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Justin Podur: The Reordering of Iraq and Syria

How far back do we look to understand the breakup of Iraq and the declaration by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in June 29, 2014 of a caliphate?

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Justin Podur: Professionals and Torturers

The key moment in many revolutions comes when police and militaries refuse to fire on crowds. But what is difficult to explain about those moments is their infrequency. Soldiers and police come from the same society as the crowds. Why do they kill them? Why are elites and authorities able to rest so comfortably in Read more…

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Justin Podur: Fukushima And Low-Probability Events

A friend from the movement asked me my thoughts on George Monbiot's article in the UK Guardian about how Fukushima actually converted him to nuclear power. George summarizes the Fukushima incident as follows:   "A crappy old plant with inadequate safety features was hit by a monster earthquake and a vast tsunami. The electricity supply failed, Read more…

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Justin Podur: Wikileaks Cablegate

The US Embassy cables put out by Wikileaks are not the truth. Even though I knew it, a part of me was disappointed at how ideological some of the cables were. Take #09TELAVIV1060, "Rep. Wexler discusses Iran with IDF Intelligence". The entire discussion is about the threat posed by Iran to Israel. Even among themselves, Read more…

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Justin Podur: Empires Don’t Build Rivals

In the background of the Indo-US nuclear deal now going into "overdrive", as well as the increasing economic co-operation and (most importantly) the joint military excercises and interoperability efforts and acquisitions made by India, there is a geopolitical notion: that the US is building India’s military capacity in order to counter potential rivals China and Read more…

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Justin Podur: So, what am I doing in Islamabad?

I am currently sitting in my very reasonable apartment in the Iqbal International Institute for Research and Dialogue guest house, typing at a laptop that is sitting on a dresser and using a wireless connection set up for me by my host, Junaid Ahmad, who borrowed an unused router from an office here at the Read more…

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Justin Podur: Ingrid Betancourt Released

Celebrations are on, but dangerous times ahead… Colombia’s most high-profile hostage of the FARC guerrilla group, French-Colombian former Presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt was just freed (July 2/08) in a military operation by the Colombian armed forces. This is a major event in Colombian politics and a cause for celebration. Many were worried Ingrid was already Read more…

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Justin Podur: Colombia Assassinates Raul Reyes of FARC

The second-in-command of FARC (Colombia’s guerrilla group), and perhaps its most visible spokesperson, Luis Édgar Devia Silva, or "Raul Reyes" (the nom de guerre), was killed by the Colombian military in bombings yesterday. The Colombian military killed some 15 guerrillas in the operation, according to their own reports, including Raul Reyes. The reports suggest that Read more…

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Justin Podur: Venezuela’s Constitutional Reform Fails (For Now)

The Constitutional Reform referendum in Venezuela has failed, and Chavez, unlike the Venezuelan opposition, gracefully accepted the defeat. The best outcome would have been a slim victory for the "Si" side, and the loss will have negative regional and global consequences. Colombia’s President Uribe, backed by the US, had days before destroyed a humanitarian accord Read more…

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Justin Podur: The Harper-Uribe Handshake

I The photo in Colombia’s daily newspaper “El Tiempo” from earlier this week, of Canadian Prime Minister Harper and Colombian President Uribe gazing into each other’s eyes, locked in the sort of handshake the Canadian PM gives his sons in the morning, turned a few Canadian and Colombian stomachs. Uribe’s government, after all, is infamous Read more…

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