U.S. and Turkey on a Collision Course in Syria

The PKK fought for decades to gain greater political and cultural rights in Turkey. The US, EU and Turkey have labeled it a foreign terrorist organization (FTO). However, the US Government does not consider the PYD an FTO. US support for the YPG is expanding, despite Turkey’s objections. The Pentagon announced last week the deployment of US Special Operations advisers, working with resistance forces in northern Syria.

A Bloody Lie: Massacre of Banu Qurayza Jews

There is, indeed, more than a mere similarity. Here we have the prototype – indeed, I would suggest, the origin of the story of Banu Qurayza, preserved by descendants of the Jews who fled south to Arabia after the Jewish Wars, just as Josephus recorded the same story for the Classical world. A later generation of these descendants superimposed details of the siege of Masada on the story of the siege of Banu Qurayza, perhaps by confusing a tradition of their distant past with one from their less remote history. The mixture provided Ibn Ishaq’s story. When Muslim historians ignored it or transmitted it without comment or with cold lack of interest, they only expressed lack of enthusiasm for a strange tale, as Ibn Hajar called it.

Turkey’s False Nostalgia

Turkey’s False Nostalgia By EDHEM ELDEM New York Times, June 16, 2013 ISTANBUL — THE demonstrators who have filled the streets of Istanbul and other Turkish cities for nearly three weeks complain that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, known as the A.K.P., has adopted an increasingly authoritarian attitude that threatens basic freedoms. …

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Destroying the Commons: On Shredding the Magna Carta

Meanwhile, power concentrations are charging in the opposite direction, led by the richest and most powerful country in world history. Congressional Republicans are dismantling the limited environmental protections initiated by Richard Nixon, who would be something of a dangerous radical in today’s political scene. The major business lobbies openly announce their propaganda campaigns to convince the public that there is no need for undue concern — with some effect, as polls show.