All posts tagged: Politics

Battles Over Memory Rage On

Battles Over Memory Rage On

Throughout the world postconflict societies have grappled with bitter wartime memories. Some succeed by casting aside disputes over the past, says David Rieff, author of In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and Its Ironies. Others, like postwar Germany, have repudiated their pasts. White nationalist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, this month over the removal of Confederate monuments highlight how the United States has had no such reckoning, he says. This stems from the federal government’s failure to impose a narrative of emancipation of African Americans after the Confederacy’s surrender, Rieff says, adding, that “the rebellion won the peace, in terms of the memory war.” How do you distinguish between memory, collective memory, and history? The only thing that we can call memory is individual memory. You can testify on the basis of your individual memory in a court, but not on the basis of your collective memory. Even if we agreed on what happened [in Charlottesville], that wouldn’t mean we have a collective memory; it would just mean we share the same view. Collective memory is the …

Why Islamic State Targeting Tehran?

Attacks by the self-proclaimed Islamic State on Iran’s parliament and the shrine to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, symbols of the republic and Iranian revolution, left seventeen dead on June 8, 2017. They mark the group’s first assault on Iran and come at a time when its purported caliphate, which spans the border of Iraq and Syria, is under increasing military pressure by U.S.- and Iran-backed forces, among others. In the face of this pressure, the Islamic State hopes to demonstrate its resilience and wide reach, says Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University. The group’s attacks are also meant to burnish its credentials as “a defender of Sunnis everywhere” and “vanguard of the struggle against the Shia,” Hoffman says, since even as Saudi Arabia and other Sunni powers rail against Iran for how it wields influence in the Middle East, only the Islamic State has struck it directly. What was your initial reaction to the attacks? Unprecedented. ISIS sees itself in literally an apocalyptic battle with the Shia, and to be able to strike in …

Climate Change and National Security

The United States House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology hosted a series of roundtables tackling issues on climate change. On July 12, 2017 in Washington, D.C., Ambassador John Campbell participated in the “Science and Policy Perspectives: National Security Implications of Climate Change” roundtable, where he discussed climate change and its effect on Nigeria, a close strategic partner. Below is the statement he submitted for the record:  Climate change certainly has direct implications for the security of the United States, which other participants are exploring this afternoon.  But, we Americans must also be concerned about the security of our close diplomatic partners. If our partners’ security is undermined, so too is our own, even if only indirectly. Here, I would like to look at Nigeria as a case study, where climate change is already having a negative impact on the security of a close partner of the United States. Arguably, Nigeria is the African state of greatest strategic importance to the United States. It is home to about 20 percent of the people living in Africa south of the Sahara. …

What’s killing political satire?

Political journalists, especially during elections, should provide balanced news coverage of parties and scrutinise each parties’ political agendas to help properly inform the public. Sadly this is an ideal that is all-too-rarely realised. There is also the issue of due impartiality – a broadcast rule to ensure news is reported fairly and in an appropriately balanced manner.