FROM Nihad Awad
Avoiding the "I" Word During his summit on violent extremism, President Obama refused to use the word "Islamic" to describe the brutal group calling itself the "Islamic State." He says connecting its savage acts to religion gives religion a bad name. "We must never accept the premise that they put forward because it is a lie. Nor should we grant these terrorists the legitimacy they seek. They are not religious leaders, they are terrorists." A chorus of critics, including some scholars, say he's denying reality. Like it or not, they insist, ISIS is rooted in the Koran. So, what's to be done about the continuing flood of ISIS supporters? Should there be less talk about words and more about living conditions for the poor, young people and women in much of the Muslim world?
Will the Latest NSA Revelations Lead to Reform? For more than a year, reporters have been poring over the vast trove of National Security Agency files made public by Edward Snowden. Promised reform to protect the privacy of innocent citizens whose records were being swept up is now stalled in Congress. Meantime, revelations keep coming: the latest analysis of files he made public show the NSA spied on well-known public figures and looked at the private communications of American citizens, even though they were not official “targets.”
The Catholic Church Before and After Pope Benedict XVI Pope Benedict XVI declared today, "I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter." Speaking in Latin, the 85-year old Pope told a group of cardinals that "advanced age" will cause him to resign on the last day of this month. It's the first such action in 600 years, and the Vatican says that one billion Roman Catholics should have a new Pope before Easter. Even close aides reportedly were surprised by the end of an eight-year reign tainted by clerical sex abuse and divided between traditionalists and reformers. We hear more about the decision, the state of the church and the prospect of a new Pope from Africa or Latin America.
Is Homegrown Terrorism Blowback From The Predator Drones? Why would a naturalized American citizen try to set off a bomb in Times Square? One theory is that Faizal Shahzad was radicalized by CIA-drone strikes in his native Pakistan--strikes that have killed not just the militants actually targeted but innocent civilians as well. Robert Baer was a Middle East field officer for the CIA. His latest book is, “The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower…”
Holy Land Foundation Escapes Conviction on Financing Terrorism After the horrors of September 11, President Bush said he would not only attack terrorists but issue orders to shut down their financing. A key front in this war was the Holy Land Foundation , a charity that raised millions of dollars for needy Arabs. The administration claimed that the Texas-based organization was helping Hamas , a terrorist organization, and filed criminal charges against HLF leaders. This week the prosecution of the foundation collapsed and a jury issued no guilty verdicts. The failure has raised serious questions about the use of executive power. Has the White House bungled the war on terror?
Holy Land Foundation Escapes Conviction on Financing Terrorism After the horrors of September11, President Bush said he would not only attack terrorists but issue orders to shut down their financing. A key front in this war was the Holy Land Foundation , a charity that raised millions of dollars for needy Arabs. The administration claimed that the Texas-based organization was helping Hamas , a terrorist organization, and filed criminal charges against HLF leaders. This week the prosecution of the foundation collapsed and a jury issued no guilty verdicts. The failure has raised serious questions about the use of executive power. Has the White House bungled the war on terror?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?