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Terrorism - Counterinsurgency

Capitalizing Urbanism: On David Kilcullen’s "Out of the Mountains"

[A car bomb in Iraq. Image from Wikimedia.]

“It’s a book about future conflicts and future cities.” David Kilcullen, Out of the Mountains “…the whole fucking city was trying to kill them!” Mark Bowden, Black Hawk Down   In his book, Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerilla, author David Kilcullen, describes how in 2007, just after “the worst months of the Iraq War” (19), he was drinking expensive cocktails at a fashionable Manhattan hotel with an old Australian army buddy. Kilcullen, an Australian citizen, a leading figure in the field of urban counterinsurgency, an advisor to David Petraeus and Condoleeza Rice, and a star of the liberal interventionist academic-think tank ...

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الدولة الإسلاميّة: نزهة في كهف التنين

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بنفس الحدّة التي يقول فيها وائل الحلّاق "إنّ الغالبية العظمى من مسلمي العصر الحديث تتمنّى عودة الشريعة بشكل أو بآخر"، يمكن القول إنّ الغالبية العظمى من قرّاء "الدولة المستحيلة: الإسلام والسياسة ومأزق الحداثة الأخلاقي" سيرون فيه كتابًا في غاية الاستفزاز. تنبّه مترجم الكتاب عمرو عثمان لذلك فكتب في مقدمته بأنّ القارئ "قد يرفض بعض ما يطرحه المؤلّف في هذا البحث وربّما كله". ولا عجب، فكتاب الدولة المستحيلة الذي يشتمل على خلاصات أبحاث وائل الحلّاق في الدراسات الاسلاميّة هو بمثابة "دغدغة" جديدة لتنّين الشريعة القابع في كهف تراثنا الإسلاميّ الفسيح. أطروحة كتاب الحلّاق بالغة البساطة: مفهوم "الدولة الاسلامية" مستحيل التحقق وينطوي ...

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ISIS Kills Gays: A History of Violence

[Fighters belonging to the Islamic State group in Anbar, Iraq. Image by Wikimedia Commons User Ritsaiph.]

Hands shove them forward, bound and blindfolded. Then comes the step when the stone beneath them stops and nothing is there. The photographs appall but they have the solidity of things you can see; they suggest but cannot summon the feel of one terrifying lurch in darkness when all that is solid falls away. Death is what happens when you are there, alone, and the world disappears. ISIS stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which now styles itself just the Islamic State. Many Arabs prefer to call it Da’ish, an acronym (Ad-Dawlah al-Islamiyah fi al-‘Iraq wash-Sham) that the militants despise, partly because it echoes Arabic words for ...

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Charlie Hebdo et les limites de la République

[Une manifestation après les attentats à Paris. Image par canal6hn/Flickr]

Tout de suite après le massacre aux bureaux de Charlie Hebdo, les commentateurs se sont émus d’une attaque sur « l’Occident et la démocratie » « les valeurs fondamentales de la République française. » Ces valeurs « républicaines » sont invoquées avec unanimité, sans débat, comme si elles étaient d’une origine parfaitement pure. Mieux, les requêtes se multiplient pour exiger des musulmans qu’ils démontrent qu’ils partagent les valeurs sacrées de la laïcité et de la liberté d’expression. Par une ironie dévastatrice, on exige que les musulmans prouvent leur allégeance à des valeurs qui ont historiquement été construites pour les ...

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القواعد البريطانية الجديدة في الخليج

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تفاجأ كثيرون بالإعلان، المصحوب بضجة إعلامية كبيرة، عن توقيع اتفاقية بين البحرين وبريطانيا تتيح لهذه الأخيرة "إقامة قاعدة عسكرية في البحرين لمواجهة التهديدات التي تتعرض لها المنطقة". وأشارت شعارات الاحتجاج التي رفعها المتظاهرون في البحرين إلى إن الاتفاقية هي إيذان بـ "عودة الاستعمار إلى المنطقة"، وانها "جزء من الثمن التي تقبضه بريطانيا نظير دعمها السياسي للنظام البحريني وصمتها تجاه ما يرتكبه من انتهاكات لحقوق الإنسان". وعلى الجهة المقابلة، أوضحت التصريحات الرسمية إن إنشاء القاعدة هو إجراء تؤكد به حكومة البحرين استقلال قرارها وقدرتها على "التعاون مع الدول الأخرى بما يناسب مصالحها". واستندت تحليلات إعلامية إلى أن الاتفاقية تنص على أن ...

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The Islamic State: The Fear of Decline?

