Links to Start Your Week 5/19/13

First, an update from Syria, where the situation continues to deteriorate. Apparently more factions are emerging, making the question of how to get involved or who to back even more complex than it was before. “three Syrias are emerging: one loyal to the government, to Iran and to Hezbollah; one dominated by Kurds with links to Kurdish separatists in Turkey and Iraq; and one with a Sunni majority that is heavily influenced by Islamists and jihadis.” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/17/world/middleeast/pressure-of-war-is-causing-syria-to-break-apart.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130517&_r=1&

This article discusses the popularity of fighters making videos of killings and atrocities committed in warzones, and some ideas of why it might happen so much. The most recent example cited is that of a fighter cutting out a dead enemy’s heart (or so he thought, although apparently a surgeon who saw the video said he actually got part of the lung) and starting to eat it. It is certainly distressing, but also a thought-provoking read about why people might do these things. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2013/05/online-killing-videos-scenes-from-an-atrocity.html

For those still interested in the Benghazi hearings, here is a link to the full text of emails exchanged regarding talking points following the attacks. http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/benghaziemails0515.PDF

And here is a piece that further discusses blaming the State Department for Benghazi, and in particular spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/opinion/brooks-the-next-scapegoat.html?smid=tw-share

This article claims that everything you think you know about how an individual becomes a terrorist is wrong. There is no clear linear progression from radicalization to violence. http://m.rollingstone.com/?redirurl=%2Fpolitics%2Fnews%2Feverything-youve-been-told-about-radicalization-is-wrong-20130506&seenSplash=1

Meanwhile, at the Guantanamo prison in Cuba, inmates have entered the 100th day of their hunger strike. Of the detainees remaining at Gitmo, over half have been officially cleared of any wrongdoing by the courts, but remain imprisoned with no end in sight. So basically, it continues to be the major stain on our country and recruiting tool for extremists that it has always been. http://www.aljazeera.com/video/americas/2013/05/201351719348602566.html

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