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October 28, 2016
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The Idea of Justice

The Idea of Justice

By Amartya Sen

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Tag: Middle East

Half the Foreign Policy Experts Behind Clinton’s Anti-Sanders Letter Have Military Industry Ties

Earlier this week, the media reported on a letter by 10 experts claiming that Sanders had “not thought through … critical national security issues”—without telling readers that fully half of the signers have strong connections to military contractors.

Posted on Jan 22, 2016 READ MORE


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Your Fear of Terrorism Could Get You Killed

Americans overestimate the risk of attacks by a factor of 1.7 million.

Posted on Jan 22, 2016 READ MORE

A Tale of Two Grandmothers (Video)

On a recent snowy January night in upstate New York, a grandmother turned herself in to the Jamesville Correctional Facility, to serve a six-month sentence. Her crime? Taking photos.

Posted on Jan 21, 2016 READ MORE

You Won’t Like It, but Here’s the Answer on Islamic State

Some advice for your presidential candidate of choice—whoever he or she might be. Just don’t expect it to necessarily be an easy sell to all Americans.

Posted on Jan 20, 2016 READ MORE

Benjamin Netanyahu Is Still Trying to Derail the Iran Nuclear Deal (Videos)

As the great powers were certifying last weekend that Iran was in compliance with the U.N. deal permitting only civilian enrichment of uranium, the Israeli prime minister continued his attempts to knock it off track.

Posted on Jan 20, 2016 READ MORE

Islamic State Kidnapped Hundreds in Syrian City—Some Likely to a Fate Worse Than Death (Video)

Over the weekend, Islamic State hit an isolated outpost of the Syrian Arab Army in a few neighborhoods of Deir al-Zor that are surrounded by the extremist group.

Posted on Jan 20, 2016 READ MORE

War Talk, Jingoism and White Supremacy at GOP Debate

The GOP presidential debate Thursday night veered even further right on international issues, given the absence of Rand Paul, who represents the party’s libertarian wing, which is less interested in foreign wars.

Posted on Jan 19, 2016 READ MORE

‘Diplomacy Works’: Peace Groups Hail Iran Deal; Clinton Talks Like a Hawk

“The implementation of the agreement proves that diplomacy works.”

Posted on Jan 17, 2016 READ MORE

Triumph of Diplomacy: On the Cusp of Sanctions Relief, Iran Released Five Iranian-American Detainees

Iran’s release of five dual nationals Saturday was another major diplomatic victory for President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry—not to mention great news for the former detainees and their families.

Posted on Jan 17, 2016 READ MORE

Doubling Down on a Failed Strategy: The Pentagon’s Dangerous ‘New’ Base Plan

The Obama administration’s consideration of a Pentagon proposal to create a “new” and “enduring” system of military bases around the Middle East confirms that the military intends to stay in the region for decades, if not generations, to come.

Posted on Jan 15, 2016 READ MORE

We Shouldn’t Take Their Oil

Donald Trump’s slippery slogan is delusional.

Posted on Jan 14, 2016 READ MORE

Obama Says Islamophobia Harms U.S. Interests and Islamic State Is a Dangerous Fringe

President Obama’s final State of the Union address was largely lacking in specifics and replete with high ideals and ambitious goals, such as curing cancer. But he did address some issues in everyday politics.

Posted on Jan 13, 2016 READ MORE

Thwarted Territorially in Ramadi, Islamic State Reverts to Terrorism in Baghdad

One of the problems Iraq and Syria will face as Islamic State is gradually rolled back from its territorial acquisitions is that it will demobilize its conventional forces and return to being a terrorist organization.

Posted on Jan 12, 2016 READ MORE

How the Fate of Syria’s Bashar Assad Divides the GOP Field (Video)

Although many of the Republican presidential candidates probably couldn’t find Syria on a world map, the fate of Syrian strongman Bashar Assad has become a flashpoint issue distinguishing them from one another.

Posted on Jan 11, 2016 READ MORE

Syrian Army Agrees to Food Aid Deliveries to Starving Madaya (Video)

The Syrian government agreed Thursday to allow humanitarian aid into Madaya and two other besieged towns near the Lebanese border northwest of Damascus. But it should do more.

Posted on Jan 10, 2016 READ MORE

Civilians Die as Russian Missile Hits Al-Qaida Prison in Syria

The Russian air war against al-Qaida in Syria took a tragic turn Saturday when a missile hit a downtown government complex and prison in Maarat al-Numan.

Posted on Jan 10, 2016 READ MORE

AUDIO: Robert Scheer Interviews Tom Dine, a Longtime Advocate for Israel and Mideast Peace

By Robert Scheer

In Friday’s episode of “Scheer Intelligence,” Truthdig’s editor-in-chief speaks with Tom Dine, senior policy adviser at the Israel Policy Forum and former head of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, about Dine’s career in public service, the thwarting of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and Dine’s role in negotiations between Syria and Israel in recent years.

