Battle of Marib Video
The new video AQAP posted on the Battle of Marib today - September 8 - is by far the most technologically impressive piece of propaganda I have seen it produce to date. (Sure the line of tanks in full advance was a bit much, but Qasim al-Raymi made some powerful points.) Also showing the "spoils" of victory was an interesting trick, essentially turning the government's tactic on its head, as the government usually lays out the weapons and material it captures from al-Qaeda for the media.
But interviews with the seven captured soldiers not only back-up AQ's claims that it did what it said it did - I think al-Raymi's point here about people turning to Internet forums to get the real story, while interspersed with al-Lawzi's press conference was particularly powerful - but also show how it is attempting to take the moral high road at least domestically in Yemen.
The narrative of the video fits quite nicely into the framework that AQ has been attempting to establish for itself locally and it is quite convincingly done.
It is hard to judge the power of either videos like this or issues of Sada al-Malahim on recruiting, but certainly people in Yemen are aware of them and al-Qaeda is growing in strength and is doing an increasingly good job in fitting every new event into its framework of the conflict in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the Peninsula, which is beginning to have a powerful cumulative effect.
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The 21st century is experiencing an Asianization of politics, business, and culture.
- Our theories about the world, even about history or the geopolitics of the present, tend to be shaped by Anglo perspectives of the Western industrial democracies, particularly those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
- The West, however, is not united. Canada, for instance, acts in many ways that are not in line with American or British policies, particularly in regard to populism. Even if it were united, though, it would not represent most of the world's population.
- European ideas, such as parliamentary democracy and civil service, spread across the world in the 19th century. In the 20th century, American values such as entrepreneurialism went global. In the 21st century, however, what we're seeing now is an Asianization — an Asian confidence that they can determine their own political systems, their own models, and adapt to their own circumstances.
Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?
- Several studies have confirmed that testosterone counts in men are lower than what they used to be just a few decades ago.
- While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
- The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
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