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Old 05-15-2018, 09:23 AM
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Arrow Eye on Extremism: May 15 - 2018

Eye on Extremism: May 15 - 2018
By: The New York Times: Iraqi Voters Strengthen Hand of Militia Leader Who Battled U.S.
RE: https://www.counterextremism.com/rou...emism-may-15-1

“Moktada al-Sadr, a firebrand militia leader whose forces once battled American troops in Iraq and were implicated in widespread atrocities against civilians, has emerged as the surprise front-runner in the Iraqi national elections, according to Iraqi election officials. After American forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011, Mr. Sadr remained vocally anti-American, though he has also been strongly critical of Iran, the other foreign power with widespread influence here. The victory of Mr. Sadr’s political coalition could complicate the American strategy in Iraq. The American military has been training, sharing intelligence and planning missions with former militias in the country, gambling that their military partnership can keep the Islamic State from making a comeback here. Mr. Sadr has been highly critical of American airstrikes in the country against the Islamic State, though he has said little recently about his willingness to allow American troops to remain on Iraqi soil.”

The Washington Post: Hezbollah Says ‘New Phase’ In War With Israel After Strikes

“The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah said Monday a barrage of rockets from Syria against Israeli forces in the occupied Goal Heights last week opens up “a new phase” in the conflict, warning that Israel proper could be the next target for retaliation. Hassan Nasrallah said that Israel has been informed through an international body that retaliation inside Israel will take place if it crosses “a red line” in Syria, without providing specifics. Israel on Thursday unleashed a heavy bombardment against what it said were Iranian military installations in Syria on Thursday. It said it was retaliation for an Iranian rocket barrage on its positions in the Golan. It was the most serious military confrontation between the two bitter enemies to date. In a televised speech to a rally in Beirut, Nasrallah did not say who carried out the rocket fire into the Golan. He called it retaliation for “Israel’s continued aggression against Syria.” In past weeks, Israel is believed to have carried out a number of strikes against military bases in Syria, killing Iranian and Syrian troops.”

The Times: ISIS Exploits Online Loophole To Spread Murder Videos And Hate

“Tens of thousands of Isis videos, speeches and publications have been shared on an internet archive site despite repeated warnings that it is being exploited to spread terrorism. Isis content that remains accessible on archive.org includes a 124-page booklet on manufacturing explosives made by the “Islamic Media Center” and a video of the Paris attacker pledging his allegiance to the Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before his rampage. The Counter Extremism Project, a nonprofit group, contacted the archive in 2015 and again in February this year, drawing attention to specific posts.”

Foreign Policy: Tech Companies Are Ruining America’s Image

“Not long ago, Americans used to worry — constantly and loudly — about what their country’s main cultural export was and what it said about them. In the 1990s, after the Iron Curtain came down, many Americans wondered whether the appealing lifestyles the world saw on U.S. sitcoms and blockbusters deserved some credit for energizing global resistance to communism. Then, as the optimism of the ’90s gave way to the shock and horror of 9/11, Americans asked, with palpable chagrin, whether the materialism and vulgarity of their TV shows and movies were contributing to the virulent anti-Americanism that had spread throughout much of the globe. These lines of inquiry helped Americans better understand how they were seen and treated by others, including foreign governments, corporations, and populaces. Of course, they also betrayed a certain self-regard, if not self-satisfaction — traits less common among Americans today in a fast-changing world environment that has challenged their traditional cultural dominance.”
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