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Terrorism - Counterinsurgency

Exit ISIS, Stage Left: Fighting for Laughs in Mosul and Beyond

[Advertisement for Blood Removing Detergent from Assad Allah Musa’kom (Good Evening) on MBC]

The State of Myth has lowered its curtains. The state-sponsored Iraqi television series, which introduced itself to the world with a musical trailer featuring the marriage of the devil to an Israeli bride whose offspring hatched in the form of a miniature Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, took audiences by storm when it launched its first episode in the fall of 2014. Its theme song went viral. Actors received death threats. In the communicative battle to counter the message of the Islamic State, few efforts went so far as Dawlat al-Khurafa.[i] Measuring the efficacy of cultural production, though, is an imperfect task. More difficult still is determining which types of ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (March 22)

[Cizre, 3 March 2016. Image by Mahmut Bozarslan.]

English Bombings in Ankara and Istanbul Reporting on March 13 Ankara bombing from Reuters, and The Economist PKK Taking a Page From DAESH’s Playbook The Daily Sabah editorial board accuses the HDP leadership of “radicalizing” Kurdish youth and calls on the intelligence services to take “necessary measures” to prevent further terrorist acts.  Are Deserted Streets, Shops the New Normal in Ankara? Şükrü Küçükşahin writes that gripped by fear and panic after an unprecedented string of bombings, Ankara’s residents are shying from streets and shopping malls, hurting the local economy. How Terror Attacks Drive Politics in Ankara Metin Gürcan writes about the the ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (March 1)

[Diyarbakır Suriçi district under curfew, 26 February. Image by Mahmut Bozarslan.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Sunday night of every week.] English Domestic Politics Identification of Ankara Bomber Muddled by Faulty Communication  Metin Gürcan argues that the debate over the identity of the February suicide bomber in Ankara reveals flaws in Turkey's crisis-management and communication mechanisms, and that this weakness contributes to political, ethnic, and sectarian polarization ...

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الحرب على ذاكرة الحداثة: داعش مثالاً


              17 اُذْكُرْ مَا فَعَلهُ بِكَ عَمَالِيقُ فِي الطَّرِيقِ عِنْدَ خُرُوجِكَ مِنْ مِصْرَ. 18 كَيْفَ لاقَاكَ فِي الطَّرِيقِ وَقَطَعَ مِنْ مُؤَخَّرِكَ كُل المُسْتَضْعِفِينَ وَرَاءَكَ وَأَنْتَ كَلِيلٌ وَمُتْعَبٌ وَلمْ يَخَفِ اللهَ. 19 فَمَتَى أَرَاحَكَ الرَّبُّ إِلهُكَ مِنْ جَمِيعِ أَعْدَائِكَ حَوْلكَ فِي الأَرْضِ التِي يُعْطِيكَ الرَّبُّ إِلهُكَ نَصِيباً لِتَمْتَلِكَهَا تَمْحُو ذِكْرَ عَمَالِيقَ مِنْ تَحْتِ السَّمَاءِ. لا تَنْسَ. سفر التثنية – الأصحاح 25: 17ـ19. خلافاً لداعش، لم تلتفت الدولة الإسلامية التاريخية منذ الخلفاء الراشدين وإلى أن ألغى مصطفى كمال أتاتورك مؤسسة الخلافة عام 1924، إلى ضرورة هدم وتفجير ...

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عامان من حكم داعش للمدينة الضائعة

[المصدر موقغ جوجل]

التعليم في الرقة بين مخالب النظام وأنياب الدولة الإسلامية* مضى أكثر من عامين على آخر زيارة لمدينتي الرقة (2 - 9 أيلول/ سبتمبر 2013)، أصبحت خلالهما المدينة عَلَماً في الخارطة العالمية من باب داعش، بعد أن كان عدد لا بأس به من السوريين لا يعرف أين تقع المدينة التي تتوسط محافظة توازي مساحتها البالغة (19616 كم2) مساحة دولة الكويت، وتقترب من ضعفي مساحة لبنان. قبل سنتين، أخذت الطائرة من اسطنبول إلى أورفة (شانلي أورفا، بالتركية)، ومنها عبر "الدلمش - ميكروباص" إلى أقجة قلعة (أكجا كالا)، وهي المقابل التركي لتل أبيض. المسافة من أورفة إلى أقجة قلعة خمسون كيلومتراً، لكنها استغرقت ساعة ونصف في الدلمش، وكانت الطريق تزداد صعوبة ووحشة كلما اتجهنا جنوباً. شيوخ ...

