Wednesday News

Two Future Leaders Emerge In The Middle East
At first glance, two men may not have much in common.

Ayman Odeh is an Israeli Arab member of the Israeli Knesset who has travelled to the US and counts among his heroes Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Selahattin Demirtas is the leader of Turkey’s People’s Democratic Party, an outspoken critic of the government who was recently accused of treason by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

What unites them as figures of the future is that both represent minorities in their respective countries and are politically left-of-center. And both are committed to shaking up the political system without the use of force.

And both face enormous challenges in achieving real progress in nations where strongmen have ruled for decades.

“Odeh and Demirtas may be charismatic, creative politicians, but they are always at risk of being undermined by forces that have no need to appeal to the ballot box. There’s a reason, after all, that the men with guns get so much attention,” says Foreign Policy’s David Kenner.

Defeating ISIS Will Be A Long War
Although Iraqi troops have achieved some gains in its fight against ISIS, namely retaking Ramadi, the truth is that defeating ISIS in Iraq and elsewhere will require nations commit to fighting for years, if not decades, says The London Telegraph’s Shashank Joshi.

He argues that it is possible to constrain ISIS from expanding globally, but seizing their hand is more difficult, particularly with Russia and the West moving in different directions in terms of how to handle Syrian dictator Bashir al Assad.

“The US and Russia are discussing ways to remove Assad, but the so-called Vienna process envisages a new government only in mid-2017. Russia is now dragging its feet, hoping that we come round to backing Assad without Moscow having to give up anything. US Secretary of State John Kerry, who over four years of Syria diplomacy has perfected the art of placing his feet in his mouth, has inadvertently encouraged Moscow in this belief, with statements such as ‘the United States and our partners are not seeking regime change in Syria’. Yet the issue is simple: until it’s clear that Assad really is committing to give up power eventually, it’ll be politically impossible for Western countries either to co-opt rebels or to work with Assad’s army or Putin’s air force,” he contends.

ISIS Issues Fatwa On Who Can Have Sex Slaves
The Islamic State has issued a list of sex slave rape rules that sets out how their fighters can treat their captives and detail when the “owners” of women slaves can have sex with them, reports Reuters. The guidelines have been translated into English.

The United Nations has alleged ISIS has engaged in the systematic abduction and rape of thousands of women and girls as young as 12, and the group itself has often boasted about their use of rape as a tool of war and an effective way to recruit new members.

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