Posted on Jan 8, 2016 WATCH & LISTEN

American Artists Against War

Artists of conscience have always responded angrily and passionately to war, genocide and torture. This book examines the work of American visual artists from 1935 to 2010 who believed that governments and humanity must be held to higher moral standards.

Posted on Jan 8, 2016 READ MORE

The Most Important Issues for Activists in 2016: An Interview With Kevin Zeese

The longtime political activist pinpoints what activists should be paying attention to in the new year, including the killing of people of color by the government through police violence, the climate crisis and the duopoly scam of American politics.

Posted on Jan 7, 2016 READ MORE

American War Crimes: Candidates Compete to Promise the Most Torture and Slaughter

There’s nothing like the heady combination of a “populist” Republican race for the presidency and a national hysteria over terrorism to make Americans want to reach for those “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

Posted on Jan 7, 2016 READ MORE

Islamic State Threatens to Attack Saudi Arabia After Executions

Islamic State has pledged to attack and destroy two Saudi political prisons where Muslim radicals are typically held and release their inmates.

Posted on Jan 6, 2016 READ MORE

Iraqi Shiites Up in Arms, Claim Saudi Arabia Is ‘Spying on Behalf of Islamic State’

Saudi Arabia’s execution on Saturday of prominent Shiite cleric Nimr Baqir al-Nimr has so far not created a crisis between Riyadh and the Shiite-dominated Baghdad government. But Saudi Arabia’s name with the rank-and-file Shiites and parliamentary backbenchers is mud.

Posted on Jan 5, 2016 READ MORE

The Execution of Nimr al-Nimr: One More Reason to Re-evaluate the Toxic U.S.-Saudi Alliance

Instead of insisting on al-Nimr’s release during his years in prison and echoing Amnesty International’s condemnation of his “deeply flawed” trial, the U.S. government was silent. Even after the execution, the U.S. refused to issue a strong denunciation.

Posted on Jan 4, 2016 READ MORE


Posted on Jan 4, 2016 ENLARGE

Top 7 Middle East Foreign Policy Challenges in 2016 (Video)

My own feeling is that U.S. engagement with the Middle East is likely to remain intense only for another two decades or so. But in 2016, the Middle East is likely to be the hot-button issue in U.S foreign policy.

Posted on Jan 4, 2016 READ MORE

Turkish President Erdogan Cites Hitler in Case for Presidential System (Video)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday cited Hitler in support of his contention that a presidential system can coexist with a “unitary state,” i.e., with a nonfederal government.

Posted on Jan 3, 2016 READ MORE

2015 in Review: Truthdig’s Best Columns of the Year

At the start of 2016, Truthdig takes a look at some of the columns we published last year that were our favorites.

Posted on Jan 2, 2016 READ MORE

The Most Important Neglected Middle East Stories of 2015

The past 12 months saw enormous political, economic and military shifts in the Middle East, changing its geopolitics for the foreseeable future.

Posted on Dec 31, 2015 READ MORE

The GOP Candidates Know Nothing about Syria

Ending this imbroglio requires robust diplomacy.

Posted on Dec 30, 2015 READ MORE

A Rare Victory for Freedom of Speech in Turkey, as Pianist Is Allowed to Quote Omar Khayyam

In a win for freedom of speech in Turkey, the country’s Supreme Court of Appeals has completely overturned a lower court ruling that sentenced world-famous pianist Fazil Say to a suspended sentence of 10 months in prison.

Posted on Dec 29, 2015 READ MORE

Eyes Are on Mosul Next as Iraqi Army Advances in Ramadi in Face of Stiff Islamic State Resistance

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced Friday that after the city of Ramadi was recovered from Islamic State, the Iraqi army would go on to liberate Mosul.

Posted on Dec 29, 2015 READ MORE


Posted on Dec 28, 2015 ENLARGE

Christmas and Christians in the Middle East (Video)

Whether Christmas, which in Eastern tradition is celebrated after Dec. 25, is joyous, sad or nerve-wracking for Christians in the Middle East this year depends very much on the country in which they live.

Posted on Dec 28, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Armenian Genocide: 100 Years On, the Few Survivors Left Recall Events

Starting in 1915, about 1.5 million Armenians were marched through a declining Ottoman Empire, based in what is now Turkey, to their deaths in the Syrian town of Deir ez-Zor and surrounding desert. One hundred years later, only a handful of survivors remain to tell the stories of the Armenian genocide.

Posted on Dec 26, 2015 WATCH & LISTEN

Are the Media Hyping the Threat From Islamic State?

