all the books that might be read to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11, one of
the most probing is by a law professor at Yale, Paul Kahn. In Sacred
picks out two distinctive political problems of our post-9/11 world--terrorism
and torture--and argues that they are parallel.
The debt-ceiling fight is about politics, not policy. But
count on the news media to conflate the two—in service of the trope that everyone just needs to meet in the middle of wherever they
are right now.
One of the most interesting posts on Middle East expert Juan
Cole's extensive blog is his advice
to fledgling Arab democracies on how to build a democracy. He bases his advice
on ten mistakes that he thinks Americans have made in the formation and
perpetuation of our democracy.
Icelanders have not been happy at what they consider a tepid response by their government to the refugee crisis in Europe, many coming from war-torn Syria. After the government said it would restrict the number of refugees it would accept to 50, more than 12,000 people responded to a petition on Facebook demanding that the government be more welcoming. Many of the petitioners offered to host refugees in their own homes. The Global Peace Index recently ranked Iceland as the most peaceful country in the world and Syria the least peaceful (Guardian, September 1).