Countering Radical Narratives Requires Understanding the Radicalized
Nimmi Gowrinathan writes: Reports that women have formed their own brigade within the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) have confounded experts — and worried them. For many, the idea of women as violent extremists seems paradoxical. After all, why should women want to join a political struggle that so blatantly oppresses them?
“In war zones across the world, women absorb a disproportionate amount of the fallout from conflict, including material deprivation in refugee camps, daily harassment and fear in militarized zones, and a constant vulnerability to rape.”
That question reveals more about the experts than the fighters. Those who ask it assume, first, that women are more peaceful than men by nature; and second, that women who participate in armed rebellion are little more than cannon fodder in a man’s game, fighting foolishly for a movement that will not benefit them. As the women of ISIS prove, both assumptions are false.
“Joining the fight is sometimes the only way to survive.”
To understand the women of ISIS and their motivations, it helps to place them in their historical context, among the legions of women in El Salvador, Eritrea, Nepal, Peru, and Sri Lanka who voluntarily joined violent movements and militias, sometimes even as highly ranked officers. In each of these cases, women joined for the same basic reasons as men. Living in deeply conservative social spaces, they faced constant threats to their ethnic, religious, or political identities — and it was typically those threats, rather than any grievances rooted in gender, that persuaded them to take up arms. Read the rest of this entry »
Courtesy of those upbeat folks at foreignaffairs.com
Remember that ISIS guy who promised to raise Islamic flag over the White House? Me neither!
The Islamic State’s Press Officer Abu Mosa became a figure of international notoriety overnight when he took on a starring role in a captivating Vice News documentary about ISIS in Syria.
“We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.”
– The late Abu Mosa
Instead of doing that, according to the U.S. State Department, he’s just going to be dead.
— Think AgainTurn Away (@ThinkAgain_DOS) August 21, 2014
Mosa was reportedly killed near the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria, where much of Vice’s documentary was shot. His death comes as Islamic State forces mount a long-awaited assault on the Tabqa Syrian military airbase. Read the rest of this entry »
President Bush said yesterday that he gave up golfing in 2003 “in solidarity” with the families of soldiers who were dying in Iraq, concluding that it was “just not worth it anymore” to play the sport in a time of war…(more)
NEW YORK TIMES HEADLINE: OBAMA VOWS TO ‘STAY ON COURSE’
The vacationing commander-in-chief returned to the golf course Wednesday after calling for justice in the brutal killing of an American journalist by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) terrorists. …
The president zipped quickly from a local school to a Martha’s Vineyard golf course after his 12:45 p.m. media session. Obama delivered a short statement and took no questions from the assembled media.
The Rock Squirrel has been raiding our bird feeder, carrying away pounds of seed. Nancy figured a quick solution. I don’t know which is funnier, the squirrel or Nancy’s narration.
For anyone who is concerned about the squirrel, he still raids our other two feeders and the vegetable garden. The tiny amount of Vaseline used is non-toxic…He quickly learned that this feeder was not worth the trouble…(read more)
Prefer something a little more militant? In this marvel of modern aviation, witness this highlight reel of theft-prevention techniques involving what we charitably call “involuntary squirrel flight.”
Ultimate Squirrel-Launching Compilation
They didn’t…they didn’t…oh yes they did.
Visit VA Viper for more of these gems.
FERGUSON, Mo. AP — Police records show that 163 arrests have been made in the Ferguson protest zone since the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, but just seven are residents of the St. Louis suburb…(read more)
“Oil production gains from the Bakken and Eagle Ford shale formations are a major reason why U.S. imports of crude oil have dropped to levels not seen since the mid-1990s.”
– Benteck Director of Energy Analysis Jack Weixel
HOUSTON, Aug. 21 (UPI) — Oil production from shale basins in North Dakota and Texas are the primary reason for a decline in U.S. oil imports, data published Thursday show.
“Total U.S. crude oil production reached 8.5 million barrels per day in July, the highest monthly level since April 1987.”
Bentek Energy, the analytical division of Platts, said July oil production from the Bakken area in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford shale play in Texas increased 3.4 percent year-on-year, or more than 86,000 barrels per day.
The chart below shows the combined daily oil output in America’s three most productive oil fields — the Bakken in North Dakota, the Eagle Ford Shale in south-central Texas and the Permian Basin in west Texas — from January 2007 to June 2014, based on estimates released by the EIA. From combined output of 1 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) in 2007, total crude oil production in those three oil fields will top 4 million barrels in June, based on drilling rigs data and EIA estimates of changes in production from existing wells…(read more)
“Oil production gains from the Bakken and Eagle Ford shale formations are a major reason why U.S. imports of crude oil have dropped to levels not seen since the mid-1990s,” Benteck Director of Energy Analysis Jack Weixel said in a statement Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Tom Rogan: Obama White House ‘More Concerned with Domestic Popular Opinion Rather Than Foreign Strategic Threat’Posted: August 21, 2014
See Tom Rogan’s recent piece on the Islamic State and James Foley’s murder, “A Man of Courage and ISIS’s Face of Evil.”
