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“Argo” and Hollywood’s Muslim Problem

“Argo” and Hollywood’s Muslim Problem

Surely, I thought, the critically acclaimed Argo would be an intelligent film. Directed by noted progressive Ben Affleck, I had high hopes that the film would tackle complex subject matter in a responsible and nuanced way. But while well-intentioned, Argo failed to deliver, falling into the common Hollywood trap of making Muslims into a monolithic Green Menace.

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The Wahhabi War on Indonesia’s Shiites

The Wahhabi War on Indonesia’s Shiites

Indonesia’s Shi’a minority is under heavy attack. Men, women, and children have been assaulted, schools damaged, and villages burned to the ground. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Saudi Arabia’s intolerant brand of Wahabbi Sunni Islam—propagated far and wide by Saudi oil money—is behind most of assaults.

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Hitham’s Tale

Hitham’s Tale

In the latest eight-day conflict, six Israelis were killed by Palestinian rocket fire. In Gaza, however, Israeli bombs killed 179 Palestinians—a substantial portion of whom were civilians, including several dozen women and children. One of them was Hitham’s oldest child, who was visiting relatives in Gaza.  

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Abetting the Carnage in Gaza

Abetting the Carnage in Gaza

The November 22 cease fire between Israeli and Hamas forces is a huge relief for the civilian population on both sides—the primary victims of the conflict. But the Obama administration’s unconscionable decision the previous week to block a ceasefire effort by the UN Security Council not only resulted in additional civilian deaths but also serves as an indication that, despite the president owing his re-election to the hard work of his progressive base, his foreign policy will continue to lean to the right.

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The Latin American Gorilla

The Latin American Gorilla

Latin America itself got scarcely a mention in the U.S. presidential campaign, but a new generation of voters has put it definitively on the agenda. Indeed, the rigid divide between “Latin America” and the United States needs to be revised.

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Obama: The Legacy Term?

Obama: The Legacy Term?

The United States, under Obama, is finally coming to terms with the fact that the world is multipolar.  The notion that one man – or one country – can change this multipolar world is fast becoming antiquated. Accustoming Americans to this power shift may ultimately be Obama’s chief legacy.

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China’s Transformation: A Southeast Asian Perspective

China’s Transformation: A Southeast Asian Perspective

China’s once-in-a-decade leadership transition will have major implications for China’s neighbors in Southeast Asia. Given this, it might be worthwhile to review the changing understanding of the momentous developments in China on the part of people in our region, using my generation—the so-called “baby boomers”—as an example.

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Hamas in the New Middle East

Hamas in the New Middle East

As Hamas’ break with its longtime patron Bashar al-Assad illustrates, the Palestinian Islamist group is adapting to the new Middle East. Even with new bombs pounding Gaza, the group is bound to be recognized as a legitimate international player in due course–and the Israelis would do well to take a lesson.

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Review: Working for Peace and Justice

Review: Working for Peace and Justice

Lawrence Wittner, Professor Emeritus at the State University of New York at Albany, has written a delightful memoir of his life as a public intellectual and activist. Working for Peace and Justice is a compelling chronicle not just of an interesting man living in interesting times, but also how he worked to improve those times, and how that work has enriched his life as well as those close to him

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