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Results 1 - 25 of 53
1. Celebrating Women’s History Month

world

This March we celebrate Women’s History Month, commemorating the lives, legacies, and contributions of women around the world. We’ve compiled a brief reading list that demonstrates the diversity of women’s lives and achievements.

Women in Asia

Map of Asia

The Courtesan’s Arts: Cross-Cultural Perspectives, Edited by Martha Feldman and Bonnie Gordon

Delve into courtesan cultures, including artistic practices and cultural production, often overlooked or diminished in relevancy.

The Power of Gender and the Gender of Power: Explorations in Early Indian History by Kumkum Roy

Discover the distinct strategies through which men and women constituted their identities in India for all their implications, tensions, and inconsistencies.

Cornelia Sorabji: India’s Pioneer Woman Lawyer: A Biography by Suparna Gooptu

Learn about Sorabji’s decisive role in opening up the legal profession to women long before they were allowed to plead before the courts of law, including her writings and personal correspondence.

Women in the Middle East

Map of Middle East

Cleopatra: A Biography by Duane W. Roller

Uncover not the figure in popular culture, arts, and literature of the last five hundred years — but the real last Greek queen of Egypt.

Conceiving Citizens: Women and the Politics of Motherhood in Iran by Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet

Place women in their proper role as mothers of a nation — central to the history of Iran during successive regimes in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire by Leslie P. Peirce

Examine the sources of royal women’s power and assess the reactions of contemporaries, which ranged from loyal devotion to armed opposition.

Women in British History

UK Map

Singled Out: How Two Million British Women Survived Without Men After the First World War by Virginia Nicholson

Try to keep up with a generation of women fated to remain unmarried in the aftermath of the Great War.

The Wealth of Wives: Women, Law, and Economy in Late Medieval London by Barbara A. Hanawalt

Consider an overlooked contribution to London’s economy—the wealth that women accumulated through inheritance, dowry, and dower.

Queen Anne: Patroness of Arts by James A. Winn

Study the life and reign of Queen Anne through literature, art, and music from Dryden, Pope, Purcell, Handel, Lely, Kneller, Wren, Vanbrugh, Addison, Swift, and many other artists.

Women in European History

europe

Murder of a Medici Princess by Caroline P. Murphy

Illuminate the brilliant life and tragic death of Isabella de Medici, one of the brightest stars in the dazzling world of Renaissance Italy, the daughter of Duke Cosimo I, ruler of Florence and Tuscany.

Writing the Revolution: A French Women’s History in Letters by Lindsay A. Parker

Investigate nearly 1,000 familiar letters, which convey the intellectual, emotional, and familial life of a revolutionary in all of its complexity.

The Burgher and the Whore: Prostitution in Early Modern Amsterdam by Lotte van de Pol

Delve into the cultural, social, and economic conditions of the lives of poor women in a seafaring society from the perspectives of prostitutes, their bawds, their clients, and the police.

Women in American History

U.S. Map

Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, a Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy by Elizabeth R. Varon

Probe the life and work of one of the most remarkable women of the Civil War era–the leader of the North’s key spy ring in the South.

Working Women, Literary Ladies: The Industrial Revolution and Female Aspiration by Sylvia J. Cook

Trace the hopes and tensions generated by expectations of gender and class from the first New England operatives in the early 19th century to immigrant sweatshop workers in the early 20th.

Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women’s Rights Movement by Sally McMillen

Join the meeting that launched the women’s rights movement and changed American history.

I Died for Beauty: Dorothy Wrinch and the Cultures of Science by Marjorie Senechal

Enter the provocative, scintillating mind of the talented and flawed scientist.

African American Women Chemists by Jeannette Brown

Connect to the lives of African America women chemists, from the earliest pioneers through late 1960′s when the Civil Rights Acts were passed, to today.

Women in Latin American History

Map of Latin America

Power and Women’s Representation in Latin America by Leslie A. Schwindt-Bayer

Look at the recent trends in women’s representation in Latin America, and the complex and often incomplete nature of women’s political representation.

Refusing the Favor: The Spanish-Mexican Women of Santa Fe, 1820-1880 by Deena J. Gonzalez

Uncover the key role “invisible” Spanish-Mexican women played in the US takeover of Mexico’s northern territory and gain a greater understanding of conquest and colonization.

Weaving the Past: A History of Latin America’s Indigenous Women from the Prehispanic Period to the Present by Susan Kellogg

Reach back through women’s long history of labor, political activism, and contributions to — or even support of — family and community well-being.

Women’s history encompasses the history of humankind, including men, but approaches it from a woman‐centered perspective. It highlights women’s activities and ideas and asserts that their problems, issues, and accomplishments are just as central to the telling of the human story as are those of their brothers, husbands, and sons. It places the sociopolitical relations between the sexes, or gender, at the center of historical inquiry and questions female subordination.

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Image Credits: (1) Physical World Map via CIA World Factbook (public domain). (2) Map of Asia by Bytebear. CC-BY-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. (3) Map of Middle East by NuclearVacuum. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons. (4) Map of Britain by Anonymous101. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. (5) Map of Europe via CIA World Factbook (public domain). (6) Blank US Map by Theshibboleth. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. (7) Map of Latin America and the Caribbean by Yug. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The post Celebrating Women’s History Month appeared first on OUPblog.

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2. Images of Ancient Nubia

For most of the modern world, ancient Nubia seems an unknown and enigmatic land. Only a handful of archaeologists have studied its history or unearthed the Nubian cities, temples, and cemeteries that once dotted the landscape of southern Egypt and northern Sudan. Nubia’s remote setting in the midst of an inhospitable desert, with access by river blocked by impassable rapids, has lent it not only an air of mystery, but also isolated it from exploration. Scholars have more recently begun to focus attention on the fascinating cultures of ancient Nubia, prompted by the construction of large dams that have flooded vast tracts of the ancient land. These photos by Chester Higgins Jr., photographer of Ancient Nubia: African Kingdoms on the Nile, reveal the remarkable history, architecture, culture, and altogether rich legacy of the ancient Nubians.



