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I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians. DeGaulle
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Jihadist-backed rebels take Syrian army command post

Jihadist-backed rebels take Syrian army command post | Psycholitics & Psychonomics |

Syrian rebels backed by radical Islamists captured a northern regimental command center of President Bashar al-Assad's army, activists said on Sunday, as Russia dismissed speculation that it is preparing for its ally's possible exit from power.


'Rebels have made a series of advances in recent weeks, partly due to help from radicals such as Jabhat al-Nusra, a group linked to Al Qaeda in Iraq which has been excluded from a newly-formed rebel military command.'


[However] 'Rebels have been targeting Iranians in Syria, many of whom it accuses of belonging to Iranian security forces. Iran has been Assad's main bankroller and backer in the region. Rebels are also holding 48 Iranians which Tehran says were pilgrims.'


'Washington and its NATO allies, who have thrown their weight behind the opposition, are pressing for Assad's departure to end the conflict in Syria, which has taken more than 40,000 lives.'


'............Western officials have recently cited intelligence reports that Assad may turn to chemical weapons.'


'Russia and China have blocked U.N. resolutions against Assad, saying they oppose foreign intervention in the conflict.'


'Russia, Syria's main arms supplier, dismissed suggestions from observers that its support for Assad might be softening.'



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A fall snapshot of Arab Spring: The profit motive outweighs the prophet motive.

A fall snapshot of Arab Spring: The profit motive outweighs the prophet motive. | Psycholitics & Psychonomics |
Short on certainties, a Harvard panel convenes nearly two years after the start of the Arab Spring to offer perspectives on the past, present, and future.


'In the absence of certainties, the panel of lawyers, political scientists, and historians supplied perspective. Only one thing is sure: The Arab Spring rose from deep in the past, and the issues it stirred up may be resolved only far in the future. “It’s only two years into the process,” said Khalidi. “It’s far too early,” added Owen, in reference to constitution making. “Let’s come back in 10 years’ time.”'


'Three main Islamist trends now thread through the Arab Spring, adding to its complexity, said Khalidi. At one end is a “tiny minority” of Jihadist fighters with no respect for the political process, but whose influence belies their numbers. After all, they are armed, organized, combat-hardened, and ruthless, qualities that are prized in, say, Syria. He called that war-wracked country “the most fraught consequence of the Arab Spring.”

On the other end of Islamist political trends stands the Muslim Brotherhood, now most prominently in power in Egypt. Its members are neoliberal and favor making money above all, said Khalidi, because “The profit motive outweighs the prophet motive.” Between these two trends are the Salafists, ultraconservative Islamists whose aim is to impose Sharia law, even in societies, such as in Egypt, where secular liberals remain a potent force.'

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