a regional political vacuum that must be filled somehow. Instead of reflexively repeating President Obama’s errors, the Trump administration should undertake an “agonizing reappraisal,” in the style of John Foster Dulles, to avoid squandering the victory on the ground.
First, the U.S. ought to abandon or substantially reduce its military support for Iraq’s current government. Despite retaining a tripartite veneer of Kurds, Sunni Arabs and Shiite Arabs, the capital is dominated by Shiites loyal to Iran. Today Iraq resembles Eastern Europe in the late 1940s, as the Soviet anaconda tightened its hold. Extending Baghdad’s political and military control into areas retaken from ISIS simply advances Tehran’s power. This cannot be in America’s interest.
Source: for MORE