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‘New Turkey’: Toward an Authoritarian and Sectarian Police State

[Demonstration in Istanbul following the assassination of Tahir Elçi. Photo by Fatih Pinar.]

Tahir Elçi, the president of the bar association in southeastern Diyarbakır province and a determined Kurdish human rights lawyer, was shot dead on Saturday, 28 November, during a press statement he had delivered in Diyarbakır. Photos of Elçi’s dead body lying on the ground quickly overwhelmed social media accounts, symbolizing the deadly difficulty of talking about and fighting for peace at this critical juncture that Turkey, and the region at large, are going through. Despite the fact that Turkey is known for its long history of unsolved political crimes and political violence, Elçi’s assassination is an alarming turning point in the final phase, after the electoral ...

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A Moveable Feast? Reflections on the French Coverage of the Paris Attacks

[Image of the Eiffel Tower illuminated with the Tricolor following the Paris attacks. Image by Passion Leica/Flickr]

Writing on the relationship between acts of terror and the mystification of liberalism in 1947, Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote that, “cunning, violence, propaganda, and realpolitik” appeared “in the guise of liberal principles” and were “the substance of foreign or colonial politics, and even of domestic politics.” [1] He was not writing about religious fanatics, but he was rather concerned with another specter that once faced Europe: Communism. Unlike the Cold War, if France is indeed “at war,” one is at a loss to characterize what kind of war it is, or against whom it will be fought. Perhaps we are in what Jean Baudrillard categorized as a “Fourth World War,” in which the ...

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Terror Everywhere, Humanity Nowhere

[Image taken in front of Le Carillon on 15 November 2015. Image by Jean-François Gornet/Flickr]

It would surely be more reasonable to wait a few weeks and let the emotions subside. This is what decency and reason require. As a Parisian at heart, I would rather stay quiet. Unfortunately, falcons and fascists, wolves and warmongers, jackals and ministers are not bound by such scruples. They did not wait for the bodies to be buried or the tears to be dried before they started shouting their outrage. Now they call for a strong retaliation, for the closure of borders, for a new round of heavy-handed security measures. We are surrounded. It is impossible to summarize in one article the multiple dynamics at work in the escalation of mass terrorism that successively ...

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New Wars and Autonomous Self-Defense

[US soldier in Afghanistan, January 2011. Image via Flickr, from]

A number of scholars working in the fields of geography, sociology, and political science have developed the concept of “new wars” to talk about the state we are living in the last two decades.[1] These scholars claim that currently, we are going through a fourth world war—that is, of course, if we would call the cold war a third world war—and argue that after the collapse of the Soviet bloc, the politics of controlled conflict and tension has been replaced by continuous, scattered, and extending small wars, whose sides are multiple and whose outcomes remain uncertain. So first, I will address this concept of new wars. I will explain how both a biopolitical and a ...

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Drone Warfare and the Superpower’s Dilemma (Part 2)

[Image source: The Economist]

This is Part 2 of a two-part article. To access Part 1, click here. Historically, the risks of soldier death and injury were ineluctable features of war, and served sometimes to limit or force an end to wars. Risks to soldiers’ lives were altered (but not eliminated) long before the appearance of drones through the development of increasingly long-range weapons. For Americans, the Vietnam War, at the time the longest overseas armed conflict, was a major turning point in terms of the politics of risk and sacrifice. For one thing, the war ended without victory; the phrase “Vietnam syndrome” became a popular way of describing the American public’s antipathy to the blood ...

