from The Great Debate:

Carson in Jordan: God bless and keep the Syrians – far away from us

By Shibley Telhami
December 2, 2015

Source: Carson campaign/ Facebook/ screen shot

Source: Carson campaign/ Facebook/ screenshot

On Saturday Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, who had strongly opposed absorbing Syrian refugees in the United States, suddenly turned up in Jordan visiting the very refugees he wants to keep away from American soil. What explains the sudden interest in a group GOP presidential candidates have been competing to keep out? Carson’s move, a new poll suggests, could well save his lead among evangelical Christians.

from The Great Debate:

Syria, Yemen, Libya — one factor unites these failed states, and it isn’t religion

By Jack Goldstone
November 30, 2015

Sheikh Ghazi Rashad Hrimis touches dried earth in the parched region of Raqqa province in eastern Syria, November 11, 2010. Lack of rain and mismanagement of the land and water resources have forced up to half of million people to flee the region in one of Syria's largest internal migrations since France and Britain carved the country out of the former Ottoman Empire in 1920.     REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri (SYRIA - Tags: AGRICULTURE ENVIRONMENT) - RTXUR9R

Sheikh Ghazi Rashad Hrimis touches dried earth in the parched region of Raqqa province in eastern Syria, November 11, 2010. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

from The Great Debate:

The scariest thing about Islamic State? Its kinder, gentler side.

By Jacqueline Lopour
November 27, 2015

A member of al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant watches men in a "tug of war" contest during an Islamic quiz and games contest in a public square in Raqqa, September 25, 2013. Picture taken September 25, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer  (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT RELIGION SOCIETY) - RTX14110

A member of al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant watches men in a "tug of war" contest during an Islamic quiz and games contest in a public square in Raqqa, September 25, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

from The Great Debate:

Islamic State has become an existential threat to the West

By John Lloyd
November 18, 2015

Militant Islamist fighters wave flags as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. The fighters held the parade to celebrate their declaration of an Islamic "caliphate" after the group captured territory in neighbouring Iraq, a monitoring service said. The Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot previously known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), posted pictures online on Sunday of people waving black flags from cars and holding guns in the air, the SITE monitoring service said. Picture taken June 30, 2014.  REUTERS/Stringer (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) - RTR3WKNM

Militant Islamist fighters wave flags as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

from The Great Debate:

Paris attacks: The West’s fatal misunderstanding of Islamic State

By Rasha Elass
November 15, 2015

ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATHGeneral view of the scene with rescue service personnel working near covered bodies outside a restaurant following shooting incidents in Paris, France, November 13, 2015.   REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTS6W3I

A general view of the scene outside a restaurant following shooting incidents in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

from The Great Debate:

Podcast: The true horrors of life under Islamic State

By Matthew Gault
November 11, 2015
Participants: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, Kevin Sullivan

Many in the West think of the Islamic State as a loose collection of fighters -- rabble who kill, loot and burn. But the truth is more complex, though no less terrifying. Islamic State actually governs the territory it takes and it’s not terrible at it. The group levies taxes, teaches children and organizes garbage pickup.

from The Great Debate:

How to avoid creating a new generation of ignorance and hate

By Erna Solberg
July 31, 2015

Children displaced as a result of Boko Haram attacks in the northeast region of Nigeria, attend class at Maikohi secondary school inside a IDP camp in Yola

Children displaced as a result of Boko Haram attacks in the northeast region of Nigeria, in class at Maikohi secondary school inside a camp for internally displaced persons in Yola, Adamawa State January 13, 2015. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

from The Great Debate:

Deprived of ‘checkbook diplomacy’ in Yemen and Syria, Saudi Arabia flounders

By David Hartwell
June 26, 2015

Houthi militant sits amidst debris from the Yemeni Football Association building, which was damaged in a Saudi-led air strike, in Sanaa

A Houthi militant sits amidst debris from the Yemeni Football Association building, which was damaged in a Saudi-led air strike, in Sanaa May 31, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

from The Great Debate:

While Syria burns next door, Lebanon’s fabric is fraying

By Mohamad Bazzi
June 11, 2015

Lebanon's Hezbollah members carry Hezbollah flags during the funeral of their fellow fighter Adnan Siblini, who was killed while fighting against insurgents in the Qalamoun region, in al-Ghaziyeh village, southern Lebanon

Lebanon's Hezbollah members carry Hezbollah flags during the funeral of their fellow fighter Adnan Siblini, who was killed while fighting against insurgents in the Qalamoun region, in al-Ghaziyeh village, southern Lebanon May 26, 2015. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho

from The Great Debate:

Why Arab Spring made life better in Tunisia, failed everywhere else

By Ellen McLarney
February 18, 2015

A Tunisian fan reacts after Tunisia lost their quarter-final soccer match of the 2015 African Cup of Nations against Equatorial Guinea in Bata

A Tunisian fan soccer fan. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Earlier this month, Tunisia's newly elected parliament cobbled together a coalition government led by a secular party that included its Islamist rivals, who had been democratically ousted from power. The new government, coming on the heels of a historic presidential election, a new constitution and the first democratic elections to be held during the Arab Spring, marks an astonishing democratic culmination in the birthplace of the movement. It has also proven hard to replicate.