Ancient Nubia: African Kingdoms on the Nile attempts to document some of what has recently been discovered about ancient Nubia, with its remarkable history, architecture, and culture, and thereby to give us a picture of this rich, but unfamiliar, African legacy. It is edited by Marjorie Fisher, Peter Lacovara, Sue D’Auria and Salima Ikram, photographs are by Chester New York City, and the foreword by Zahi Cairo. It is published by American University in Cairo Press.

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Image credit: All images used with permission of American University in Cairo Press. All rights reserved.

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3. Stories That Read YOU Archives...

________________
Get your Copy at Amazon Right NOW!!!!

In September, 2008, The Fed and the Treasury came to President George W. Bush and issued him an economic suicide threat. Secretary Henry Paulson walked into the Oval Office and put a financial gun to his own head and said, give us $800 Billion dollars or in 24 hours the American economy will die and 5 trillion dollars would disappear with the entire world economy. President Bush said yes. What if he had said NO? -

The Consortium by Steven Clark Bradley
________________
Feature Post


A Bird's-Eye View Of the People's Republic of China

(Click On the links below To Watch Each Video)

Halfway Across the Bridge To Hell -
At the Broken Bridge Between Dandong, China & North Korea

The People's Republic of China - Perhaps As You never imagined

A Monument to Tyranny

Where The Emperor Sleeps

Is Chinese-Style Healthcare Coming to America?

A Visit To The Emperor's Palace...

China Closeup - Education in the poorer areas of China
by Author Steven Clark Bradley

Inside The classroom At The Shenyang Institute of Engineering
with Author Steven Clark Bradley

Scenes of life and Culture in Shenyang, China

The Keys to Unlocking the Door to the World
- Speaking at Liaoning University in Shenyang, China

____________________________________


Re-Constitution - Dark Justice in The Cave of treasures
by Steven Clark Bradley

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Re-Constitution - Defining Moments by Steven Clark Bradley

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Halfway Across the Bridge To Hell
At the Broken Bridge Between
Dandong China & North Korea

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The Far East Traveler Journal - Part One
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Author Steven Clark Bradley -
China, The North to South Speaking Tour
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____________________________________


Could I ask you to follow my blog?

I would love to have YOU as a follower!

Visit my online Book Store? Go To:

Click Here to Go to
Author Steven Clark Bradley's Book Store

http://www.authorstevenclarkbradley.info/

______________________________________

911 From Those Who Lived Through it...


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_______________________________________

Four New Trailers from
The Most Intelligent of Idiots Trailer
The Memoirs of Author Steven Clark Bradley


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The Passing of a Giant - The Most Intelligent of idiots -
The Memoirs of Author Steven Clark Bradley
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Don't you want to read books
that
speak to the world we live in

and
the one that's coming?
Patriot Acts - Border Insecurity

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Executive Order - Patriot Acts Part III
No One Is Immune!


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Available Now!!! Available Now!!! Available Now!!!
The Second Republic: E-Book version
Get it at: http://www.writewordsinc.com/serepaacvo2...

What would America do if we were faced with a horrendous terrorist attack that no amount of security could stop?

In “The Second Republic – Patriot Acts Part II,” the President of the United States is confronted with a radical underground secret cabal that has targeted America with a domestic bio-terror attack that dwarfs the assault unleashed on September 11, 2001.

This second book in the Patriot Acts trilogy takes the reader inside the White House where treachery and terrorism boils below its underbelly. While trying to avoid invoking emergency powers that could destroy American constitutional freedoms, a former Special Ops officer, now the President of the United States, races to stop a deadly virus, which has killed thousands of innocent Americans.

This Fisher Harrison saga, The Second Republic, is an action thriller that could appear on any of today’s headlines, on any given day with a plausible scenario for the death of humankind that is too frighteningly conceivable for comfort.

When Too Much Security Can Kill You!
Steven Clark Bradley

Click Here To Read An Excerpt From
The Second Republic

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Author Susan Whitfield Interviews with
Author Steven Clark Bradley

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On President's Day, What Do We Celebrate?

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My Definition of the the modern
American Presidency
"An office sought and achieved by a candidate according to the rules set out in the US Constitution who, once elevated to high office, proceeds to ignore, disavow, repudiate, deviate from and misappropriate the powers and limitations prescribed, declared and demanded therein."
-Steven Clark Bradley



Four lessons For Willow Morgan
- Kassadia's Triumph

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The Hidden World Only
Few Have Touched

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by Donald James Parker

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The Temples of Light
by Danielle Rama Hoffman

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Four Lessons For Willow Morgan Part Two
The Preservation Of The Neph

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Four Lessons For Willow Morgan
by Steven Clark Bradley & Selin Alicia Bradley

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A Story That Might make
You Reflect On Your Life

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Healthcare That Will Make You Sick
Key Facts About Obama's Sick Health Reform

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Obama's White House is Falling Down

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Is Barack Obama Just Another Jimmy Carter?

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America's Condemner in Chief...

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Book Promo 201 Is A Writer's Required Reading


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Take A Look At The Dancing Valkyrie by Peter Kline

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'More Deaths Than One' can Only Adequately Be Described As Superb


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Dan Fogelberg - A Retrospective Interview

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Interview with Donna Sundblad Author of
Beyond the Fifth Gate

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Introducing - Retribution by M. Flagg

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ISBN-10: 1594316937 ~~~ ISBN-13: 978-1594316937





Here's A New Book To Check Out
Ni'il - The Awakening

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So, How Do You Feel, Just Now?


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So, How Will You Feel Tomorrow?

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Get Your Copy Today At:

Patriot Acts At Mobipocket.com


Introducing Patriot Acts by Steven Clark Bradley

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Revolutions Of Freedom & Terror

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Probable Cause - Tools Of The Trade

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Quality Of Life - Supreme Judgment Part One

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America - A Tapestry Of Loose Ends

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4. This Week’s New and Notable YA and MG Releases – September 18

Here are some new and notable YA & MG releases for the week:

Adaptation by Malinda Lo

What’s Left of Me: The Hybrid Chronicles, Book One by Kat Zhang

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Butter by Erin Jade Lange

The Crown of Embers (Girl of Fire and Thorns) by  Rae Carson

Cursed by Jennifer Armentrout

The Dead Girls Detective Agency by Suzy Cox

Glass Heart by Amy Garvey

Homesick  by Kate Klise

Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride

The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Safekeeping by Karen Hesse

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

The Time-Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antoinette by Bianca Turetsky

Are any of these on your wish list? Can you recommend any?

