Thursday Headlines

Has Iran Realized Backing Syria Is A Loser?
Iran once was a staunch supporter of Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad, but now the regime is reconsidering its position as Assad is weakened and ISIS is posing a threat to Iran’s interests in the region.

Iran has realized that betting on Assad to win the war means betting on a losing horse. Tehran has therefore responded by decreasing its aid to him—keeping the regime alive to protect its interests in Syria with the smallest amount of resources necessary. Iran’s main interest today is maintaining Hezbollah’s access to weapons through Syria, not keeping Assad in power, and it is looking for a political solution to the conflict that would retain Hezbollah’s current privileges,” writes Lina Khatib.

Is the International Criminal Court Best Option To Heal Nations?
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has brought 22 cases against alleged perpetrators of human rights violations in its first 13 years and all have been against Africans, which has many member states wondering whether it is biased. Of those cases, just two people, both Congolese warlords, have been sent to jail.

With many African nations threatening to pull their memberships, Nick Larson asks whether the ICC is truly suited to heal traumatized countries.

“Some commentators maintain that truth commissions, like the one in post-apartheid South Africa, are a better mechanism for righting wrongs. Those bodies typically collect evidence, publish reports and offer legal immunity if people tell the truth. The aim is peace between old enemies rather than justice per se. Other analysts prefer a model in which states themselves prosecute cases with the assistance of the UN and other nations,” notes Larson.

ISIS And The Theology Of Rape
Claiming the Quran’s support, the Islamic State codifies sex slavery in
conquered regions of Iraq and Syria and uses the practice as a recruiting tool, says Rukmini Callimachi in a harrowing story in the New York Times.

“The Islamic State recently made it clear that sex with Christian and Jewish women captured in battle is also permissible, according to a new 34-page manual issued this summer by the terror group’s Research and Fatwa Department.

“Just about the only prohibition is having sex with a pregnant slave, and the manual describes how an owner must wait for a female captive to have her menstruating cycle, in order to ‘make sure there is nothing in her womb,’ before having intercourse with her.

Beyond that, there appears to be no bounds, she reports.

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