The Great Debate UK

from The Great Debate:

Meet the four autocrats of the apocalypse

By John Lloyd
January 16, 2015

Russian President Putin attends a meeting with his counterpart from Venezuela Maduro at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with his counterpart from Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, Jan. 15, 2015. REUTERS/Pavel Golovkin/Pool

from The Great Debate:

Germany’s anti-immigrant PEGIDA isn’t a Vladimir Putin plot. It’s scarier.

By Lucian Kim
January 14, 2015

Participants hold a banner during a demonstration called by anti-immigration group PEGIDA, a German abbreviation for "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West", in Dresden

Last week, when I attended my first rally in Dresden organized by PEGIDA, Germany’s mysterious “anti-Islamization” movement, I was reminded of the aggressive pro-Russian protests that tore apart eastern Ukraine a year ago. Thousands of demonstrators, who mostly refused to talk to the “lying press,” listened to fiery speeches railing against the country’s political class. Among the German flags present, I also spotted a few Russian ones, including a banner that was split diagonally, one half Russia’s tricolor, the other half Germany’s. A reporter and cameraman from the Gazprom-owned NTV channel were greeted with welcoming calls of “Vladimir! Vladimir!”

from The Great Debate:

Why Ukraine shouldn’t be offered NATO membership

By Andrei Tsygankov
January 12, 2015

A U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter is seen as it escorts a Lithuania's Air Force C-27J plane during a joint NATO military exercise in Siauliai

Placing Ukraine on the path to NATO membership is currently promoted by Kiev and some forces in the West, who believe in getting tough with Russia.

from The Great Debate:

‘Charlie Hebdo’: High-impact, low-tech tactics add chilling dimension to attacks

By Matthew Green
January 9, 2015

French soldier patrol near the Eiffel Tower in Paris as part of the highest level of "Vigipirate" security

In the aftermath of 9/11, the biggest fear that haunted U.S. counter-terrorism officials was that al-Qaeda or its allies would somehow get hold of a weapon of mass destruction: a biological agent or a nuclear bomb.

from The Great Debate:

‘Charlie Hebdo’ killings are a test for France and all Western Europe

By John Lloyd
January 9, 2015

A woman participates in a vigil to pay tribute to the victims of a shooting, by gunmen at the offices of weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in downtown Lisbon

What follows the slaughter of the senior staff of the Parisian satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo will be a test of the depth of Europe's liberal instincts. The weekly paper, run by journalists with the real courage of their convictions, has done more than its duty for freedom of the press. It falls to Europeans to display their attachment to other pillars of a free society: the rule of law, the observance of democratic norms, the display of tolerance and nondiscrimination.

from The Great Debate:

Will France fall into the trap of pitting ‘Islamism’ vs. ‘Nativism?’

By Carlo Invernizzi Accetti
January 8, 2015

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The brutal attack that took place in Paris Wednesday on the headquarters of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, leaving at least 12 dead and more than 20 injured, could lead to dreadful consequences. 

from The Great Debate:

World’s cartoonists respond to the attack on ‘Charlie Hebdo’

By Jason Fields
January 7, 2015

The outpouring in reaction to the killing of 12 in an attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris -- known for its cartoons that took on politicians and religious figures, including the Prophet Mohammad -- was spontaneous and pointed. Below is a sampling of some of the cartoons that are being shared on Twitter, most with the hashtag #jesuischarlie -- I am Charlie.

from The Great Debate:

Syrian war and Israeli spies mean hard times for Hezbollah

By Tom Rogan
January 7, 2015

A view shows the wreath offered by Iranian Parliament Speaker Larijani at the grave of assassinated Hezbollah military commander Imad Moughniyeh inBeirut

Drained and delegitimized by the Syrian civil war, penetrated by Israeli intelligence and separated from traditional allies, the Lebanese group Hezbollah’s self-proclaimed glory days of 2006, when it went to war with Israel, have never seemed so distant.

from The Great Debate:

U.S. sanctions fail two-thirds of the time. And allies are often to blame

By Bryan Early
January 5, 2015

Handout photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guiding the multiple-rocket launching drill of women's sub-units under KPA Unit 851

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides a multiple-rocket launching drill in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, Dec. 30, 2014. REUTERS/KCNA

from The Great Debate:

Navalny is a thorn in Putin’s side, but silencing him won’t be easy

By Lucian Kim
December 31, 2014

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In Russia, August is commonly believed to be the month of bad surprises, when planes fall out of the sky and economic crises begin. But from the point of the view of the Kremlin, the last days of December are preferable for shock announcements. On Christmas Day 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as the first and last president of the Soviet Union; eight years later, on New Year’s Eve, Boris Yeltsin handed over the Russian presidency to an unknown former secret police chief named Vladimir Putin.