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5. Review: The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh by Ros Clarke

Title: The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh

Author: Ros Clarke

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

His duty, her dreams, undone by their desire…

In the male-dominated oil industry, executive Olivia McInnes plays a careful game – she’s cold, uncompromising, and ambitious as hell. Once she seals the deal to drill in the clear waters of Saqat, she’ll finally prove herself worthy to take the reins of her father’s oil company. Her only obstacle is marine biologist – and Saqat’s royal heir – Sheikh Khaled Ibm Saqat al Mayim, who’s determined to protect both his people and his country from environmental devastation…

It’s not long before Olivia’s icy cool exterior is shattered by the intelligent and wickedly hot sheikh, and business is surpassed by sweet, stolen pleasures. But outside the bedroom, there’s reality to be faced. Soon Khaled must return to his obligations – and his betrothed – in Saqat.

Caught between duty and ambition, can an oil tycoon and a sexy sheikh find room for love… or will this business deal spell disaster for them both?

Review:

I wanted to read The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh because I was curious to see how the conflict between the characters would be portrayed.  Olivia is an executive at a successful oil company, and in order to ensure that she will take her father’s place  when he retires, she needs to land the contract to drill for oil in the waters off of Saqat.  Khaled is next in line to rule the country, but he is also a marine biologist.  He has studied the long term effects of oil spills on marine life, and what he has learned is discouraging.  It takes far longer than originally thought for the aquatic ecosystem to recover from the devastating consequences of a spill, and he is reluctant to allow any corporation to set up shop in his coastal waters.  He doesn’t believe that safety precautions go far enough, and he thinks that the cleanup efforts outlined in the contract are also lacking.  But tempering his reluctance to open up Saqat to oil investors is the need to alleviate the poverty of his  people.  The money from oil production would help bring education and improvements in medical care, and it is very difficult for him to turn that down.  I enjoyed this conflict between these two driven people.  Olivia is gung-ho to prove herself to the naysayers at her father’s company, and Khaled wants what’s best for both his country and his people.  This puts them at odds with each other, and it is a heavy weight on Khaled’s shoulders.  Does he allow these foreigners into the pristine waters, when there is a potential that they will bring ruin to the fragile ecosystem?

While I found the business negotiations interesting, I was not convinced about the romantic conflict between Khaled and Olivia.  They are instantly attracted to each other, but because Khaled is next in line to inherit the throne, he tries to put the brakes on their budding relationship.  It just can’t work out for them, because he has a duty to his people.  Their relationship can’t go anywhere, because he is expected to marry a quiet, respectable Muslim girl from Saqat, and Olivia just doesn’t fit into the mold he has imagined his future wife must fit  into.  I didn’t buy into this conflict because the only person wh

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6. Erdogan’s victory lap: Turkish domestic politics after the uprisings

By Steven A. Cook As Cairo's citizens drove along the Autostrad [last] week, they were greeted with four enormous billboards featuring pictures of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. With Turkish and Egyptian flags, the signs bore the message, "With United Hands for the Future." Erdogan's visit marks a bold development in Turkey's leadership in the region. The hero's welcome he received at the airport reinforced the popular perception: Turkey is a positive force, uniquely positioned to guide the Middle East's ongoing transformation.

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7. Hussein ibn Ali killed at Karbala

This Day in World History - October 10 marks a signal date in Islamic history. On that day, Hussein ibn Ali, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, was defeated and killed at Karbala, in modern Iraq. His death cemented deep and lasting division among Muslims that persist to this day. In Iran, where the population is overwhelmingly Shia, the death of Hussein—“leader of the martyrs”—is regularly commemorated in passion plays.

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8. Egypt’s anti-Christian violence: How things got so bad

By Steven A. Cook If February 11, 2011 demonstrated the very best of Egypt, then October 9, 2011 demonstrated the very worst of Egypt. The only way to describe what unfolded in front of the state television building (and subsequently Tahrir Square), where Copts were protesting over not-so-subtle official efforts to stoke sectarian tension over a church being constructed in Aswan, was an anti-Christian pogrom. The death toll stands at 25 with 300 injured. There have been scattered reports of soldiers and policemen injured, but by far the Copts took the brunt of the violence.

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9. “We are in this to win”

Outdated goals of war in the 21st century By Louis René Beres Even now, when the “fog of war” in Iraq and Afghanistan is likely at its thickest point, our leaders and military commanders still speak in starkly traditional terms. Such ordinary emphases on “victory” and “defeat” belie the profound and critically-nuanced transformations of war presently [...]

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10. Soon facing Iranian nuclear missiles

The United States, preemption, and international law

By Professor Louis René Beres
Admiral Leon “Bud” Edney
General Thomas G. McInerney


For now,  the “Arab Spring” and its aftermath still occupy center-stage in the Middle East and North Africa. Nonetheless, from a regional and perhaps even global security perspective, the genuinely core threat to peace and stability remains Iran. Whatever else might determinably shape ongoing transformations of power and authority in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Saudi Arabia, it is apt to pale in urgency beside the steadily expanding prospect of a nuclear Iran.

Enter international law. Designed, inter alia, to ensure the survival of states in a persistently anarchic world – a world originally fashioned after the Thirty Years War and the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 – this law includes the “inherent” right of national self-defense. Such right may be exercised not only after an attack has already been suffered, but, sometimes, also, in advance of an expected attack.

What can now be done, lawfully, about relentless Iranian nuclear weapons development?  Do individual states, especially those in greatest prospective danger from any expressions of Iranian nuclear aggression, have a legal right to strike first defensively? In short, could such a preemption ever be permissible under international law?

For the United States, preemption remains a part of codified American military doctrine. But is this national doctrine necessarily consistent with the legal and complex international expectations of anticipatory self-defense?

