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Political

Why empathy can backfire

In my email last week (“I see you”), I wrote about Sawubona, a typical Zulu greeting that literally means “I see you.” It refers to seeing in a more meaningful sense than the simple act of sight. It means, “I see your personality. I see your humanity. I see your …

Why separation of powers doesn’t work

As democratically elected hate machines continue to gain power across the globe, the safeguards of constitutional democracy are being put to the test. Demagogues assume power through democratic elections and then proceed to undermine the very institutions that brought them to power. Russia’s democratization process crumbled in October 1993, when …

What Trump, Putin, and ISIS have in common

Istanbul, Nice, Paris, Brussels, Orlando, Berlin, Munich, London, and most recently, Manchester. The perpetrators of these horrific acts—all claimed by ISIS—are almost invariably misfit Muslims from marginalized communities with little to lose. To be sure, the vast majority of Muslims reject ISIS’s violent interpretation of their faith. Poll after poll …

The contrarian guide to America’s conflict in the Middle East

I recently finished reading what turned out to be a timely book, titled America’s War for the Greater Middle East, by military historian and retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich. The book opens with an intriguing premise: From the end of World War II until 1980, virtually no American soldiers were killed …

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