Following a series of military setbacks, Dabiq—the propaganda magazine of the Islamic State (IS)—is issuing calls for the unity of followers to compensate for the dwindling number of its fighters. Through its powerful media apparatus, IS states its ambitions. The Islamic State has shown great capabilities on the field, but also in the virtual sphere. The group has developed a high-quality media industry and mastered this tool like no jihadist group ever has. In comparison, al-Qa‘ida propaganda is a complete "has been." The Islamic State is a product of its time; it is a 2.0 jihadist group that has made use of media as a part of its arsenal. Thus the ...

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ISIS in the News: Extensive Media Roundup (September-October 2014)

[Image of ISIS flag]

[Editorial Note: This is not a "Best of," only a roundup of significant pieces. See here for an introduction to this roundup series]   English Articles ISIS: Saudi-Qatari-Funded Wahhabi Terrorists Worldwide (29 August, 2014) Ramtanu Maitra provides a comprehensive reports about the context of ISIS emergence.  This Is How People In The Middle East Are Making Fun Of ISIS (29 August, 2014) Charlotte Alfred writes about the virtual war against ISIS on social media by initiating humorous campaigns ridiculing the extremist militants. Analysis: Is Islamic State Battle Now Obama's War? (23 September, 2014) As the US gets more aggressive with ...

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Critical Currents in Islam Media Roundup (October)

[Heiress Dorris Duke's home in which she collected Islamic art from around the world, now operated as the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts. Image by Erin Williamson/Flickr]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating about Islam and reflects a wide variety of opinions and approaches. It does not reflect the views of the Critical Currents in Islam page or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to cci@jadaliyya.com by Saturday night of every week.] Art and Science How LA's Islamic art shows might expand our 'Middle East' vision The Islamic art exhibits organized by the Department of Cultural Affairs in Los Angeles is showcases different views of Islam that humanize Muslims. The art is from across time and location  Take a tour of Muslim youth culture through ...

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On the Margins Roundup (August)

[Image of the remnants of a home in a village in northern Somalia. Image by najeeb/Flickr.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Mali, South Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania, Djibouti, and Comoros Islands and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the On the Margins Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each month's roundup to info@jadaliyya.com.]  Mauritania اعتقال رئيس المبادرة الطلابية بمطار نواكشوط  A Mauritanian student is arrested at the airport, attempting to board a flight to a Palestine conference in Sudan. تراجع التبادل التجاري لموريتانيا ب7.4% في الثلث الأول من 2014 Mauritania’s terms of trade weakened in the first quarter of 2014. Two ...

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The FBI’s War on Fake Terrorism

[Masjid al-Ikhlas, Newburgh, NY. Image by Daniel Case.]

As part of the effort to prevent terrorist attacks, the FBI has a program in which agents recruit undercover informants who then “listen” for developing terror plots. Two new reports show how this preventative program has run amok, possibly entrapping vulnerable people to justify its own existence. Human Rights Watch (HRW) found that most US terrorism prosecutions are “an illusion” created by the authorities. The groundbreaking HRW report was released just after the premiere of a new Al Jazeera documentary, The Informants, which illustrates the human cost of this massive program. This follows yet another report, this one from the New York University School of Law’s ...

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A Practical Solution for Iraq

[Image from progressivecynic.wordpress.com]

The rise of ISIS and the declaration of a Caliphate that controls large swaths of Iraq and Syria signals a moment of exceptional danger not only for Iraq and its future existence as a state, but for US national interests. The United States has sacrificed life and limb and invested billions of dollars to save Iraq from dictatorship and help its people build a thriving democracy. Mistakes were made for sure, but our intentions and objectives were always clear: to stabilize and democratize the region. President Obama’s craven policies and his withdrawal from Iraq have squandered the credit and political capital the US held in Iraq and the region. Sending advisors and ...

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O.I.L. Monthly Edition (June 2014)

[A guard stands duty in a tower over Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Image by Joseph Scozzari.]

 [This is a monthly archive of pieces written by Jadaliyya contributors and editors on the Occupations, Interventions, and Law (O.I.L.) Page. It also includes material published on other platforms that editors deemed pertinent to post as they provide diverse depictions of O.I.L.-related topics. The pieces reflect the level of critical analysis and diversity that Jadaliyya strives for, but the views are solely the ones of their authors. If you are interested in contributing to Jadaliyya, send us your post with your bio and a release form to post@jadaliyya.com (click "Submissions" on the main page for more information).] Quick Thoughts: Lisa Hajjar on ...

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Syria Media Roundup (March 8)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Syria and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Syria Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.]             Inside Syria  We Need to End This Dirty War: An Interview With Haytham Manna Interview with Haytham Manna ...

