Reflecting on democracy, the Iranian philosopher argues: “In a tyrannical system, the first organ that stops functioning is the judicial heart, and that when our heart is so feeble, having a strong and robust body is little more than a naïve and ridiculous dream.”
By John Limbert
Three decades of American hostility to Iran has resulted in a “satisfying purity of indignation” but little more. It is time for presidential leadership, starting with small and symbolic gestures, to prevent an armed conflict that will cause irreparable damage to both sides.
Western powers suspect that Iran is developing atomic weapons. But the controversy over the country’s nuclear program obscures the fact that Iran launched its pursuit of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes a quarter century before the Islamic revolution. It was the United States that helped Iran launch its nuclear quest.
By Dawn Chatty
Iraqis have confounded Western expectations of refugee behavior. They did not leave their country en masse during the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Later when they fled sectarian violence, they refused to huddle in refugee camps. Arab traditions underpin a humane approach to asylum policy in the Middle East.
Conflict and population displacement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is portrayed as impossibly complex. There are four competing accounts, depending on which side is telling the story. Interpretation of history will always be contested. A more inclusive narrative can clear the way to constructive solutions.
Millions of people are being forcibly displaced by sudden and slow onset disasters related to climate change. The problem: there is no international legislation providing a clear and secure basis for their rights and protection. A look at what this means for refugees in Kenya and Egypt.
By Andrew Lam
Those who fled the Fall of Saigon in 1975 were refugees traumatized by wars and bound by old ways of life. In the United States, they built new lives in a country known for its fabulous fantasies, high-tech wizardry, and individualistic ambition. For many, the homeland is a destination, but no longer their destiny.
By Ying Zhu
Gone are the days when China Central Television broadcast nothing but party propaganda. It is a modern media empire, operationally autonomous and fending off competition from a rising number of rival domestic channels. Now, like Qatar’s Al Jazeera, it is taking on the world. CCTV is a channel to watch.
When Liu Yang became China’s first female taikonaut with the launch of Shenzhou 9 in 2012, it was yet another sign that the country is catching up with the United States in the conquest of outer space. Concerning the military motives behind China’s ambitious program, however, it’s time to separate wild speculation from valid conclusions.
China is aggressively enforcing a self-declared zone of sovereignty in wide areas of the South China Sea. Its takeover of disputed islands and arrests of fisherman have triggered growing diplomatic and legal challenges to Beijing. Without a Code of Conduct for the contested waters, the region may become a new global flashpoint.
By Pico Iyer
The 14th Dalai Lama may be a Buddhist spiritual figure, but pragmatism is all that truly matters for him. He is a doctor of the mind, determined to locate the source of suffering and come up with a practical cure. As the author observed while traveling with him in Japan, it is a message that resonates far beyond Tibet and China.