Man Shot and Killed by St. Louis Police Officer
On Tuesday, two officers from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department shot and killed Kajieme Powell, who was 25 years old.
“There is a dangerous dynamic in the night,ﾔ he said. ﾓIt allows a small number of violent agitators to hide in the crowd and then attempt to create chaos.”
Powell was suspected of shoplifting energy drinks and donuts from a convenience store. The shop owner, believing that Powell was carrying a weapon, contacted police. Another witness, Ald. Dionne Flowers, who represents the area and owns a beauty salon in the same block, noticed that Powell was acting erratically and also called police. Flowers told police she saw a second knife, though only one was recovered at the scene.
Sam Dotson, St Louis Police Chief, said in a tweet that officers had responded to a call and found an apparently agitated man, armed with a knife who yelled, “Kill me now” before approaching the patrol.
Some bystanders questioned whether the man was armed and said he was accused of stealing two bottles of soda.
An angry crowd grew quickly outside the convenience store where the latest victim died.
Some young men said they planned to burn it down and accused the police of being intent on murdering young black men.
“Why didn’t they use a Taser,” said Germaine Leroy. “What are they shooting for? I’ve been shot with a Taser so I know how it incapacitates.”
The case of Michael Brown, 18, who was unarmed when he was shot dead by a white officer, has polarised the nation. Night after night demonstrators have fought running battles with police who are struggling to maintain control. Read the rest of this entry »
College Newspaper Can’t Be Called ‘The Bullet’ Anymore Because It’s Too Dangerous
“The editorial board felt that the paper’s name, which alludes to ammunition for an artillery weapon, propagated violence and did not honor our school’s history in a sensitive manner.”
A Virginia university has decided to stop calling its newspaper “The Bullet” over concerns that the name was so insensitive and inappropriate that it could even make people violent.
“I would say this: Something needs to be done to respond to this brutal murder. I think we have to take a stronger stand with the Islamic State.”
Via The Corner:
GlobalPost CEO Philip Balboni told MSNBC he is confident that the U.S. government “tried very hard,” and he has communicated with officials since Foley was kidnapped in November 2012. In light of Foley’s death, though, the government must do more, he said.
“I would say this: Something needs to be done to respond to this brutal murder.”
“I’m not an expert — I don’t know what exactly should be done — but this brutal murder of an American citizen cannot go unanswered,” he said…(read more)
For SingleHop, Stephanie Crets writes: Net Neutrality has been the topic of intense conversation recently, as the FCC solicits and considers public comments about how to regulate Internet traffic. We’ve put together the overview below to help you understand the issues and players that influence the way we use the Internet daily for business, research, entertainment, and social activities.
Net Neutrality Overview
Net Neutrality refers to the idea that all data on the Internet should be treated equally by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). For most of the Internet’s history, ISPs generally did not distinguish between the various types of content that flow through their networks, whether web pages, email, or other forms of information. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the few ISPs that tried to block certain types of data faced strong opposition from consumers, tech companies, and regulators.
With the rise of bandwidth-heavy services such as Netflix, ISPs have increasingly sought to sell more bandwidth, or “fast lanes,” to companies willing to pay for it. Other traffic would move through their networks at a slower pace.
An FCC History of Net Neutrality
The term “Network Neutrality” (later shortened to Net Neutrality) was coined by legal scholar Tim Wu in a 2003 study of potential ways to regulate the Internet. Over the last decade, the FCC has tried multiple times to enforce “guiding principles” in support of Net Neutrality. Read the rest of this entry »
Our co-found and Editor-At-Large. Though this snapshot looks vintage, it was actually taken fairly recently, around 2007, back when he had a bit less gray hair, and long before he had a 3-D printer. But his hobbies are essentially the same. He’s currently heading up our Hong Kong Bureau, where his time and space doesn’t allow for recreational rocket building, so I’m sure he’ll enjoy this archival snapshot as a winsome reminder of a cherished pastime.
L.A. Desk: City of Hawthorne is going to ‘look into’ mandating the use of ‘body cams’ for all uniformed police officersPosted: August 20, 2014
— Robert Holguin (@ABC7Robert) August 19, 2014
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 20, 2014