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Manufacturing Silence: On Jordan's ISIS War, Arab Authoritarianism, and US Empire

On 24 December 2014, ISIS reported and the US-led coalition confirmed that a Jordanian fighter pilot, Mu‘ath al-Kassasbeh, had crashed in Syria and was now in ISIS custody. On 3 February 2015, ISIS released a video showing its own members murdering the pilot by immolation. The Jordanian regime vowed revenge. Some Jordanians took to the streets in grief and anger. The Jordanian Armed Forces, for its part, intensified its bombing campaign in Syria. Media outlets and Middle East analysts have expended ...

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Charlie Hebdo ve Cumhuriyetin Sinirlari

Charlie Hebdo and the Borders of the Republic Charlie Hebdo's office immediately after the attack on the reviewers " West and democracy "," the core values ​​of the French Republic "against a huge thrill to have doors undertaken against these attacks. This "republican" values ​​in an unquestionably, that came up as a completely pure emanating from the origin. Moreover, Muslims demand forces to show that they share the sacred values ​​of secularism and freedom of expression ...

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Charlie Hebdo and the Limits of the Republic

Immediately following the massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, commentators denounced an attack on "Democracy and the West," an attack on "the fundamental values of the French Republic." Everywhere in France, people are rallying around these apparently pure, unproblematic “Republican values.” There have been many requests for Muslims to demonstrate that they share in the Republic’s cherished values of secularism and freedom of speech. It is bitterly ...

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Latin America’s Lesson for the United States: Prosecute the Torturers

The Senate Select Intelligence Committee report on torture has revived debate worldwide about the United States use of torture in the aftermath of 9/11. ­ Some have applauded the report—including organizations such as Human Rights Watch and the Center for Constitutional Rights, which have pushed for a full accounting of the use of methods prohibited by US and international law, as well as accountability for those who made such methods official state policy. They also note ...

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From Raqqa to Derna: Exceptionalism in Expansionism

In early November, militants affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria took full control of the Libyan city of Derna, festooning government buildings with the familiar flag bearing the shahada and celebrating their victory over their opponents within the city. A coastal settlement of around 100,000, less than two hundred miles from the eastern city of Benghazi and hours from Tobruk, where the internationally-recognized House of Representative rules from, the loss of Derna aroused fears within ...

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Panel Event: All You Wanted To Know About ISIS and Did Not Know You Should Ask (GMU, 16 October 2014)

Co-sponsored by Global Programs, Middle East Studies, Center for Global Islamic Studies, Political Science and Center for Global Policy (SPGIA) at George Mason University All You Wanted to Know  About ISIS  & Did Not Know You Should Ask Town Hall Event at George Mason University 16 October 2014, 6:00 PM Merten Hall 1201 George Mason University Fairfax, VA  Featured Speakers Bassam Haddad Maria Dakake Peter Mandaville Jack Goldstone “Everyone has ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (10 September)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to OIL@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every other week.] Libya Libya Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni Resigns, BBC News In hopes of allowing the Libyan parliament to select a new government, Prime ...

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Who Are the Insurgents and Counterinsurgents?

We should not be surprised that the United States will not condemn Israel’s violence, or that it describes such activities as merely a defensive response to indigenous “terrorism” and insurgent forces. Below, I describe how early US history and the nation’s construction of its own political legitimacy compel this stance. As in Israel now, in America, the nation’s origins in colonization by settlement has been suppressed. Further, this suppression has been achieved by displacing the recognition of how ...

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The Informants: Manufacturing Terror

On the surface, the scene unfolds without any hint of intrigue. A young Muslim convert named Darren Griffin meets fellow congregants at a local mosque in northwest Ohio. In addition to sharing the same faith as his new friends, they enjoy similar interests: watching sports, playing video games, working out at the local gym, and discussing international affairs. Except the scene ends tragically with a string of arrests, a national media frenzy, and self-congratulation among federal officials claiming to ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (July 15)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Saudi Arabia: Sandwiched by jihadists in Iraq and Yemen Frank Gardner examines the challenges posed to Saudi Arabia by the ...

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ليلة سقوط نينوى: احتجاز راوي الحكومة

كما لو أن الملائكة والشياطين هبطوا في الوقت ذاته الى مدينة نينوى. لفّ سماء المدينة غموض مريب ليلة العاشر من حزيران / يونيو. سقطت المدينة بشكل دراماتيكي بيد مسلحي «الدولة الاسلامية في العراق والشام» («داعش») خلال ساعات محدودة، على الرغم من وجود حوالي 56 ألف عنصر أمن متوزّعين بين الجيش والشرطة والمخابرات، وكذلك وجود قائدين يعتبرهما نوري المالكي، رئيس مجلس الوزراء والقائد العام للقوات المسلحة، من الصقور الذين يعتمد عليهما في المهمّات الصعبة. كيف سقطت المدينة هكذا؟ من المسؤول؟ كيف ستستعاد؟ هل سيكون الحل ...

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