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Geopolitics

Assad Is Not The Answer: Just Say No To Putin's Syria Solution

The bloody Syrian stalemate unites Russia and the West, in a shared urgency to defeat ISIS. But the Syrian dictator, also an ISIS foe, should not be seen as a lesser evil.

Propaganda photo released by militants showing ISIS fighters in Syria on Aug. 25
Propaganda photo released by militants showing ISIS fighters in Syria on Aug. 25
Kurt Kister

-OpEd-

MUNICH — Without Bashar al-Assad, there would be no war in Syria. His regime is the source of the rebellion of the once moderate opposition in this ever important Arab country. And yet somehow, it is exactly this tyranny, initiated by the father in 1971, pursued by his son since 2000, that is being used by the terrorists of the Islamic State (ISIS) as justification for the war they're waging against humans and the very idea of humanity.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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