Thoughts on the Pulse Massacre

Two nights ago I attended the Boston Dyke March, an annual Pride event with no corporate sponsors that maintains the political origins of Pride. Yesterday, I attended the major Pride parade here in Boston, with its attendant concerns about pinkwashing exploitive corporations and allowing them to profit off of our identities, but an event that…

Leading by Example: How States Identify Targets for Non-State Violence

Nearly 80,000 people in the UK signed a petition calling for the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on war crimes charges ahead of his diplomatic visit to Britain. The growing global criticism of Israel’s military actions against Palestinians is encouraging, but is also particularly interesting to consider alongside recent acts of settler violence…

Drone Strikes, Police Violence, and Suspect Classes in American Justice

Last week, NSA domestic surveillance programs, as well as several provisions of the PATRIOT Act were shut down. First off, credit where credit is due: I disagree with Rand Paul on a great many things, but he has consistently been good on surveillance issues, and he blocked the Senate from fast-tracking a vote on the…

Language and the War on Terror

A while ago, I think I mentioned on here that the BBC was no longer going to use the words “terrorist” or “terrorism” in their reporting (except when quoting someone.) The BBC explained this policy change by stating: “We recognise the existence and the reality of terrorism – at this point in the twenty first…

Links for the Middle of Your Week 3/18/15

My bad, guys. It’s late. Also, though, links posts are a great time to let me know if you are interested in reading a longer/more in-depth post about any of the topics I mention here. Human Rights This week I learned that Australia mandates detention of all asylum seekers until their claims are processed. This…

Links to Start Your Week 3/8/15

International Women’s Day! On this fine day, the Zinn Education Project has a toolkit for educators to teach women’s contributions to history year-round, and for the rest of us to learn. This piece uses recent acts of violence against women in India as a starting point to discuss how to design cities “as if women…

War on Terror Update 2: Yemen, Libya, and Collateral Damage

Not long ago, Yemen was cited as an example of successful U.S. counterterrorism policy. President Obama described our engagement there, relying pretty much entirely on the use of drones in cooperation with the Yemeni government, as a model for future counterterrorism operations, specifically against ISIS. Unfortunately, our counterterrorism partner, the Yemeni government, has collapsed. Several…

Links to Start Your Week 3/1/15

Middle East Leaked intelligence cables show that Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad, contradicted prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assertions that Iran was producing a nuclear weapon. Researchers are not sure that ISIS’s social media propaganda is as important to recruitment as is widely believed. They argue that battlefield success is a better predictor of a group’s ability…

Links to Start Your Week 2/22/15

Middle East 21 Egyptians working in Libya were executed by the ISIL this week. The men were Coptic Christians. The move is being interpreted as both evidence of ISIL’s spreading influence beyond Iraq and Syria, and men in the video said it was also a warning to Europe. Spokesmen from ISIL have talked before about…

War on Terror Update 1: Kayla Mueller

Once again, time has gotten away from me a bit on the blogging front. You would think that being snowed in half the time would make me productive on this front, but somehow that was not the case. But anyway, a lot has been happening in the realm of the Global War on Terror, and…

Links to Start Your Week 1/25/15

Middle East King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has died. His 79-year-old brother succeeds him. Meanwhile, the once close relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia has gotten somewhat more strained, but has not been severed. As has always been the case, one of the key reasons for that is Saudi oil. You may have heard…

State of the Union Reaction

I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with bated breath for my thoughts on the State of the Union, just like we were all on pins and needles for Joni Ernst’s response speech last night. Unlike hers, this will actually engage some (though not all) of the content from Obama’s address. You can find video and…