President Obama is clearly frustrated that conservative radio and cable television—and even mainstream cable television—have cooperated with the more belligerent GOP presidential candidates to project Islamic State as some sort of evil superpower and an existential threat to the United States.

Posted on Dec 22, 2015 READ MORE

Is Hillary Clinton Right That Donald Trump Is Helping Islamic State?

During Saturday night’s Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton at one point alleged that Islamic State is “going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.” Trump on Sunday denied that any such Islamic State video exists, and said of Clinton, “she lies like crazy.”

Posted on Dec 21, 2015 READ MORE

Clinton: Trump Is Islamic State’s Chief Recruiter. Sanders: Get Islamic State First, Assad Later

The latest Democratic debate had a lot of discussion on foreign policy. It’s a shame the Democratic National Convention put it on a Saturday night, when the audience was much lower.

Posted on Dec 21, 2015 READ MORE

No, GOP, You Can’t Win by Carpet-Bombing (Video)

At the debate Tuesday night, Ted Cruz came out swinging wildly. But while the Republican candidate has impressive educational degrees and is a wily if not a smart man, he most often is ignorant about the things of which he speaks.

Posted on Dec 17, 2015 READ MORE

How Saudi Arabia Could Fight Terrorism—Without a Vague Coalition (Video)

Over the past three days, Saudi Arabia has abruptly put together a 35-nation Muslim coalition to fight terrorism.

Posted on Dec 16, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Here’s What Noam Chomsky Really Thinks About the November Paris Attacks

When asked at a conference hosted by AcTVism Munich what European leaders should do in response to the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks on Paris, the renowned linguist raised a crucial question: “It depends what they want to do. Do they want to encourage further terrorism or do they want to end that kind of terrorism?”

Posted on Dec 15, 2015 WATCH & LISTEN

Has the Falling Price of Oil Just Won the Democrats the Presidency?

The price of petroleum fell Monday to levels not seen since the crash of 2008, at one point hitting $35 a barrel in New York. But will low gasoline prices help the Democratic nominee?

Posted on Dec 15, 2015 READ MORE

If Defeating Islamic State Is So Important, Why Isn’t Ramadi Campaign All We’re Talking About?

Given the large number of vehement pronouncements by U.S. presidential candidates about the dire threat from Islamic State, and attacks on President Obama for not doing more, you would think that the American public would be hanging on every word about any progress against the radical organization.

Posted on Dec 10, 2015 READ MORE

In the Fantasyland Your Neighbors Live in, More War Is a Smart Idea

People in the United States believe that Islamic State is present within the United States trying to kill them. You can’t poll them on what to do in the actual universe, because they’re living in la-la land.

Posted on Dec 9, 2015 READ MORE

The Long-Term Fight Against Terrorism

“A cancer that has no immediate cure” was not the most soothing metaphor President Obama could have chosen, but it was the most honest. He has no idea how to prevent another terrorist attack like the one in San Bernardino—and neither does anyone else, including his Republican critics.

Posted on Dec 7, 2015 READ MORE

Not Just a Bunch of Killers, Islamic State Is Also a Methodical, Public-Minded Bureaucracy

About 340 official documents, notices, receipts and internal memos obtained by The Guardian show that Islamic State is also made up of bureaucrats and civil servants that have “set themselves to work creating rules and regulations on everything from fishing and dress codes to the sale of counterfeit brands and university admission systems.”

Posted on Dec 7, 2015 READ MORE

Obama vs. Islamic State: Freedom Is More Powerful Than Fear and We Refuse to Take the Bait (Video)

President Obama addressed the nation Sunday night, in an attempt to calm the public mood after the San Bernardino killers were tied to Islamic State—though the connection seems to spring merely from common radicalism and murderousness rather than any organizational tie.

Posted on Dec 7, 2015 READ MORE

How Turkish President Erdogan Went Wrong: Dividing and Not Ruling (Video)

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, was once seen as a political breath of fresh air and a beacon of change in the Middle East.

Posted on Dec 7, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Who Is Buying Islamic State’s Oil?

Oil is Islamic State’s lifeline—a business that provides the terrorist group with more revenue than any other source, helping to fund its war in Syria and Iraq, as well as providing electricity to the 10 million people living under the group’s control. So who are the individuals and groups involved in refining and selling this oil? And where does it end up?

Posted on Dec 4, 2015 WATCH & LISTEN

The Common Denominator in Mass Shootings: Guns

Until our society recognizes that death comes from a gun, the list of place names that recently added Colorado Springs and San Bernardino will have no end.

Posted on Dec 3, 2015 READ MORE

Sen. Ted Cruz: The U.S. Is Better Off With Assad in Power

He has broken ranks with neoconservative fellow Republicans to say that if elected president, he would not support the removal of Syrian president Bashar Assad or commit the United States to further “nation building” in the Middle East.

Posted on Dec 2, 2015 READ MORE

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