Friday Headlines

Iran’s Khamenei Warns Against Cooperating With US
In an August 13 speech to prominent diplomats, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said his nation would cooperate with any country in the world, 
“with two exceptions: the Zionist regime and the U.S.” and warned against engaging with the U.S. on all other international matters, reports IranWire.

That position places him at odds with President Hassan Rouhani, who has called for increased engagement.

Could Airstrikes Strengthen ISIS
Zachary Keck questions whether airstrikes might actually strengthen ISIS ad embolden its supporters.

“Prolonged airstrikes create a new kind of threat from these Western Jihadists. Specifically, these Westerners are motivated by a desire to aid ISIS in its cause to establish the caliphate. Since the U.S. has at least been tactically aligned with ISIS in Syria, these Westerners have had to travel to the Middle East to assist ISIS. However, with the U.S. now fighting ISIS directly in Iraq, Western Jihadists who might have otherwise traveled to the Middle East may now decide that they can best aid ISIS’s cause by attacking the U.S. or Western targets at home,” he writes.

The Left’s Blind Spot
Commentator columnist Jeremy Havardi says the Left struggles to combat anti-Semitism because it is leading the movement.

“Leftists have long had a blind spot when it comes to antisemitism. This is partly because some have found comfort in this rank bigotry, seeing Jews as a privileged elite and a personification of the capitalism they abhor. But it is also because they like to define antisemitism on their own terms, showing disdain for how Jews themselves feel,” contends Havardi.

The Unintended Consequences Of Sanctions On Russia
With the crisis in Ukraine intensifying, the US and the EU are locked in a battle of wills – and sanctions. The real threat to the West does not lie in Russia’s retaliatory sanctions, but rather in the potential impact of a financial crisis sparked by its own restrictions on Russian banks.

Marcel Fratxscher argues that “financial sanctions on Russia are not targeted, temporary, or fully credible. If they affect Russia’s entire economy, hitting ordinary citizens the hardest, popular support for Putin’s regime may solidify further,” which is precisely what the West wants to avoid.

“Of course, an economic slowdown could erode Putin’s popular support, which is based on the gains in living standards made under his leadership. In that case, Putin’s response could be even more damaging,” he adds.

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