To begin, international law derives from multiple authoritative sources, including international custom. Although written law of the UN Charter (treaty law) reserves the right of self-defense only to those states that have already suffered an attack (Article 51), equally valid customary law still permits a first use of force if the particular danger posed is “instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means and no moment for deliberation.” Stemming from an 1837 event in jurisprudential history known as the Caroline, which concerned the unsuccessful rebellion in Upper Canada against British rule, this doctrine builds purposefully upon a seventeenth-century formulation of Hugo Grotius.

Self-defense, says the classical Dutch scholar in, The Law of War and Peace (1625), may be permitted “not only after an attack has already been suffered, but also in advance, where the deed may be anticipated.”  In his later text of 1758, The Right of Self-Protection and the Effects of Sovereignty and Independence of Nations, Swiss jurist Emmerich de Vattel affirmed: “A nation has the right to resist the injury another seeks to inflict upon it, and to use force and every other just means of resistance against the aggressor.”

Article 51 of the UN Charter, limiting self-defense to circumstances following an attack, does not override the customary right of anticipatory self-defense.  Interestingly, especially for Americans, the works of Grotius and Vattel were favorite readings of Thomas Jefferson, who relied  heavily upon them for crafting the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America.

We should also recall Article VI of the US Constitution, and assorted US Supreme Court decisions. These proclaim, straightforwardly, that international law is necessarily part of the law of the United States.

The Caroline notes an implicit distinction between preventive war (which is never legal), and preemptive war. The latter is not permitted merely to protect oneself against an emerging threat, but only when the danger posed is “instant” and

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11. Egypt’s President Sadat addresses Israeli Knesset

This Day in World History

November 20, 1977

Egypt’s President Sadat addresses Israeli Knesset

On November 20, 1977, Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat made an historic speech before Israel’s Knesset, or Parliament, becoming the first leader of an Arab nation to speak there. He was also the first of Israel’s Arab neighbors to publicly say anything like these words: “Today I tell you, and I declare it to the whole world, that we accept to live with you in permanent peace based on justice.”

By 1977, Israel and the nearby Arab states had fought four wars in less than 30 years. Sadat himself had been a principal architect of the most recent conflict, the Yom Kippur War of 1973. That conflict ended when Egypt, Syria, and Israel accepted a United Nations–imposed cease-fire. This time, though, the uneasy peace was not followed by yet another war. Sadat failed in peace talks to regain control of the Sinai Peninsula, which Israel had occupied in 1967. To break the deadlock, on November 9, 1977, he stunned the world by telling Egypt’s Parliament that he was willing to travel to Israel to negotiate peace. No Arab state had ever recognized Israel’s existence, let alone sent a leader to the Jewish state. Israel quickly accepted his offer, and arrangements for the historic visit were made.

Sadat’s bold move set in course discussions that resulted in the Camp David Accords the following September, and a peace treaty in early 1979—the first treaty signed by Israel and an Arab nation. Both Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin received Nobel Peace Prizes for their historic agreement. While Sadat was hailed across the world, he was less well received in the Arab world, however. The Arab League denounced Egypt in September of 1978, and Sadat was assassinated in his homeland by radical Islamists because of his overtures to Israel and the western world.

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12. Egypt’s Revolution a Year Later

Nearly a year has passed since the huge crowds in Cairo’s Tahrir Square rallied to overthrow former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Yet, the Egyptian public remains loathe to articulate a coherent vision for Egypt, and “that is the challenge going forward,” says Steven A. Cook, CFR’s top Egypt expert. He says that the next crucial step will be choosing a hundred-person group to write a new constitution, which could to lead to a crisis between the interim military-led government and the newly elected Islamist parliament. Meanwhile, the United States, which has been a close ally of Egypt for decades, finds itself having to deal with the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, and as a result, Cook says, “there’s going to be a divergence between Egypt and the United States over time.”

Interviewee: Steven A. Cook, Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Interviewer: Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor, CFR.org

With the anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution [January 25] only a couple of weeks away, do Egyptians think they are better off now than they were when Mubarak was in charge? What about U.S. officials, are they happier or more worried?

For the most part, Egyptians are happy to see the end of the Mubarak era, which was not an era of prosperity. It was not an era in which they could participate. It was an era of corruption and authoritarian politics. There remain supporters of the old regime, although they are a relatively small minority. The big question is what does the so-called silent majority–that the Egyptian Armed Forces consistently looks to–want? It’s unclear without major nationwide polling, but you do get a sense that what these people want is change. They came out in large numbers to vote in the now-concluded parliamentary elections. They want change. They want prosperity. They do not want the authoritarianism of the previous regime, but beyond that, it’s entirely unclear what Egyptians want. And I think that that is the challenge going forward.

There is supposed to be a hundred-person constitutional assembly created to write a new Egyptian constitution, which is to be followed by a presidential election. Is that going to be easy?

The challenge in the constitution-writing period is divining a vision for Egypt that the vast majority of Egyptians agree upon. And I think that that’s been and remains a problem.

Is Washington content to watch this uncertainty unfold?

The challenge in the constitution-writing period is divining a vision for Egypt that the vast majority of Egyptians agree upon.

U.S. policymakers find themselves in an unknown environment. Egyptian politics have been quite scrambled. The party of the Muslim Brotherhood–the Freedom and Justice Party–is slated to win somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 percent of the seats in the new People’s Assembly, followed by the Salafist al-Nour Party, with some 25 percent. Neither of these groups has historically held worldviews that conform to American interests in the region. So there’s going to be a divergence between Egypt and the United States over time. And that’s due not only to Islamist politics. People associate Egypt’s strategic relationship with the United States with Hosni Mubarak, even though it began before him, and people don’t believe that it served Egypt very well. As a result, I think there are going to be changes, and I think that that is certainly cause for concern. American policy makers are aware of the changes in Egypt, and they’re struggling to find a poli

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13. Hating Democracy in the Middle East?

