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The first fundamental truth about the "Arab Spring" is that there never was one. The salient fact of the Middle East, the only one, is Islam. The Islam that shapes the Middle East inculcates in Muslims the self-perception that they are members of a civilization implacably hostile to the West. The United States is a competitor to be overcome, not the herald of a culture to be embraced. Is this self-perception based on objective truth? Does it reflect an accurate construction of Islam? It is over these questions that American officials and Western intellectuals obsess. Yet the questions are irrelevant. This is not a matter of right or wrong, of some posture or policy whose subtle tweaking or outright reversal would change the facts on the ground. This is simply, starkly, the way it is. Every human heart does not yearn for freedom. In the Islam of the Middle East, "freedom" means something very nearly the opposite of what the concept connotes to Westerners – it is the freedom that lies in total submission to Allah and His law. That law, sharia, is diametrically opposed to core components of freedom as understood in the West – beginning with the very idea that man is free to make law for himself, irrespective of what Allah has ordained. It is thus delusional to believe, as the West's Arab Spring fable insists, that the region teems with Jamal al-Madisons holding aloft the lamp of liberty. Do such revolutionary reformers exist? Of course they do . . . but in numbers barely enough to weave a fictional cover story. When push came to shove – and worse – the reformers were overwhelmed, swept away by a tide of Islamic supremacism, the dynamic, consequential mass movement that beckons endless winter. That is the real story of the Arab Spring – that, and the Pandora's Box that opens when an American administration aligns with that movement, whose stated goal is to destroy America.
Muslim Democracy explores the relationship between politics and religion in forty-seven Muslim-majority countries, focusing especially on those with democratic experience, such as Indonesia and Turkey, and drawing comparisons with their regional, non-Islamic counterparts. Unlike most studies of political Islam, this is a politically-focused book, more concerned with governing realties than ideology. By changing the terms of the debate from theology to politics, and including the full complement of Islamic countries, Schneier shows that the boundaries between church and state in the Islamic world are more variable and diverse than is commonly assumed. Through case studies and statistical comparisons between Muslim majority countries and their regional counterparts, Muslim Democracy shows that countries with different religions but similar histories are not markedly different in their levels of democratization. What many Islamists and western observers call "Islamic law," moreover, is more a political than a religious construct, with religion more the tool than the engine of politics. "Women who drive in Saudi Arabia," as the author says, "are not warned they will go to hell, but that they will go to jail." With the political salience of religion rising in many countries, this book is essential reading for students of comparative politics, religion, and democratization interested in exploring the shifting boundaries between faith and politics.
The Brotherhoods is the chilling chronicle of the alleged crimes and betrayals of NYPD Detectives Stephen Caracappa and Louis Eppolito, notorious rogue cops who stand charged with the ultimate form of police corruption-shielding their crimes behind their badges while they worked for the mob. These crimes included murder, kidnapping, torture, and the betrayal of an entire generation of New York City detectives and federal agents. This gripping real-life detective story reveals two brotherhoods, both with hierarchies, rituals, and codes of conduct. Chased for seven years by William Oldham, the brilliant and determined detective who didn't let the case die, Detectives Caracappa and Eppolito are at the centre of an investigation that moves from the mobbed-up streets of Brooklyn to Hollywood sets and the Las Vegas strip. Co-written with prize-winning investigative journalist Guy Lawson, the story spans three decades and showcases a cast of characters that runs the gamut from capo psychopaths to grieving mothers to a group of retired detectives and investigators working to see that justice is done.This quintessential American mob tale, both bizarre and compelling, ranks with such modern crime classics as Serpico, Donnie Brasco, and Wiseguy.
Truly an essential reference for today's world, this detailed introduction to the origins, events, and impact of the adversarial relationship between Arabs and Israelis illuminates the complexities and the consequences of this long-lasting conflict. • Provides a comprehensive overview of one of the most complex conflicts in modern times, clarifying its causes and consequences • Inspires critical thinking through perspective essays on topics related to the conflict that generate wide-spread debate • Takes into account events such as the impact of the Arab Spring and the ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear capabilities • Offers valuable insights into the backgrounds and philosophies of the leaders on both sides who have helped defined the Arab-Israeli conflict
By mid-2015, the Obama presidency will be entering its final stages, and the race among the successors in both parties will be well underway. And while experts have already formed a provisional understanding of the Obama administration's foreign policy goals, the shape of the "Obama Doctrine" is finally coming into full view. It has been consistently cautious since Obama was inaugurated in 2009, but recent events in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the Far East have led an increasingly large number of foreign policy experts to conclude that caution has transformed into weakness. In The Obama Doctrine, Colin Dueck analyzes and explains what the Obama Doctrine in foreign policy actually is, and maps out the competing visions on offer from the Republican Party. Dueck, a leading scholar of US foreign policy, contends it is now becoming clear that Obama's policy of international retrenchment is in large part a function of his emphasis on achieving domestic policy goals. There have been some successes in the approach, but there have also been costs. For instance, much of the world no longer trusts the US to exert its will in international politics, and America's adversaries overseas have asserted themselves with increasing frequency. The Republican Party will target these perceived weaknesses in the 2016 presidential campaign and develop competing counter-doctrines in the process. Dueck explains that within the Republican Party, there are two basic impulses vying with each other: neo-isolationism and forceful internationalism. Dueck subdivides each impulse into the specific agenda of the various factions within the party: Tea Party nationalism, neoconservatism, conservative internationalism, and neo-isolationism. He favors a realistic but forceful US internationalism, and sees the willingness to disengage from the world by some elements of the party as dangerous. After dissecting the various strands, he articulates an agenda of forward-leaning American realism--that is, a policy in which the US engages with the world and is willing to use threats of force for realist ends. The Obama Doctrine not only provides a sharp appraisal of foreign policy in the Obama era; it lays out an alternative approach to marshaling American power that will help shape the foreign policy debate in the run-up to the 2016 elections.
Krone der Schöpfung? Vor 100 000 Jahren war der Homo sapiens noch ein unbedeutendes Tier, das unauffällig in einem abgelegenen Winkel des afrikanischen Kontinents lebte. Unsere Vorfahren teilten sich den Planeten mit mindestens fünf weiteren menschlichen Spezies, und die Rolle, die sie im Ökosystem spielten, war nicht größer als die von Gorillas, Libellen oder Quallen. Vor 70 000 Jahren dann vollzog sich ein mysteriöser und rascher Wandel mit dem Homo sapiens, und es war vor allem die Beschaffenheit seines Gehirns, die ihn zum Herren des Planeten und zum Schrecken des Ökosystems werden ließ. Bis heute hat sich diese Vorherrschaft stetig zugespitzt: Der Mensch hat die Fähigkeit zu schöpferischem und zu zerstörerischem Handeln wie kein anderes Lebewesen. Anschaulich, unterhaltsam und stellenweise hochkomisch zeichnet Yuval Harari die Geschichte des Menschen nach und zeigt alle großen, aber auch alle ambivalenten Momente unserer Menschwerdung.

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