News and Analysis (8/31/15)

Egypt’s plans for a new election can scarcely be called a return to democracy as long as its war on civil society continues at full tilt …

… but is the US about to follow in Egypt’s footsteps? “An assistant professor in the law department of the US Military Academy at West Point has argued that legal scholars critical of the war on terrorism represent a ‘treasonous ‘ fifth column that should be attacked as enemy combatants”:

“[M]y family received death threats for my public stand against the so-called Islamic State … [but] I knew as a matter of fact I wasn’t putting their lives at risk; I was protecting them so they will not be seen in any shape or form as condoning such a brutal ideology”:

Contradicting previous Western media reports, the “head of the Syrian Department of Antiquities and Museums, said ‘our information is provisional, but it indicates that any damage done was partial, and the basic structure is still standing'”:
“A garbage-pickup crisis has sparked protests aimed at fixing a government stalemated for too long by the attempt to balance religious rivalry. Lebanon may set an example in the Mideast for government based on individual equality regardless of faith”:
A “list of a few places every member of Congress — and every American — should consider visiting on a trip to the Holy Land” starting with Dinoma, the hotbed of Middle Eastern nuclear weapons and ending with Gaza “where Israel killed over 2200 people in 51 days … including 550 children”:

Ebrahim Moosa was shocked when his former classmate Rashid Moosagie “surrendered the orthodox commitment about which he had exhorted [Ebrahim] and adopted the very idea he had mocked: a toxic version of political Islam on steroids”

“The admission of a coverup on Monday was buried in a lengthy biography of the new Taliban chief, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, apparently published to improve his image and quell the growing internal rancour over his appointment”:

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