H
undreds of thousands of children around the world have been seduced and forced into being child soldiers and cadres in the service of armed and violent groups. Many have been successfully treated using a combination of individual, family and community interventions that relied on combinations of expressive, cognitive and behavioral therapies as well as play, song, art and dance mixed in with culturally indigenous cleansing and healing rituals. Is there a possibility of the same for the children of ISIS— the Iraqi and Syrian boys and girls seduced and forced into slavery and violence; raped; beaten and tricked into serving the brutal non-Islamic State? 

Published in Terrorism

The Quran liberated women from subhuman status, gave us rights to choose whom to marry, to work, to be in leadership positions, and to ultimately live in full dignity. And yet in 2015 Wahhabi imams have relegated women to subhuman status by allowing husbands to cane their wives into obedience and promoting a version of Sharia that permits forced and child marriages and condones honor killings. Women have become sexual objects through forced veiling, which makes our voices, skin, hair, and faces off-limits, and even a handshake is deemed a potentially arousing sexual experience.” ~ Ani Zonneveld (2015)

Published in Iconoclast

When my older sister who lives in Germany came to Indonesia recently, we gave her the royal treatment. Well, she’s family after all, and had not visited in 12 years.So if a family member hadn’t visited in 47 years, the royal treatment would be quadrupled, right? Well, that’s how long it had been since a Saudi monarch had come to Indonesia. The last time was the visit of King Faisal in 1970, so when King Salman of Saudia Arabia came in February the reception was pretty over the top.

Published in Southeast Asia
T
here is an intriguing movie making the rounds titled “The Young Pope” (which I have reviewed in a separate piece) where one see Pius XIII, the first American Pope, a Caligula type personality, turning Vatican politics into chaos. The parallels, not only with Emperor Caligula, but also with imperial President Trump are uncanny. But of course, that’s fiction; a world that could conceivably come about in the future in the Vatican.

Published in Trump's Presidency

Authors: Matthew Crosston & Kagusthan Ariaratnam

A
merican political scientist Joseph Nye wrote in his famous book, “Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics,” that political or social power can influence others to get them to behave in ways that you want by either coercion and/or payment - elements of hard power - or through attraction and/or persuasion - the foundations of soft power.

Published in Intelligence
J
acksonian school of thought is winning today in U.S. The starkest indicator of that is that the President of the U.S. is Donald Trump. As opposed to other three major schools (Wilsonian, Hamiltonian and Jeffersonian) Jacksonians are in the vanguard of American populism and promote isolationism in the global affairs of the U.S. The problem with that lies in the fact that after more than seven decades of U.S. foreign policy shaped by the Wilsonian and Hamiltonian schools of thought, sudden withdrawal to isolationism may bring the undesired result to Jacksonians -- war.

Published in Americas
O
n January 27th, 2017 which ironically happens to be Holocaust Remembrance Day, US President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order entitled ‘Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States’. The effect of the Executive order, inter alia, was to prevent the entry into the United States, irrespective of visa status, citizens of seven Muslim majority nations.

Published in Americas
W
hile the vast majority of President Donald Trump’s lightening fast and blitzkrieg-like Executive Orders over the past week and a half appear to have been positively aimed primarily at improving the U.S. Economy, augmenting the creation of U.S. well paying and stable jobs, building and re-instituting industry and manufacturing within the United States, and by and large removing excessive governmental largesse and over-regulation that stifles job growth and economic freedom.

Published in Americas
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