Home Ed: 35: February/2010

Ed: 35: February/2010

Editorial: Terrorism – tactics and strategy

We cannot adequately address the tactical problem of terrorism without acknowledging and understanding this strategic threat - an ideological movement in some ways akin to Fascism and Marxism-Leninism in its desire to violently and completely transform society, and worship of such a revolutionary transformation as the ultimate value, legitimising almost any means to attain it.

Europa Europa: Centres of learning and loathing

When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab arrived in Britain from his native Nigeria in September 2005 he was a devout Muslim. By the time he graduated from University College London (UCL) three years later, he was a fully primed suicide bomber, ready to do the bidding of his al-Qaeda masters in Yemen.

The Great Leap Forward

No country deserves more credit for improving its counter-terrorism operations and capabilities than Indonesia. While terrorism will never be eliminated, Indonesia has developed a strong and effective counter-terrorist force, while at the same time consolidating its democratic transition.

Wahid’s Way

The genial complexity of Wahid's character, which drew millions to him, was not adequate to the pressures of the presidency. But his life, career, and elements of caprice contain abundant clues for anyone who would understand modern Sufism, global Islam, and the Republic of Indonesia.

The Uneasy Silence

An uneasy silence has descended on Palestinian-Israeli relations. What began with a new American administration's energetic initiative, and then produced some improbable concessions on the part of a new Israeli leadership, has since petered out in the face of Palestinian paralysis.

Battleground Yemen

Like Afghanistan and Sudan before it, Yemen is becoming a key regional base for al-Qaeda.

Essay: The Great Satan Myth

The Iranian regime has never found itself more vulnerable. And, with this vulnerability, it has never leaned more heavily on its own narrative of history. This narrative, of course, has a central antagonist, a character conjured as the "Great Satan".

Media MIcroscope: Siege Mentality

The media predictably commemorated the anniversary of Israel's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza with pieces and reports bemoaning the continuing state of "siege". Many failed to blame Hamas for this situation, which would be remedied if Hamas renounces violence, recognises Israel and accepts existing agreements, as the Quartet has been demanding.

The Last Word: Peer Pressure

The Australian think-alikes distributed curricula vitae of their spokespersons, looking suspiciously like job applications, with anti-Israel disinformation, while urging Australians to exploit the Open as an opportunity to join the defamation of all Israelis.