Most of those who live in the North Caucasus are caught somewhere in the middle: between a perpetually fearful state that is wary of the independent power base even peaceful Salafism represents and the Islamist rebels who, by simply asking for a package of bandages or a piece of stale bread before they return to the mountains, make them a target for the police. Local authorities have responded with paranoid and indiscriminate crackdowns, treating every Salafist as a potential terrorist. Moscow is largely out of energy and ideas; the conflict may have crossed into a state of intractability.
It remains unclear how much of this history had to do with the bombs in Boston. The fact that two young men of Chechen origin committed an act of terror is not the same as saying Chechen terrorism has come to United States. Mr Kadyrov, usually spectacularly unreliable in his pronouncements, may have gotten it more or less right when he suggested via his Instagram account (his preferred method of communication these days) that the “roots” of Dzhokhar and Tamarlan’s “evil” are best found in America, not Chechnya.
In the end, whatever twisted sense of grievance and fury that drove the Tsarnaevs may have found its ultimate trigger in their adopted homeland more than in the one of their memory. Dzhokhar and Tamarlan are Chechen and Muslim, but they are also immigrant young men, struggling with their own sense of isolation and frustration. The language and motifs of the Caucasus militancy may have acted as a kind of salve, however desperate, for whatever dislocation they felt in America. Their uncle, who lives in Maryland, called the brothers “losers” who didn’t know what to make of themselves in America and thus were left “hating everyone who did”.
And so, in Boston, the cultivated sense of grievance and justification of the North Caucasus militants may been infused with the feelings of loneliness and revenge found in American men who commit acts of horrific violence: a case of “Beslan meets Columbine”, with disastrous results. If al-Qaeda and American male-rage have anything in common, it is that both foster the sort of self-obsessed nihilism that can have tragically bloody results. “I don’t have a single American friend,” Tamerlan is quoted as saying in a photo essay that followed his aspirations as a competitive boxer. “I don’t understand them.” Now it is America struggling to understand the Tsarnaevs.
So most of the “average-person” commentary I’ve read on this video is about (A) how “stupid” it is that we need celebrities to direct our attention to an issue, and (B) how the demands of the Demand a Plan petition make them look like they don’t actually know or understand gun regulations in the USA.
To respond briefly: To (A), celebrities are people too and in this case, I think they’re just voicing what so many of the rest of us think (American and not American), and their role here is just to be a signpost for the petition/organisation as one way you can take action.
To (B), whatever the regulations are, they’re not working.
Have influence? Use it for good.
How many more?
As a human being.
No more lists of names.
It’s not too soon, it’s too late.
Now is the time.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this important message…
If you’re USAmerican, please vote today!
If you’re wondering why I a foreign citizen like me should care, it’s because like it or not, US foreign policy and economic performance affects me directly, and US behavior—modeling peaceful, (hopefully) thoughtful and constructive political participation—affects me indirectly. Simple as that. We all set the tone for each other on this interconnected planet. Do it!
“First and foremost, we want to show people that China is not all about censorship and political debate.”
Want to know what’s going on on China’s social media but cannot speak Chinese?
Start watching Weibo Today, the Youtube Show that brings China’s social media to English audiences!
It’s been four months since Elle Lee and Casey Lau opened a YouTube channel to broadcast Weibo Today, the weekly online show spotlighting trending topics from China’s social networks in English.
This is actually pretty genius.
12 July Bonfires in Northern Ireland
At midnight tonight, enormous bonfires will be lit in Northern Ireland for 12 July celebrations. These bonfires can be up to six stories high and are built of tire and thousands of wooden pallets. They often take weeks to build and days to burn.
The bonfires commemorate the Battle of the Boyne which was fought in July of 1690 between the Catholic King James and the Protestant King William. William won the battle which proved to be a turning point in James’ unsuccessful campaign to regain the crown. The Battle remains a controversial topic today and celebrations have often been marked with confrontations between unionists and nationalists.
What is being an agent for positive influence in the world (promoting compassion/human rights/economic development/alleviating hunger and poverty), and what is coercing other countries to behave in a way that you like and feel comfortable with?
When is it ok be expedient in your dealings with other countries (for example, securing access to oil to allow your country to continue to function), and when is it not (for example, securing exclusive access to foreign oil by any means necessary to allow your country’s eco-unfriendly unsustainable way of functioning to continue)?
Is it better to give up any sort of claims to “noble” aims (eg, human rights, democracy, alleviating poverty) and simply transact based on mutual interest?
What is ignoring gross crimes against humanity, and what is minding your own business?
Can you attract foreign income and expertise without opening your country to exploitation and belittling your local culture and way of life?
Perhaps the real answer to any of these questions is that every national community needs to make their own collective decision about this: how far they’re willing to go for what interests, what and how much they are willing to ignore. Or perhaps everyone just needs to wake up/own up to the fact that every move in international politics is motivated by a mix of both expedient and value-based objectives.
Perhaps we need to learn to say and hear statements such as “Yes, even though I don’t favor military force and invasion, I support it in this instance because it’s saving lives from genocide,” or “No, I don’t support this offer of conditional aid, no matter how much economic development or human rights it’s designed to promote, because I don’t support any form of coercive action.”
I just think it’s disingenuous not to realize that both promoting human rights/economic development through military invention/conditional aid and invading/trading with foreign countries for access to resources are coercive actions in pursuit of material objectives. The means are always questionable, to be weighed against the objectives. And given that, the objectives aren’t always worth it, or always not worth it.
Human rights? Great. Poverty alleviation? Awesome. Continued functioning and/or survival? Imperative. How far do you think you should go?
A male dental assistant, Mr. Alquicira is in the minority. But he is also part of a distinctive, if little noticed, shift in workplace gender patterns. Over the last decade, men have begun flocking to fields long the province of women.
Mr. Alquicira, 21, graduated from high school in a desolate job market, one in which the traditional opportunities, like construction and manufacturing, for young men without a college degree had dried up. After career counselors told him that medical fields were growing, he borrowed money for an eight-month training course. Since then, he has had no trouble finding jobs that pay $12 or $13 an hour.
He gave little thought to the fact that more than 90 percent of dental assistants and hygienists are women. But then, young men like Mr. Alquicira have come of age in a world of inverted expectations, where women far outpace men in earning degrees and tend to hold jobs that have turned out to be, by and large, more stable, more difficult to outsource, and more likely to grow.
“The way I look at it,” Mr. Alquicira explained, without a hint of awareness that he was turning the tables on a time-honored feminist creed, “is that anything, basically, that a woman can do, a guy can do.”
As Chelsea triumphs over Bayern Munich…
Last one, then I’m out. Most broad in its coverage of the different issues at play: how Saverin compares to the rest of the founders, what exactly his investments have been, locals hoping for star sightings, etc.