A Tale of Two Places – Dabiq and Rumiyah

[ by Charles Cameron — Rumiyah is a city for sure, Dabiq not so much ] . The Islamic State has a new magazine out, and it’s titled Rumiyah, not Dabiq. Here’s the first inside page of the first issue of Dabiq, together with the cover of the first issue of Rumiyah: And here’s the […] Read more »

Brexit: gunpowder, treason and plot?

[ by Charles Cameron — conspiracies in the lead up to Jo Cox’s death and the Brexit referendum ] . Im often told that cunning people behind the scenes run everything according to a plan. Interested if there are any conspiracies re #Brexit — Amil Khan (@Londonstani) June 24, 2016 Amil Khan, aka Londonstani, is […] Read more »

Blog friend Cheryl Rofer on the Iranian nuke deal

[ by Charles Cameron — and Furnish pwns Sowell ] . First there’s Cheryl Rofer‘s piece on Nuclear Diner, The Iran Framework Agreement: The Good, the Bad, and TBD. Then that gets quoted by Alexander Montgomery in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage for April 6. And now Cheryl has a piece in Mother Jones titled […] Read more »

Sanctified payback, blowback

[ by Charles Cameron -- so IS is using waterboarding? meditating on copycattism as a jihadist strategy ] . ** Here’s the basic news, from Adam Goldman and Julie Tate, Captives held by Islamic State were waterboarded, in the Washington Post today: At least four hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State, including an […] Read more »

From the caliphate to Ferguson and back, it’s a small world

[ by Charles Cameron -- starting with the news, closing with Jay Forrester & the impact of systems dynamics on our understanding of cause and effect -- a catchup post ] . Clearing the decks grom the last few days, I found this DoubleQuote in the Wild from Ferguson staring out at me from my […] Read more »

Black Banners in the Washington Post

[ by Charles Cameron -- the one point missing IMO in an otherwise fine piece ] . ** In WaPo, under the header How the violent Islamic State extremists got their signature flag, Abby Phillip tackles what I believe is a very significant question, that of the black banners, but doesn’t mention their “end times” […] Read more »

Israel / Palestine: some delicate balancing acts

[ by Charles Cameron -- what does it mean to give a balanced view of an asymmetric conflict -- when the asymmetry may be as much moral as material, pragmatic as idealistic, as viewed from either side of the fray? ] . The phrase “a fair and balanced view” rolls off the tongue easily enough, [...] Read more »

Big Pharaoh: Levels of complexity in presentation

[ by Charles Cameron -- Syria, yes, but with a focus on networks, tensions, mapping, and understanding ] . Binary logic is a poor basis for foreign policy, as Tukhachevskii said on Small Wars Council’s Syria under Bashir Assad: crumbling now? thread, pointing us to the work of The Big Pharaoh. Here are two of [...] Read more »

Can This Culture Be Changed? “The How Many” vs “The How Effective”

In a New York Times editorial that appeared over the sleepy Fourth of July holidays, John Sopko, special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction, is reported as highlighting in his office’s latest quarterly report seemingly as many fiscal mistakes by the US government and its myriad of contractors as by the Afghans. Read more »