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Three Theses on ISIS: The Universal, the Millenarian, and the Philistine

[A view point of the city Kobanê, in Syrian Kurdistan, during the bombradment of ISIL targets by US-led forces, The photo has been taken from Turkish-Syrian border (Suruç). Photo by M. Akhavan / Persian Dutch Network.]

The ruthless brutality of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) unfolds before our eyes on the screens. As commentators struggle to explain and understand it, it becomes convenient to revive old Orientalist tropes. Beyond the spectacular brutality, the reason that ISIS invites attention (both fascination and fear) is that it seems easy to fit in confrontational narratives of Islam (us v. them, anti-American, etc.). Muslims are clearly angry at something. In his infamous article “The Roots of Muslim Outrage”, Bernard Lewis simplistically explained that Muslims are envious of, and angry at, Western modernity and secularism. The U.S. magazine Newsweek ...

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France Decorates a Moroccan Facing Justice on Bastille Day: A Portrait of Abdellatif Hammouchi

[Abdellatif Hammouchi receives decoration from the Spanish government. Image from screenshot of Moroccan state channel, Al Oula.]

Despite objections from human rights organizations in Morocco and France, on 23 June 2015, the National French Assembly adopted a bill that requires judges to refer legal complaints regarding criminal acts committed in Morocco to Moroccan justice. This would also include cases in which French citizens were subjected to acts of torture. The Senate will ratify this decision on 15 July 2015. This ratification comes a little over a year after the French justice system began raising questions about the head of Morocco's intelligence services, Abdellatif Hammouchi, for whom strong suspicions of complicity in torture did little to impede his rapid rise through the ranks. ...

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A Belgian Bombing in Istanbul: How Small States Manage Terrorist Moments

A century and a decade ago, an Istanbul court sentenced a Belgian named Edouard Joris to death for his part in a bomb attack on the Ottoman sultan. Joris was involved with two of the terrorisms of the turn of the century: anarchism and Armenian nationalism. The young man had moved from Antwerp to Istanbul in 1901. He found a job at the Singer sewing machine factory and struck up a friendship with the man at the next workbench, an Armenian. Joris accompanied this friend to meetings of the activist cell ...

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Humanism and Its Others

Who could possibly be against humanism? Wouldn’t this be tantamount to being against humanity—that is, being against oneself? This all depends, of course, on whether you have had the chance to count among those who are considered to be “human” in the first place—or, to put it in the terms of contemporary protests in the United States and elsewhere, whether you are one whose life is seen to matter. The critique of humanism that has emerged in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century is first and ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (February 23)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Sunday night of every week.] English Ankara Bombing Too Bad For Turkey Cafer Solgun argues that, regardless of which group is ultimately found responsible for the Ankara bombing, the attack “has exposed the ...

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« Les organisations policières se trouvent en position de force » entretien avec Emmanuel Blanchard

[Emmanuel Blanchard est historien, spécialiste des pratiques policières en situation coloniale. Il est également engagé de longue date dans la défense des droits des étrangers en France et dans l'Union Européenne. Il a accepté de s'entretenir avec Jadaliyya au sujet de la sécuritisation des politiques migratoires européennes, de l'instauration de l'état d'urgence en France, des dimensions sociales et raciales de la répression, et du renforcement du poids de la police.] Thomas Serres (TS) : Donc cela ...

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Beirut Bombed: A STATUS Quick Thoughts Conversation with Maya Mikdashi

In this not-so-quick Quick Thoughts interview for Status/الوضع, Maya Mikdashi examines how the representation of the attacks on Beirut became dominated by connotations surrounding the term dahieh. She reviews the Western media's characterization of the neighborhood as a Hezbollah stronghold and problematizes it against the backdrop of spatial sectarian fault-lines in Beirut. She also critiques the way in which the Paris attacks either quickly overshadowed Beirut or were replaced by a state-sponsored ...

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Investigate Killing of Kurdish Human Rights Activist and Lawyer

[This statement was released by Project 2015 on 29 November 2015.] Apparent Assassination Latest in Spate of Targeted Attacks against Kurdish Peace Activists Project 2015 today condemned the apparent assassination of Tahir Elci, a prominent lawyer and Kurdish human rights activist who headed the Diyarbakir Bar Association. An unknown assailant reportedly shot Elci with a bullet to the head while Elci was delivering remarks at a press conference in Diyarbakir calling for an end to the ongoing ...