By Steven A. Cook


Has the Washington foreign policy establishment disavowed democracy in the Middle East? According to Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald the answer is a resounding yes. Greenwald, a lawyer by training and blogger/author by trade, has long been a trenchant critic of various “establishments.” In addition to “America’s national security priesthood,” he has often skewered the mainstream media for various transgressions such as giving the George W. Bush administration a pass on the invasion of Iraq and more recently for giving Luke Russert and Chelsea Clinton high-profile jobs. Greenwald’s work on post-9/11 domestic policies, especially the way the Bush administration and a complicit Congress compromised civil liberties through dubious laws like the USA Patriot Act is among the best there is out there. Yet on those occasions when he has wandered into foreign policy, Greenwald’s commentary is considerably less original.

In his January 2 column, Greenwald went after CSIS’s Jon Alterman for an oped he published in the December 31 New York Times. Alterman had been an election observer in Egypt during the second round of polls. In about 80 words he relayed what he saw, including large numbers of voters turning out for either the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party or the al-Nour Party, which is affiliated with one strand of the Egyptian Salafist movement. Alterman, who spent three years living in Egypt in the 1990s, suggests that the best outcome in terms of American interests would be “a balance” between the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and Egypt’s new politicians. The implication being, I think, that the military would retain control over important foreign policy issues like the bilateral relationships with the United States and Israel while ceding executive authority in other areas to elected civilians.

Being well…I guess… part of the foreign policy establishment by dint of my employment, it is hard to understand how Greenwald extrapolates from Alterman’s oped that Washington foreign policy establishment has collectively decided that democracy in the Middle East is bad for the United States. A few observations before I move on: 1) people outside of Washington often make claims about Washington that they would never make about anywhere else. Greenwald is a smart guy. He surely knows that the so-called foreign policy elite is a diverse group. Indeed, there are many varieties of species in this zoo, 2) I don’t know whom Greenwald has been reading, but I count exactly two people who have warned that democratic development in the Middle East is bad for U.S. interests—Les Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations and Greg Gause, professor of political science at the University of Vermont. Greenwald suggests his two primary bugaboos: Israelis and neocons. He is surely correct about the Israelis who prefer to make deals with regional authoritarians whom they hope can keep a lid on public sentiment, but he has got the neocons wrong. (By the way, in order to make his claim that “many neocons” oppose democracy in the Arab world, Greenwald cites a February 2, 2011 piece—nine days before Hosni Mubarak fell—in The Forward that only references David Wurmser and Malcolm Hoenlein , hardly a representative sampling.) Take the Egypt Working Group, a bipartisan group that which includes leading neocon personalities like my colleague, Elliott Abrams, and the Brookings Institutions’ Robert Kagan. Neither the Group nor Abrams nor Kagan have wavered in their support for democratic change in Egypt.

The jaundiced views of folks like Gelb and Gause does not make either of them democracy haters, though. It seems to me that they are onto something that

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14. Nadir Shah enters Delhi and captures the Peacock Throne

This Day in World History

March 21, 1739

Nadir Shah enters Delhi and captures the Peacock Throne


On March 21, 1739, Nādir Shāh, leading Persian (modern Iranian) and Turkish forces, completed his conquest of the Mughal Empire by capturing Delhi, India, its capital. He seized vast stores of wealth, and among the prizes he carried away was the fabled Peacock Throne.

Nādir Shāh Afshār. Source: Victoria & Albert Museum.

Born in 1688, Nadr Qoli Beg belonged to a Turkish people loyal to the Safavid rulers of Iran. He became a military leader and helped Shah Tahmasp II regain the throne that had been lost to Afghan invaders. Soon after, however, he was angered by the Shah’s surrender to the Ottoman Turks. In response, he deposed the Shah and placed the Shah’s son on the throne, naming himself regent. That arrangement lasted only a few years; in 1736, he deposed the boy and assumed rule as Nādir Shāh.

The new ruler was bent on conquest. He built a navy and captured Bahrain and Oman before launching himself overland against the Mughals. His conquest of that empire went quickly, giving him the prized throne. Built originally by the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan, it reportedly had silver steps set on golden feet. The back showed two open peacock tails. The whole was studded with precious gems.

The throne became the symbol of the Iranian monarchy, though it only remained in Nādir Shāh’s hands for a short time. He was defeated in battle by the Kurds, who seized the throne and apparently dismantled it. A modern Peacock Throne was made in the early 1800s. That splendid but less spectacular model served as the throne of Iran’s Shahs until the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

Nādir Shāh did not fare much better than his magnificent throne. He continued his warring ways, building an empire that was plagued by financial problems and frequent revolts against his cruel rule. In 1749, he was killed by members of his own army.

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15. A quiz on the Great Sea — the Mediterranean

The Trojan War. The history of piracy. The great naval battles between Carthage and Rome. The Jewish Diaspora into Hellenistic worlds. The rise of Islam. The Grand Tours of the 19th century. The mass tourism of the 20th. We may have missed World Maritime Day on March 17th, but we can still admire the watery wonder of the sea and its peoples. As brilliant and sweeping as the Mediterranean itself, The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean interweaves major political and naval developments with the ebb and flow of trade. Author David Abulafia stresses the remarkable ability of Mediterranean cultures to uphold the civilizing ideal of convivencia, “living together,” exemplified in medieval Spain, where Christian theologians studied Arabic texts with the help of Jewish and Muslim scholars, and traceable throughout the history of the region. And now a quick quiz on the history of the Mediterranean…

What are the oldest large-scale buildings of the Mediterranean?
(1) The Acropolis in Athens
(2) Mnajdra temple complex in Malta
(3) Leptis Magna in modern day Khoms, Libya
(4) The necropolis of Orvieto, Italy

What do the famous Cycladic figurines depict?
(1) Kings with a distinctive left foot stepped forward
(2) Female companions of the dead
(3) The bull-leapers, ancient athletes who performed acrobatics using bulls
(4) Fertility goddesses with distinctly long hair

What destroyed the Akrotiri on Thera in 1500 BC?
(1) A succession of difficult weather and poor growing seasons led to them abandoning the island
(2) A series of raids from nearby Minoan Crete devastated their population and economy
(3) A mysterious illness
(4) A massive volcanic eruption

