Foreign Policy Thin-Sliced (8/16/13)

Syria. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons.

Syria. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons.

Syrian Rebel-Force Futility

“If a regular Syrian comes and asks me what we have given him, I don’t know what to say,” Ahmed said.

Momentum Shifts in Syria, Bolstering Assad’s Position, Ben Hubbard, the New York Times

Netanyahu, Agitator-in-Chief on Iran

The amped-up saber-rattling he demands from the United States as well as Israel only heightens whatever interest the Iranians may have in a nuclear deterrent, further impairs diplomatic prospects by making the Iranians even more doubtful about U.S. intentions, and ignores how implementation of a military threat would probably be counterproductive by leading the Iranians to make the very bomb-building decision they have not to date made.

The Wheel of Alarm on Iran, Paul Pillar, the National Interest

Muslim Brotherhood = AKP = Corporate Capitalism

The AKP’s push for privatization is consistent with the conservative, business-orientated platform of the Muslim Brotherhood—with which the Turkish party is akin—throughout the Middle East. In the year that the Brotherhood dominated the Egyptian government, it sold off state-owned industries at bargain basement prices, resulting in the widespread layoff of workers. Erdogan has done much the same thing, earning the ire of Turkey’s trade union movement.

Turkey: Uprising’s Currents Run Deep, Conn Hallinan, Foreign Policy in Focus

Iraq’s Unbroken Chain of Violence

In Kut, southeast of Baghdad, two car bombs exploded near a bus station, leaving 6 people dead and about 20 injured, according to a medical official.

One of the wounded, Ali Numan, 33, said: “We got wars from Saddam, we got tanks and rockets from the Americans, and now with Maliki we have car bombs every day. Nothing has changed in Iraq, and nothing will change. People die every day.”

Wave of Car Bombs Kills Dozens in Iraq, Duraid Adnan, the New York Times

NSA Suffering From Boy-Who-Cried-Wolf Syndrome

When far too much information gets classified, nothing is really classified. Respect for the system erodes when information readily available in open sources is ostensibly guarded with high-level classification.

A Washington Riddle: What Is ‘Top Secret’?, David Sanger, the New York Times