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Of Maps and Men

islamicmapA few months ago, my friend Joshua Landis wrote an essay for this blog called “The Great Sorting Out,” which generated one of the more interesting discussions we’ve hosted. I’ve been thinking about Joshua’s argument ever since, and trying to make sense of what I find to be right and wrong about it.

Allies and Opponents of the Islamic State

The Wikipedia page for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has a sidebar displaying the group’s banner, coat of arms, force strength, and a list of its allies and opponents.
Among ISIL’s many enemies are included the following powers and their own enemies:

Thinking About a Post-Conflict Syria

Photo used courtesy of CreativeSyria.comPhoto used courtesy of CreativeSyria.com

Hamas and the Peace Process

hamas-fatahOn May 13, 2008, Yuval Diskin, the director of the Israeli Internal Security Service, Shin Bet, met with U.S. Ambassador Richard Jones to discuss the prospect of a “cooling down” period with Hamas.

Humanitarian Relief in Gaza

CNN-GazaThe Craven News Network gives it to us straight.
A couple of weeks have elapsed since Gaza was drawn into the center of Mideast strife” and the chorus of outrage has grown louder, with several Nobel peace laureates calling for a military embargo against Israel and a US Secretary-of-State famous for his “who-moi” moments giving an impromptu shot across the bow from a hot mic. Will it matter? Does it ever?