The Battle of Actium played what decisive role in Mediterranean history?
(1) Lord Nelson of the British Navy defeated Napoleon and the French fleet — the first in a series of victories ensuring the British naval dominance of the Mediterranean during the Napoleonic Wars
(2) Cleopatra and Mark Antony’s forces were defeated — the last resistance to Octavian’s power grab — which eventually allowed him to transform the Roman Republic into the Empire
(3) Roman forces, so weakened by the cost of their victory at Actium, could no longer defend against invading Germanic tribes on the Italian peninsula
(4) The Venetian fleet led by Andrea Dandolo defeated the Genoese fleet, allowing Venice to dominate the glass trade in Renaissance Europe

What did the Venetians steal from fellow Christian city Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade and erect in front of St Mark’s Basilica?
(1) The throne of Constantine
(2) The gold and jewel encrusted reliquary of Saint Mark’s head
(3) Four magnificient horses of ancient Greek workmanship
(4) A Persian statue, symbol of Constantinople’s reach across trade routes

In the Battle of Lepanto, an alliance of Mediterranean Christian states defeated the Ottoman fleet. Which famous writer was known as “the cripple of Lepanto”?
(1) Ben Jonson, English playwright and notorious fighter
(2) Petrarch, Italian poet and father of Humanism
(3) Cervantes, Spanish author of Don Quixote
(4) Michel de Montaigne, French essayist and aristocrat

To which war does the Marine’s hymn refer with the verse “The shores of Tripoli”?
(1) The Revolutionary War (the British navy routinely press-ganged American citizens across the seas into becoming British sailors)
(2) First Barbary War (American involvement to end

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16. A Sisyphean fate for Israel (part 2)

OPINION ·

Read part 1 of this article.

By Louis René Beres


Today, Israel’s leadership, continuing to more or less disregard the nation’s special history, still acts in ways that are neither tragic nor heroic. Unwilling to accept the almost certain future of protracted war and terror, one deluded prime minister after another has sought to deny Israel’s special situation in the world. Hence, he or she has always been ready to embrace, unwittingly, then-currently-fashionable codifications of collective suicide.

In Washington, President Barack Obama is consciously shaping these particular codifications, not with any ill will, we may hope, but rather with all of the usual diplomatic substitutions of rhetoric for an authentic intellectual understanding. For this president, still sustained by an utterly cliched “wisdom,” peace in the Middle East is just another routine challenge for an assumed universal reasonableness and clever presidential speechwriting.

Human freedom is an ongoing theme in Judaism, but this sacred freedom can never countenance a “right” of collective disintegration. Individually and nationally, there is always a binding Jewish obligation to choose life. Faced with the “blessing and the curse,” both the solitary Jew, and the ingathered Jewish state, must always come down in favor of the former.

Today, Israel, after Ariel Sharon’s “disengagement,” Ehud Olmert’s “realignment,” Benjamin Netanyahu’s hopes for “Palestinian demilitarization,” and U.S. President Barack Obama’s “New Middle East,” may await, at best, a tragic fate. At worst, resembling the stark and minimalist poetics of Samuel Beckett, Israel’s ultimate fate could be preposterous.

True tragedy contains calamity, but it must also reveal greatness in trying to overcome misfortune.

For the most part, Jews have always accepted the obligation to ward off disaster as best they can.

For the most part, Jews generally do understand that we humans have “free will.” Saadia Gaon included freedom of the will among the most central teachings of Judaism, and Maimonides affirmed that all human beings must stand alone in the world “to know what is good and what is evil, with none to prevent him from either doing good or evil.”

For Israel, free will must always be oriented toward life, to the blessing, not to the curse. Israel’s binding charge must always be to strive in the obligatory direction of individual and collective self-preservation, by using intelligence, and by exercising disciplined acts of national will. In those circumstances where such striving would still be consciously rejected, the outcome, however catastrophic, can never rise to the dignifying level of tragedy.

The ancient vision of authentically “High Tragedy” has its origins in Fifth Century BCE Athens. Here, there is always clarity on one overriding point: The victim is one whom “the gods kill for their sport, as wanton boys do flies.” This wantonness, this caprice, is precisely what makes tragedy unendurable.

With “disengagement,” with “realignment,” with “Palestinian demilitarization,” with both Oslo, and the Road Map, Israel’s corollary misfortunes remain largely self-inflicted. The continuing drama of a Middle East Peace Process is, at best, a surreal page torn from Ionesco, or even from Kafka. Here, there is nary a hint of tragedy; not even a satisfyingly cathartic element that might have been drawn from Aeschylus, Sophocles or Euripides. At worst, and this is the more plausible characterization, Israel’s unhappy fate has been ripped directly from the utterly demeaning pages of irony and farce.

Under former Prime

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17. A Sisyphean fate for Israel (part 1)

OPINION ·

By Louis René Beres

Israel after Obama: a subject of tragedy, or mere object of pathos?

Israel, after President Barack Obama’s May 2011 speech on “Palestinian self-determination” and regional “democracy,” awaits a potentially tragic fate. Nonetheless, to the extent that Prime Minister Netanyahu should become complicit in the expected territorial dismemberments, this already doleful fate could quickly turn from genuine tragedy to pathos and abject farce.

“The executioner’s face,” sang Bob Dylan, “is always well-hidden.” In the particular case of Israel, however, the actual sources of existential danger have always been perfectly obvious. From 1948 until the present, virtually all of Israel’s prime ministers, facing periodic wars for survival, have routinely preferred assorted forms of denial, and asymmetrical forms of compromise. Instead of accepting the plainly exterminatory intent of both enemy states and terrorist organizations, these leaders have opted for incremental territorial surrenders.

Of course, this is not the whole story. During its very short contemporary life, Israel has certainly accomplished extraordinary feats in science, medicine, agriculture, education and industry. It’s military institutions, far exceeding all reasonable expectations, have fought, endlessly and heroically, to avoid any new spasms of post-Holocaust genocide.

Still, almost from the beginning, the indispensable Israeli fight has not been premised on what should have remained as an unequivocal central truth of the now-reconstituted Jewish commonwealth. Although unrecognized by Barack Obama, all of the disputed lands controlled by Israel do have proper Israeli legal title. It follows that any diplomatic negotiations resting upon alternative philosophic or jurisprudential premises must necessarily be misconceived.