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في العلاقة الشائكة بين التاريخ والتطرّف

استهلال: سيبدو من السذاجة والتبسيط أن نردّ ظهور، ومن ثم تنامي وتعملق، تنظيم كـ"الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام"، (داعش) بالاختصار العربي، إلى سبب واحد، حتى لو رجحت كفة سبب على آخر. ولنعترف بأن ظهور تنظيم مشابه لن يكون بسبب واحد محدّد ومنجز. وباعتقادي فإن الأسباب المتعددة تلك تتفرّع في عدة محاور: المحور الإيديولوجي/ الثقافي، والمحور السياسي/ الاستراتيجي السلطوي، والمحور الاقتصادي/ الطبقي، وكذا المحور الإنساني النفسي/ التربوي، إن صحّ أن نعتبره محوراً خاصاً. هذه المحاور تتداخل وتتمازج في معظم ...

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Turkey Could Cut Off the Islamic State’s Supply Lines. So Why Doesn’t It?

In the wake of the murderous attacks in Paris, we can expect western heads of state to do what they always do in such circumstances: declare total and unremitting war on those who brought it about. They don’t actually mean it. They’ve had the means to uproot and destroy Islamic State within their hands for over a year now. They’ve simply refused to make use of it. In fact, as the world watched leaders making statements of implacable resolve at the G20 summit in Antalaya, these same leaders are hobnobbing ...

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Ankara Bombings: Democracy Now! Interview with HDP’s Hisyar Ozsoy and Turkey Page Co-Editor Asli Bali

As many as 128 people died in Turkey Saturday when nearly simultaneous explosions ripped through a pro-peace rally in the country’s capital of Ankara. More than 245 people were injured. The bombs went off just as Kurdish groups, trade unions and leftist organizations were preparing to begin a march protesting the resumption of fighting between the Turkish state and Kurdish militants. Earlier today, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu blamed ISIL for carrying out the attack. But march organizers ...

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Drone Warfare and the Superpower’s Dilemma (Part 1)

The United States has been in a continuous—or, at least, uninterrupted—state of armed conflict since 2001, and there is no end in sight. The strategies and technologies, as well as the locales of engagement and designated enemies of this “’global’ war on terror” have changed considerably over the past fourteen years. Nevertheless, the US government still relies on the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), passed by Congress on 14 September 2001 (three days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks), as ...

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لا بشرٌ ولاحجر... تدمر وسرديات الحرب على الآثار

كان من عادات الملوك المنتصرين في العالم القديم أن يقوموا إما بمسح ذكر أولئك المهزومين، أو بتخليد هزيمتهم وإذلالهم للأبد ليكتبوا بدورهم تاريخهم ويخلدوا إنجازاتهم عبر العصور. مع بروز عصر القوميات والنشاط الاستعماري وحركات الاستشراق وتوافد المستكشفين والمغامرين الأوروبيين، نشطت حركة البحث عن المدن القديمة التي كان يُعتقد أنها أسطورية كتلك الواردة في العهد القديم والملاحم الكلاسيكية كالإلياذة والأوديسة قبل أن تتكشف حقيقة وجود هذه المدن والممالك القديمة لتبدأ معها رحلة تهريب الآثار إلى المتاحف الأوروبية. ...

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The Rise and Fall of Abu ‘Iyadh: Reported Death Leaves Questions Unanswered

On 2 July 2015, Mosaïque FM, the largest radio station in Tunisia, reported that Sayfallah ‘Omer bin Hussayn al-Tunisi (al-Tunisi), also known as Abu ‘Iyadh, had been killed in a US led airstrike targeting former Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) commander Mokhtar al-Mokhtar. No sources were attributed to this announcement. But two days later, the New York Times confirmed the information, this time with unnamed sources. Mosaïque FM promptly published the news that the New York Times had confirmed ...

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