The Worship of False Gods

By Praveen Swami – The Indian Express

To understand the jihadists of the Islamic State, step back in time to Europe of the medieval period

“In the Temple of Solomon and the portico”, wrote the chronicler Raymond d’Aguilers, witnessing the capture of Jerusalem in 1099, “crusaders rode in blood to the knees and bridles of their horses”. He recorded “marvellous works”: “Some of the pagans were mercifully beheaded, others pierced by arrows plunged from towers, and yet others, tortured for a long time, were burned to death in searing flames”. “Jerusalem was now littered with bodies and stained with blood”, D’Aguilers approvingly went on, “the blood of pagans who blasphemed God there for so long”.

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Solar Impulse: How The Pilots Who Made History Achieved the ‘Impossible’

By André Borschberg , Bertrand Piccard*

Writing for Newsweek, André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard reflect on their journey.

We were told we couldn’t do it, that flying around the world with solar power alone simply couldn’t be done.

But we developed our Solar Impulse 2 plane anyway and, as you know, we’ve just flown around the entire world.

Here is the thinking that enabled us to achieve the “impossible”.

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How come a Muslim can be a terrorist in Europe but a mere ‘attacker’ in south-west Asia?

Robert Fisk – The Independent

We love to talk of terror – but after the Munich shooting, this hypocritical catch-all term has finally caught us out

The frightful and bloody hours of Friday night and Saturday morning in Munich and Kabul – despite the 3,000 miles that separate the two cities – provided a highly instructive lesson in the semantics of horror and hypocrisy. I despair of that generic old hate-word, “terror”. It long ago became the punctuation mark and signature tune of every facile politician, policeman, journalist and think tank crank in the world.

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Is Kemalism on Its Way out in Turkey?

By Taj Hashmi – The Daily Star, Bangladesh

Jul 21 2016 – The enigmatic coup-attempt in Turkey on the night of July 15 and 16 signals something ominous about the future of Turkey, NATO, and the entire region. There’s more to read into the event than what appears on the surface. We don’t know much about the nature of the coup, but it has definitely tarnished the “Turkish Model” of success, which its Arab neighbours envied, and European ones admired for the co-existence of liberal Islam, secularism, and democracy. The “abortive coup” seems to have further consolidated Erdogan’s power, at least for the time being. Seemingly, Erdogan and his followers are marching together toward “illiberal democracy”, if not toward the utopia of Islamist totalitarianism.

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Lessons of a Failed Coup

By Zahid Hussain

Jul 20 2016 (Dawn, Pakistan) – The spectacle of unarmed civilians blocking army tanks, overpowering soldiers and forcing them to the ground in the streets seemed surreal. It was a rare show of people’s power defeating a coup attempt. What happened in Turkey last weekend is a sign of changing times.

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Article 50: The Brexit divorce paper

Alex Barker – Financial Times

Just 262 words in the Lisbon treaty will dictate the talks — and shape the UK’s ties with Europe

The 262 words that frame Britain’s EU divorce came to life on a kitchen table. The date was early 2003 and the place the small Brussels flat of John Kerr, a veteran British diplomat turned secretary-general for a conclave to develop a new EU constitution.

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Five Ways of Understanding the Failed Coup in Turkey

By Michael Rubin* – American Enterprise Institute / Newsweek

Erdog`an is on the warpath. He believes he has a carte blanche to target enemies at home and perhaps abroad as well.

There was reason to see such violence coming. Last March, we speculated here at AEIdeas about the possibility that a coup might be brewing. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president and strongman, has only grown increasingly dictatorial and erratic since.

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Breaking the South China Sea Stalemate

By Francisco S. Tatad – Manila Times
Jul 18 2016 (Manila Times) – I grew up in a remote small village of Catanduanes, an island-province on this side of the Pacific where we had no court of law nor even a village cell to detain those who disturbed the peace. By necessity, we were obliged to maintain a zero crime rate. But neighbors and spouses still quarreled, sometimes violently, and whenever this happened, the parties would come to my father, who had a reputation for being a just and honest man, to conciliate or arbitrate. He would talk to the parties, ask a few questions, and then advise them to overlook each other’s defects and compose their differences. Somehow it always worked.

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Turkey’s coup may have failed – but history shows it won’t be long before another one succeeds

Robert Fisk* – The Independent

Too late did Erdogan realise the cost of the role he had chosen for his country – when you can no longer trust your army, there are serious issues that need to be addressed

Recep Tayyip Erdogan had it coming. The Turkish army was never going to remain compliant while the man who would recreate the Ottoman Empire turned his neighbours into enemies and his country into a mockery of itself. But it would be a grave mistake to assume two things: that the putting down of a military coup is a momentary matter after which the Turkish army will remain obedient to its sultan; and to regard at least 161 deaths and more than 2,839 detained in isolation from the collapse of the nation-states of the Middle East.

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Theresa May (and Angela Merkel) should play Brexit long

Philip Stephens – Financial Times

One by one, the rivals to replace David Cameron were found out. Boris Johnson, a chancer who thinks a smattering of schoolboy Latin fair substitute for strategy or principle. Michael Gove, a political sociopath with a manifesto that read like an undergraduate essay. Andrea Leadsom, the hard-right’s unelectable answer to Labour’s far-left, and unelectable, Jeremy Corbyn. After winning the war, the leading Brexiters lost the peace. Theresa May’s stroll into Downing Street offered some hope that Britain has not gone completely mad.

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