Had Israel, from the start, fixedly sustained its own birthright narrative of Jewish sovereignty, without submitting to periodic and enervating forfeitures of both land and dignity, its future, although problematic, would at least have been tragic. But by choosing instead to fight in ways that ultimately transformed its stunning victories on the battlefield to abject surrenders at the conference table, this future may ultimately be written as more demeaning genre.

In real life, as well as in literature and poetry, the tragic hero is always an object of veneration, not a pitiable creature of humiliation. From Aristotle to Shakespeare to Camus, tragedy always reveals the very best in human understanding and purposeful action. Aware that whole nations, like the individual human beings who comprise them, are never forever, the truly tragic hero nevertheless does everything possible to simply stay alive.

For Israel, and also for every other imperiled nation on earth, the only alternative to tragic heroism is humiliating pathos. By their incessant unwillingness to decline any semblance of a Palestinian state as intolerable (because acceptance of “Palestine” in any form would be ruthlessly carved out of the living body of Israel), Israel’s leaders have created a genuinely schizophrenic Jewish reality in the “new” Middle East. This is a Jewish state that is, simultaneously, unimaginably successful and incomparably vulnerable. Not surprisingly, over time, the result will be an increasingly palpable national sense of madness.

Perhaps, more than any other region on earth, the Jihadi Middle East and North Africa is “governed” by unreason. Oddly, this very reasonable observation is reinforced rather than contradicted by the prevailing patterns of “democratic re

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18. Calling Hamas the al Qaeda of Palestine isn’t just wrong, it’s stupid

By Daniel Byman


In a rousing speech before Congress on May 24, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected peace talks with the newly unified Palestinian government because it now includes — on paper at least — officials from the terrorist (or, in its own eyes, “resistance”) group Hamas. In a striking moment, Netanyahu defiantly declared, “Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by the Palestinian version of al Qaeda,” a statement greeted with resounding applause from the assembled members of Congress.

But hold on a minute. Yes, Hamas, like al Qaeda, is an Islamist group that uses terrorism as a strategic tool to achieve political aims. Yes, Hamas, like al Qaeda, rejects Israel and has opposed the peace talks that moderate Palestinians have tried to move forward. And sure, the Hamas charter uses language that parallels the worst anti-Semitism of al Qaeda, enjoining believers to fight Jews wherever they may be found and accusing Jews of numerous conspiracies against Muslims, ranging from the drug trade to creating “sabotage” groups like, apparently, violent versions of Rotary and Lions clubs.

But the differences between Hamas and al Qaeda often outweigh the similarities. And ignoring these differences underestimates Hamas’s power and influence — and risks missing opportunities to push Hamas into accepting a peace deal.

While Congress was quick to applaud Bibi’s fiery analogy, U.S. counterterrorism officials know that one of the biggest differences is that Hamas has a regional focus, while al Qaeda’s is global. Hamas bears no love for the United States, but it has not deliberately targeted Americans. Al Qaeda, of course, sees the United States as its primary enemy, and it doesn’t stop there. European countries, supposed enemies of Islam such as Russia and India, and Arab regimes of all stripes are on their hit list. Other components of the “Salafi-jihadist” movement (of which al Qaeda is a part) focus operations on killing Shiite Muslims, whom they view as apostates. Hamas, in contrast, does not call for the overthrow of Arab regimes and works with Shiite Iran and the Alawite-dominated secular regime in Damascus, pragmatically preferring weapons, money, and assistance in training to ideological consistency.

Hamas, like its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, also devotes much of its attention to education, health care, and social services. Like it or not, by caring for the poor and teaching the next generation of Muslims about its view of the world, Hamas is fundamentally reshaping Palestinian society. Thus, many Palestinians who do not share Hamas’s worldview nonetheless respect it; in part because the Palestinian moderates so beloved of the West have often failed to deliver on basic government functions. The old Arab nationalist visions of the 1950s and 1960s that animated the moderate Palestinian leader Mahmood Abbas and his mentor Yasir Arafat have less appeal to Palestinians today.

One of the greatest differences today, as the Arab spring raises the hope that democracy will take seed across the Middle East, is that Hamas accepts elections (and, in fact, took power in Gaza in part because of them) while al Qaeda vehemently rejects them. For Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Ladin’s deputy and presumed heir-apparent, elections put man’s (and, even worse, woman’s) wishes above God’s. A democratic government could allow the sale of alcohol, cooperate militarily with the United States, permit women to dress immodestly, or a condone a host of other practices that extremists see as for

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19. The battle for “progress”

By Gregory A. Daddis


David Ignatius of The Washington Post recently highlighted several “positive signs in Afghanistan,” citing progress on the diplomatic front, in relations between India and Pakistan, and on the battlefield itself. Of note, Ignatius stressed how U.S.-led coalition forces had cleared several Taliban strongholds in Kandahar and Helmand provinces.  The enemy, according to the opinion piece, was “feeling the pressure.” That same day Britain’s former ambassador to Afghanistan condemned General David Petraeus’s tactics as counterproductive and “profoundly wrong.” Denouncing an overemphasis on military action, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles noted that the use of body counts and similar statistics was reminiscent of the Vietnam War and “not conducive to a stable political settlement.”

The allusion to Vietnam, made frequently in the last five years, suggests uncertainty over the true amount of progress being made in Afghanistan today. For nearly a decade Americans in South Vietnam similarly tried in vain to assess progression towards the daunting political-military objective of a stable and independent noncommunist government in Saigon. Military officers and their civilian leaders employed a range of metrics to track success in the myriad political, military, economic, security, and social programs. As early as 1964, analysts were wading through approximately five hundred U.S. and Vietnamese monthly reports in an attempt to appraise the status of the conflict. In the process, the American mission in Vietnam became overwhelmed with data, much of it contradictory and, thus, of dubious value. By war’s end, questions remained over whether the U.S. Army in particular had achieved its goals in Southeast Asia. That debate continues to this day.

The American experience in Vietnam has served—rightfully so—as only an imperfect roadmap for our more current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In short, all wars are unique. Our recent conflicts, however, do illustrate the continuing challenges of defining progress and success in unconventional wars and of developing a coherent strategy for such wars. It is here that an objective study of Vietnam can offer insights and perspectives into the unresolved problems of measuring what matters most in an environment like Afghanistan. Quantitative statistics often do not tell the whole story as governmental allegiances, population security, and political stability all are highly subjective assessments. As in Vietnam, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have varied from province to province and any broad, centralized appraisals of the war likely miss the finer points of local conditions driving the political and military struggle.

Even in a war without front lines, Americans expect wartime progress to be linear. Effort should equal progress. Progress should lead to victory. The widely contrasting views of David Ignatius and Sherard Cowper-Coles, however, imply a battle is being waged over the very idea of “progress” in Afghanistan today. (Asking if the United States “won” in Iraq would provoke equally opposing responses.) If historical examples can be instructive in any way, the problem of metrics in Vietnam arguably helps illuminate the reasons why gauging wartime progress in Afghanistan has produced such a wide range of opinions. Assessing wars oftentimes is just as difficult as winning them.

Colonel Gregory A. Daddis is the author of No Sure Victory: Measuring U.S. Army Effectiveness and Progress in the Vietnam War. Daddis teaches history at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. He has served in a variety of

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20. Six Iraqis in Strasbourg

By Marko Milanovic

 
Last week the European Court of Human Rights produced a landmark decision in  Al-Skeini v. UK, a case dealing with the extraterritorial application of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). What a mouthful of legalese this is, you might think – so let me try to clarify things a bit. The main purpose of human rights treaties like the ECHR is to require the states that sign up to them, say the UK, France or Turkey, to respect such things as the right to life and legal due process, and prohibit the torture, of people living within the UK, France or Turkey.

But what happens when the US detains foreigners on foreign soil (Guantanamo), or kills people in Yemen, Pakistan, and Afghanistan with unmanned drones, or a former Russian spy is poisoned in London ostensibly at the orders or with the collusion of the Kremlin? The question that then arises is whether all these individuals have rights under human rights treaties against the US, the UK or Russia, even though the alleged violations of their rights did not take place in the US, the UK or Russia.

This question might appear to be counterintuitive. Human rights are, after all, supposed to be universal—why should it matter whether a state violates a person’s rights by acting within its territory or outside it? At the legal level however it is a matter of treaty interpretation.  The scope of application of many major human rights treaties, including the ECHR, is defined by a very similar clause: the persons concerned must fall within the state’s jurisdiction for that person to be able to raise his or her rights against the state.

Courts both international and domestic have produced mounds of conflicting case law on how this is different from the state’s territory, with two main strands of decisions defining ‘jurisdiction’ either in spatial terms, as state control over territory, or in personal terms, as control over individuals, with a number of deviations from these two models in between. These contradictions flow partly from the vagueness of the legal concepts, but, also more importantly from conflicting policy considerations. On one hand, courts want to follow their human rights-friendly impulse and protect the individual affected by extraterritorial state action. On the other, courts fear political fallout, and therefore choose to unduly restrict the extraterritorial application of human rights instruments, often on seemingly completely arbitrary grounds.

The Al-Skeini case with which I started this post is a perfect example of this tension. It concerned six individuals, all killed by British troops in Basra, in UK-occupied southern Iraq. One of them, Baha Mousa, was killed while in custody in a British detention facility after much mistreatment. The five others were killed in varying circumstances by British troops on patrol. Some may even have been killed in justifiable or at least excusable circumstances, but their families wanted the UK to conduct an ECHR-compliant effective investigation into their killings. They thus brought proceedings before the UK courts under the Human Rights Act, claiming that the ECHR applied to the killing of their relatives in Iraq. The House of Lords (now rebranded as the UK Supreme Court) held that only Baha Mousa was protected by the ECHR, as his killing took place in a UK military prison, which (I kid you not) was somehow analogous to an embassy (more on that here). As for the other five, they were held not to have been within the UK’s jurisdiction as the ECHR could generally not apply outside the

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21. Thriller Authors Band Together for USO Tour

This fall Clive CusslerSandra BrownKathy ReichsMark Bowden and Andrew Peterson will embark on Operation Thriller, a USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour.

Operation Thriller sends authors to military bases around the world to entertain our troops–follow this link to read about last year’s tour. At the moment, the exact locations and tour dates cannot be revealed for security reasons. 2011 marks the 70-year anniversary of the USO organization.

Here’s more from the release: “OPERATION THRILLER, will fly to the Middle East, where they will sign autographs, pose for photos with the troops and talk about their books, movies, television series and writing. This trip marks the tour’s second installment, the first one kicked off in November 2010 and was comprised of Steve Berry, David Morrell, Doug Preston, James Rollins and Andy Harp.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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22. Arab Spring, Israeli reality

By Elvin Lim

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23. Egypt: Her Excellency, Madame President?

By Bassem SabryIn early April, Bothaina Kamel, a female television presenter and media figure, announced that she would run for the office of the presidency. In a society where the idea of a woman leading a country, the judiciary, or serving any similar role is discouraged by both culture and religion (indeed, it is often outright banned), the presence of a woman in elections stirs up strong reactions from the public. A cursory glance at the news articles that have mentioned her after she declared her candidacy feature such statements as: “Are we so out of men that we would be run by a woman?”

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24. Where are all the Islamic terrorists?

By Charles Kurzman Last month, a few hours after a bomb exploded in downtown Oslo, I got a call from a journalist seeking comment. Why did Al Qaeda attack Norway? Why not a European country with a larger Muslim community, or a significant military presence in Muslim societies? I said I didn't know. A second media inquiry soon followed: Given NATO's involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the number of disaffected Muslims in Europe, why don't we see more attacks like the one in Norway? This question was more up my alley. I recently

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25. The suspicious revolution: an interview with Talal Asad

By Nathan Schneider Not long after his return from Cairo, where he was doing fieldwork, I spoke with Talal Asad at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center, where he is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology. Distinguished indeed: with books like Genealogies of Religion and Formations of the Secular, as well as numerous articles, Asad’s work has been formative for current scholarly conversation about religion and secularity, stressing both

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